The Love Of God
Introduction: 1 John 4:7-21
I. This is one of the most beautiful topics of the Bible.
a. Someone has said that mother can best be described by describing a mother's love; and that God is best described when revealed in the light of his love. I Jno. 4:8.
2. God's love is a divine magnet that draws us unto Him. I Jno. 4:19.
a. It is not some kind of emotional sentimentalism that's better felt than told.
b. His love for us is his care and concern that has been directed into channels of divine truth, through which he seeks our eternal welfare.
I. Declarations Of God's Love:
A. John 3:16 — Declares the degree of God's love.
1. He "so" (adverb of manner or degree) that he gave his only begotten Son.
2. The degree of one's love may be declared by what he is willing to give.
a. Example: Husband for his wife; mother for her child; soldier for his country.
B. Romans 5:8 — Declares the objects of God's love.
1. Jno. 3:16 states that he loved the world; Rom. 5:8 declares its condition. We were sinners.
a. Sin is violation of God's law (1 Jno. 3:4, Jas. 4:17) and carries the death penalty. Rom. 6:23; Rev. 20:14.
b. There is not a sin that God does not hate and not a sinner that he does not love!
C. Romans 8:35-39 — Declares the constancy of God's love.
1. None of the things mentioned by Paul causes God's love for us to change.
2. Not even sin can separate us from the love of God. Rom. 5:8.
a. It does not separate us from relationship with God. Isa. 59:1-2.
b. Calvinists assume that because sin cannot separate us from the love of God that a child of God cannot be lost. They overlook the difference between being separated from God's love and being separated from relationship with Him.
c. Aliens aren't separated from His love but they are from relationship with Him.
D. 1 John 4:9-10 — Declares the design of God's love.
1. The design of this great love of God for us was that we might live through Him.
2. He became the ransom (Matt. 20:28) and the propitiation for our sins. I Jno. 2:2.
3. God's love provided life for the spiritually dead, redemption for the sin enslaved, and freedom from the captivity of sin.
E. 1 John 3:1-3 — Declares the reward of God's love.
1. Behold what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us. We are:
a. Changed from sinners into sons. 1 Jno. 3:1. a. As sons, we are heirs of the promises. Gal. 4:7, 3:29.
b. Translated from the kingdom of darkness into the kingdom of God's Son. Col. 1:13.
c. Promised a changed body. 1 Jno. 3:2; Phil. 3:20-21; 1 Cor. 15:42-44.
II. Motives Of Love:
A. What are the things that cause us to love? I. Admiration.
a. We learn to love persons who have traits, characteristics and qualities that we admire.
b. Admiration of men's ways was not what motivated God's love for man. Gen. 6:5.
c. Our admiration of God may be a motive that causes us to love Him.
a. Our sense of gratitude to a person for what he has done for us may cause us to love hint.
i. Example — help in time of sickness or misfortune, maybe saved our child from a burning building, etc.
b. A husband and wife may have learned to love each other through admiration. Through the years that love will deepen through the sense of gratitude that each feels for the other for what they have been.
i. God's love for man did not come from any feeling of gratitude that God had for man for what man had done for God. Rom. 3:23.
c. Man's love for God may deepen through his feeling of gratitude for what God has done for him.
a. This may he the factor that causes us to love.
i. Parents may love a child that is deformed or mentally incompetent, not from admiration or gratitude, but from pity.
ii. A child may love an animal that has been abandoned. It may be a puppy that has fleas and the mange, but from a heart of pity the child will love it and adopt it for his own.
a. As God looked down upon man in his lost condition and saw him helpless to save himself (Prov. 14:12; Isa. 55:8-9; Tit. 3:5; Eph. 2:8-10) His pity for man must have motivated His great love.
c. Pity does not motivate our love for God any more than admiration and gratitude motivates His love for us.
III. Obligations Of Love:
A. Love has its blessings and reward and it also has its obligation and responsibilities.
1. Example — men and women that want the blessings and rewards of a marriage must assume its obligations and responsibilities.
2. Some want the blessings and rewards of a home without assuming the obligations and responsibilities of husbands and wives.
B. Some profess to love God, yet do not want to assume the obligations involved in loving God.
C. What obligations must we assume if we love God?
1. We must live for Christ. 2 Cor. 5:14,15.
a. This obligates us to think in terms of Him and His kingdom first (Matt. 6:33) and ourselves and our interests second.
2. We must love one another. 1 Jno. 4:11.
a. We cannot love God and hate our brother. Jno. 4:20-21.
3. We must obey His commandments. Jno. 14:21-24.
a. He plainly tells us that those who love Him do His commandments and those who do not do His commandments do not love Him.
b. This obligates the alien to obey the gospel and the Christian to be faithful in service and worship.
1 God first loved us.
2. Do you love Him?
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