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God is Love

God is ____________  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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God is Love does not mean that love is God. God's love is a holy love that is expressed in all that God is. Even in His judgements are measured out in love and mercy. Much of what is called "love" in modern society bears no resemblance or relationship to the holy, spiritual love of God. We must guard against over sentimitalizing the love of God to little more than a good romantic movie or novel. Christian love is a special kind of love. There is a particular love of God, a conditional love of God, a providential love of God, and a redeeming love of God. We must be careful that we do not compartmentalize each of these instead of adopting a more wholistic approach to God's love. A person who has been changed by the redeeming grace of God ought to become what God is, and "God is love."

Notes & Transcripts
“God is Love” What does this even mean.
The problematic question I get asked is, “Does God love everybody the same?” Did he love Nero to the same degree that he loves Billy Graham? Does he love those who reject Him the same as he does the redeemed children? Does God hate the sin but love the sinner?
To often we oversimplify this question historically by saying with an unqualified yes!
There are 5 ways that Scripture speaks of God’s love
God’s intra-Trinitarian love between the Father and the Son.
John 3:35 ESV
The Father loves the Son and has given all things into his hand.
2. God’s providential love over His creation ()
3. God’s redeeming love towards his fallen world.
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John 3:16 ESV
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.
world (kosmos)
4. God’s particular, selecting love.
Deuteronomy 7:7–8 ESV
It was not because you were more in number than any other people that the Lord set his love on you and chose you, for you were the fewest of all peoples, but it is because the Lord loves you and is keeping the oath that he swore to your fathers, that the Lord has brought you out with a mighty hand and redeemed you from the house of slavery, from the hand of Pharaoh king of Egypt.
Deuteronomy
Malachi 1:2–3 ESV
“I have loved you,” says the Lord. But you say, “How have you loved us?” “Is not Esau Jacob’s brother?” declares the Lord. “Yet I have loved Jacob but Esau I have hated. I have laid waste his hill country and left his heritage to jackals of the desert.”
Mal
Ephesians 5:25 ESV
Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her,
5. God’s love for his people conditioned on obedience.
John 15:9–10 ESV
As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Abide in my love. If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in his love.
Avoid absolutizing one biblical expression of God’s love over another.
Avoid compartmentalizing way’s that God’s love is shown.
Avoid evangelistic chiches over the scales of scripture. “God loves everyone the same way or unconditionally” There are conditions of obedience in relation to God’s love.
Love does not define God (God defines love)
God is love does not mean that love is God. We must guard against over sentimalizing the love of God to not much more than a romantic movie or romantic feeling. God’s love is a holy love that begins and ends with God. All that God does expresses all that God is. Even His judgments are measured out in love and mercy.
4:8 “God can only be known through the demonstration of His love, most profoundly seen in sending His Son in the flesh as a sacrifice for humanity.
4:9 “God’s love demonstrated for humanity and creation by sending His only Son to die as a means of atonement for sin.
Much that modern society calls “love” does not bear any resemblance or relationship to the holy, spiritual love of God.
1 John 4:10 ESV
In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.
John 4:10 ESV
Jesus answered her, “If you knew the gift of God, and who it is that is saying to you, ‘Give me a drink,’ you would have asked him, and he would have given you living water.”
True love is poured out through the spirit of God
Romans 5:5 ESV
and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.
Love is a valid test of true Christian faith
Since God is love, and we have claimed a personal relationship with God, we must reveal His love in how we live.
1 John 4:8 ESV
Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love.
The person who loves God knows God.
Many unsaved people love their families and even sacrifice for them. And no doubt many of these same people have some kind of intellectual understanding of God. What do they lack? The lack a personal experience of God. This person has never truly experienced God what he knows is in his head not his heart.
WHAT GOD IS DETERMINES WHAT WE SHOULD BE!
As God is so should we be in the world
1 John 4:17 ESV
By this is love perfected with us, so that we may have confidence for the day of judgment, because as he is so also are we in this world.
The Bible Exposition Commentary Chapter Eight: Getting to the Bottom of Love (1 John 4:1–16)

A person who claims he knows God and is in union with Him must be personally affected by this relationship. A Christian ought to become what God is, and “God is love.” To argue otherwise is to prove that one does not really know God!

