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September 15, 2020 4:00 am
When we become his children by faith in Jesus Christ. What kind of love. Do we then enjoy. It never fades.
It never wavers it never wanes. It never goes cold and it never changed. God loves us with an everlasting love to spend tremendous amounts of their time and energy trying to find it. What my talking about love. The Bible also says a lot about love. In fact, it says the way you love shows the world that you're a Christian, but what is the difference and is there a difference between biblical love and what the world calls love John MacArthur answers that question today on grace to you as he looks at God's incredible love for you. How he expects you to love others and how that love produces joy in your life. Our current study is titled the love of God and with the lesson here is John. John 316 says God so loves the world, and we looked at how God loves the world, the love of God in the world is manifest in in his common grace as theologians call or his general goodness skies are blue and the grass is green and the flowers grow in the garden of even the unregenerate people and music comforts our hearts and gives wings to the expressions of our emotions and we can enjoy a little child.
We can enjoy the fruits of love and labor and all that is common grace common to all people in his manifestation of God's love. And then God manifest his love in an unlimited way to the whole world in terms of his compassion. He pities and we showed in Scripture how God has compassion, even to the point where Jesus wept as he looked at the plight of people we saw the compassion of God.
Also in the healing ministry of Jesus as he touched them in the time of their great need in God's love to the whole world is seen in warnings all the Bible God warns about sin and its effect and its consequence and eternal judgment.
We see God's unlimited love to the world and the gospel as it is to be spread to the whole world, and people are to be told that if they'll come to Christ. Their sins can be forgiven and they can have the hope of eternal life in heaven forever. That's all God's unlimited love. Now when we become his children by faith in Jesus Christ. What kind of love. Do we then enjoy.
Let's not talk about his his love that is unlimited and extent of the world. Let's talk about his love that is limited in degree to the world because the full degree of his love belongs to believers. Let's talk about the love he has toward us. It never fades.
It never wavers it never wanes. It never grows cold and it never changes. God loves us with an everlasting love in your back to the ice tell us again. Jesus, having loved his own who were in the world love them to the eternity.
It is a love that will never die, never grow cold.
Never diminish never fade. Love from which we can never be separated.
Nothing can separate us nothing, not death. Life not anything angelic, not anything in the present, not anything in the future.
No thing that's created and everything was created except God himself.
Nothing in existence can separate us from that love loves the world with a temporal love loves the world with a love of compassion, love of goodness, loves him enough to warn them, but that love is bound by time and when time ends for them. So does that love and they enter into hell, judgment but his own, who believe in Jesus Christ and of come to him in repentance, faith. He loves them with an everlasting love that cannot ever be broken.
Look at Ephesians chapter 2 and let's see another passage that defines for us the character of this love these in chapter 2 some more reminders that I know you're familiar with verse four and here Paul uses the same term.
The John does his great love with which he loved us. Everything starts out of God's love, this great love with which he loved us, and then he goes on to define this love. He loved us so much that even when we were dead in our transgressions, there again is that emphasis on having loved us when we were not worthy.
He made us alive together with Christ by grace you have been saved.
He loved us first of all, he loved us in our transgression out of that love. He sovereignly made us alive together with Christ, that is, he placed us in Christ by our faith in Christ.
We were placed on the cross. Spiritually, we died with Christ, we rose to walk in newness of life so that he literally dealt with our sins and gave us new life through grace. Verse six. He then raised us up with him. We came out of the grave with Christ, we are now seated with him in the heavenly's in Christ Jesus words that mean that our real home is in heaven that are real life is in a spiritual dimension that is beyond this world. That's what he did for us. He loved us so much that even when we were dead in our transgressions, he made us alive with Christ through grace, he raised us up out of the grave to walk in newness of life. He seated us permanently in the heavenly's that's now our home. That's our abode that's where our life is widely do this. Why would you save dead sinners. Why verse seven gives you the reason for all of in order and that's a purpose clause for the purpose that in the ages to come. That's through all eternity. He might show the surpassing riches of his grace. How's he going to show the surpassing riches of his grace toward us in the kindness what does that mean that means God saved us when we were dead in our sins so that he might be able forever to show us his kindness and astounding you say we don't deserve his kindness. That's the whole point is why you get so much glory from showing kindness to us forever and ever will not only thank him for his kindness, but will thank him for his kindness because we know we never deserved, but that's the point. He loved us so much that he wanted to show kindness to us forever.
