The Baptist Bible Hour now comes to you under the direction of Elder LeSaire Bridley, Jr. O for a thousand tongues to sing, my great Redeemer's praise!
The praise of my God and King, the triumphs of his grace! This is LeSaire Bridley, Jr. inviting you to stay tuned for another message of God's sovereign grace. If the broadcast is a blessing to you, we'd appreciate it if you'll take time to write and let us know. This being the fifth Sunday of the month, as a reminder that during these months was five Sundays, our obligations are greater than at other times.
So if you can help us with the expense, we'll greatly appreciate it. Our address is Baptist Bible Hour, Box 17037, Cincinnati, Ohio 45217. We also encourage you to visit our website at BaptistBibleHour.org. The message today, The Wonders of God's Love, was used not long ago on our daily broadcast, but it's a theme that I feel is of such importance that I wanted to use it again today.
I pray it'll be a blessing to you. The love of God is a marvelous theme. It permeates the entire Bible. We come this morning to 1 John chapter 3 in the first verse in our studies in this epistle. Our subject, The Wonders of God's Love. Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us that we should be called the sons of God.
Therefore, the world knoweth us not because it knew Him not. What manner of love? Literally, the translation is, from what country or of what sort is this love? Another way of saying it would be, what out-of-the-world kind of love is this? Where did this kind of love come from?
This is something so unique and so special. This is a superior love, a love beyond anything that could possibly be imagined. So let's think just a bit about the qualities of this love. First of all, it is unmerited love. It's not something that you can work for.
It's not something that you deserve. It is unmerited love. Jacob said in Genesis chapter 32 and verse 10, when he was going to meet Esau upon his return, he said, I am not worthy of the least of his mercies. We stand amazed when we consider the great love that God had for Jacob.
You read about this man and see that he had a number of characteristics that would not have drawn you to him. He was rather selfish and self-centered in many ways, but God loved him. And Jacob recognized he was not worthy of that love, not worthy of the least of his mercies. Look at the book of Romans chapter 5. When we see something of the natural state of man apart from the love and grace of God, we are further amazed at his love. Romans chapter 5 verse 6 says, For when we were yet without strength in due time, Christ died for the ungodly. For scarcely for a righteous man will one die, yet pray adventure for a good man some would even dare to die.
But God commendeth his love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Think about the possibility of being asked to give your life for another person. Now surely every husband here would say, if somebody was ready to take the life of my wife, I would be ready to die for her. It's one thing to talk about laying down your life for a family member or for a dear friend, but can you conceive of the idea of giving your life for an enemy? Someone who has opposed you. Someone who has done everything in their power to harm you.
Someone who has spoken against you and slandered you. Think about dying for them, and yet Christ died for the ungodly. You see, scarcely for a righteous man will one die.
That's unique enough. For a good man some would dare to die. But the amazing thing about the love of God is that God commendeth his love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Didn't die for the gracious, the good, the kind, the loving, the deserving, the worthy.
He died for sinners. Unmerited love. It's an everlasting love. How sad in the culture in which we live today that many will stand at the front of the church and pledge their love to one another for a lifetime. After a short while when differences and difficulties arise, one or both parties will say, don't love you anymore.
Ready to part company and go in another direction. How sad where there have been friendships and love has been expressed and that love dies and it's not there anymore. But not so with the kind of love we read about in our text. This is everlasting love. Jeremiah chapter 31 and verse 3. The Lord hath appeared of old unto me saying, Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting love. Therefore with loving kindness have I drawn thee. This love that God has for his people has always been. It's an everlasting love. God loved his people from all ages past.
He continues to love them. If you have a clear sight of yourself, you look at your own fallen nature, you look at your past and maybe grieve over many discrepancies, many failures. Say, how could God love me? How could it be?
Why? Why would God love me? Why would God give his son to die for me? And yet he continues to love. He doesn't love you just for a little while. Doesn't love you just when you're on your best behavior.
He continues to love you. Doesn't mean that we should try to excuse our sins and not be grieved by our failures and our seasons of neglect. But is it not reassuring and comforting to know that in spite of those times God continues to love us? Some people seem to think they have to work diligently to attract the favor of God and to get him to love them.
