The Love of God
By Bruce Blakey on January 20, 2019
1 John 3:1
The Love of God
By Bruce Blakey on January 20, 2019
1 John 3:1
This is a rush transcript.
[00:00:04] I bring you greetings from Believers Fellowship, the church I get to pastor in San Antonio, Texas. My wife and I have been missionaries to Texas since 1995. We went through language training and everything.
[00:00:20] And we're fixing to return there this week, but we're really glad to be here last Sunday. We were in Boise, Idaho, for the first service of Compass Bible Church, Treasure Valley. I'm out to collect all the Compass Bible Church pens from all the different churches. So I got one from Treasure Valley and that our youngest son Ben, as yet gets the pastor that church.
[00:00:47] We're we're really thankful for that. We're great to be here. I get to spend some time with the men up at the camp this weekend and now to be here. We're just so thankful for the opportunities that the Lord gives and so thankful for the Lord's goodness to me and my family.
[00:01:04] And my relationship with the Lord began about 45 years ago, as in March of 1974, I was a freshman in college and I met a man named Dennis Saffold and Dennis told me the gospel and God save my soul. And that was an amazing meeting for a number of reasons. It was, from a human perspective, a random meeting. I was sitting around and he was just looking for somebody to talk to. And he happened to talk to me. But before that time, I had never gone to church. I did not grow up in a Christian family. I had never read the Bible. I had never heard the Gospel. I did not know a Christian. And so, Dennis, I meet Dennis. He tells me the gospel and he knew all of this as he started off because he had talked to me a little bit and ask you some questions to find out my background. But and so when I responded to the gospel and he told it to me that first time he thought, this guy doesn't get what I'm talking about. This just doesn't happen. First time this guy's ever met a Christian, first time he's ever heard the gospel. It doesn't it's not that easy. And so he said, let's meet again tomorrow. Thinking there's no way I'm going to show up the next day. Thinking I'm going to walk away and think this over and decide. Yeah. And I'm not so sure about that. But I did show up the next day. And my question for him, my one big question for him was, can I be a Christian and still play golf?
[00:02:43] Because let's get serious. That's why I'm at this college to play golf.
[00:02:47] And I said because golf is the very most important thing to me.
[00:02:51] And he said, well, you can still play golf. But God has to be most important to you. And I said, OK.
[00:02:58] And he's still thinking, this guy just doesn't get it. You know? So he says, let's meet again tomorrow. And I said, well, I can't meet tomorrow. I've got a doctor's appointment, but I'll meet with you the day after that and he'll say, OK. So the next day I had that doctor's appointment and I had some pretty serious pain in my knees at that time. I had just grown seven inches in three years and so had some pretty bad tendinitis happened in my knees. And actually that meeting with that doctor was kind of the beginning of the end of my pursuit of a golfing career. And so I have this doctor's appointment. I go back the next day, meet with Dennis, and I told him about the doctor's appointment. And now he's starting to think maybe this maybe God did save this guy. He got bad news related to golf and he still showed up made. Maybe this is for real. And it was for real.
[00:03:52] And actually, we kept meeting every day for about three months because I didn't know anything. And he was teaching me those first three months. And we were able to meet again here just recently, three months ago or so, we were able to get together. I think we have a picture of that meeting. There we are. And so that could be a great encouragement to you to evangelize. Who knows when you think about what's happened from that one meeting that that should encourage you to want to tell the gospel to anybody that you can, too. Cause you never know what what the Lord might do. But all of that to say that when he began his gospel presentation to me that day, his opening line was God loves you and has a wonderful plan for your life. Have you heard that line before? Yeah. And it used to be pretty common. That was a way to introduce the gospel. Nowadays, it's not so common because people have abused the the doctrine of God's love. And so when you say God loves you, who knows what the person is gonna be thinking about in our day? People think that God is love and that's all God is. And God's love means he tolerates everything and accepts everybody. And so now, you know, we kind of shy away from opening up with the love of God. When we talk to people about the gospel and I get that, I understand that perfectly. But here's the reality. I'm a Christian because God loves.
