OceanSide church of Christ

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THE LOVE OF GOD

Victor M. Eskew

 

INTRODUCTION

 

A.   When we mention God, many attributes of God come to our minds:† power, wisdom, glory, etc.

 

B.    Another that always surfaces, and rightly so, is Godís love.

1.     If we were to rank the qualities of God, this one would top the list.

2.     This quality of God appeals to manís sentimentality, that is, to his feelings and emotions.

3.     This is the quality of God that we want to hear about in sermons and articles.

 

C.   For this reason, we want to turn your attention in this lesson to:† ďThe Love of God.Ē

 

I.              GOD IS LOVE

 

A.   I John 4:8

 

He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.

 

B.    The very nature of God is love.

1.     Whatever elements comprise love, God possesses them in full.

2.     Whenever love exists and is expressed, God is the source thereof.

3.     All that God does to and for His creation springs from this fountain of love.

 

C.   He is truly ďthe God of loveĒ (II Cor. 13:11).

 

II.            GODíS LOVE HAS BEEN DISPLAYED

 

A.   God has not merely told man that He loves him; He has also shown man that love in many ways.

 

B.    Two examples:

1.     Every day that you and I continue in sin, or cease not from our unfaithful-ness, God displays His love.

a.     The Bible says that ďcharity suffereth longĒ (I Cor. 13:4).

b.    When we sin, God could execute the sentence of death upon us (Ezek. 18:20).† He could place us into a devilís hell.

c.    But, He does not.† Why?† He loves us.† His love causes Him to suffer long with us.† His desire is for us to repent (II Pet. 3:9).

 

The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is long-suffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repen-tance.

 

2.     The greatest display of Godís love was seen at Calvary when Godís Son was allowed to be the sacrifice for the sins of the world (I John 4:9-10).

 

In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him.† Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.

 

III.       GODíS LOVE BROUGHT BENEFITS TO MAN

 

A.   Forgiveness (Rev. 1:5b)

 

ÖUnto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood.

 

B.    Life (I John 4:9)

 

In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him.

 

C.   Escape from wrath (Rom. 5:8-9)

 

But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.† Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him.

 

D.   Reconciliation (Rom. 5:10)

 

For if, when were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son; much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life.

 

E.    Relationship (I John 3:10)

 

Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God.

 

F.     Reward (John 3:16)

 

For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

 

IV.        GOD LOVES ALL MEN

 

A.   John 3:16

 

For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

 

1.     God loved the world.

2.     Whosover believeth

B.    II Corinthians 5:19

 

To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation.

 

C.   I Timothy 1:15

 

This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to saved sinners; of whom I am chief.

 

1.     We have already seen that Christís coming was due to the love of God.

2.     Who did Jesus come to save?† Sinners

3.     Who has sinned?† (Rom. 3:23)

 

For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.

 

V.          GODíS LOVE IS DESIGNED FOR A RESPONSE

 

A.   I John 4:9

 

We love him, because he first loved us.

 

B.    II Cor. 5:14

 

For the love of Christ constraineth usÖ

 

C.   The response from man is love expressed in obedience to Godís commands.

1.     John 14:21

 

He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth meÖ

 

2.     I John 5:3

 

For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandment:† and his commandments are not grievous.

 

3.     The command to be baptized.

a.     Baptism is a command of God (Acts 10:47-48)

 

Can any man forbid water, that these should not be baptized, which have received the Holy Ghost as well as we?† And he commanded them to be baptized in the name of the LordÖ.

 

b.    Is this command to be obeyed before one is saved or after one is saved (Mark 16:16)?

 

He that believeth and is baptized shall be savedÖ

 

c.    If a person loves God, he will obey the command of God to be baptized in order to be saved.

 

VI.        GODíS LOVE IN PERSPECTIVE

 

A.   Godís love is unconditional, but the benefits of His love are conditional.

1.     God loves all men.† There are no conditions on that.

2.     Not all men, however, will be saved?† Why?† The benefits of Godís love are conditional (Rev. 22:14).

 

Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they might have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city.

 

B.    Thus, Godís love does not guarantee:

1.     Godís acceptance of us

2.     The forgiveness of our sins

3.     The rewards of heaven

4.     An understanding of our excuses

 

C.   There are also some things that Godís love does not guarantee for the child of God.

1.     An understanding of our excuses

2.     All prayers will be answered positively

3.     An easy life in Godís service

4.     Riches and prosperity

 

VII.      GODíS LOVE IS OUR EXAMPLE

 

A.   John 13:34

 

A new commandment I give unto you, that ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.

 

B.    Ephesians 5:1-2

 

Be ye therefore followers of God, as dear children; and walk in love, as Christ hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice for a sweetsmelling savour.

 

C.   I hear individuals say:† ďI love you with the love of the Lord.Ē

1.     That a tall order.† Do they understand the ramifications of their statement?

2.     This is the way that we are to love others.

 

CONCLUSION

 

A.   The love of God is a tremendous thing (Eph. 2:4-5).

 

But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ , (by grace ye are saved).

B.    It is sad that man misunderstands, manipulates, and rejects the love of God.

 

C.   We leave you with two desires:

1.     Ephesians 3:19

 

And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fullness of God.

 

2.     II Corinthians 13:14

 

The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Ghost, be with you all.