Summary: A sermon examining the extravagant love of God.
God's Extravagant Love
When a series of pink “I love you” signs mysteriously appeared in the town of Welland, Ontario, Canada local reporter Maryanne Firth decided to investigate. Her investigation turned up nothing. Weeks later, new signs appeared featuring the name of a local park along with a date and time. Firth went to the park at the appointed time. There, she met a man wearing a suit who had cleverly concealed his face. Imagine her surprise when he handed her a bouquet and proposed marriage! The mystery man was Ryan St. Denis—her boyfriend. She happily accepted. St. Denis’s expression of love toward his fiancée may seem a bit over-the-top, but God’s expression of love for us is nothing short of extravagant! - 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. - (Source: Our Daily Bread - 2-13-17 - https://ourdailybread.org/2017/02/13/love-revealed/)
I would like to look at this wonderful passage from God's Word and consider "God's Extravagant Love".
Let me go ahead and sum this message up before we get started. God loves us. Because God loves us, we love Him. Because God loves us and we love Him we should love one another If we don't love one another, God says we don't really love Him.
In verse 7 John says "Beloved, let us love one another". This is a call to love and this is a call that needs to be heard today. Consider for a moment the attitudes and actions of people today. People always seem to be arguing fussing and fighting. There are riots in the streets. The nightly news is consumed with robberies, assaults, rapes, murders, and acts of terrorism. The conservatives hate the liberals, the Democrats hate the Republicans and the Independents hate them both.
What is the cause of all this turmoil? Why is there so much hatred and vitriol in this world? I submit to you that the main reason is the absence of love. People who do not know God do not know how to love! Consider what John said in verse 8 - "He that loveth not... knoweth not God; for God is love."
On the other hand, some amazing things can happen when people encounter God's amazing love. I have seen some of the toughest, meanest and even violent men become the most kind hearted and gentle people after coming to faith in Christ. As we walk through these verses we will see several truths about God’s Extravagant Love. The first truth that I would like to consider is:
I. The Explanation Of God’s Love v7
John attempts the impossible here in this passage of scripture. He does his best to explain the unexplainable love of God. In doing so he tells us about:
A. Love's Source - v7b "for love is of God"
Where does love come from? Simply stated... love comes from God.
In the New Testament there are four Greek words for love. 1) Storgh – refers to the love of things. 2) Eros – refers to "erotic love”. This speaks of love in the physical sense. 3) Phileo - speaks of tender affection. 4) Agape - refers to a never-ending, unchanging, all-consuming love for someone.
The word that John uses here in his epistle is "agape". Agape is not sentimental, sexual, or social love... it is a supernatural love. Agape is the love that we have received from God. As a result this is the love that we will extend to others.
- The source of love is God and verse 7 also shows us:
B. Love's Significance – v7c "every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God."
This verse makes it clear who John is speaking of. He is referring to "the brethren".... he is writing to the Christians. Can you honestly say that you love the brethren? Can you say that you love your neighbor? Do you love your enemies? If so, it is only because you are "born of God". We do not have the capacity to love apart from Christ. The significance of love is that it is evidence of your salvation. Consider what John said earlier in this Epistle - 1 John 5:1 ¶Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ is born of God: and every one that loveth him that begat loveth him also that is begotten of him. 2 By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God, and keep his commandments.
Paul spoke of the importance of love as well. He tells us that love is the first of the fruits of the spirit. - Galatians 5:22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, 23 Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.