Summary: First in a series about attributes of God and how we are to reflect them in our lives. This message deals with the love of God.
KNOWING GOD - #1
God is Love
This morning we are starting a series of messages entitled, “Knowing God.” These messages are going to focus on character qualities, or attributes of God, and how we can best reflect them in our own lives.
The purpose of these messages is 3-fold: first, to focus on the awesome God of Scripture. I want to highlight this amazing God who sometimes gets lost in our efforts to live godly lives.
Ironic, isn’t it? We seek to lead godly lives, but don’t take time to learn about the God we want to emulate. I hope to get us past that during these messages.
Second, I want us to take the information we gain about God and make it a part of our everyday living so we can accurately reflect God and His care to a world who does not know Him.
Third, I want this series and all my messages to demonstrate that the Bible is relevant for all people at all times, including, and maybe especially, those of us living in the 21st century.
Today we will focus on the love of God by looking at a passage in 1 John familiar to most of us, at least part of the first verse of this passage.
The love of God is a wonderful thing. It is to be cherished above all things. It is also greatly misunderstood, and we will look at that a bit this morning as well.
Everything God does is motivated by two things: His glory and His love.
We will explore His glory next week.
But today we will focus on His love. And so I would ask you to turn in your Bibles to 1 John 4, verses 7-21.
By the way, you have probably noticed brand new Bibles placed every few seats here in the sanctuary.
The church purchased these Bibles for use by anyone not able to bring a Bible to church or who does not own one.
If you do not own a Bible, I would like to invite you to keep one of these at no charge to you. Just take with you as you leave, with our compliments.
One of the desires of the Aberdeen Wesleyan Church is to give you everything you need to know God and serve Him, and providing these Bibles is just a part of that mission.
Please follow along as I read.
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. 9 This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. 10 This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. 11 Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. 12 No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.
13 We know that we live in him and he in us, because he has given us of his Spirit. 14 And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent his Son to be the Savior of the world. 15 If anyone acknowledges that Jesus is the Son of God, God lives in him and he in God. 16 And so we know and rely on the love God has for us.
God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in him. 17 In this way, love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the day of judgment, because in this world we are like him. 18 There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.
19 We love because he first loved us. 20 If anyone says, "I love God," yet hates his brother, he is a liar. For anyone who does not love his brother, whom he has seen, cannot love God, whom he has not seen. 21 And he has given us this command: Whoever loves God must also love his brother.
Our first point this morning is that…
I. God is Love (v. 8, 16).
Most, if not all of us, have heard this before, so it is not really news, is it?
Listen to this definition of the love of God, taken from Vine’s Expository Dictionary, which translates the Greek word “agapeo,” the word used in this verse. I have it printed for you in the note-taking guide.