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Summary: Jesus demonstrated a “greater love” through SACRIFICE. What kind of love motivates someone to sacrifice themselves?

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John 15:13

Remembering Jesus: What kind of love?

Jesus demonstrated a “greater love” through SACRIFICE. What kind of love motivates someone to sacrifice themselves?

(Ill.) A man went to the doctor after weeks of symptoms. The doctor examined him carefully, then called the patient’s wife into his office “Your husband is suffering from a rare form of anemia. Without treatment, he’ll be dead in a few weeks. The good news is, it can be treated with proper nutrition.”

“You will need to get up early every morning and fix your husband a hot breakfast—pancakes, bacon and eggs, the works. He’ll need a home-cooked lunch every day, and then an old-fashioned meat-and-potato dinner every evening. It would be especially helpful if you could bake frequently. Cakes, pies, homemade bread—these are the things that will allow your husband to live.

“One more thing. His immune system is weak, so it’s important that your home be kept spotless at all times. Do you have any questions?” The wife had none.

“Do you want to break the news, or shall I?” asked the doctor.

“I will,” the wife replied.

She walked into the exam room. The husband, sensing the seriousness of his illness, asked her, “It’s bad, isn’t it?”

She nodded, tears welling up in her eyes. “What’s going to happen to me?” he asked. With a sob, the wife blurted out, “The doctor says you’re gonna die!” [Source unknown]

I. It is a love that MOVES THE MIND.

The Bible says: “You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. [7] Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous man, though for a good man someone might possibly dare to die. [8] But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” [Romans 5:6 – 8]

A. This love understands the truth.

1. We are POWERLESS.

a. We are described as “ungodly.”

1.) Without God – knowledge or care.

2.) Without God’s principles in our lives.

b. We are described as “sinners.”

1.) Sins of commission (what we do) and omission (what we fail to do).

2.) Knowledge and volition (willful) NOT just mistakes.

2. This condition causes separation between God and people.

B. This love understands the need.

1. Our natural HOSTILITY is based on ignorance.

The Bible says, “For if, when we were God’s enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life!” [Romans 5:10]

a. “Enemy,” in this case only works one way.

b. We do not know any better... It is the “sin nature” that keeps us in darkness/ignorant.

2. God “attacks” our hostility with His “greater love.”

II. It is a love that MOVES THE EMOTIONS.

The Bible says, “God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” [2 Corinthians 5:21]

A. God exchanges the “worthless” for the “priceless.”

1. Sin is replaced with righteousness.

a. God takes the misery and guilt of sin away.

b. God gives the peace and confidence of righteousness.

2. (Ill) The credit card commercial where the person is paying for a toy boat and it grows to a full size luxury boat.

a. All the home-made and pretend righteousness is exchanged for real righteousness and its power.

b. What was marginal becomes central.

c. What was small is exchanged for the infinate.

The Bible says: “This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.” [1 John 4:10]

B. God provided an “atonement.”

1. An atonement is “amends for a wrong or injury.” [Oxford University Press]

a. It covers the sin. (Ill) Old Testament – the “mercy seat.”

b. It removes the sin. (Ill) Old Testament – Day of Atonement, two goats.

2. This payment satisfying justice gives us a sense of unpayable debt and ownership.

The Bible says: “You are not your own; [20] you were bought at a price.” [1 Corinthians 6:19b – 20a]

(Ill.) Alan Smith tells the story about two wealthy Christians, a lawyer and a merchant, who traveled with a group that was going around the world. As they were visiting in Korea, they saw by the side of the road, a field in which a boy was pulling a crude plow and an old man held the plow handles and guided it.

The lawyer was amused and took a snapshot of the scene. He turned to the missionary, who served as their interpreter and guide, and he said, "That’s a curious picture. I suppose they are very poor."

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