They are constantly in bondage. They feel like they've never done enough and certainly they can't do enough to buy his love because the love cannot be bought. But God loves according to his free and sovereign grace. It's an everlasting love. It's a tender love. Psalm 103 in the 13th verse says, Like as a father pitieth his children, so the Lord pitieth them that fear him.
That's comforting, isn't it? A father pitieth his children. Oh, a father, to be the right kind of disciplinarian, is going to be firm, is going to expect that his children will obey.
Just as the Lord chastens those who disobey him, the father is going to chasten his children. But a father that loves his children as he ought, pities them. And when they have struggled and when they have failed, the love is still strong. Still has great compassion on them. It's good to know that our heavenly Father pities us.
Even in the times that we fail and come short. It is a tender love. It is a proven love. God doesn't just talk about loving us. He proves it. Sometimes parents may say to their children, I love you.
But there's not much compassion, there's not much tenderness, there's not much display of that love. God has proven that he loves us. 1 John 4 verse 9 says, In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him. So God didn't just say, I love you.
He proved it. Proved it by giving his Son, Jesus Christ, to die for us. Now the text tells us, with regard to the benefits of this love, that we are now called the sons of God. And it's not just a title, it's not just that we are called the sons, but the next verse says, Beloved, now are we the sons of God.
It's a reality. We who were aliens by nature, we who were subject to the prince of the power of the air, are now children of God. Ephesians chapter 2 verse 1, And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and in sins, wherein time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience, among whom also we had our conversation in times past, in the lust of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others. That's where we were, subject to the prince of the power of the air, going our own way, going farther and farther from God, would never of our own will have come to him.
What brought about the great change? Verse 4, But God, but God, not man, not your own free will, but God's free grace, but God, who is rich in mercy for his great love. It's great love, not just a little love, not just love for a time, it's everlasting love, it's great love, wherewith he loved us, even when we were dead in sin, doth quicken us together with Christ, by grace ye are saved. You who were subject to the prince of the power of the air, now are children of God, the sons of God.
Do you really get much time to ponder how remarkable that is? That you're taken into his family? That he is your father and he's willing to call you his son, his child? I feel confident that if we gave more thought to this truth, that some of the days of our fretting and complaint would not be so intense.
We'd find much more reason for giving thanks than we have for talking about all of the things that so easily disturb us. Romans chapter 5 verse 10 says, If when we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his son, much more being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life. It wasn't just that you were going in the wrong direction, it wasn't just that you were failing to do what you should have done, you were an enemy, an enemy of God, opposed to him. But now, though you were by nature an enemy, you're called a child. He's taken you into the family.
He says, you belong to me, you're mine. These who are now called children of God were sinners. But he delights to lift up the beggar from the dung hill to inherit a throne of glory. Not just to forgive them, not just to pardon them, but to make them fully a part of his family, an heir and a joint heir with Jesus Christ. The apostle tells us in the book of 1 Timothy chapter 1 verse 15, This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptation that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners of whom I am chief. By nature, we're all sinners. Yet, he came to save sinners. You read the many accounts of the New Testament. It was the sinners and publicans that came out to hear him. Jesus speaks words of forgiveness to that fallen woman who washes his feet. Jesus speaks words of forgiveness to that woman that met him at Jacob's well.
Jesus speaks words of forgiveness to the publicans who were such despicable characters. Aren't you glad to know that the gospel is for sinners? I often pray, Lord, spare me from preaching to self-righteous Pharisees because I know they'll have no interest in this gospel. But if I can preach to people who have been shown their sin, people whose hearts are broken and their spirits are contrite, they will delight to know that salvation is by grace and that there is no other way but in Jesus Christ, the Savior of sinners.
This is the faithful saying. He came to save sinners. You are a son of God and you're called son by the triune Godhead. God says, I will be their God.
