Summary: God the Father initiated His purpose of creating a community of people, His children, who would share in the life and love of the godhead.
IN GOD'S IMAGE 72 - THE CHURCH - LOVE
This message is part of a series of 90 sermons based on the title, “In God’s Image – God’s Purpose for humanity.” This series of free sermons or the equivalent free book format is designed to take the reader through an amazing process beginning with God in prehistory and finishing with humanity joining God in eternity as His loving sons and daughters. It is at times, a painful yet fascinating story, not only for humanity, but also for God. As the sermons follow a chronological view of the story of salvation, it is highly recommend they be presented in numerical order rather than jumping to the more “interesting” or “controversial” subjects as the material builds on what is presented earlier. We also recommend reading the introduction prior to using the material. The free book version along with any graphics or figures mentioned in this series can be downloaded at www.ingodsimage.site - Gary Regazzoli
Our focus has shifted to the role and function of the church.
• We are looking at the role of the church through five virtues, faith, hope and love as expressed in 1 Corinthians 13, and worship and service.
• The church as the body of Christ needs to be people of faith, people of hope, people of love, people of worship, and people of service.
Last time we looked at the subject of hope. This time our focus is on the subject of love.
• There is the old expression, “Love makes the world go round.”
• Just imagine what the world would be like without the emotion of love in its various forms.
• No budding romances for young lovers, no parents cuddling their offspring, no grandparents bragging about their grandchildren, etc.
• But love doesn’t just make the world go round; it is the very lifeblood of the Triune God.
• 1 John 4:7-8 Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. 8 Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.
• Notice the source and origin of love is God.
• We see this process in the Godhead itself as the Holy Spirit that is the divine love of the Father and the Son flowing from the Father to the Son and is returned in the Son’s adoration of the Father.
• And astoundingly, way back before time existed, this God whose very nature of love is so generous and overflowing, decided to lavish the very existence that permeates the Trinity on others.
• As we learned at the beginning of this series, this amazing four-dimensional world in which we live has been carefully created to bring about God’s purpose of sharing with humanity that one most important characteristic which makes God, God, and that is divine love.
• I have used the word “divine love” purposely so as to distinguish it from the distorted meaning the word love conjures up in today’s world.
• The secular world has distorted the meaning of the word love to revolve around the narrow dimension of one’s feelings towards another; usually it is in relation to one’s own self-gratification or benefit.
• Not only do we see the media’s distorted image of love presented each night on TV, but also the daily diet of horrendous news stories about humanity’s total lack of love and disregard for human life.
• It used to be car accidents and house fires that made the news. Now it is domestic violence, predator priests, mass shootings, beheadings, car bombs, etc.
• Jesus predicted a time when our societies would become so self-centred and self-absorbed we would become callous to the needs of others.
• Matthew 24:12 Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold.
• So it’s important for believers to guard against this growing tendency in our societies.
When we look at the subject of “love,” we need to view it from the perspective of the One who is the source of divine love and describes Himself as such.
• It was God the Father who initiated His purpose of creating a community of people, His children, who would share in the life and love of the godhead.
• The Father also provided the means by which there was a direct connection between the Trinity and humanity so we could share in the love of the godhead.
• When scripture, in Matthew 1:20, says Jesus “was conceived by the Holy Spirit,” what it is saying is this same self-emptying love that is the lifeblood of the Trinity now flows into humanity through the incarnate Jesus Christ.
• Jesus Christ becomes the pathway through which the eternal life of God becomes available to humans.