Believe in Love

By Bill Blakey on February 14, 2016

Romans 5:6-8

AUDIO

Believe in Love

By Bill Blakey on February 14, 2016

Romans 5:6-8

This is a rush transcript.

[00:00:01] Amen. Take a seat and grab a Bible and open it to the Book of Romans 5.

[00:00:10] It's where we'll be in God's word this morning. Now I'm up here getting the privilege of preaching God's word to you. His pastor, Bobby, has taken his wife away for a couple of nights for Valentine's Day, which we're very excited about our again to do that. And this is Valentine's Day. Hopefully that's not news to any of you husbands in the room this morning. But this is the day of love, right in our culture where we celebrate love.

[00:00:38] We have no color schemes that we think, you know, communicate that.

[00:00:44] And this is Valentine's Day, right. I don't know if any of you have plans later on this evening, plans to wait for far too long in an overcrowded restaurant waiting area. But it's the day of love, right? So it doesn't matter because we're there with the one that we love. And this is something that really kind of February almost kind of turns into the month of love in our in our culture.

[00:01:06] And if you caught this but at the end of the Super Bowl halftime show last week, you know, at the end of it, they have the big kind of like climax moment and they have everybody in the stadium kind of holding up different cards and sell them, have colors on it, and it spells something. So even like at the Super Bowl. Right. Will be a cold place telling us to believe in love. Right. This has just become such a big deal at this time of year that this is what we're talking about all the time. But what are we really talking about? What are we really celebrating? What is Coldplay really asking us to believe in? What is love? Right. In our culture, there's so much ambiguity about what love really is. Right. We call infatuation love. Right. We call, you know, a relationship where one person wants to get something from someone else. They don't care about that person necessarily, but they care about what they get from that person we call that love. Right. We call feeling love.

[00:02:07] Right. That when I'm next to that person that I, you know, can't really talk. Right. And I start feeling warm and fuzzy inside. And maybe even when our triceps touch, we're sitting next to each other.

[00:02:20] There's this, like, electric feeling. Right. And that's what we call. Oh, what is that? It's love, right? That's what we in our culture talk about. We even call things that God calls sin. Love in our culture. Right in our culture. It's like someone's supposed to love me just the way I am. Right. They're just supposed to accept me unconditionally as the way I am. And I think it's so crucial of. Of all days, especially on this day, that we understand what it actually means to believe in love. Right. Biblical love. Right. Real love. The love that God has for us. Because I think so often when we think about God's love, Ryan, you could even just talk to a normal nonbeliever who hasn't gone to church very much. And they know this whole thing about God and love. Right. God is love and God is a loving God. Like, you just ask the normal person on the street and they will know that they will communicate that. But I think if we haven't really looked at what the Bible talks about as love, we're just going to take all of these different kind of things that we talk about in our culture. And we're just going to think about God's love through the lens of our own experience, right through the lens of our own thoughts about what love is. Right. That there's many people today who are thinking, well, God loves me because I am lovely.

[00:03:39] Right. That's kind of the way it works in our culture. Right. We see someone and they've got some characteristic that is attractive, that is appealing. That must be the same way that it works between me and God. Right. That he just thought the universe needed one of me. And here I am. Right. Because he loved me so much. Because I'm that awesome.

[00:03:56] Right. Or that God loves me just for who I am and he's okay with me. Just stay in exactly the way I am unchanged. Or that if God really loves me, he would only compliment me and say nice things to me. Pleasantries from the Lord. That's what I'm even expecting here this morning. Some pleasantries from the Lord. Right. Or they've got really loves me. He will give me what I really want out of life. All these thoughts that aren't necessarily true. We can start to think, OK. Well, that's the way God works because we think about love in our culture. And the Bible says God is love and we just kind of mesh the two together. So it's so important from this passage this morning that we allow God's love to speak for itself, that God's love is a holy love. It's in a category all its own right. And so let us from Romans, Chapter five. Let's read together versus six through eight. Says for while we were still weak at the right time. Christ died for the ungodly, for one will scarcely die for a righteous person, though perhaps for a good person, one would dare even to die. But God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Now we're gonna unpack this verse. But I think that the thing that we've just got to realize right at the beginning, that kind of leaps off the page at us. I mean, Paul uses this example in verse seven. It says, for one will scarcely die for a righteous person, though perhaps for a good person, one would even dare to die. Says that a person who's willing to give their life in our society for someone else. That's a rare thing that when someone does that in our society, even today, we put that person in the newspaper, we make movies about that person, those person, those people are heroes. But there's not a lot of that going on. Maybe if there's a person out there who's doing some right things, no one necessarily is going to say, hey, I'll go die for that person. Maybe if there's like a really good person who's making an impact of the lives of others, maybe I'd be willing to sign up for the Secret Service to take a bullet for the president, because I think he's a good person and he's going to do good things for our country, like scarcely. That's even the case. Like when someone is viewed as good. It's rare that someone would be willing to die for them. That's the point that he makes in verse seven. But the point that he makes overall is that none of us are good, right? None of us are good. Right. If it was a person who was good, maybe they might deserve maybe someone even would be willing to die for them. But that's not us, right? The first thing that we've all got to really get clear this morning from this text that you need to embrace. Point number one on your notes. Let's get this down. Embrace the fact that you don't deserve it. Right. If we're talking about God's love, you need to embrace the fact that you don't deserve God's love. Right. This is the greatest love that has ever been known, that has ever been experienced. And you don't deserve it. I don't deserve it. We don't deserve to experience this. It says in verse eight that God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. The words it talks about here when it's talking about you and I and and people in general, they're not like, hey, very attractive words.

