The Divine Responsibility of the Love of God

Bible Book: 1 John  3 : 16-18
Subject: God, Love of; Love of God
Series: The Love of God
Introduction

In 1 John 4:11 we see the word “ought.” “we ought to love one another.” The point of the incarnation is imitation. God loved us. We look at how He did it and we do it too. We’re obliged to; natural expectation, logical consequence, what is expected, moral obligation.

Remember - 1 John 4:7-8: “Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. He who does not love does not know God, for God is love.”

“When He says, “we ought to love each other,” He means “ought” the way a fish ought to swim in water and birds ought to fly in the air. The way peaches ought to be sweet and lemons ought to be sour.” John Piper

It’s who we are. This is not mere imitation. For the children of God, imitation becomes realization. We are realizing who we are when we love. God’s seed is in us, God’s Spirit is in us, God’s nature is in us. God’s love is being perfected in us.

Therefore 1 John 3:16-18 speaks of what

D. L. Moody called “Shoe Leather Christianity.” Here the rubber meets the road. John is saying that love must be demonstrated in the Christian life. Remember, you can give without loving, but you cannot love without giving.

I. GOD’S LOVE GIVES ME SOMETHING TO PERCEIVE 16

There is the external impulse of seeing in history the Son of God laying down His life for us and constraining us in this way. But what’s unique about the Christian life is that there is also the internal impulse that comes from being born again and having the very love that sent the Son into the world pulsing through our soul by the life of God within. The new birth enables us to experience the manifestation of God’s love in history as an internal reality of God’s Spirit within us.

The new birth creates the connection between God’s love for us and our love for each other.

QUESTION: How does the fact that God loves you result in your loving others?

ANSWER: The new birth creates that connection. The new birth is the act of the Holy Spirit connecting our dead, selfish hearts with God’s living, loving heart so that His life becomes our life and His love becomes our love.

This love, what did it look like? Jesus.

Verse 16 “by this we know him” (this is how we know love.)

A. Something We Can Experience

“know”

B. Something He Expressed

“He Came And Expressed.” - “He laid down His life” – voluntary

John 10:17-18: "Therefore My Father loves Me, because I lay down My life that I may take it again. No one takes it from Me, but I lay it down of Myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This command I have received from My Father.’"

His death was not only voluntary but it was vicarious (substitutionary)-death on behalf of others, in place of, instead of. Jesus died the death we should have died!

It was also a victorious death “laid down” – tense shows it to be once-for-all action.

Stuart Holden, “When Jesus came to die for our sins, there was nothing lovely about us. It was like the sunshine shining upon the garbage dump. This pristine son of God stepped into this kind of world and let His love shine. The epitome of love is seen at the cross. Jesus is the walking definition of love. Only in the cross can understand the love of God.”

II. GOD’S LOVE CALLS ME TO PARTICIPATE 17

John now moves to practicalities in loving others. It’s possible to love everybody in general and nobody in particular.

A. Love Is Practical

What one has, what one sees, and how one responds.

Don’t attempt to spiritualize this verse. This passage really fits the Good Samaritan Story. We have the man in the ditch, the thieves, the Priest and Levite, the Good Samaritan.

Here is a picture of Greed:

The thieves took what was not theirs (greed).

The Priest and Levite guarded what was not theirs.

The Good Samaritan gave what was not his.

Another way to look at this story:

The Attackers

The Ignorers

The Carer

1. First said, “What’s yours is mine, and I’m going to take it.”

2. Second said, “What’s mine is mine, and I’m going to keep it.”

3. Third said, “What’s mine is yours, and I’m going to give it.”

Problems With The First Two:

1. Observation without Obligation.

2. Ability without Availability.

3. Position without Mission.

B. Love Is Pricey

“has this world’s goods” – necessities of life, that which sustains life; food, clothing and shelter. Not talking about the RICH, but to the person with the basics. Conveys the meaning of livelihood.

Why do you feel you are exempt from giving?

C. Love’s Perception

“sees his brother in need” – more than a casual glance but rather a careful awareness of the situation where you understand the need; deliberately contemplate.

D. Love Has Possibilities

“shuts up his heart from him” – slamming the door, locking it, and throwing away the key.

Heart – seat of emotions; heart, lungs, lower intestines, and liver; speaks of compassion and pity.

Question Of The Hour: What if the key of God’s Spirit came in POWER and opened all locked hearts?

E. Love Should Be Portioned (Love Shares)

We need:

1. Seriously Embraced

2. Servant’s Heart

3. Sacrificial Spirit

Love doesn’t think possessively! Love knows that everything belongs to God! We are only managers of His possessions. Everything we have is at His disposal. His love governs His possessions in our hands.

2 Corinthians 8:13-15: “For I do not mean that others should be eased and you burdened; but by an equality, that now at this time your abundance may supply their lack, that their abundance also may supply your lack — that there may be equality. As it is written, "’He who gathered much had nothing left over, and he who gathered little had no lack.’"

F. Love’s Prying

QUESTION? The tool for prying – God’s love!

“how does the love of God abide in him?”

Peter James and John – The Inner Circle

James 2:15-17: “If a brother or sister is naked and destitute of daily food, and one of you says to them, "’Depart in peace, be warmed and filled,’" but you do not give them the things which are needed for the body, what does it profit? Thus also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.”

1 Peter 1:22-25: “Since you have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit in sincere love of the brethren, love one another fervently with a pure heart, having been born again, not of corruptible seed but incorruptible, through the word of God which lives and abides forever, because "All flesh is as grass,

And all the glory of man as the flower of the grass.

The grass withers,

And its flower falls away,

But the word of the Lord endures forever."

Now this is the word which by the gospel was preached to you.”