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Summary: This morning I want us to look at those five spikes that were present on Calvary that day. Each spike that was around the cross represents a love that the devil tried to stop the LORD from giving.

Scripture Reference: First John 4:19

Preached at Mount Zion Baptist Church on February 10, 2019

Delivered by Rev. John Daniel Johnson

(www.mountzionfamily.com)

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I really wanted to bring you a message on love today. Since this week will be Valentine’s Day, I really wanted to bring you as sermon on love. I searched and prayed, and prayed and searched and the LORD never would give me an exact message on love. So, I kept thinking that since First John is known as the book of love and joy, I began reading it over and over. The word “Love” is used well over fifty times in those brief five chapters, and the LORD began drawing out particular verses about love like:

? 1 John 2:10, "The one who loves his brother abides in the Light and there is no cause for stumbling in him."

? 1 John 2:15, "Do not love the world nor the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him."

? 1 John 3:14, "We know that we have passed out of death into life, because we love the brethren."

? 1 John 3:23, "This is His commandment, that we believe in the name of His Son Jesus Christ, and love one another, just as He commanded us."

? 1 John 4:7-8, "Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. 8 The one who does not love does not know God, for God is love."

? 1 John 5:2, "By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and observe His commandments."

I even began studying some early church writers who wrote about John, the author of the Book of First John. One of those church writers was Jerome. He wrote of the Apostle John stating this, “When the blessed evangelist John, the apostle, had lived in Ephesus into his extreme old age and could hardly be carried to the meetings of the church by the disciples, and when in speaking he could no longer put together many words, he would not say anything else in the meetings but this: "Little children, love one another!"

When at last the disciples and brothers present got tired of hearing the same thing again and again, they said, "Master, why do you keep saying the same thing?" John replied with a saying worthy of him: ‘Because it is the Lord’s command, and it is enough if it is really done’ “(Jerome, Commentary on Galatians 6:10 AD 387-388”)

So I began putting my pen to paper working on a message about love. I had just started re-reading the passages all over again and I came to First John 4:19. There I just sat mesmerized I kept reading the passage over and over. (Read Scripture – “We love Him because He first loved us.” NKJV) The earliest manuscripts leave out the word “Him” and it reads:

“We love, because He first loved us.”

- First John 4:19 NASB

And there I was trying to get a sermon to give to you from the LORD on the topic of love, and God was not giving me a sermon to give to you, but giving me a message to give to me. He kept telling over and over that I love, because He first loved me.”

? He gave me a wife who I love because He first loved me.

? He gave me three beautiful girls whom I love because He first loved me.

? He gave me a church family whom I love, friend whom I love, a job that I love, because He first loved me.

And brother and sisters, from that the LORD began showing me the truth. That He loved me so much that He sent His Son to die as a sacrifice for my sin. He loved me so much that He left the throneroom of heaven, clothed himself in flesh, walked this evil world for over thirty years, and willingly took the pain and punishment of crucifixion because He loved me first.

Transitional Sentence—This morning I want us to look back to that type of love, back to the cross of our Savior. Not just the cross, but I want us to look at those five spikes that were present on Calvary that day. Each spike that was around the cross that day represents a love that the devil tried to stop the LORD from giving. However, our Savior came rose again from that death and has the marks to prove that the devil could not keep down or hold back His love for us. This morning lets learn a lesson of the love of Christ from those spikes.

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