[00:07:11] I mean, you see these words here, weak, ungodly sinners.

[00:07:16] That's what it's talking about when it's talking about us. When my wife, Corey and I were newly married, one of the things that we really enjoyed doing together was going for a run. Right. Like getting fit as a couple is a bonding experience. Right. And so sometimes in the evenings, you know, after kind of the day is done, we would go out on these while you pray, call more jogs than runs. But we were out there and we're jogging around. And I know if you ever been outside at night, but the sounds kind of messed with your mind a little bit. You ever been out there and hear something? And it's kind of like, I don't know what that was, but it's kind of starts messing with you a little bit. And so we run along and we start hearing this little like jingling sound. So we look around. There's not a lot of cars around, no real people around. And we hear the sound and we don't know what it is. And so we jog a little bit more and there it is again. And it almost seems like it's getting closer to us. Not what you really want with, like, unexplained noises in the darkness. And so we're starting to get a little bit concerned here. But then after after a little while, we find out that this sound has been coming from this little white dog.

[00:08:17] There you go. For being scared in the dark.

[00:08:19] Right. Like it's this little white dog that's kind of been following us a little bit and its collar is kind of jingling a little. And so, you know, it's out there and you can tell, like, this dog is a lost dog.

[00:08:29] And my wife being very kind and compassionate woman that she is like immediately just feels feels the love for this stray animal. Right now, I'm kind of there and I'm kind of like, OK, it's probably all right, let's just keep the pace and, you know, get on home and stuff like this. And my wife wouldn't have it. And so you can tell that there's something not quite right with this animal. And even as we get kind of closer to it, my wife is like, you know, just headlong going towards it. And I'm kind of like, I'm skeptical about this. But as we get closer to it, we realize that things aren't right with this dog and that this dog is not only dirty, but it's injured right to the point where it's eyeball is actually dangling out of its socket. It had been attacked by another animal, probably a cat, and it's injured and it's there and it's shaking. And at that moment that I realized what's going on with this dog, like I mean, I'm not like an anti dog person, but I'm not, like, posting pictures of them on my Instagram or anything, but even me at that moment. Right. Like how I'm like, how can I not feel compassion for this? And what it's like at that moment, I'm like, we're jumping in. We're finding the number for animal control. We're calling the nice lady who comes out and she assures us that they're going to help this dog regain its health. And, you know, we finish our run feeling like we've done our good deed for society that day. Right. And it's. Like me, when I think about that dog, even now, I'm like, how what kind of guy would I have been if I hadn't had compassion on that dog? This little cute stray little little puppy almost that's been injured. Remember another time when we lived in Texas that we were startled in the night by an unexplained noise? And, you know, my wife urged me that, you know, as the protector and head of the household, this kind of your job to go check that out and some. All right. Here we go. And come from the backyard. And so I go out and on her back porch, you know, flip on the light. And on our little barbecue grill, there is this animal called an opossum. Now, if you if you've encountered a possum in the wild, but if you haven't think of like a mixture of a rat and a cat together, and that's an opossum. Right. Right there. And so, you know, me turning on the light, you know, it's a possum was kind of think looking for some leftovers or something like that.

[00:10:42] Turn on the light. Like startle this opossum and it kind of falls off and starts walking away. And I'm like going to go outside and make sure this opossum knows that it is unwelcome. And that is trespassing on my property.

[00:10:53] And I'm here to dispose of it. And so then this this strange thing happens to where this opossum kind of turns around and we have this moment where our eyes meet. Right. And I know it's I don't know if anything could have prepared me for that moment. But the opossum just looks at me and it matches eyes with me. And he goes.

[00:11:14] I mean, and I'm here like, are you serious? And I am ready to find whatever weapon I can to bludgeon this opossum to death. So it will no like a full weight of by wrath and indignation against this opossum. Like it deserves to die now. Right. It's gone. And there wasn't a weapon close at hand. So it lives to tell another tale. Right. Scurried off into the into the woods behind her house. But I was just mad. I was like I was upset. Right here is this opossum that has come onto my property and seen fit not only to trespass, but then to hiss at me. Right. And to express its displeasure. And I think as we think about the love of God for us. Right. Like nobody's saying, oh, well, you should have had compassion on that opossum.