[00:05:33] Everybody who is a Christian is a Christian because God loves John 316 for God so loved the world, or you could translate it. This is the way God showed his love to the world. He sent his son so that everyone who would believe in him wouldn't perish but have eternal life.
[00:05:53] Everybody who is a Christian is a Christian because God loves and I'm kind of on a little bit of a mission to reclaim the biblical doctrine of God's love. And I'm hoping that some of you will jump on the bus with me after this service as we think about God's love here together. And, you know, he said God loves you and has a wonderful plan for your life. I don't think wonderful is a strong enough word to describe what God has done for me. Love is a powerful motivator. I mean, even on a human level, people who are afraid to fly will get on a plane and fly across the country because a loved one is sick and needs help, that their love will overcome the fear. The love motivates them to do that. And knowing that God loves us is a powerful motivator for us to live for him. You think about the. The apostle John, who four times in his gospel referred to himself as the disciple whom Jesus loved. You know, that's the title he would choose for himself. Hey, I'm a disciple that Jesus loves, and he's not trying to say that he's the only one that Jesus loved or that Jesus loved him more than anybody else. He has to say it. I'm amazed that Jesus loves me. I'm a disciple that Jesus loves.
[00:07:16] And he was just blown away by that reality. And he wrote a book first, John. A little letter first, John. And I want us to take a look at first John. Chapter three, verse one. So if you'd open up your Bible, the first John, chapter three and verse one. And while you're turning there, I'll just say I'll just quote to you from a Friesians to four that tells us we are saved because of his great love with which he loved us, his great love with which he loved us. And that's what John's going to describe for us, that great love. And first, John, chapter three, verse one. So you can put this down for number one on your little hand out there. And we want to behold God's great love. Behold God's great love. Because that's what John's calling us to do. He says they're in first, John, three one. See what kind of love the father has given to us that we should be called children of God. And so we are we're just going to look at that little half of a verse there for for a few minutes. And behold, God's great love. And I just want to unpack everything that John squeezed into that that one statement there and help us think about God's love. And let's begin by just considering the love's magnitude. He says, see what kind or behold, what kind he's wanting to draw our attention to this. He's got something important he wants to to show us. And he says, what kind of love? And it's it's kind of hard to translate that some some versions say how great. How great. Behold, how great God's love is for us. The father's love is for us. Other words that you could use there would be amazing or wonderful or beyond description.
[00:09:10] Feagin, 319, says that the love of Christ surpasses knowledge, and that's what John's kind of getting at here, he said, see what what kind of love is this?
[00:09:20] This is a foreign love to the human kind. This is a love that comes from God alone. This is love is so great that it's hard for us to even describe. And we've tried in some of the songs that have been written, a lot of really great songs have been written about the love of God. And there's one song just simply titled The Love of God. And there's one verse in that song that has some of the greatest words in all of Christian music. It says this Could we with ink, the ocean fill and we're the skies of parchment made where every stock on earth a quill and every man a scribe by trade. So just think about the picture there. Every ocean is filled with ink. The sky is a huge parchment. Everybody's got their own quill. And you're depicted in that ocean of ink and righton on this parchment in the sky. And he says if that's the case, he says, to write the love of God above would drain the ocean dry. Nor could the scroll contain the hole. Those stretched from sky to sky.
[00:10:29] So every person writing on this parchment about the love of God, then we would drain the oceans dry of ink and we still wouldn't say at all. That's how great God's love is. That's something we need to talk about. That's something we need to rejoice in and see. If I was in Texas, they'd be like hooting and hollering by now.
[00:10:51] But but I understand you laid back Huntington Beach chairs. That's cool, bro. That's cool.
[00:11:04] The magnitude of God's love. Well, let's let's go further here and consider Love's origin. See what kind of love the father has given to us. Where does it originate? It originates in God himself. The origin is the father. It's his love. It comes from him. It's a part of his character. Chapter four versus seven and eight. If you just look over there, it says, Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God. And whoever loves has been born of God and knows God. Anyone who does not love does not know God because God is love.
