Summary: To help us to understand a little more the greatness of God's love and how we are to love.
By Dewayne Bolton
I Corinthians 13: 1-13
Love is the greatest thing in the world; this is so because it comes from the greatest person in the world. When God created man and breathed into him the breath of life He also breathed into him the capacity to love, as well as the desire to be loved. Love is a two Way Street where one gives love and receives love. Therefore, love is never selfish, but always desiring to share itself with someone else. In I Corinthians chapter 13 Paul gives perhaps the greatest description of love. I don’t have time to go through an analysis of Paul’s description of love so will go directly to the subject: RADICAL LOVE.
In developing this subject I want to pause and give a concise definition of the two words that form the title of this message. First, the word radical is going beyond moderation, going beyond the norm, and going to the root or origin of a matter. Second, love is a deep and enduring emotional regard for another person.
GOD’S LOVE IS A RADICAL LOVE
God is long-suffering because He is unwilling to let one soul go to hell without doing everything He can to keep that soul out of hell. He is not only slow to anger, but will not keep His anger forever. His mercy is from everlasting to everlasting, that is eternities without end. He is willing to fully and freely forgive every sin. This is illustrated in the parable of Jesus that is recorded in Luke 7: 40-43. There Jesus tells of a creditor which had two debtors, and when they could not pay, the creditor frankly (that is freely and fully forgave them). Jesus tells this parable to illustrate to us that God the Father forgives us our sin. The Psalmist tells us He casts our confessed sins into the sea of His forgetfulness never to be remembered against us anymore.
God shows us how radical His love is when He tells He is going to take the heart of stone out of us and replace it with a new heart of flesh, and then put His Holy Spirit in the new heart of flesh (Ezekiel 36:26-27). However, this heart transplant Jesus wants to do can only be done by the consent of our will. No medical doctor, no matter how great a surgeon he is, or how renowned he is, can operate on you without the consent of your will. Jesus asks us for the consent of our will. He asked the crippled man at the pool of Bethesda if he wanted to be made whole. When the man said yes, Jesus made him whole (John 5: 6).
Jesus illustrated radical love in that he was willing to come to this world and suffer untold agony and shed every drop of his blood to fill the fountain with his own precious blood that we may plunge in and be made free from sin. Jesus’ radical love is seen in the fact that He could have called ten thousand angels to pull the nails from his hands and set Him free, but He died alone for you and me.
Jesus illustrated radical love when He said to the woman taken in adultery, neither do I condemn thee go and sin no more. Radical love is futher illustrated by both, the Father and the Son, when they sent the Holy Spirit into this world, and to our life to convict us of sin. Not only to convict of righteousness and judgment to come, but to witness to our heart that God had heard our prayer for forgiveness and sent the Holy Spirit to witness to the fact. Romans 8:16 tells us that the Spirit bears witness with our spirit that we are the children of God and that we have been adopted into the great, big, wonderful family of God. Then the Holy Spirit is to comfort our heart when in sorrow because of the many things we have to go through. To teach us the things of God so we can better and more fully exemplify Him better.