Summary: God loves us infinitely so that we can love him and one another. Jesus says this love is our only badge of authority.
LOVING GOD & MAN
Rom 5:1-11, 2Cor 5:14-21, 1 John 2:1-2
In our hymnals, we have the song:
"The Love of God is greater far
Than tongue or pen can ever tell;
It goes beyond the highest star,
And reaches to the lowest hell;"
"Could we with ink the ocean fill,
And were the skies of parchment made.
Were every stalk on earth a quill,
And every man a scribe by trade;
To write the love of God above
Would drain the ocean dry;
Nor could the scroll contain the whole,
Tho’ stretched from sky to sky."
Fredrick Lehman, in these verses, has captured the very essence of the infinite love of God.
God’s love is very difficult for us to imagine.
The love that we conjure up in the flesh is limited.
We are limited.
God is limitless—infinite!
He is beyond measure.
His love is measureless—going on forever in every direction.
This love… that longing within the heart of God… is what put Adam in the Garden.
That same love gave Eve to Adam.
Because, God said it was not good that he live alone.
This great love of God… was focused on a single spot…
· When God put his only begotten son on the cross at Calvary,
· When he heaped our sin upon him,
· When he stripped him of his righteousness,
· And gave it to us…
He did it all… just so we could recognize his love… receive his blessings…
And, so we could forever live in his family… under his protection… within his provisions…
By our faith in the completed work of Jesus as our Christ… that love is transmitted through us… so we can love those
· Who are misguided,
· Who are stumbling through life,
· Who are hopeless… helpless…and empty.
The reality of God’s great love shines no brighter… than it did that day on the Damascus Road… when the resurrected Jesus appeared to Saul of Tarsus—the one Jesus called Paul.
Paul… who through the blindness of religion… put Christians to death in order to keep his religion pure.
Jesus… blinded Saul with the Glory of his very being… to strip the scales of religion from his eyes… that he might experience the love of God unfettered.
Today… I want us to…
1. See the love of God explained;
2. See the love of God experienced; and
3. See the love of God expressed.
The love of God explained
In Romans 5: 1-8…Paul explains how this love works for us.
It starts with where we are: Sinners.
A sinner is anyone…and everyone…who is out of step with God… his plan… his purpose for us.
Sin is universal!
Paul tells us in Romans 3:23… for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,
We are born with a sin nature…an egotism…
· That magnifies self,
· That defies authority,
· That belittles others, and
· That opposes God’s intentions.
To deny that we are sinners… is to lie in the face of God… because he said we all fall short.
We miss the mark.
We don’t measure up.
And as far as God is concerned… we are totally unacceptable.
Let’s read: Rom 5:1-8
5:1 "Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ,
2 "through whom also we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God."
Paul starts with the good news.
He begins with those who have denied self…and have expressed faith in Jesus as their Christ.
We stand in his Grace… motivated by his great love for us…and that makes us a child of God.
3 "And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance;
4 "and perseverance, character; and character, hope.
Bad news… and bad situations and circumstances… are like the darkness before the dawn… like the storm clouds before the sun shines through.
For those who trust Jesus as their Christ… trouble is temporary.
Sometimes it is a test… to see what we are really made of.
But we have the assurance that we will not be tested beyond what we can endure.
5 "Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us."
God knows we are human.
He knows we have a sin nature.
He gives us his Holy Spirit—a counter balance.
We have God within us…
· To help us through the difficult times;
· To strengthen us when tested;
· To guide us when we are unsure.
6 "For when we were still without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly."
Until Christ went to the cross… we were powerless to do anything about our condition.