[00:11:44] God is love. And again, the universe 16. It says, so we have come to know and to believe the love that God has for us. God is love. God is love. It comes from him. It's part of his nature. It's just who he is. And it's not caused by anything. He's not responding to something by loving. He loves because that's his nature, which is so different from us. I mean, I love you because of what you do for me. And if you stop doing for me, I stop loving you. That's that's how it works at the human level. That's not the way it is with God. He loves because that's his nature. He says God is love. That's his character. That's something we should be talking about. That's something that we should be proclaiming that God does love. God is love. And it's even more amazing as you continue on in that verse, not only to consider the origin we can get that we can understand that that's God's character. And so he loves because that's who he is. But look at love's objects as it's given to us here in the verse. See what kind of love the father has given. What's it say to us? See what kind of love the father has given to us. Were the objects of his love. That's an amazing thing. Yeah.
[00:13:15] And again, if you look over a chapter for that versus nine and 10 says in this, the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only son into the world so that we might live through him 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. Not that we loved him, but he loved us. And he sent his son, you know, that day. I wasn't sitting around thinking about how I could love God. That was how it been the last thing I was thinking about. But God loved me and his and the message to me was he sent his son to be the propitiation for your sins, to see our sins create a problem between us and God, create a separation between us and God. And those sins deserve God's wrath. They deserve eternal wrath because we're sinning against an eternal God and and we deserve to perish, but God sent his son to be the propitiation it meaning he took the wrath upon himself. He satisfied God's wrath when he died in our place so that if we're in Christ, all of our sins have been taken away. They've all been covered. God's wrath has been satisfied against us forever.
[00:14:42] All of our sins are forgiven forever because Christ the eternal savior, made an eternal sacrifice of eternal worth.
[00:14:54] To satisfy the father. That's amazing. That guy would do that because we are unlovable to God. But his love is immeasurable.
[00:15:09] I love the way the apostle Paul kind of personalizes God's love for him in Galatians two 20, which I think Bobby might be preaching on here coming up pretty quick. But Galatians to 20.
[00:15:24] Apostle Paul says like this, I have been crucified with Christ. It's no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me and the life I now live in the flesh. I live by faith in the son of God. Listen to this.
[00:15:39] Who loved me, gave himself up for me.
[00:15:45] I mean, that's amazing that he would love me and love me to such a degree that he would give himself up, take God's wrath in my place.
[00:15:56] He'd stand in my place and save me, give himself up for me.
[00:16:05] Were the objects of God's love. Think about the greatness, the magnitude of his love. You think about the origin coming from God himself. And then you think about the objects being us. You know, we just sang about Amazing Grace. That saved a wretch like me. Are you a wretch? They saved a wretch like me. And there's another song. How deep the father's love for us, which says how deep the father's love for us, how vast beyond all measure that he should give his only son to make a wretch. His treasure.
[00:16:45] That's amazing truth. That's exciting truth.
[00:16:49] And there's even more looking at first, John, chapter three, verse one. Well, let's blood's mine out. Another gem here is to see what kind of love the father has given to us. Let's talk about love's permanence has given to us has given. If you have your Greek New Testament here with you this morning and you happen to be one of those grammar nerds, you'll notice that this is in the perfect tense, which means he sets his love on you. And at one point and it goes on forever. He loves you eternally. It's permanent love. You get eternal life, not probationary life. Well, you know, if you keep your act together, you'll make it they have no it's eternal life and it's a permanent love that secures it. Turned back with me to Romans Chapter eight just for a minute. And let's see a statement there about the permanence of God's love for us, this love, that hat he has given to us.
[00:17:58] Romans eight. And verse 35.
[00:18:04] Here's that, here's the question that the apostle Paul is putting on the table at this point as he writes the Book of Romans who shall separate us from the love of Christ. Can I ask the question? And that's a that's a practical question.
