The Love of God
By way of introduction, we want to briefly see the origin and nature of true love:
1 John 4:8 He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.
1 John 4:16 And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him.
The nature of genuine love, according to these verses, is the very nature of God Himself! As born again believers, we possess the very nature of God, which in part, is His love.
1 John 4:7 Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God.
1 John 4:19 We love him, because he first loved us.
Anyone who has the genuine love of God, or love for God, received this love from God, for love is of God, and we can only love Him because He first loved us! Where then is the boasting? It is excluded by the love of God!
This morning, we want to consider seven aspects of the love of God toward His people. Of course, there are more than seven aspects of His love for us, but we will do well to consider these seven in the time we have.
1. First, this morning, Godís Love is unmerited and sovereignly bestowed.
Deuteronomy 7:7-8 The LORD did not set his love upon you, nor choose you, because ye were more in number than any people; for ye were the fewest of all people: 8 But because the LORD loved you, and because he would keep the oath which he had sworn unto your fathers, hath the LORD brought you out with a mighty hand, and redeemed you out of the house of bondmen, from the hand of Pharaoh king of Egypt.
Beloved, it wasnít because Israel was a great people or a mighty nation that God loved them. To the contrary, they were the least of any people! But rather, it was simply because He chose to love them that He saved them and made them His people.
And this very same truth applies to every one of the saved by grace. It was because of His sovereign love wherewith He loved us, that He chose to save us, and make us His people.†
Romans 9:13-16 As it is written, Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated. 14 What shall we say then? Is there unrighteousness with God? God forbid. 15 For he saith to Moses, I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion. 16 So then it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that sheweth mercy.
Beloved, may we never think that we are anything in and of ourselves! Our salvation is owing solely to the sovereign love and grace of God. May we always remember this precious truth!
2. Secondly, Godís love is indestructible and everlasting.
Song of Solomon 8:7 Many waters cannot quench love, neither can the floods drown it: if a man would give all the substance of his house for love, it would utterly be contemned.
This passage is speaking of Christís love for His church, and vise versa. Beloved, nothing can quench or drown the love between Jesus and His people. His love is indestructible!
Jeremiah 31:3 The LORD hath appeared of old unto me, saying, Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting love: therefore with lovingkindness have I drawn thee.
This passage is speaking of Israel as a people and nation, as well as all of the elect of God. When did Godís love for His people begin? Donít ask me to explain it, but His love for us had no beginning, and likewise it shall have no end. Therefore, it was certain that He would draw us to salvation with His lovingkindness through the gospel.
John 13:1 Now before the feast of the passover, when Jesus knew that his hour was come that he should depart out of this world unto the Father, having loved his own which were in the world, he loved them unto the end.
Herein is a living illustration of the undying, never ending love of Jesus for His people.
John 15:9† As the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you: continue ye in my love.
How did God the Father love Jesus? Notice the following verses:
John 17:23-24† I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me. 24 Father, I will that they also, whom thou hast given me, be with me where I am; that they may behold my glory, which thou hast given me: for thou lovedst me before the foundation of the world.
God loves His people as He loves His Son, and He loved His Son before the foundation of the world! Therefore God loves His children with an eternal, everlasting love.
3. Thirdly, Godís love was manifested by the first advent of Christ.
How can you know that God loves you? It is only by faith in the fact that Jesus came into the world to die on the cross for your sins, that you can know for certain that God loves you. Notice the following Scriptures:
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.
Romans 5:8 But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.
Galatians 2:20 I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.
Godís love sent Jesus to be our Saviour, and sacrifice for our sins. And beloved, it is by faith in the sacrifice of Jesus that we receive the forgiveness of our sins!
4. Fourthly, Godís love gives regeneration, salvation, and new spiritual life.
Ephesians 2:4-5 But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, 5 Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;)
Beloved, we were once spiritually dead, but because of Godís GREAT love wherewith He loved us, we are now saved by His grace, and spiritually alive with Christ.
Titus 3:4-5 But after that the kindness and love of God our Saviour toward man appeared, 5 Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost;
Because of the love of God He saved us. And because of Godís love, we receive the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit.
