Summary: Sermon on God’s Love toward us.
THE LOVE OF GOD I
I must admit that I have preached on the subject we will be looking at today on several occasions. But it is a subject that we do well at looking at over and over again. It is obvious from the Bible that we do learn by the three “R’s” Repetition, repetition, repetition.”
As I stand up here this morning I want to give you five statements that are somewhat similar.
1. I love God
2. I love my wife
3. I love my children
4. I love each one of you
5. I love to play golf.
Now I say that each statement is similar because I have used the same word to describe my feelings towards very different things. I does not take a great deal of intelligence to realize that while I use the same word to describe my feelings towards these objects the emotional range of those feeling are quite different.
I love God very differently than I love my wife. My love for God is a love like I have for nothing else. It is a love of awe and respect, a love of gratitude, I love God because He first loved me.
My love for my wife is different then my love for my children. I love my wife more then any other person in the world. I love her so much that I can honestly say that I would give my life for her. This also includes passion for my wife. The way I display the love I have for my wife differs greatly then the way I would display my love of God, my children, or anyone else.
My love for my children differs from that of my love towards all of you. The love I have for them is displayed in my feeling that I must protect them, watch over them, rebuke and discipline them. (Although sometime I feel that way toward some of you). I feel I must provide for their needs. Again the way I display my love for my children differs from that of how I would display it for anyone else.
I can say honestly that I love each one of you, not in the way I love God, my wife or my kids, but I do love you. I love you in that I want to see each one of you grow spiritually. I want each one of you to be joyful and happy. I love in that I want you to receive that very best that God wants to give to you. I love you in that I can display that love to you.
And of course it is well known that I love golf. But once again the love I have for golf is of course a very different emotional feeling then the love I have for the others things I have mentioned. I cannot show golf how much I love it, I cannot display to golf love because it is animate object. My love of golf is simply a selfish love in that it is something that only I benefit from.
So we can see how we use the word love to describe totally different feeling that we have for different things. Because of the way our language uses the word love this causes some to misunderstand how God loves us, and how much God loves us.
That Bible speaks here of the love of God appearing towards man. Now because of how we use love in our own language, in our own culture, I believe that we tend to misunderstand the love of God. So for the next two weeks I want to talk about that love of God, what it means to us, and how it is applied to us.
There are two Greek words used for love in the Bible. One is “AGAPE”. This word is often used in reference to the type of Love that God has. I believe that the best way to describe this love is to say that it is seen in the fact that God would sent down His Son to die for you and I on that cross for the forgiveness of our sins.
The other word used in Scripture for Love is “PHILEO”. This word for love has more to do with “tender affection”. It is not quite the love that AGAPE love is.
There are of course different tenses of these words in Scripture as we shall see.
The Greek word in our passage for today “PHI-LAN-THRO-PIA”. Which tranlates “love toward man”. It comes from two words, “PHILEO” which means love, and ANTHROPOS which means “man”.