Sermons

Summary: This is a look at God’s love

INTRODUCTION

 An overzealous preacher felt it was his calling to aggressively "make" people become Christians as they would ride on the city bus system. One day a drunk stumbled onto the bus that the preacher was on. He sprang into and shook his family Bible in the face of the inebriated man and yelled, "Did you know you’re headed for Hell?" And the drunk replied, "Oh, no, I’m on the wrong bus again!" TS-The world doesn’t need to be told it’s going to hell; the world needs to be shown how to get to heaven.

 Last week we left off with Jesus visiting with the Pharisee Nicodemus. Nicodemus was searching for some answers about the Kingdom of God. Last week we learned that Jesus taught that a person must be born again (born of the water and the Spirit) in order to see or enter the Kingdom of God.

 This week we are going to finish our conversation between Jesus and Nicodemus.

 This is the gospel in a capsule (3:16-18)—it is the crowning jewel of the New Testament. Nowhere else has theology been so simplified and yet reached such awe-inspiring heights. We almost need to read the text with an exclamation point behind each word.

 In the conversation that Jesus has with Nicodemus, Jesus unlocks the very nature of God.

 The title to today’s message is “A LESSON ON GOD’S LOVE”

 Today we are going to learn about the love that God has for us. We will see its depth, its reach, its purpose and its limitations. God loves you more that you will ever know.

 Let us learn a lesson on God’s love today.

SERMON

I. ITS DEPTH V16

 In verse 16 we learn of the depth of God’s love for us. It tells us that God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son.

 God freely gave His Son because of His love. God’s love is the foundation of His redemptive work.

1 John 4:8-10 (NLT) says But anyone who does not love does not know God—for God is love. God showed how much he loved us by sending his only Son into the world so that we might have eternal life through him. This is real love. It is not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as a sacrifice to take away our sins.

 In 1944, C.E. Goodman of Hallmark Greeting Cards wrote a slogan: "When You Care Enough to Send the Very Best." Ever since, that motto has been used to sell greeting cards. When we look at Jesus Christ, we know that God cared enough to send the very best.

 It takes a deep love to give up your best for another. It shows even a greater depth of love when you give up something when the object of your love may not respond to you. ROMANS 5:8 But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.

 The other thing that we learn about God’s love is its reach.

II. ITS REACH V16

The Big picture.

 In verse 16, John says that God so loved the world, that He gave His one and only Son.

 It was not that God just loved the Godly, but He loves all people.

 The idea that God loves the whole world is a new idea. The Jews believed God loved the religious (the true Jew) and hated the non-religious (the Gentiles). The same thoughts are held by many in every generation, especially by religionists. The fact that God truly loves is shocking to many. Some wonder and others question how God could possibly love the...

 vile person

 murderer

 immoral person

 wife beater

 child abuser

 prostitute  thief

 alcoholic

 oppressor

 bitter, vengeful

2 PETER 3:9 The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance.

 God loves every man, not just the religious and the good. He does not love only the people who love Him. He loves everyone, even the unlovely and the unloving, the unbelieving and the obstinate, the selfish and the greedy, the spiteful and the vengeful.

 An Arab chief tells a story of a spy who was captured and then sentenced to death by a general in the Persian army. This general had the strange custom of giving condemned criminals a choice between the firing squad and the big, black door. As the moment for execution drew near, the spy was brought to the Persian general, who asked the question, "What will it be: the firing squad or the big, black door?" The spy hesitated for a long time. It was a difficult decision. He chose the firing squad. Moment’s later shots rang out confirming his execution. The general turned to his aide and said, "They always prefer the known way to the unknown. It is characteristic of people to be afraid of the undefined. Yet, we gave him a choice." The aide said, "What lies beyond the big door?" "Freedom," replied the general. "I’ve known only a few brave enough to take it."

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