Summary: We as Christians, need to be people that are grounded in love as it is expressed all throughout Scripture. We need to know the source of love and what it means in our lives.
Grounded in Love
INTRODUCTION... “Doc, When Do I Die?” from Robert Coleman, Written in Blood
In his book Written In Blood, Robert Coleman tells the story of a little boy whose sister needed a blood transfusion. She had a rare blood type which she shared with her little brother. The fact that he had recovered from the same disease two years earlier made the chances of success even greater. The doctor carefully explained all this to the little boy, pointing out that without the transfusion his sister would die."Would you be brave and give your blood to your sister?" the doctor asked. Johnny hesitated. His lower lip began to tremble. Then he smiled and said, "Sure, for my sister." The two children were wheeled into the hospital room - Mary, pale and thin; Johnny, robust and healthy. He smiled at his sister, the watched as the blood traveled out of his body, down the clear plastic tube. Johnny’s smile faded, and as he lay there feeling weak he looked up at the doctor and said, "Doctor, when do I die?’ Johnny thought that giving his blood to his sister meant giving up his life. Yet because of his great love for her he was prepared to pay the price.
The Bible contains this same kind of sacrificial love. The passage that we will look at today, 1 John 4:7-
21, defines love in this way. It is the same love expressed in Deuteronomy 7:8 when He brought the people of Israel from Egypt. It is the same love expressed by Jeremiah the Prophet in Jeremiah 31:3, “The Lord appeared to us in the past, saying, ’I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with loving-kindness.’” It is the same love as in John 3:16. It is the same love described by the Apostle Paul in Romans 5:8, “But God demonstrates His own love for us in this: while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” We as Christians, need to be people that are grounded in love as it is expressed all throughout Scripture. We need to know the source of love and what it means in our lives.
READ 1 JOHN 4:7-21
I. THE SOURCE OF LOVE (VERSES 7-8)
Verses 7 and 8 tell us something so very simple, but also so very important. These verses tell us that the source of love is God. In fact, verse 8 equates God and love. They are one and the same. John is very logical here in what he says. It makes sense that since God is the source of love and all true love comes from Him, that those who love as He does are born of God and know Him.
There are three other statements like this in the New Testament:
1) He is spirit (John 4:24): God is above all limitations of the physical word, space, and time
2) He is light (1 John 1:5): God is pure as pure can be, sinless and holy
3) He is a consuming fire (Hebrews 12:29): God is all powerful, the Creator God, and worthy of our worship
This fourth statement in 1 John 4 tells us that one of God’s defining characteristics is love. When He judges, He judges in love. When He listens, He listens in love. When He disciplines, He disciplines in love. When He creates, He creates in love. God is love. What does it mean to know that God is the source of love? We know of course that love needs and object and a subject. Love speaks of a relationship between two creatures. The fact that God is love brings into focus the personal nature of God. He desires a relationship with people; the whole purpose of creation.
II. THE EXPRESSION OF LOVE FROM GOD (VERSES 9-10)
We find in verses 9 and 10 that the love of God, all of Who He is, has a definitive expression. The love of God was manifested in the Incarnation of Jesus Christ. Verse 9 tells us matter-of-factly, “This is how God showed His love among us:.” Can it get any clearer than that? What follows that statement then must be the explanation of the expression of God’s love.
1) “He sent His One and Only Son” = Philippians 2:6-11 describes this so poetically. Jesus Christ submitted Himself and took on human form and was just a shell of what He was in Heaven. Philippians 2 tells us that He made Himself nothing and became a human being.
2) “into the world” = Jesus lived on the earth. He walked and talked and worked and was hungry. We cannot forget that Jesus lived life just as we do and faced all the trials that we do. He lived in the world with sickness and death and hardship.