[00:12:05] Right? Everybody's saying, hey, I have compassion on the puppy. Nobody's doing that for the possum. And we think about ourselves the way that we are. We're not like the puppet. We're like the possum. Right. That when God looks at us, he doesn't look at us. Is this injured? Q Lovable. How could I not help but have compassion? That's not the way you and I are described in this text. We're described as weak, ungodly sinners. Right. To be a sinner means that we are actively sinning against someone and that someone who deserves for us to obey them is God himself is the creator of the universe, the one who has the rights for us to do what he says, for us to obey him. And each one of us, we're we're a center and we have transgressed God's law.

[00:12:57] We have trespass on his territory and we deserve his punishment. That's what we deserve. That's what we are like. You might not think of it yourself like this with things like lying right there, told the Y in your life. Right. God is a god of truth. He loves truthfulness. And the Bible says that he hates lying. He hates it and not just displeases him, but he hates it. Right. Have you done your center right? If you have one of God's commandments is that there would be no other God before him, that he would have our affection, that he would have our worship, that we would worship him so far and above anything else in this world. And each and every one of us have turned away from that. Right. We've all been more interested in ourselves or something else or another person. We've all chosen to worship something else than God. Right. We've chosen to worship money or a career or pleasure that we can get from substances or pleasure that we can get from sex or another person that we want to love us or the freedom that we can have and just doing whatever we want to do all of the time. Each and every one of us has sin. This is what's the truth about you and me, my friends, is that we are sinners. And not only are we sinners, in other words, that it uses in verse six says at the right time, Christ died for the ungodly. God doesn't love us because we're godly. He loves us when we're on godly. Think about the sinner ungodly. Are those labels that you're willing to put on yourself? Are those labels that you're willing to embrace, right. That you're use embracing that, hey, I don't deserve this. I'm a sinner. I was ungodly. Right. That that was me. Is that something that you've willingly done? You mean why you think even right now? I'm pretty good. I I'm actually in church at this very moment like that. Shows you that I'm good. I know about God. I'm not that bad. And I think we've got to realize that, you know, in this passage, you see you see these pronouns that are used for, wow, we were still weak. Right. A verse eight. But God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners. You know who's writing this? You want to know who's including himself in this group of people? It's the apostle Paul. Right.

[00:15:12] Turn over to Philippians, Chapter three, because I think any list that we could create, you know, trying to make ourselves think that we're not a sinner, that we're not ungodly, that we are a good person, like our list kind of pales in comparison to the lists that Paul gives in Philippians. Chapter three Footprint's Chapter three is a point where Paul is talking about people who put confidence in themselves, people who think I'm a good person. And he knows a lot about that because that used to be him at the time of this writing. He's not this way anymore. But look at verse four. He says, though I myself have reason for confidence in the flesh. Also, if anyone thinks he has reason for confidence in the flesh, I have more. Give me your list of confidence. I'll one up. You write mine. Mine is better. And then he begins to list off things. He says you're circumcised on the eighth day of the people of Israel. The tribe of Benjamin. A Hebrew of Hebrews. Right. Paul talking about his heritage. Maybe some people in our society today think, wow, I come from a good family.

[00:16:13] I come from a Christian family. I even went to church growing up. Paul says, hey, I was in the tribe of Benjamin of the nation of Israel. Right. Who is God's special people that he selected to be his own people? Right. And I've done everything according to that lineage. Right. I was circumcised on the eighth day. I'm like a Hebrew of Hebrews. Right. I'm not like a lowly Israel lad. I'm like a Hebrew of Hebrew. He says if anybody's got confidence in their lineage, I've got more confidence.

[00:16:41] And he goes on and he says he says as to the law of Pharisee, the universe five or six as to zeal a persecutor of the church. Right. So a Pharisee. Those were the people that they wanted to be strict law keepers. Right. That they wanted to try to do everything right. That they were very intense about their obedience to the law. Right. And this wasn't just, you know, kind of a half hearted thing. In verse six, Paul says, as the zeal, a persecutor of the church, that Paul went so far to say that, hey, anybody who isn't doing it right. Like, I think it should be done. I'm actually going to persecute them. Like, that's how into this I am. Right. I'm actually persecuting the church because I don't think they're doing it right. And he says as to righteousness under the law, blameless.