Beloved, in the Scriptures regeneration is the same thing as the new birth. We are born again, not of blood, nor the will of the flesh, nor the will of man, but of God. And all because of His great love for us!
1 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.
We live spiritually and eternally because of Godís love toward us that was manifested in Christ! Once again, our salvation and new life are all owing to the love of God!
5. Fifthly, Godís love gives us a new relationship with God.
1 John 3:1 Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not.
Beloved, I donít care what the experts say, as far as Iím concerned I was a child of the devil, who was led captive by the devil, who followed after the course of the devil.
But because of Godís love that He bestowed upon me, and upon all who believe, we are now the children of God.
Yes beloved, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that wretched sinners and children of the devil, should now be called the sons of God!!!
6. Sixthly, Godís love protects and preserves His children.
Deuteronomy 23:5 Nevertheless the LORD thy God would not hearken unto Balaam; but the LORD thy God turned the curse into a blessing unto thee, because the LORD thy God loved thee.
Beloved, we have no idea what all the Lord protects us from. We have no idea what evil the sons of Belial plot against us, and what harm the sons of Satan would do unto us- but God, because of His great love for us, turns their cursings into blessings! I have known this to be true many times in my own Christian experience, and Iím sure you have too!
Isaiah 63:9 In all their affliction he was afflicted, and the angel of his presence saved them: in his love and in his pity he redeemed them; and he bare them, and carried them all the days of old.
What a wonderful and beautiful expression of Godís loving care, and protection, and preservation of His people.
He was afflicted in their afflictions! This puts me in mind of Jesus in Hebrews:
Hebrews 2:18 For in that he himself hath suffered being tempted, he is able to succour them that are tempted.
Hebrews 4:15 For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.
Not only that, but the angel of His presence saved them, and in His love and pity He redeemed them; and He bare them and carried them all the days of old. This angel of His presence I believe is none other than Christ Himself, who bares and carries His people!
Yes beloved, the Lord is the One who delivers and preserves His people, and not we ourselves.
Romans 8:35-39 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? 36 As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. 37 Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. 38 For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, 39 Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Who could deny that it is Godís sovereign, eternal love that saves us, and protects us, and preserves us, until He comes again for us!
7. Seventhly and finally, Godís love corrects His children.
Hebrews 12:6 For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth.
Revelation 3:19 As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent.
Beloved, part of Godís preserving love is His corrective love. Arenít you glad this morning, that God corrects us?
Most often He corrects us through His Word through preaching! He doesnít put pastors over His churches just to tickle our ears! But to reprove, rebuke, and exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine. And if that doesnít do the job, He uses more severe measures.
But arenít you glad He doesnít let us go on to hell with the rest of the world?
In conclusion, one day the Lord is going to manifest His love for His children for all to see.
Song of Solomon 2:4 He brought me to the banqueting house, and his banner over me was love.
Beloved, one day the Lord is going to bring us into the banqueting house of His wedding feast, as it were, and He shall make manifest His bride, which is His church.
And all those who despised His little church, and made fun of her, and persecuted her, are going to be made to see that He loved His church, and gave Himself for her in a very special sense.
Yes beloved, His banner over us in that day is going to be LOVE! A special love that He has reserved for His bride, which is His local New Testament Baptist Church!
To the Church of Philadelphia, Jesus said in Revelation 3:9:
ďBehold, I will make them of the synagogue of Satan, which say they are Jews, and are not, but do lie; behold, I will make them to come and worship before thy feet, and to know that I have loved thee.Ē
Do you know the love of God this morning in the remission of your sins? Do you know the love of Jesus dying on the cross for you? Were your sins buried with Him in that tomb? And have you been raised from the dead with Jesus on the third day, to new spiritual life in heavenly places with Christ?
If not, repent of your sins and wicked ways, and see yourself as God sees you, a sinner condemned unclean!
And then behold Godís love manifested for you. Believe that Jesus died, was buried, and rose again the third day for you. You will then be able to say with the Apostle Paul:
ďI am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.Ē