You say what is heaven what is heaven heaven is where God will show us kindness out of the surpassing riches of his grace forever. You say you mean were going to go to heaven and God is going to spend forever being kind to us. That's right. Now that is a love that transcends is a love that gives life. It is a love that promises eternal glory.
It is a love that pledges eternal kindness, the eternity of heaven is God being kind to us trying to us forever and ever and ever and you see people sometimes it about happening although I know my be boring up there and remember that God has an infinite mind and God is an infinite number of ways in which he can demonstrate his kindness and so eternally. We will just have exploding on us. One experience of God's unsurpassed kindness after another note, two of which would ever be the same. That's how much he loves while we were yet sinners look at Ephesians chapter 5 and learn another area of this love, and that is its purifying aspect. First, it is a lavish love. Secondly, it is in unbreakable love. Third, it is a love that shows eternal kindness and here it is purifying love. It says in verse 25 Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her.
Why, in order that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word that he might present to himself the church in all her glory, having no spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and blameless. So now we find another purpose.
Not only is it is you want us to experience kindness forever, but he wants us to experience eternal holiness. Christ loved the church enough to die for the church in order to sanctify, that is to separate the church from sin.
The cleansed the church by the word, to bring the church into heaven in all her glory, without spot without wrinkle, but holy and blameless. Now the amazing reality of that is there's only one being in the universe. It's holy and blameless was that God he loved us enough to make us exactly like him. Why John says will be like him.
When we see him as he is.
It's an incredible thing God loves us enough to separate us from sin, to cleanse us to purify us to bring us in the glory, without spot, without wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. I mean the transformation is incredible from being dead in trespasses and sins, to being alive in holiness and perfection and all of the do to nothing of our own. No worthiness in ourselves no desirability in ourselves.
No achievement in and of ourselves. Nothing. God's free grace. What love. No wonder. No wonder John said what great love the Father has bestowed on us that we should be called the children of God.
It is a love that lavishes it is a love that is unbreakable.
It is a love that will demonstrate itself and eternal kindness. It is a love that will demonstrate itself in eternal holiness book of Hebrews chapter 12 Hebrews chapter 12. This too is an important aspect of his love. God always wants the best for his children and he knows that the path of the best is always the path of obedience did you get that God knows but the path of the best is the path of obedience knows like a parent.
Parents as well. I really love my child.
I really love my child and doesn't discipline the child. I question the love because if you don't discipline your child you're really programming a child for the worst love doesn't seek the worst love. Six. What the best and so love learns to discipline because discipline becomes then protection in the guarantee of blessing God says I love you too much not to discipline which said that his parents have bend over. This is because I love you and you get a quizzical look from the kid is so sure. But in the end it is and they learn but God loves us enough to discipline us, why to push us back into the path of blessing chapter 6 of chapter 12 verse six for those whom the Lord loves he what he chastens. He disciplines, and he scourges every son whom he receives is for discipline that you endure. God deals with you as with sons for what son is there whom his father doesn't discipline. If you are without discipline, of which all have become partakers, then your illegitimate children and not sons if you're not being disciplined by God. You don't belong to him because if you belong to him. He'll discipline you because he loves you so much.
We have furthermore verse nine earthly fathers to discipline us.
We respected them, shall we not much rather be subject to the father's spirits and live our earthly fathers disciplined us for a short time as seemed best to them, but he disciplines us for our good. Here it is again, that we may share his holiness, not in eternity that's already going to happen, but in time all discipline for the moment seems not to be joyful, but sorrowful, yet, to those who have been trained by it, it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness. God loves you enough to discipline you is a love that corrects it is a love that rebukes is a love that reproves it is a love that chastens is a love the trains.