[00:17:29] Right. Paul says, hey, you can look at my life. And I just tried to do everything just the right way. Right. I worked hard. I tried my best. Right. Paul would not at this point have wanted to put the term ungodly to himself. Right. But look at what he says. And verse 17 says, but whatever gain I had, all these things that I thought were good, he says. I counted as a loss for the sake of Christ. Indeed account. Everything is lost because of the surpassing worth of knowing Jesus Christ, my Lord, for his sake. I've suffered the loss of all things. And count them as rubbish in order that I may gain Christ and all those things that Paul could have put his confidence in. You know what he really thinks about those things? He thinks that they're rubbish. Rubbish. That garbage, right? They're trash. They're despicable. Right. That Paul realizes that in all these things that I was trying to do. I got nowhere. Right. Point number one is that we need to embrace the fact that we don't deserve God's love and. Right. Read this on. Add to that. And we can't earn it. Right. Embrace the fact that that you don't deserve God's love and the fact that you can't earn it. Right. The last of these three words, if you go back to Romans Chapter five. Right. We've seen that we're sinners, that we're ungodly. And it starts out in verse six four while we were still weak. Right now, it's not talking about, hey, my New Year's resolution isn't going so well. I haven't been to the gym in like a whole 24 hours feeling a little weak. Right. Feeling a little flabby. That's not the kind of emphasis of this word. The word weak here that's used is kind of like almost like an incapable right.

[00:19:10] Like that. If your leg was in a cast for a long, long time and and the cast was removed, you would really be capable of moving your leg in the way that it should because your muscles have atrophied and they don't have the strength in them to do what they should do. It's almost talking about someone who's, like, paralyzed or someone who's in a coma. Right. Like, spiritually, the way the Bible talks about us is that we're like dead people, right?

[00:19:33] Dead people are not getting up and doing jumping jacks. Right. Never. Never seen that. Right. That's what what we were with the state that we were in. We were still weak. Right. There was no ability that you have or I have that can make us lovable that God, maybe you think, well, OK, I can agree that I've sent a little bit. Maybe I've done a few things wrong. But you think I can make it up to the Lord. I can try harder. I can do better. I'm just going to get more into this. Be at church more. Right. Like, you can't outdo what Paul had already done in that list. You have to realize that you're weak, right? You're weak. You're so weak that you are incapable of earning God's love and his favorite. Right. Not a pretty picture. The way that we're talked about. Right. And I don't know. Have you embrace that as the truth about your own self. Right. Have you been willing to be honest about yourself that that maybe you thought that you're up here, but really God's word, it brings us all low. Right.

[00:20:36] It humbles us all and helps us all to see that we were unworthy of God's love.

[00:20:45] And I think that he here's the truth is that people who think that they deserve God's love, God's love is a very small thing to them.

[00:20:52] It's like this little pocket sized thing that I can kind of pull out every now and again on a Sunday or on a Valentine's Day and look at and be like, oh, that's kind of nice. And then I put it back on the shelf the next day and it just kind of sits there right. As this unimpressive thing that I'm not like, well, that's impressive. I'm like, oh, that's nice.

[00:21:08] That's the way a lot of people treat God's love is this small, small thing. And I think that rejecting the idea that we deserves God, God's love frees us up to actually experience it.

[00:21:21] If you notice this, that the people that realize that they are a sinner, that they're ungodly, that they are weak and can do nothing on their own. Those are the people that get excited about the love of God for them. Those are the people that rejoice in that love because they realize how much they need that love. Right. And that love is expressed in this passage. It says in verse eight that God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, even though that's our state, look at what happened. Look at what God was willing to do. It says Christ died for us. Right. Write this down is point number two on your notes. You've got to appreciate the cost of God's love. So often God's love is kind of thrown around as this. Is this free? Oh, yeah. God loves you. Yeah. You know, it's the small thing that we just kind of throw out there almost kind of flippantly. And we don't realize that God's love is free, but it's not cheap. Right. That God's love was purchased for you at the highest possible cost. It's free to you. But it cost God something, right? It cost him the death of his son. In verse six, it says, while we were still weak at the right time. Christ died for the ungodly right that this love that God showed to sinners like you and me was not some kind of like, hastily hatched plan. Right. Like there might be even in the room, some hastily hatched plans for today going down right now. Right. Some men might have wandered in here. And it's like, oh, snap. It's Valentine's Day. What am I gonna do about that? Right. That's not so with the love of God for us. It says at the right time. Christ died for the ungodly that this plan forgot to display his love for him to put it out there, for people to experience and rejoice in.

[00:23:12] This was a plan hatched before there even was a world right before any of us even existed, an eternity pass. That's when God was planning out the way that he would pour out his love for sinners.

[00:23:26] Ryan, ever since, all of the whole human race fell into sin right from the beginning that we've been building up this whole story in the Old Testament. Now we're looking person after person after person. And no one's perfect. No one can set right what's gone wrong through sin and at the right time when that's totally been established.

[00:23:45] God himself shows up in the person of Jesus Christ. Right.