[00:18:20] As a pastor, I've talked to a lot of people who, because of the circumstances in their life, are wondering if God really loves them. And so Paul's asking the question, well, is there something that could separate us from the love of Christ? And then he gives a list of contenders in the verse. He says, Shall tribulation or distress or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword as it is written for your sake, we're being killed all the day long. We're regarded as sheep to be slaughtered. Now, for the apostle Paul, that list is not hypothetical. That's like an average week in the life of the apostle Paul. I mean, tribulation, persecution, danger, sword. That's those are real things in his life. And he's he's asking the question, are these the kind of things can these circumstances can they separate us from the love of Christ? Verse 37, the first word. What is it? No, no. In all these things, we are more than conquerors through him. Who what love does is not good. We are more than conquerors.
[00:19:38] All right, there's this thing called timing. Appreciate the enthusiasm, I'm feeling like I'm at home here.
[00:19:50] Where was I? Oh, yeah. More than conquerers, Hooper Nikkei is. Is the Greek word there. Whooper is we get hyper or super from it. Supercut and the Nikkei. That's what you're wearing on your feet. The Nike's the victors. The conquerors. We are super victors.
[00:20:07] We overwhelmingly conquer. It's not like we barely win in triple overtime.
[00:20:12] No, we win outright because of him who loved us. Because of him. Who loved us.
[00:20:22] And he goes on to say, in verse thirty eight four, I am sure.
[00:20:28] I am sure that neither death nor life nor angels nor rulers are things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation. We'll be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ, Jesus, our Lord.
[00:20:46] That's good news.
[00:20:48] That is really good news. And that's the that's the statement of security. I am secure because of God's permanent love for me. And so I can say confidently that no matter what happens today, I'm still going to heaven.
[00:21:04] Aymen, that's the that's where we should be hooting and hollering.
[00:21:09] No matter what happens today, I'm going to heaven because of God's permanent love for me in Christ Jesus. Others more. Let's go back to first, John, three one, that's mine out. One last gem here from this text.
[00:21:28] It says, see what kind of love the father has given to us. And here we're going to see love's achievement. Here's what it achieves that we should be called children of God.
[00:21:40] And so we are.
[00:21:43] There's loves achievement. We become children of God. We weren't children of the devil. We were children of wrath. Now we are children of God. And this is so good, so hard to believe that he has to add in there. And so we are.
[00:22:01] And so we are.
[00:22:03] That's what God has done for us. We were his enemies. We have no claims on his love, but by his great love, he has made us children of God. And so we are.
[00:22:19] We should talk about God's love. We should proclaim God's love.
[00:22:24] We we need to meditate seriously on God's love. You want to spend some time just thinking about what God has done for you and showing love to you through his son, the Lord Jesus Christ. But it's not enough just to consider. The greatness of God's love you you can sit around and think about it.
[00:22:47] But God's love demands a response. It calls for a response. It's not some for us just to think about. It's something for us to respond to. And so let's look at what is really the only one right response. And it's found in First John for 19. Very simply, it says we love because he first loved us. So let's put that down for number to respond to God's great love. And I think you've got some verse numbers next to line number two. Do you have that on there? That's a scribal error. Just ignore that. It's but because we're looking at the response here is to love him. The response to his love is to love him. And and Peter puts it together like this. In First Peter, chapter one, verse eight.
[00:23:45] He says it like this, though, you have not seen him. You love him. And though you do not now see him, you believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory. So here he is. He's making the connection between loving him and believing in him.
[00:24:08] And he's equating those two things to love him is to believe in him. To believe in him is to love him. And so when you're talking to somebody and you can ask them, A, do you believe in Jesus Christ? They might say yes. Oh, yes. I believe that he's the son of God who died for our sins. And then the next question you could ask is, Will, do you love him?
[00:24:30] Because if you really believe in him, you will love him. You will love him. That you hear today, are are you just believing in him or do you love him? You love the Lord Jesus Christ loved the person. Not just believe the information about him, but you actually love him, the person, because that's the one right response to God's great love for us.