They shall be My people. We just read in Psalm 103 that the Father pities His children. The Father in heaven is willing to call you His son. The Son is willing to recognize you as a member of the family. He's the firstborn among many brethren. And in Hebrews chapter 2, when at last He stands in the presence of the Father, He will say, Hebrews 2 verse 10, for it became Him for whom are all things and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons unto glory to make the captain of their salvation perfect through suffering. He's bringing sons unto glory. These are sons by election, sons that were chosen by the Father, sons that were given to Jesus Christ that He might redeem them, purchase them at the cross which He did. Verse 13, and again verse 12, saying, I will declare Thy name unto My brethren in the midst of the church while I sing praise unto Thee.
And again, I will put My trust in Him. And again, behold, I am the children which Thou hast given Me. And so the Father recognizes you as His son. Jesus Christ refers to you as the sons, the sons of God that were given to Him that He redeemed and purchased. And furthermore, the Holy Spirit in Romans chapter 8 testifies to this same truth. The sovereign God, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit acknowledging you in your relationship as a son. Romans 8 verse 16, the Spirit itself bears witness with our spirit that we are what?
The children of God. And if children then heirs, heirs of God, and joyed heirs with Christ, so be that we suffer with Him, we shall also be glorified together. You're called a son. And then you're cared for by your Father. Your Heavenly Father cares for you. I've talked to people through the years who have carried a heavy burden and suffered deep grief because their father deserted them early in their life. Their father had not filled his rightful role, did not demonstrate love, did not care for them. But you know, David said in Psalm 27, When my mother and father forsake me, then the Lord will take me up.
There's not one member of this family that can point to the Father in heaven and say, He has forgotten me. Hopefully you can see the great attraction of this love. Behold, behold, what great love, what amazing love, what wondrous love. That term behold is used frequently in scriptures to call attention to something that is very special and unique. Isaiah 7 and the 14th verse says, Behold, a virgin shall conceive and bring forth a son. So long before Jesus came, the prophetic reference was a virgin.
Not just a young woman, but a virgin shall conceive, bring forth a son. Behold, give attention to this. This is something special. This is something outstanding.
The very use of the term is special. Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us. We're here called upon then to direct our thoughts to this love. That we might be filled with wonder as we consider it.
That we might be stirred, stirred with thanksgiving and praise to God for His love. We surely enjoy singing hymns about the love of God. Some beautiful, beautiful hymns that say so many marvelous things about His love. We turn to the scriptures and read about His love. But even here we come to understand that His love is so deep and so broad that the expanse of it cannot be visualized.
No words can adequately describe it. But how often do we go on through life giving little thought to it at all? Behold, what manner of love, this out of the world kind of love, this love that's unexpected, this love that you just can't totally explain it or grasp it and yet you ought to be meditating on it and thinking about it. To be astonished that He loves. Why should God love anyway? When you see that the whole human race is full of sin. That man by nature is a rebel. Violating the law of God. Resisting everything that is presented to Him as to how He should conduct His life. Certainly miserably failing when it comes to the standard of the law to love the Lord our God with all our mind, heart, soul and strength and our neighbor as ourself. So to think that God loves is a wondrous consideration. But then think of it further. Do you believe He loves you?
Why should God love you? Think of the teeming multitudes of people that have lived on this earth since the day of creation. Many different nationalities, many different tribes, many different languages. Some that we may know little or absolutely nothing about. Think of the teeming multitudes on this earth today.
People in distant parts of the world where the population is much more dense than it is where we are. And we're talking about worshipping a God who is mindful of every one of those individuals. Knows all about them.
Knows the details of their life. That's beyond our ability to comprehend when you think of that. And then out of all those multitudes that God has thought about you and loved you before you were ever born. And inscribed your name on the palms of His hands. God is a spirit.
They that worship Him must worship Him in spirit and in truth. But in order to put things in terms that we can grasp it, it speaks of His hands. He didn't have to write your name on the palm of His hand to keep from forgetting it.
But it's a way that He can express it so that we can say, if my name is on the palm of His hand, He's certainly not going to forget me. Have there been some times in your life that you thought He had forgotten? You were having some difficult times. You were begging for His help and it seemed like it was slow in coming. You asked Him to change some circumstances and He didn't see fit to change it. You felt empty and cold and barren in yourself and you said, Where is the Lord?
