WE LOVE HIM BECAUSE HE FIRST LOVE US
1st JOHN 4:19
In 1 Corinthians 13:1-13 the Apostle Paul sets forth the excellency of love, as the word "charity" there is rendered in the King James version. Charity better captures the biblical idea of love, for charity is love in action for the glory of God not a mere warm mushy feeling as we use the word today.
God’s love for us come from within Himself and not from anything we might do or have done in the past.
I. GOD’S LOVE FOR US IS THE PROPER GROUND OF LOVE
A. He love us first, 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.”
1. God loved the world, 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.”
2. God’s love was not set upon you for who or what you were, Deuteronomy 7:7, “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:”
3. God has loved us because He is rich in mercy, Ephesians 2:4-5, “But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, 5 Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;)”
B. Our state before God’s love appeared, Titus 3:3-4, “For we ourselves also were sometimes foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving divers lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful, and hating one another. 4 But after that the kindness and love of God our Saviour toward man appeared,”
1. We were deceived, Obadiah 3, “The pride of thine heart hath deceived thee, thou that dwellest in the clefts of the rock, whose habitation is high; that saith in his heart, Who shall bring me down to the ground?”
2. We lived in malice (spite, grudge, hatred) and envy, Galatians 5:19-21, “Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, 20 Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, 21 Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.”
3. We were dead in sins, Ephesians 2:5, Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;)”
II. GOD HAS CHOSEN TO LOVE US
A. You have not chosen me, John 15:16, “Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you.”
1. He chose us when we were sinners, Romans 5:6-8, “For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. 7 For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die. 8 But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”
2. That He might show the exceeding riches of His grace, Ephesians 2:7, “That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.”
3. God made salvation a gift, Ephesians 2:8-9, “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: 9 Not of works, lest any man should boast.”
a. Man cannot boast of himself, 1 Corinthians 1:29-31, “That no flesh should glory in his presence. But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption: 31 That, according as it is written, He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord.”
b. He has saved us for His own purpose, 2 Timothy 1:9, “Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began,”
III. GOD HAS COMMANDED US TO LOVE OTHERS
A. If you love only those that love you, Matthew 5:46-47, “For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same? And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others? do not even the publicans so?”
B. There is not reward for loving those that love you, Luke 6:36, “Be ye therefore merciful, as your Father also is merciful.”
C. Love those who do not love you, Matthew 5:44, “But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;”
1. The Pharisees implied that their hatred was God’s means of judging their enemies, Psalm 139:21-22, “Do not I hate them, O LORD, that hate thee? and am not I grieved with those that rise up against thee? 22 I hate them with perfect hatred: I count them mine enemies.”
2. God commands us to help our enemies, Exodus 23:4-5, “If thou meet thine enemy’s ox or his ass going astray, thou shalt surely bring it back to him again. 5 If thou see the ass of him that hateth thee lying under his burden, and wouldest forbear to help him, thou shalt surely help with him.”
3. Our love for the lost demonstrates that we are God’s sons, Matthew 5:16, “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.”
D. When Job prayed for those who had spitefully used him, God turned his captivity, Job 42:10,“And the LORD turned the captivity of Job, when he prayed for his friends: also the LORD gave Job twice as much as he had before.”
It is a most difficult thing to love someone who has offended us or who has shown contempt for us. Just imagine how the Lord feels every time a sinner rejects His Word. Yet the Lord with great patience continues to offer salvation to that individual in Jesus Christ.
He love us when we were sinners and someone came to us with the truth even when we didn’t want to hear it. Can we do anything less?