[00:24:55] And to help us understand that a little bit. I want to look at some examples from the New Testament. And so turn with me to mark Chapter 10, mark Chapter 10. And first, I guess a sub point a very well. Let's learn from biblical examples. And I want us to look at one and Mark, Chapter 10. It started in verse 17. This is the story, it's a familiar story. We refer to this guy as the rich young ruler and we know he's rich because that's the point of the story here. We know from other the other gospels, he was a young man, relatively young man, and he was a ruler, meaning he was a ruler in a synagogue. So for this man, a ruler in the synagogue, part of the religious leadership in Israel, for him to come running up to Jesus and say what he says. This is pretty remarkable, actually. So let's start in verse 17 there and says he was setting out on his journey. Jesus was setting out on his journey.
[00:25:59] A man ran up.
[00:26:01] And dealt before him and asked him, good teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life? If you just stop right there, you think, man, I wish people were doing this to me, saying, what must I do to inherit eternal life? I mean, what a setup, right? And this guy, he didn't just kind of casually walk up to Jesus. He ran up to him and he knelt down before him and asked him the question. And Jesus said to him, Why do you call me? Good. No one is good except God alone, which probably kind of threw this guy back a little bit. He doesn't really know who he's talking to. But then Jesus says, you know, the commandments do not murder, do not commit adultery, do not steal, do not bear false witness. Do not defraud. Honor your father and mother. And he said to him, teacher, all these I have kept from my youth and Jesus looking at him.
[00:27:03] What's it say? Loved him. Jesus loved him. And said to him, you lack one thing.
[00:27:13] Go sell all that you have and give to the poor and you will have treasure in heaven and come follow me.
[00:27:22] Now, that's a good deal. Get rid of all your stuff, which you can't take with you anyways. Get rid of all that stuff. I'll give you treasure in heaven. And you get to hang out with me for the rest of your life. That's a good deal. But this guy wasn't taken it. This is a man that Jesus loved and this is an offer that Jesus and his love is making to this man. Treasures in Heaven.
[00:27:52] But it says the verse 22, disheartened by the saying he went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions.
[00:28:02] First, 23 and Jesus looked around and said to his disciples how difficult it will be for those who have wealth to enter the kingdom of God. And the disciples were amazed at his words. And Jesus said to them again, children, how difficult it is to enter the kingdom of God. It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the kingdom of God. And they were exceedingly astonished and said to him, then, who can be saved? Jesus looked at them and said, With man, it is impossible.
[00:28:35] But not with God, for all things are possible with God. Which is good news for us.
[00:28:42] But here, this rich young ruler whom Jesus loved, whom Jesus offered eternal life, to whom Jesus offered treasures in heaven, to whom Jesus offered a relationship with him. This band would not do it. He would not respond to love in love to Jesus Christ. Why?
[00:29:02] Because he loved his stuff. He loved his possessions. He wasn't gonna let go of his possessions. I'll follow you. I'll go to heaven if I can hold on to my stuff.
[00:29:15] That's like a lot of people today. They they want to go to heaven, but they want everything that the world has to offer them. And so they're like sitting on a fence with one foot in the church and one foot in the world. And the reality is they can't enjoy either side because they know they should be all in with the church, but they can't because they have one foot in the world and that they can't really enjoy the world because they know that they really shouldn't.
[00:29:43] But that's where a lot of people hang out. That's where this guy was hanging out. He's a well-intentioned young man. Comes up to Jesus. He wants eternal life. He's a moral man. When Jesus says, here's the commandments and he says, I have been practicing those since I was young, he he's always well-intentioned and he's moral.
[00:30:04] But he won't love Jesus because he loved this stuff. He loved this stuff.
[00:30:11] And that's a constant warning that we see in the New Testament, for example, in John Chapter three. The chapter right after it says For God So Loved the World. It talks about why people don't respond in love to him. In verse 19, John, three 19. It says, and this is the judgment that the light has come into the world and people love the darkness rather than the light because their works were evil. God, in his love sent the light into the world, he sent the light of the world. He sent Jesus Christ, his own son, into the world. And people see in the light are making a decision. I don't want to go into the light because. Why?
[00:30:55] They love the darkness. Not going to love Jesus Christ. Because I'm going to love the darkness. I love my sin. There's some sin. I am not going to give up. And so I'm not going to come to the light. I'm going to love my sin, love my sin.
