God Gave Because He Loved Jn 3:16 CLICK TITLE FOR AUDIO
God gave because he loved – we will see three different kinds of “giving love” in this sermon today.
Sacrificial Love of God
Sacrificial Love of God – Jn 3:16 – This is the love that God had for the world. God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son. His love caused him to lay down his life for the entire world [Jn 15:13]. He gave up everything he had in this sacrifice [2 Cor 8:9; Phil 2:3-8]. This should compel us to two responses. First, it should compel us to respond to his love by lovingly trusting and receiving him [Rom 10:9-10; Jn 1:12; 1 Jn 4:19]. Second, it should compel us to sacrifice what we have out of love for him in order to tell the world about his great sacrificial love [Rom 12:1-2]. In other words, we ought to do what he did for others.
Sanctifical Love of God
Sanctifical Love of God – Eph 5:25-27 – This is the love that God has for the church. Jesus loved the church and gave himself for it. His gift of himself to the church was so that he might sanctify and cleanse it and make it holy and without blemish. Because Jesus is holy, we can be holy also and thus we are commanded to be holy [1 Pet 1:15-16]. As he purifies us with his word [Jn 15:3], we should be compelled to three responses. First, we should recognize that his motive for cleansing us is love [Heb 12:6], not judgment. Second, out of love for him and in submission to his love we should willingly yield to his cleansing and holiness. Third, we should, by our love for others, seek to edify others in our relationships (particularly in marriage and in church) [Jn 13:34-35; Eph 4:29].
Substitutional Love of God
Substitutional Love of God – Gal 2:20 – This is the love that God has for you individually. Jesus loved you so much that he took your place on the cross [2 Cor 5:21; 1 Pet 2:24]. But that wasn’t the end of the substitution. Jesus loves you so much that he desires to live his life in you by faith. This should compel us to two responses. First, we should recognize that the cross is for us [Matt 10:38-39; Rom 6:6-11] and that God’s motive for us to be crucified with Christ is love not wrath or cruelty. Second, out of love for him we should willingly take up our cross and be crucified with Christ that the life of Christ might reign in us and be manifested in us so that God may be glorified in all we do.
God loved the world so he gave. God loved the church so he gave. And, God loved us so he gave. We should receive his love. Likewise, we should love and be sacrificed so that the lost can hear about Christ, be sanctified so that the church may be edified and be substituted so that Christ may live his life in us.