Temple Baptist Church - 3-3-2015
1 John 4:7-12
A. One of the greatest characteristics of a saved person is that of divine love.
1. I am not talking about “natural love” for even the unsaved have love. They have a natural love for their families as well as many other things in life but the love that we read about in these verses is a love that comes only through knowing the love of Christ.
2. I am speaking about the love that belongs to God! Ephesians 3:17-19 That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, (18) May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; (19) And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God.
B. Divine love is an un-natural love!
1. Divine love can be comprehended only in the incomprehensible love of Christ! It is known only in the unknowable love of Christ which “passeth knowledge!” It is perceived only through the love of Christ that bathes the child of God each day. His love, mercy, and grace go with us and before us.
2. Before I was saved, I certainly like people who went to church because I was raised around them. They were, for the most part, good people but only acquaintances. I went to church because I had no choice: I did not hate church but I had rather be somewhere else.
C. When I was saved, things immediately changed! I took my family to church for every service. The people of the church took on a new meaning for me as, for the first time, acquaintances became family. That new love was a divine one that came through knowing and accepting the love of Christ. I not only loved God’s people but also loved sinners for whom Christ died.
D. When mentioning the Fruit of the Spirit in Galatians, the first aspect of that fruit is love.
Galatians 5:22-23 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, 23 Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. (When we become new creatures in Christ, one of the most amazing characteristics that we take on is that of love! Isaac Carter used to say, “The things that once made me swear now make me cry.” He was bad to drink and fight until he was 65 years old and then things changed when he gave his heart to Christ. He was old enough to retire but still young enough to “refire!” I remember him filling his shirt pocket with gospel tracts and going from house in a Clinton mill community called “Liddy City” where he lived witnessing to every person because they knew the old Isaac Carter and he wanted them to know that he was saved and a new man. Love compelled him to be faithful to church, witness to his family, and bring fish and turtles to his pastor. He got In!!!)
E. Without charity (brotherly love), we are nothing!
1 Corinthians 13:1-3 Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal. 2 And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing. 3 And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing. (We can know all about doctrine, be faithful to church, labor for the Lord, but without the divine love of Christ manifested in our hearts and lives, we become nothing but a hollow sound: “a sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal.” Too often, God’s children become pharisaical in their beliefs because the truth is not coupled with compassion. )
F. I am so glad that the Lord loves us completely and in a right way! We can never fathom the love of God that was displayed in John 3:16 where God so love the world that He gave His only begotten Son! When we begin to comprehend the love of Christ, it should become the constraining factor in our lives as believers.
G. I want to look at some aspects of that love this morning: how Christ loved us and, after our salvation, that same love radiates through us to others.
1. Divine Love Was Manifested In The Gift Of Christ - 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. (Jesus Christ was love incarnate. No man every loved as Jesus Christ love. God does not only love or try to love: God is love.)
2. Divine Love Was Commended At The Cross Of Calvary - Romans 5:8-9 But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. 9 Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him. (No man ever loved sinners as Jesus Christ loved them. I find no place in the Bible where our Lord ever got angry with sinners. He only got angry with the Pharisees!)
3. Divine Love Was Believed By The Sinner - 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. (A sinner will never come to Christ until he or she realizes just how much He loves them. He died for the world but He died for me. A personal Saviour and a personal salvation!)
4. Divine Love Was Bestowed Upon Us In Our Sonship - 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. (The love of Christ was bestowed upon us, not just given to us. Bestowed is a strong word as it shows both approval and honor. What an honor it is to be called a son of God.)
5. Divine Love Was Shed Abroad In Our Hearts By The Holy Spirit - Romans 5:5 And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us. (Now the love of Christ becomes evident in the new believer. He now loves what God loves and his life is forever changed. We know that have passed from death to life because of the love that is within.)
6. Divine Love Is Perceived By The Saint - 1 John 3:16 Hereby perceive we the love of God, because he laid down his life for us: and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren. (As we grow in the Lord, we comprehend more and more the love of Christ. There is a song that says, “The longer I serve Him the sweeter He grows!” We become both satisfied with and secure in His love for us.)
7. Divine Love Has Its Dwelling In The Christian Heart - 1 John 3:17 But whoso hath this world’s good, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels of compassion from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him? (As we come to know the love of Christ, that same love becomes more evident in us. We love what God loves: the Saviour, the church, the brethren, the bible, sinners, etc.)
Conclusion: Jesus loves me this I know, for the Bible tells me so. “Oh, how He loves you and me! Oh, how He loves you and me! Jesus to Calvary did go. His precious blood to bestow. He gave His life; what more could He do! Oh, how he loves you! Oh, how He loves me! Oh, how He loves you and me!”