[00:31:14] And you see, this is the real question. The question is not. Do you want to go to heaven or hell when you die? And anybody that's thinking is going to say heaven. But the real question is, do you want heaven or this world?
[00:31:32] Do you want heaven or your sin?
[00:31:36] That's the real question in Matthew, Chapter six. It's part of the Sermon on the Mount. Matthew, chapter six, verse 24, Jesus said, no one can serve two masters for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God in money.
[00:32:02] Can't do it.
[00:32:07] Cannot serve God and money. That's the issue. What do you who are you going to love? What are you going to love?
[00:32:17] And see, Dennis Saffold recognized the issue for me was, what are you gonna love?
[00:32:21] You gonna love golf or you love God? What are you going to love? That's the real issue.
[00:32:28] In first John, chapter two, verse fifteen.
[00:32:34] John just said it straightforward like this. Do not love the world or do the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the father is not in him.
[00:32:49] So here's an example. Jesus encounters, this young man gets off to a great start. Seems like a Jesus love this man.
[00:33:00] But this man wouldn't love him. So it's a it's a failure of a meeting, because when it came right down to the issue, he would not love Christ. He loved his possessions more.
[00:33:15] And that's a common thing you can think of Judas. A Judas, one of Jesus's disciples. He was the treasurer, we're told, in the gospels. He was the treasurer for the group. He carried all the money and he used to help himself to that money. He was the him. It was all about the money. It was all about what he could get out of this thing. And he thought, Jesus is gonna be a king and I'm part of his cabinet. This is gonna be great. I'm loving this.
[00:33:41] But then he realized, oh, gee, Jesus actually gonna die. And there isn't gonna be any kingdom right now. This is not what I signed up for. I got to get something out of this. And so we went and sold Jesus for 30 pieces of silver.
[00:33:56] That's what he loved. He loved the 30 pieces of silver more than he loved Jesus.
[00:34:03] And so he sold them out. We're told and second, Timothy for 10 about a man named Demus, who is a part of the Apostle Paul's missionary team. I mean, not just everybody gets to be on that team, right? He's a part of Paul's missionary team, traveling around, planting churches, doing all that. And Demus at one point bails out. In fact, the second Timothy for Tenet says Demus has forsaken me. He's he's left me in the lurch.
[00:34:32] He he's he's hung me out to dry because he loved this president world. If for some people like Judas Demus, they'll go along for a while.
[00:34:46] But for some reason, maybe things get too hard or things aren't turning out the way they thought they were. They will bail out and go back to what it is they really love.
[00:34:57] And it's this world, this is the issue. What who are you going to love?
[00:35:02] In this example, it was a failure by that rich young ruler. Well, let's look at another example in Luke, Chapter seven.
[00:35:12] Luke, Chapter seven.
[00:35:17] And in this story, we encounter a Pharisee. The other guy was a rich young ruler, he ruled in a synagogue. We're not told too much more about him than that. But Pharisee, well, we know what a Pharisee was like. Pharisees were very religious. Pharisees were the Bible, the conservative Bible, believers of their day. They believed the Bible. They studied the Bible. They knew the Bible. And they were very serious about keeping what the Bible said. In fact, if a Pharisee walked in here, you might think that they're pretty good guy because he's serious about the Bible and he knows the Bible. Part of a Pharisee walked in here. My guess would be he would know the Old Testament better than anybody in the room. That's how serious they were. But let's look at what happens at the home of a Pharisee, and this account started in verse 36, Luke seven. Says one of the Pharisees asked him, ask Jesus to eat with him and he went into the Pharisees house and reclined at the table. And behold, a woman of the city who was a sinner when she learned that he was reclining at table.
