Summary: EASTER 7(B) - We know and rely on God’s love for us as the love of God lives in every believer and the love of God lives through believers.
WE KNOW AND RELY ON GOD’S LOVE (Outline)
1 JOHN 4:13-21 - May 8, 2005 - EASTER 7
INTRO: On Mother’s Day there seems to be an extra feeling of love for one another Today we are go-ing to examine where all of this love starts. There is only source of love that really matters. That source and example of love comes from God. No matter how often we study the love of God it becomes quite clear that we are only beginning to scratch the surface of the depth of God’s great love for mankind. Ear-lier in this same letter John wrote: "How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him"(1 JOHN 3:1). It is this great love of God that we are going to learn about. Our theme is in our text –
WE KNOW AND RELY ON GOD’S LOVE.
I. God’s love lives in every believer. II. God’s love lives through believers.
I. GOD’S LOVE LIVES IN EVERY BELIEVER
A. John wants these believers to always remember the simple, yet powerful message of salvation.
1. Verse 14 speaks of that message that Christ was sent as Savior for the world.
2. This is God’s greatest example of his great love for mankind. For believers – verse 13.
3. Believers know and believe in God’s great love because of another gift—the Holy Spirit.
B. Now for believers there is a unique and close relationship with God.
1. Verse 15 tells how God, through Christ, is living in love in the hearts of every believer.
2. This leaves only one conclusion for these early Christians in verse 16.
C. You may recall that the early church faced much opposition from the world around them.
1. The government of that day did not want the church of Christ to survive.
2. Verse 17. Through the love of God they would have confidence and no fear. Verse 18.
D. The Christian church today still needs just as much of God’s love today as the early Christian church also needed. They were starting out fresh – the first generation of believers to be called Christians. We are thousands of years removed from those beginnings. Yet, sin is still the same. Temptations are still in the world around us and in our lives. On our own we are lost—completely and forever. Our world is loveless, heartless and cruel. Today, we rejoice that God’s love has been shown to us. We no longer have a need to follow the teachings of this sinful world. Instead our hearts are warmed and lives saved by the love of God. "But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us"(ROMANS 5:8). Christ died for us when we were his enemies. Christ died for us even though we did not deserve to be saved. Christ died for us without our asking. That is truly God’s love living in us.
E. Therefore, we know and rely on God’s love for us. Without the love of God we would be doomed to eternal destruction in the eternal fires of hell. With God’s gift of love – the selfless sacrifice of his Son, Jesus Christ – we are pulled from the depths of destruction and brought into the heights of heaven. Again, our heavenly showers his love on us in spite of our wickedness, rebellion and sin. Paul experienced this in his life. As sinners who are saved by God’s free grace we heartily agree. "But for that very reason I was shown mercy so that in me, the worst of sinners, Christ Jesus might display his unlimited patience as an example for those who would believe on him and receive eternal life"(1 TIMOTHY 1:16).
F. We know and rely on God’s love for us. We do not make any choice to save ourselves. Purely out of divine grace God makes certain that believers are saved and have the love of God in their hearts. It does not depend on man’s desire or effort. But, once saved, believers do have many choices. Believers, once saved, can decide whether to remain close to God or drift away. In his gospel, John records the words of Jesus as he describes his close relationship with believers in terms of the Vine and the branches. Believers are reminded. "Remain in me, and I will remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me"(JOHN 15:4).
TRANS: WE KNOW AND RELY ON GOD’S LOVE. By grace God’s love lives in every believer.