Summary: We Love God Only Becasue He First Loved Us
The Love That Control and Compels Us
Pastor Dan Little - The Landmark Church
1 John 4:19 We love him, because he first loved us.
2 Cor 5:14 “For the love of Christ controls and urges and impels us, AMP)
Look with me at 2 Cor 5:14 where Paul says “For the love of Christ controls and urges and impels us, AMP)
Here is what Paul is NOT SAYING. He is NOT saying; “It is my deep love for Christ that keeps me going.”
What he IS SAYING is this; “It is Christ’s love for me that controls and urges and impels me forward in the work He has given me to do.”
If you don’t know the story of Paul’s conversion read it in acts chapter 9. Read it and then you will know why Paul’s deepest awareness of himself was that he was loved by Jesus with such an inexplicable and infinite love—loved to such an extent, loved so completely, loved without deserving it, or earning it, loved so unfailingly that nothing would ever be able to separate him from that love.
In truth, Paul’s conversion experience is just one version of everyone’s experience. We love God because He first loved us.
This is why John 3:16 is not at all about the world loving God, but is all about God loving the world and coming unto us in order to save us from the ravages of sin and death. And there we were standing on our hind legs clearly declaring that we wanted nothing to do with Him. John 3:16 "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. 18 Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but WHOEVER DOES NOT BELIEVE is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God. ESV
NOT BELIEVING IN JESUS!
Not believing in Jesus may be more troublesome to people in the church that we think.
What I mean is this, I sometimes think that our fear of coming to Jesus with our sins must cause Him at least as much, if not more sorrow than our going off and entering into the sin itself.
Jesus knows every thought; no sin is hidden from Him, and He must watch in stunned sorrow when after sin we choose not to come to Him for help.
If we were listening we would hear Him pleading with us saying; “You know that I surrendered His body to the torturers, and shed My blood on the cross, and gave up My life to the grave for your salvation, so you know the extent of my mercy and grace toward you. And now you have sinned (which we both knew you would do) but you don’t think it is not safe to come to Me for forgiveness? You know that if you come to Me I am faithful and just to forgive you your sins and to cleanse you from all wickedness, so why don’t you trust me but you don’t think it wise to trust me in this matter?”
I think that Jesus is shocked not at all by our sin. In fact we know that if we say we have no sin we are only fooling ourselves.
No! It is not our sin that shocks Jesus. What shocks Jesus again and again is our refusal to bring our sins to Him so we can be forgiven and cleansed and healed.
1 John 1:8 If we claim we have no sin, we are only fooling ourselves and not living in the truth. 9 But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness. (NLT)
I do not think I am being harsh in saying that we mostly know and pay a respectful theological nod to the eternal voice of Jesus calling us to confess, be forgiven and cleansed and healed.
We have this other ancient voice warning us off from Jesus saying; “Never admit your sin to anyone, and certainly don’t bring the matter up before Jesus.
The voice persists in telling us that it is more important for us to maintain the LOOK of health than to actually come to Jesus in with our sins so as to be actually made healthy by the grace and goodness of God.
We do not believe in Jesus enough to trust Him and the result is a thin façade of health and goodness that simply masks over a cesspool of festering sins and demonic influence. And there seems to be no one around announcing that we can have real healing.