[00:36:31] In the first, his house brought an alabaster flask of ointment and standing behind him at his feet, weeping. She began to wet his feet with her tears and wiped them with the hair of her head and kissed his feet and anointed them with the ointment. Now, when the Pharisee who had invited him saw this, he said to himself, If this man were a prophet, he would have known who and what sort of woman this is who was touching him for she is a sinner. And and here's one of these great lines in the Bible. This is Pharisee, who did he say this to himself and Jesus answering. Jesus knows what he's thinking. Jesus answering said to him, Simon, I have something to say to you. He answered, say a teacher, a certain moneylender had to debtors. One owed five hundred denarii and the other 50 when they could not pay. He canceled the debt of both. Now, which of them will love him more? Here's here's our our issue of the day. Who will love him more? Simon answered the one, I suppose, for whom he canceled the larger debt. And he said to him, You have judged rightly then turning toward the woman. He said to Simon, Do you see this woman? I entered your house. You gave me no water for my feet. But she is wet my feet with their tears and wiped them with their hair. You gave me no kiss, but from the time I came in, she has not ceased to kiss my feet. You did not anoint my head with oil. But she has anointed my feet with ointment. Therefore, I tell you her sins, which are many are forgiven for.
[00:38:08] She loved much, but he was forgiven. Little loves little. And he said to her, your sins are forgiven. Then those who were at table with him began to say among themselves, who is this? Who even forgives sins? And he said to the woman, Your faith has saved. You go in peace. There again, you see the connection between love and faith. In this woman. But let's think about this Pharisee here for just a minute. We're told in Luke 89 that the Pharisees trusted in themselves and looked down on others. Is that what this guy is doing? Exactly what this guy is doing, a trust in themselves. They trust in their goodness. They trust in their religious activity. They trust in their knowledge of the Bible. And they look down on people who aren't as good as them. And there's an awful lot of people in an awful lot of churches that are like these Ferris's. They think they're the good people. And the other people are the sinners.
[00:39:17] And they look down on them. They have no interest in evangelizing them. They look down on them. And that was a problem when I went to our church in Texas. Don't tell him that I'm telling you this, but when I when we first got there in 1995. People in the church there were acting like they had done us a great favor getting this out of California.
[00:39:45] And they would even say that you're glad to be out of California. And that's a war. Why? Why do you say that they go over that. That place that's that's under Satan's control, that sin trap there in California? And I said, well, have you ever been there? Oh, no. Why would we go to that demon infested place? And I say, OK, but see, that's the attitude, we're the good people. They're the sinners. And we don't even have any interest in go in there.
[00:40:18] Because they're are the sinners. We don't hang out with sinners. We're Ferris's. And proud of it.
[00:40:29] They trust in themselves. They don't see their need for forgiveness. You're one of the hardest things about being a missionary in Texas is everybody thinks they're a Christian. So you have to start off your evangelism by saying, no, you're really not a Christian. Let me tell you what a Christian is, which is that the easiest way to start your evangelism? They don't see their need for forgiveness. They see other people as the sinner, not themselves as the sinner. Are you a sinner? Because those are the people Jesus came to save. They don't see themselves as centers. They love the praise of men, they do their religious activities for the praise of men. Jesus rip them for that in Matthew 23, they love the the chief seats.
[00:41:21] You know, at the banquets, they love being called rabbi. They love being recognized for for who they are. And, you know, all of this religious stuff on the outside can't control the desires of their hearts.
[00:41:35] And so in Luke 16 14, Jesus says that the Pharisees were lovers of money. Lovers of money and in John 542, he says, I see that there's no love for God in you. Be very religious. You take the Bible super serious and have no love for God. So here in this meeting, this guy invites Jesus to his house. But it's evident that this guy has no love for Jesus. And he sees no need for forgiveness. Now, the contrast here is the woman who we don't know her name. She's just the sinner. And I think that that's good, because then now we can all relate to her. She's the sinner. And she demonstrates what it is to really love God. And so let's let's talk about that. Let her be there. You can put down know our practice, the biblical pattern of love. And we see it in this woman.