[00:23:50] God himself. And this is what it says, right? Christ died for us. We got to remember, as we say often. Right, that that Christ is not Jesus's last name. And I tell that to my son. It's not like Jesus Christ. Like Charlie Blakey. Right. That Christ is his title. Right. This is where Christ talks about him being the Messiah, the anointed one. Right. Who was coming. That was predicted all throughout the Old Testament. This wasn't just any person that was sent to love us. Turn back to Philippians, but go to Chapter two. This time it wasn't just Jesus being a man. But this was actually God coming down in the form of a man. Look with me at Philippians. Chapter two, verse five. Paul writes, Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus. So Christ Jesus, who though he was in the form of God, that Jesus Christ is actually God, right. That He is equal with God and he exists as God. And so he deserves to be worshiped. Right. He deserves to remain in heaven, set apart from his creation, being adored and magnified forever. That's what he deserves, though. But it says that even though he was in the form of God, he did not count equality with God as a thing to be grasped as a thing to be clung on to as a as a right that he would not relinquish.

[00:25:07] Right. Is something that he would not be willing to give up for a time. But it says in verse seven that he emptied himself by taking the form of a servant being born in the likeness of men. Right. That even before we get to the fact that Christ died, we have to remember what Christ did to become the perfect sacrifice for us. Now, if there's a number two animal besides an opossum on my kill immediately list, it would have to be a cockroach.

[00:25:35] I don't know if you've ever encountered one of those, but we used to live for the last few years in Texas and there's a saying about Texas that rings true in many ways, and that's that everything is bigger in Texas. Right. So you may think that you have experienced the cockroach. You have not experienced the cockroach. Right. You have not seen one of these gargantuan creatures that is actually hard to kill. That's in the wild in in Texas. I remember when I moved to Texas in junior high and my first encounter with a cockroach, and it flew at me like maliciously. Right. And ever since then, I have been out to kill every cockroach that I find. I do not believe that they deserve to live. And I regularly want to exercise my right of dominion over them, over the creation. And it's like well known about me that, you know, I'm ready to kill cockroaches. I'm declaring it to you. All right. Right now. And I've got this son, IRA. You guys have met my son Charlie. I love him. My first born, but my other kids, too. But Charles, my first one. And think about what it would be like for it for me to might say to my son, whom I love.

[00:26:38] Hey, Charlie, I would like for you to become like a cockroach. Just think about that. I mean, think about how low that would bring my son.

[00:26:48] I think about how low he would have to stoop to become like a cockroach. This despicable species. Right. Part of the fall. Maybe even write like this despicable species and think about what it took for the God of the universe. Right. Who was not created, who created everything. Think about what it would take for him to become a part of his creation. Think about how low Jesus Christ stooped to be willing to take on the likeness of man.

[00:27:22] Right. We see, oh, there's a big gap between a human and a cockroach. And I would submit to you that there's an even bigger gap between God and a human right, between the creator and the creature.

[00:27:34] That is the lengths to which Christ was willing to go for you. Right.

[00:27:40] It says that he took on the empty himself by taking the form of a servant being born in the likeness of men in verse eight and being found in human form, even though. He had already lowered himself so low, it says he went even further, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on the cross. A death on a cross was the most shameful, the most humiliating, the most despised form of capital punishment that existed.

[00:28:13] It was even something that the Romans used to kind of subjugate the people that they had conquered. And to almost like stick it to him. Right. That the crucifixion was such a such a detestable thing that no Roman citizen was allowed to be crucified.

[00:28:28] Right. Because it was so shameful, so hated. And that's the length that Jesus Christ is willing to go to. He was willing to humble himself to become a man.

[00:28:36] And even from there, he was willing to go further still because he loved us, he was willing to go even to death on a cross.

[00:28:46] And if you ever seen some movie that tries to depict the agony of death on a cross and how physically excruciating it must have been that those movies don't even do it justice, because they can't even begin to portray that the physical side of it was was patty cake compared to what was really going on that on the cross God, the father was pouring out the full weight of his just wrath for all the sins of all the people that Jesus was saved, that that that God was actually pouring it out to the point where it would crush his own son, Jesus Christ. I remember hearing this story one time of of two brothers, two young brothers who lived somewhere in the middle of America where there's like rivers. You know, that area of America, they've got rivers and stuff. And they live in a small little town on the banks of this river. And this town really relied on the river for a lot of its like economics and commerce. And so there would be these ships that would go through with cranes on them that would actually at certain points of the year, like dig up this silty sand that would kind of deposit itself at the bottom so that the waterway would continue to be usable and clear and they would take the sand and they would kind of dump it in piles on the banks of of the river. And this was kind of in a time where, you know, there was kind of free range parenting going on, no helicopter parenting. You know, it's like open the doors and the kids are outside for the whole day. And so these two young brothers leave the house in the morning. And I don't know if if a guy if you remember when you were young, but a big pile of sand. I mean, that's like let's get on that thing. Right. And and so these sand piles, though, were very dangerous because when they would deposit them on on the banks of the river, they would be the same would be wet. And so as the sun would kind of harden, it would kind of harden across the outer layer of sand while at the same time the wet sand it's in the middle is still the water is draining down into the soil. And so almost kind of creates this hollow shell of the sand with kind of a cavern in the middle of it. Right. And so these boys leave the house one day and, you know, the end of the day, when they're supposed to be home, they're not they're not coming home. And so the parents start to call around, start to search around. And pretty soon it's to the point where search parties are being formed to find these these two boys. And so they go out and they finally reach this spot on the side of the river where all these sands were deposited. And at the top of one of the piles. They see the younger brother and he is mostly covered in sand. Only only his you know, from here up is above the sand. And he's actually passed out from the weight of the sand that's that's pressing on him. And so they they scurry up and they they, you know, rouse him. And as soon as he's awake and cognizant, they ask him, where is your brother?

