Summary: Jesus Christ is the expression of God’s Love that has been made manifest to the entire world!
Central Church of Christ
February 11, 2001
HOW WE KNOW THAT GOD LOVES US
Text: 1 John 4:9-10
God has an incredible love – a love that would enable him to love us in spite of our failure to live for him perfectly. His love is agape - the kind of love which is a decision not based upon the performance of the one being loved. Agape love is . . . profound concern for the well-being of another, without any desire to control that other, to be thanked by that other, or to enjoy the process. M. L’ENGLE. We cannot know how deep the love of God is, unless we see it in Jesus Christ! There are many events in the life of Jesus which display his compassion and sympathy. No event in his life is so prolific in showing us his love as
the sacrifice of himself on Calvary. 1 John 4:9-10 - read. How Can We Know That God Loves Us?
I. BECAUSE JESUS CAME TO GIVE US LIFE (9)
A. Jesus came to dispel the death that sin brings!
Ephesians 2:1 “As for you, you were dead in your
transgressions and sins…” “All men have existence but all do not have life. The very eagerness with which men seek pleasure shows that there is something missing in their lives….Jesus gives a man an object for which to live; he gives him strength by which to live; and he gives him peace in which to live. Living with Christ turns mere existence into fullness of life. (Barclay) Notice these statements from John about life in Christ:
*John 3:16 “For God so loved the world that he gave
his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”
*John 10:10 “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.”
B. This life is available to everyone! “Showed” (NIV) “Manifested” (KJV) means “to come out in the open, to be made public.” The love of Christ was Jesus Christ is made known! 1 John 3:5 “…He appeared so that he might take away our sins. And in him is no sin.”
1 John 3:8 “…The Son of God appeared … to destroy
the devil’s work.” Where did Jesus take away our sins and destroy the works of the devil? At the cross!
C. Two things Jesus shows us about the love of God: (Barclay) It is a love which holds nothing back. God was prepared to give his only Son and make a sacrifice beyond which no sacrifice can possibly go in his love for men. It is a totally undeserved love. It would be no wonder if we loved God, when we remember all the gifts he has given to us … the wonder is that he loves … disobedient creatures like us.
How thou canst think so well of us,
And be the God thou art,
Is darkness to my intellect,
But sunshine to my heart.
D. We can know that God loves us because Jesus came to give us life…and…
II. BECAUSE JESUS ACCEPTED DEATH IN OUR PLACE
A. Let us never forget that it was FOR US that Christ died. John 15:13 “Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.” 1 Peter 2:24 “He himself bore our sins in his body on the
tree, so that we might die to sins and live for
righteousness; by his wounds you have been healed.”
1 Peter 3:18 “For Christ died for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God. He was put to death in the body but made alive by the Spirit,” 1 John 3:16-18 “This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us…”
B. “Atoning Sacrifice” (NIV) - “Propitiation” (KJV)
1 John 2:2 “He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world.” Jesus made ‘atonement’ for us. It is this act in “which the anger and wrath of Almighty God were indeed turned away by the sufferings of Christ. … there is a divine wrath against every form of sin (Rom. 1:18). (Coffman)
C. Why is there wrath to be turned away? “God is light,” - He must uphold His holy Law. “God is love” - He wants to forgive and save sinners. How can God forgive sinners and still be consistent with His holy nature? Answer: the cross. There Jesus Christ bore the punishment for sin and met the just demands of the holy Law. But there, also, God reveals His love and makes it possible for men to be saved. 2 Corinthians 5:21 “God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.”