[00:42:37] You know what, you can say, I love God, but you don't get to express that love any which way you choose to do it. You love him according to the way he is laid out for us to respond in love. And the reality is, a lot of people, they can go to church and sing the songs really loud and think that they're showing love for God. But the reality is you can sing songs really loud and not love God at all. So look at what it looks like here. This woman just noticed some characteristics about this woman and how she shows love for God. She's humble when you say that. She's she's bowing down before Christ. She if she comes in and she learns that Jesus is there and even though it be tall, very awkward for her to show up at a Pharisees house, she goes anyways and she's there and she is at his feet.
[00:43:39] And she's wearing his feet with their tears and she's wiping his feet with her hair. She is just so overwhelmed that there is a savior that loved her and came to save her. And she is humbled by that reality. People who love the Lord demonstrated by being humble towards him. They are just so thankful, so overwhelmed. Oh, let me wash your feet with my tears.
[00:44:12] It's a it's a humble response. And and also, you can see it's a sacrificial response that she brings this alabaster flask of ointment.
[00:44:27] To anoint his feet with I mean, that wasn't cheap. And that that cost her a considerable amount of money. And when it says that she was a sinner, most likely that means she had been a prostitute. So this ointment was part of her business. And now she's given that all up to worship Jesus Christ and to express love to Jesus Christ. She's been forgiven much. And she knows it. And so she loves much, she's willing to sacrifice anything, she seems willing to deny herself and give it all up to show love to the Lord Jesus Christ, the one who saved her. That's what the rich young ruler would not do, that she's willing to give it all up to follow him. And you'll have to notice, too, that this love that that she has is expressive. I mean, she's in an awkward situation, very socially awkward situation. People are looking down on her. They're calling her a sinner. She knows she's a sinner is an awkward situation, but she doesn't care. Because her savior is there, she loves her savior and she's going to express that love when she heard he was at the house. She couldn't get there fast enough. She's expressing her. This is a sign of her true repentance. That she is she is now all in with Jesus Christ. And she's expressing that great love for him. And she's not holding back in any way, no matter what other people are thinking about her. Her expression of love for savior isn't restricted by what other people might think about her. This is what real love for the Lord looks like from a person who knows that they're the sinner that Jesus loved and gave his life for them. It's humble, it's sacrificial, it's expressive. And you got to notice, too, that it's all about Jesus Christ. It's focused on a person. And that person is the Lord Jesus Christ. He's got all of her attention. She's focused on this person.
[00:46:51] It's not just information for her. There's been a transformation and that transformation was brought about by the love of this person, Jesus Christ. And so she is expressing her love to him, the person.
[00:47:07] It's very personal, this expression of love.
[00:47:12] And so we can talk about the greatness of God's love. The magnitude of God's love and and what he does. But we have to respond appropriately. We can marvel at the demonstration of his love. We can marvel at the magnitude of God's love. But the question we have to ask ourselves as well. Am I responding appropriately?
[00:47:33] He loves me. Do I love him? That's the that's the question.
[00:47:39] And like I said at the beginning, I am a Christian because God loves. And I can say that over 45 years, he has never disappointed me.
[00:47:55] I've disappointed him. I've given him reasons to not love me. But he still loves me. He loves me with a permanent, everlasting love. And I love him more today than ever.
[00:48:13] If we right. Yeah, understand God's love. We will respond with true love for him. And we need to talk about God's love because talking about God's love promotes love for him.
[00:48:28] And that honors and glorifies him. And that is the greatest commandment to love the Lord with all your heart, soul, mind and strength. That's what we want to promote. That's what we want to see, because love is the same as believing. We want people to love God. They need to. We need to make sure that they really understand what God's love is. God's love is amazing. God's love saves sinners a man and man.
[00:48:57] You can hurt and holler now that. That is the good news.
[00:49:03] Let's pray together. While we are so thankful that we have a savior who loves us and gave himself up for us, we know that this is more than just a nice message that we can feel good about. This is a message that calls for a response, that calls for an examination regarding our own response to the savior and our love for him. And so, Lord, we give you great thanks today for your great love for us.
[00:49:31] And that's sending. Of your son to save sinners like us. Lord, we pray that your name will be honored and glorified as we proclaim your love throughout this world. We give you thanks to Jesus name, Aymen.
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