[00:31:43] And the boy replies. I'm standing on his shoulders. That older brother was going to be crushed under the weight of the sand so that his younger brother could live. And that's what Christ did for you. Right.

[00:32:08] There was a weight of God's wrath that you deserve that that I deserve, that Jesus Christ willingly put himself in the spot where he would die for you.

[00:32:21] We're all that way for years. We'll be poured out. And he would be crushed in your place. That's the love of God that has been offered to you, right? God crushed his son in your place. He died so that you could live, so that you could live.

[00:32:47] Not just in a physical way for a number of years, but so that you could be given eternal life, so that you would live even if you die physically.

[00:33:02] And when you hear about that love, I hope that that moves you and I hope that hearing that story and even thinking that what Christ did for us is even greater than that love. Right. That that's an even greater love that Christ would not just die for for one person, but for many people so that they could be saved, that he bore the the wrath for many sins, for many people.

[00:33:23] And if you hear about that, how can you push that away?

[00:33:28] How could you be here this morning and to hear about the love that God has for you, that he would send his only son to die in your place, and how could you keep that at arm's length? Are there some maybe even here this morning? That is what they have been doing their whole lives, that they have been rejecting God's love, that God is here. And he is displaying he is putting it on display.

[00:33:51] He is showing and demonstrating his love in a way that would be so noticeable that everyone be talking about it for the rest of history. And some people are still there hissing at God and saying.

[00:34:04] How could you do that, if that's you?

[00:34:07] This morning, you have to realize that it doesn't matter that you're a sinner right now and that you're ungodly and that you're weak. You have to realize that Christ died for you.

[00:34:17] Right, then he died so that that love, that great love that is beyond really our comprehension, that that could be offered to you. And it could become yours. Right. That God's love would completely change that. I know that that some of you have experienced this. But if you haven't, there is a way that you can receive this love. Right. That if you are willing to say to the Lord, I'm no longer want to live as a sinner, I don't longer want to do what displeases you. But I want to live my entire life to bring you glory and to be obedient to what you say. I'm gonna give myself the I'm gonna turn from my sins to serve you in repentance. And I'm going to trust in this love. I'm no longer gonna try to do enough good to be make myself acceptable to do what? I'm going to look at the love of God that has been poured out for me on Jesus Christ. And I'm gonna believe in that love.

[00:35:08] I'm going to trust in what Jesus did for me, not what I can do for myself. If you do that, that love will be yours, right?

[00:35:16] That love will not just be something that you hear Christians talk about. It will be something that you experience in your own life and in your own soul. Right. That you will begin a brand new life. And some of us, we've tasted this. We've seen it right.

[00:35:30] We've seen the complete transformation that God works when his love grabs a hold of someone right there. It's a complete transformation that the way that we're described. If you're in Romans Chapter five, the way we're described. Right. Weak, ungodly sinners. Right. Those words stop really applying to someone who's a Christian. And if you if you realize this. But write down on your notes first, John, for nine.

[00:35:56] It says in this, the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only son into the world.

[00:36:03] So that we might live through him. Right. Speaking those weak people who are incapable of actually doing what God wants us to do. Now, when we come in, Christ, when God's love finds us and we become a new person in Jesus Christ, we're actually reborn as a new spiritual person. Right. For the first time. We we we experience this love in such a way that now we live. Right. We're not the the weak person that can't do anything. That now we have a power walking through us, that through Christ, we are actually able to do what pleases the Lord, not just to do it in a superficial kind of on the surface way, but from our hearts. Right. That God gives us a new spirit, a new heart. He places within us so that he actually causes us to want to do what God wants us to do.

[00:36:52] Right. That we've described before. Christ is being ungodly. Right. People that are not like God. God is holy. And he said apart from sin, he despises sin. And ungodly people are not like God because we love sin. It's what we do. So we continue to do even if we feel bad about it at times, we just keep going right back to us.