Does He really love me? And then there may have been times when you basically forgot about Him. You didn't consult Him. You didn't pray for His direction. You made some decisions that brought pain and heartache, but it wasn't because you had prayed and sought Him. You just basically did your own thing.
You forgot about Him. To think that He would still love you, still care for you. You see, there is time for self-examination. There's time that we need to pray, help me to search me, try me, make me to know what's within me. Help me to see my own hypocrisy. Help me to see my faults.
I'm sometimes blind to them. There's time for searching. There's time to be confronted.
There's time to be warned. There's time to be rebuked. There's time for deep remorse.
There's time for repentance. But when we come to this text, there's time to look away from yourself, time to forget about the past, time to forget about your failings, time to forget about your troubles, and behold, this great love of God. This amazing love. To think about being the object of God's love. It means a lot to be loved by your wife, or your husband, or your children, or your friends, and your brothers and sisters in the church. That means a lot.
You know, I'm not all alone in this world. There are people that love me. But oh, how far beyond is it that God loves you. Behold, what manner of love the Father has bestowed upon us.
It's not just love written about, talked about. It's love bestowed. He has adopted you. He's taken you into His family, and He's regenerated you so that you now have the nature of your Father.
Oh yeah, the old nature is still there and it gives you a lot of trouble. But the evidence that you're His is that you have a new nature. And now you want to please your Heavenly Father. You don't want to dishonor His name. You're not trying to buy His love. You're not trying to earn it.
You know that's an impossibility. But you do want to show your appreciation for His love. You want to put Him first.
You want to seek Him as you should do on a daily basis. You want to pray for His direction in every decision. You want to see that wherever you go, whatever you do, whatever you say, how you use your time and your resources, it's to His praise, because you're the object of His love. The verse goes on to tell us what's yet in store.
Not only are we called the sons of God, but someday we shall see Him as He is and we'll talk more about that next time. Oh, what wondrous love. Now, this isn't something future.
This is right now. If you are a believer in Jesus Christ, you are the object of His love. You didn't believe in order to become the object of His love. We love Him because He first loved us. It was His love that moved upon you, that called you, that drew you, that brought you to Himself. But people often will ask, well, all of these things sound wonderful. This salvation is a great salvation. This love is a great love. How could I feel that I'm a part of it?
He says the one that believes on Jesus Christ has everlasting life. Is that your experience? You say, I'm not worthy. You know that. I stand amazed that He would love me. You ought to. You ought to be amazed. It's amazing grace how sweet the sound. If God has touched your heart, convicted you of your sin, brought you to the end of yourself, brought you to see there is no Savior but Jesus Christ. You're resting in Him. You're delighting in the love of God. But you've never confessed to Him.
You've never followed Him in baptism. May you come forward this morning to say, I want to be identified with Jesus Christ. I praise Him for His wonderful love and the fact that Jesus Christ went to the cross to redeem me, even while I was an enemy, that God displayed His love in giving His Son for me.
I trust Him. I want to serve Him. Will you do so? Come forward to confess Him as we stand to sing. The love of God is greater far Than time or pen can ever tell It goes beyond the highest star And reaches to the lowest hell Surely the subject of God's love is one that we are unable to completely fathom. But what we do know about it brings great joy and comfort to our hearts. Let us rejoice in God's love, mercy, and grace.
And I hope that you will take time to write and let us know you've listened today. Till next week at this same time, may the Lord richly bless you all. O love of God, how rich and pure How measureless and strong It shall forevermore endure The saints' and angels' song Could we with ink the ocean fill And where the skies are bright The Baptist Bible Hour has come to you under the direction of Elder LeSaire Brightly Jr. Address all mail to the Baptist Bible Hour, Cincinnati, Ohio 45217. That's the Baptist Bible Hour, Cincinnati, Ohio 45217. To ride the love of God above Would drain the ocean dry Nor could the scroll contain the whole Though stretched from sky to sky O love of God, how rich and pure How measureless and strong
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-01-29 02:20:47 / 2023-01-29 02:30:50 / 10