THE STORY OF LOVE
1st. JOHN 4:7-21
1 John 4:10, “Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.” John 3:16, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”
The story of Love began in eternity passed with God the Father and His Son Jesus Christ, John 17:24b, “for thou lovedst me before the foundation of the world.” That love is seen throughout the Old Testament beginning with God’s dealings with Adam and continuing with the nation of Israel and on into the New Testament with the death of Jesus Christ.
The Story of Love is the story of the redemption of man and how God sent His only begotten Son to die on the Cross of Calvary for the sins of mankind. That story has not ended yet. God, in the person of the Holy Spirit, continues to work through His Word in the hearts of men and women to bring them to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ. Let us consider what the Scriptures say about that story of love.
I. “WHOM HAVING NOT SEEN, YE LOVE.”
1 Peter 1:8, “Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory:”
A. “Believing,” John 20:29, “Jesus saith unto him, Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed.”
1. Thomas had seen the Lord and believed.
2. We have not seen the Lord, but we have heard and have trusted Him, Romans 10:17, “So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” Romans 15:13, “Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost. “
B. If you know Him, you love Him, John 8:42, “Jesus said unto them, If God were your Father, ye would love me: for I proceeded forth and came from God; neither came I of myself, but he sent me.”
C. You keep His commandments because you love Him, John 14:21, “He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him.”
II. WHAT MANNER OF LOVE IS THIS?
1 John 3:1, “Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not.”
A. It is the love of our heavenly Father that has been bestowed upon us.
1. By faith in Jesus Christ, John 1:12, “But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:”
2. We are called “the sons of God,” Romans 9:25, “As he saith also in Osee, I will call them my people, which were not my people; and her beloved, which was not beloved.”
B. The Father has caused us to know the love of Christ; Ephesians 3:18-19, “May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; 19And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God.”
III. “WE LOVE HIM, BECAUSE HE FIRST LOVED US.”
A. Not that we loved God, 1 John 4:19, “We love him, because he first loved us.”
B. But because the LORD loved us, v. 10, “Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins; Deuteronomy 7:7-8a, “The LORD did not set his love upon you, nor choose you, because ye were more in number than any people; for ye were the fewest of all people: 8 But because the LORD loved you…”
1. You are no different than other sinners.
2. He just loved you as a sinner, Romans 5:8, “But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”
3. Because of His love He is rich in mercy, Ephesians 2:4, “But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, 5Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ,”
C. Because He loved us, He sent his Son to be the propitiation (the means of appeasing) for our sins, 1 John 2:2, “And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.”
The love of God for the sinner moved Him to send Jesus Christ, His only begotten Son, to die as the propitiation for our sins.
Now we stand in the love of God as His sons by faith in Jesus Christ. If you do not know Christ as your Saviour, you do not know the love of God the Father. Since Jesus is “the way” to heaven you will never see God. John 14:6 says, “Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.”