[00:37:10] But after a person becomes a Christian, right, they can actually be described as being godly. Right. Turnover just to Romans, Chapter eight.

[00:37:18] Just a few chapters in towards the end of this chapter and verse 29, it says for those whom he for new and God was creating this plan of how he would send his son to die for sinners like you and me. Right. Those whom me for knew. He also predestined to become conformed to the image of his son.

[00:37:40] Right. That there's actually going to begin a process where we become like God. Right. That just like God hates sin. We begin to hate sin. Right. Just what God does. What is right. We begin to do what is right. Right. That actually the term godly can be applied to Christian people because they've been totally changed. They've been totally transformed. They don't live like the rest of the people who are still stiff arming God. Right. They live in a totally new way. And it's a godly way. It is like the Lord and sinners. Right. Turn back to Romans, Chapter five. Let's just read the first verse of that chapter. It says. Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.

[00:38:29] That each and every one of us. We've since we've transgressed God's law puts us in the guilty category. But through Jesus Christ and us trusting in him, not in ourselves, we can be justified. We can be declared not guilty. We can be declared to be righteous. And not only that, we can have peace with God.

[00:38:49] Right. That we're no longer when God looks at a Christian. He no longer sees them as a sinner. He sees them as someone who's been declared righteous. He sees you if you're a Christian, not as a sinner, but as someone who is he has made righteous.

[00:39:06] This is a total transformation, this this kind of love, the power of this love that could love such unlovable people and totally transform them into brand new people. This is a sweet thing. Can we celebrate this today? Absolutely right. That's point number three on our notes is that have a fitting response to this kind of love. We've got to rejoice and abide in his love. We've got to rejoice and abide in his love. Point number three, this has got to make us say yes. Right. That when I realized I don't deserve this.

[00:39:41] But yet look at what God did for me. And in becoming a man and even as a man, humbling himself, even to the point of death on the cross, that the weight of the wrath for my sins would be poured out not on me, but on him like this should make you rejoice with great joy.

[00:39:57] Right. Not a meager joy. Not a like. Oh, thank you for the flowers kind of joy. Right. Like like let's write songs about this kind of kind of joy. Right. That you should be rejoicing and this kind of rejoicing is should be something that's like so different than like a well things are going well for me today.

[00:40:15] I'll rejoice. Right. If even if we were to look at the beginning part of this chapter, it's talking about look at verse three. It says not only that, not only do we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God, what's going to happen in the future. But we rejoice in our sufferings right at this moment. What Paul is writing this letter to this church in Rome. Things are not necessarily going well for them that there is suffering going on in their church. But he says that we rejoice in that, knowing that our suffering produces endurance and endurance, produces character and character, produces hope 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.

[00:40:53] And then we get to our text for while we were still weak at the right time. Christ died for the ungodly. There is this truth about the love of God in Jesus Christ that Paul, one of these Roman believers to believe in, was something that they were supposed to rejoice and believe in.

[00:41:10] Even in the midst of suffering. Right. There's going to be times this weekend and this month where maybe things aren't going well for you. Maybe you feel like you're you're suffering a little bit. Right. You need to remember how much God is love in that moment. You mean you remember the car straight? You need to appreciate the cost of what Christ did for you.

[00:41:35] Even in that moment, even in the context of suffering, right, we need to get in a habit. You need to get in the habit of regularly remembering how much God loves you. How you doing that like this and not be something that we talk about on Valentine's Day and we revisit next year like this has got to be something that we are revisiting over and over and over again. There should be a freshness to this that every day I'm going to see that I don't deserve God's love. Every day I'm one of fall short of being perfect. Like, God is perfect. And I'm going to see that there's no way that I could earn it. No way I deserved it.

[00:42:11] And it's only because he loved me, because he chose to love me, not because I was lovable. Right. This is something that's got to be refreshing us like we feel even now, thinking about God's love that should be happening each and every day of our lives. You should be waking up in the morning thinking about God's goodness and his steadfast love to you. Right. That's gonna that's gonna transform your days, you think, man? Well, things might not be going well, but I know the God who loves me and I know how he's already shown me how he loves me. Right. So maybe things aren't going well. Maybe my career's not advancing the way I would like it to be. I'm not doubting God's love for me because he's shown it to me. He has demonstrated it so clearly by sending Jesus Christ on the cross. Bills are getting a little bit tight this month. I'm not going to worry about that because I know what I was able to do to save me. And I think he can also provide for me this month, right.

[00:43:05] That this love of God is going to completely transform this. And I really think that this love is such a good thing. Right. That I'm sure that this week there will be conversation about what happens this week. What did you do for Valentine's Day? Right. You ever have these conversations? Right. And, you know, people are like, well, you lose. And it's very exciting. And it's and it's worthy of being shared. Do you think that this love that God has shown for us and his son, Jesus Christ, is worthy of being shared with other people, that as we rejoice in this love, as we get so excited about what God has done for us, that that should naturally spill out into our conversations and our relationships with other people.