What God did: “he sent his son”
Romans 5:8 ESV
but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
The manifestation of God’s love was at the cross.
The sending of Christ into the world, and His death on the cross, were not prompted by man’s love for God. They were prompted by His love for man.
God’s love for sinners should always astound and humble us. It must never be reduced to a merely academic matter. Rightly did the psalmist wonder, “What is man that you are mindful of him, and the son of man that you care for him?” ().
When you read , you feel like saying, “So that’s what it’s all about!” Here we discover what God had in mind when He devised His great plan of Salvation.
God’s desire is to live in us
God is not satisfied to simply tell us that he loves us, or even show us that He loves us.
GOD’S DWELLING PLACES IN THE BIBLE
God had fellowship with man at the very beginning, but sin broke that fellowship. It was necessary fro God to shed the blood of animals to cover the sins of Adam and Eve so that they might come back into fellowship with him. One of the key words in Genesis is walked. God walked with men, and men walked with God. Enoch, Noah, Abraham walked with God.
By the time of the Exodus, a change had taken place: God did not simply walk with men, He lived, or dwelt, with them through the sanctuary or tabernacle. When Moses dedicated the tent of meeting God came down and moved into the tent. The downfall of man caused the glory to depart from his dwelling place but Samuel and David restored the temple to it’s former glory and once again the glory of God came to dwell in the land.
Israel disobeyed God again and history repeated itself as they were taken into Captivity. The gorgeous temple was destroyed.
The glory has now returned in the person God’s Son, Jesus Christ! “And the word became flesh, and tabernacled among us, and we beheld His glory.”
The glory of God now lives in the bodies of God’s children. “or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you.” 1 Cor. 6:19
God reveals himself through His children.
Our love for one another reveals God’s love to a needy world. God’s love will be experienced in us and then will be expressed through us.
ABIDE: to abide in Christ means to remain in spiritual oneness with God.
Abiding in God’s love produces spiritual benefits.
4:16
1)we grow in knowledge
2)we grow in faith
Love Free’s us from Fear
How does love drive out fear?
When Stan becomes a Christian, he was antagonistic, bitter, and quick to take offense at others who he thought slighted him. Burdened by a poor self-image, Joe blow could not believe that God accepted him with all of his faults. Every time something went wrong, he was sure God was punishing him and he cringed. Even when everything seemed to go smoothly, there was always an aching fear that kept him from feeling peace or satisfaction.
Then Stan became a member of a truly loving church whose members accepted him as he was. They understood his behavior, overlooked his insults, and returned only love. They invited this unpleasant young man into their homes. Gradually Stan realized that these people loved him in spite of himself. He could be real with them, and they still cared. One day Stan truly experienced the reality of God’s love. The message of Calvary he had accepted intellectually now released the knots of guilt and fear deep within. When Stan found a community of people who were like God in this world, he was freed to grow into a loving person himself.
Love is our proper response to God.
Stan was freed to love only by being loved. John pointed out that it is the same with all of us. We did not love God; God loved us. Being loved by God first frees us to love in return.
The Teacher’s Commentary 167: 1 John 2:3–4:21—Walk in Love

Love wears no blinders that cut off some while focusing on others. When love touches us, our whole personality is affected. We see God and sensing His love, are drawn to Him. We see people for the first time. We reach out to touch and to care. Love has transformed us.

God loves his people, his creation, and this fallen cosmos, and that unfathomable truth should lead us to worship him fervently, crying out with the great apostle, “For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be glory forever. Amen” (). 
The Teacher’s Commentary 167: 1 John 2:3–4:21—Walk in Love

Love wears no blinders that cut off some while focusing on others. When love touches us, our whole personality is affected. We see God and sensing His love, are drawn to Him. We see people for the first time. We reach out to touch and to care. Love has transformed us.

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