Sermons

Summary: This message helps encourage the believer with trust in God for he has called us to be "Sons of God"

I. "BEHOLD WHAT MANNER OF LOVE THE FATHER HATH BESTOWED UPON US, THAT WE SHOULD BE CALLED THE SONS OF GOD"

A. It is amazing and thought provoking to note that John's great and central theme in the Gospel and in the three letters is about love - the love of God:

1. "God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son" – John 3:16

2. "Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends" -John 15:13

3. "And I have declared unto them Thy name, and will declare it; that the love wherewith Thou hast loved my may be in them, and I in them" - John 17:26

B. This same theme characterizes his three Epistles:

1. "Behold what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us" – I John 3:1 2. "Beloved, let us love one another; for love is of God" - I John 4:7-8

3. "This is love, that we walk after His commandments" - 2 John

II. THE WONDER OF THE FATHER'S LOVE

A. "God is Love" - I John 4:8; what is love? The Bible answer is, "God is love":

1.God's love is original and spontaneous

2. Love is that mysterious power by which we live in the lives of others and are thus moved to benevolence and self-sacrificing action on their behalf. Examples: David's lament over the death of his son Absalom - 2 Sam 29:32-33; the woman of Canaan pleading for her daughter - Matt. 15:22-28; Mary Magdalene anointing the feet of Jesus - John 11:2; 12:3

B. The wonders of God's love found their highest expression:

1. In the gift of His Son - John 3:16; Rom. 8:31-38

2. This gift included the adoption of human nature in the person of His Son, and carrying it into the highest heaven - Heb. 2:14-17; John 1:14; Gal. 4:4

3. The gift of the only begotten of God encompassed all eternity - past, present and future - Heb. 13:8

C. The design of the Father's love:

1. God bestows His love in order that He may call us children. Examples: When the prodigal returned to the father, the father called him "my son" - Luke 15:24; Jesus commenting to the repentant confession of the publican used the endearing expression, "He also is a son of Abraham" - Luke 19:9

D. Our ideal relationship to God is that of sonship:

1. Sonship involves community life - life derived from life

2. But we must keep in mind that the life of God is a holy life - "Follow peace with all

men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord" - Heb. 12:14

3. To attain the holiness of God, He initiated a new creation; the new birth - John 3:3-9; Eph. 2:10

4. "If any man be in Christ Jesus, he is a new creature, old things have passed away,

and all things have become new" - 2 Cor. 5:17

III. RECOGNITION OF THE FATHER'S LOVE

A. My heart has been saddened on many occasions:

1. Preachers would dwell on Jesus Christ and what He means to us, and that is proper,

but not a word would be said about God the Father - that is highly improper

2. In fact, many professed Christians have a very erroneous concept of the Father.

They think of the Father as being an isolated being that has to be pacified by the Son of God

B. The picture of the Bible about the Father is:

1. Love - Alpha and Omega

2. He is the Source of all Being, including the Son - compare Rom. 11:33-36 with Eph.4:4-6; I Cor. 8:4-6; I Cor. 15:24-28; 11:3; 3:23

C. The great moving mystery of the love of God:

1. Is transferring slaves of sin to the heirship of sons and daughters – that is the heart of our opening text

2. He is still at work, "for it doth not yet appear what we shall be; but we know that,

when He shall appear, we shall be like Him; for we shall see Him as He is" - I John3:2

3. This is the great mission of the gospel of Jesus Christ - that we may be transformed

into the likeness of the Son of God, who is the image of the Father (the express image) - Rom. 8:29; I Cor. 15:49

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