[00:43:42] Right. And maybe one of the things we need to be like talking with other people about this weekend even is like how much God loves us. Maybe that should be the Valentine's Day story that we're telling people in our offices, in our neighborhoods, at the park, at the grocery store this week. Right.

[00:43:57] This is a love that is worthy of rejoicing and it's a love that's worthy of abiding. And we need to rejoice and abide in God's love. Turn to John, Chapter fifteen.

[00:44:10] This can't be something that we just kind of like. It's nice for today. This has got to be our home. This has got to be where we live. Right. That I am so focused on the love of God for me that I did not deserve each and every day of my of my life view region 15. And we will get there eventually in our study of the Gospel of John. But it says in verse nine of John Fifteen as the father has loved me, so have I love you.

[00:44:35] Abide in my love. What does that look like? What does it look like to buy his verse 10? 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.

[00:44:52] Right. This is really the only fitting response. If this if God is reached down and gone all the way, he realized there is no way that we were going to be able to make ourselves acceptable to him. And he did it all right here. His sacrifice on the cross paid it all so that we could be righteous and reconciled to the Lord. If that's the case, then the only great response.

[00:45:13] The only appropriate response is for me to love him in return. Right. To wear it when he tells me to do something. It's not a burden to me. It is the joy of my heart. It is what I long to do because he has loved me so greatly. Right. And his commandments. You want to talk about what God actually wants us to do.

[00:45:33] You can write down Matthew 22 versus 36 or 40. Just write that down on your notes. That be a good passage to go to this week. But someone comes to Jesus, say, hey, what's the most important thing in all of the law? And Jesus really summarizes all of God's commands really basically into two.

[00:45:49] Right, that you shall love the Lord, your God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength, and that you shall love your neighbor as yourself. Right. If you're doing those two things, you're obeying God's commandments. Right. You're doing what he wants for you to do.

[00:46:03] And when you see this God and how much he is, love you. How could you not but love him in return. How could you not set him higher than anything else in this life in your affections because of what he's done for you?

[00:46:15] Because of how much he loves you. Right. This is a week where we're not going to have home fellowship groups this week. Maybe it's even a week for you to spend some extra time just checking your own heart and ask yourself, is God really what I love more than anything else? Or is this thing just something I kind of show up to write? Or is it really because my heart has been changed? God's love for me, and now I love him in return, I longed to do what pleases him. I am eager to grow in my ability to obey the Lord. That's the first part. And then the second part is to love your neighbor as yourself. It would be a mockery of God's love for us if we then this week went out and we're unwilling to extend love to other people. And if we look at our lives and we say that person in my life, they're unlovable, they are a jerk, right? They are my enemy, right? Yes. Well, that's exactly the place that you were in with God. And he loved you, right. For us to say, well, well, a person could do this against me and I won't be that big of a deal. But if a person does this against me, it would. Right. That totally does not fit with the love of God. That has been poured out in our hearts.

[00:47:32] Right. That this kind of love that we've experienced through Jesus Christ should make us very, very loving people. Right.

[00:47:39] There is no one that we are unwilling to love and unwilling to be kind to you. Right. That people actually, it says in the Bible and John, 13, that people are going to know that we are his disciples by our love for one another. And some of us just need to check our hearts. Right. Is it first, John, for it says that the person who does not love their brother doesn't know God. That's how intense this is. That's how intense God's love is for us. That when it captures someone, there's no way that I could not love someone else. I might struggle with that. There might be times where I on that. But the course of my life is not going to be a lack of love for other people. It's going to be love abounding to other people that you that your life.

[00:48:20] You got any people like that that are difficult to love? It's you. That's the way God looked at you. And he loved you. Right. You're that you're that person. This love. We if we know it, we cannot be unchanged by. Let me pray and thank God for this. This great love going.

[00:48:38] God, we pray, Lord, that even today, as we've looked at your word, God, that our view of the height and depth and breadth of your love would be increased. God, that we would no longer be able to treat your love as a small, insignificant thing. Garbett that we would embrace the fact that we don't deserve your love, God. And that would make it all the all the more sweet to a scared that we would appreciate how much your love cost you that it was not a cheap thing, Lord, it was a costly thing.

[00:49:13] Or that you paid the greatest price of all so that we could experience this love in our lives, how we want to be those that spread this good news.

[00:49:23] Lord, this this good news of a God who is willing to love sinners. A good news of a God who is willing to offer dead people life. Not because we've earned it, not because we're godly, but even when we're ungodly warden.

[00:49:36] And just the great joy that knowing you brings into our life in the complete transformation, the new life that we have been given through Jesus Christ, God to you, be all the glory and all the praise.

[00:49:48] We pray a man.

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