It is a love that disciplines toward righteousness toward godliness. This is the saving justifying sanctifying glorifying the love that God has for his own and only for his own. Those who believe and how great alone great enough said Paul to the Thessalonians to give us eternal comfort and good hope. Let me take you to one other passage that may sort of finalize your thinking with regard to the greatness of this love. Ephesians 3 verse 17 and a look at this three verses here with you. Ephesians 317 to 19. Now Paul is praying here for the Ephesians and of course for all believers and these praying in verse 17 that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith that is more than a prayer for salvation.
Obviously, it encompasses that the word dwell cut Troy O is a word that means said it, it has the word home and to settle down combined it means to settle down and be at home when Christ settles down and is at home in your heart.
Or put another way, when Christ has unrestricted access to every area of your life when Christ is in control is not just that you're a believer it's that Christ has settled down is not having to be at fixing things, you know, when you're committed and devoted to Christ, and he has unrestricted access to your life, then Paul says you are being rooted and grounded in love, in other words, you will be solidly firmly fixed in the love of God when your life is fully yielded to Christ when every area of your life is yielded to him and he has that unrestricted access to every part of your life you will be solidly fixed in the love of God, you will experience that love. That's what Paul meant in Romans 55 when he says the love of Christ to shed abroad in your heart is what you admitted you. 21 when he said keep yourselves in the love of God what he mean stay in the position of devotion, dedication and obedience in which you will be rooted and grounded in love, if you want to experience the fullness of God's love and let Christ have unrestricted access to every area of your life. Keep yourself in the love of God, it doesn't mean keep yourself saved the means keep yourself obedient and devoted to Christ so that you're feeling the full benefits of God's great love and when you do that.
Verse 18 says you will be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and you will be able to know the love of Christ which surpasses what knowledge the point is the love they were talking about here is unknowable.
It's unknowable by human reason. It's unknowable the human mind cannot know it.
The unregenerate can't know it is in comprehensible. It surpasses knowledge, but you can know what he says you can know the love of Christ which no one else knows, you can comprehend it in its breadth and its length and its height and its depth. When you are rooted and grounded in it and that happens when Christ is unrestricted access to every area of your life. When Christ fills your life. You go back to John 14 then the love of God will fill your life with Christ as every part of your life, then the love of God fills your life and then you will comprehended. The point is you can only comprehended when you've experienced. Reminds me of Louis Armstrong, the great jazz trumpeter, who was once asked to explain jazz in his classic answer was man if I got to explain it. You ain't got it how we understand that love is a little like that. If I have to explain it you and got it.
But the love of God shed abroad in our hearts through Jesus Christ by faith in him. If five Gotto explain it to you than you are not experiencing.
But if Christ has unrestricted access to every part of your life you will be rooted and grounded in love, and you will comprehend with the saints, with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and you will know the love of Christ which otherwise is absolutely incomprehensible and unknowable some old St. looked at that verse 18 where you have the love of God cubed you see it there, it's just the love of God cubed me just to show that the vastness of it. How long is long. How wide is wide. How high is high and how deep his deep 01 old St. took the cross and said the cross is the symbol the upper arm points to the height the lower arm points to the depth in this to the cross piece to the breadth and length and their endless. How broad is God's love. It's to all who believe. How long is his love. It's from eternity past to eternity future.
How high is his love high enough to enthrone us in the heaven of heavens how deep this is love deep enough to reach to the deepest pit of sin and rescue us. There is the sum of it all. It's a love that is broad and long and high and deep and this is God's love that leads to verse 20 and you can't really look at the section without verse 20 verse 20 says now to him who is able to do exceeding abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us, to him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever.
Amen. What is that that is a what a doxology is what is causing Paul to burst into a doxology. What is what is causing it is because he is just comprehended as much as is humanly possible.
The love of God in Christ any bursts out into praise God loving sinners so much that he makes them his own forgives them all their sins pours out kindness for all eternity makes them as holy and blameless and perfect as he himself is by granting to them his own righteousness in Christ. That's his love in my prayer for you is the prayer of second Thessalonians 35.
Listen to what Paul wrote.
May the Lord direct your hearts in to the love of God and into the steadfastness of Christ. May the Lord direct your hearts into the love of God and into the steadfastness of Christ. Have you noticed how love in this world is fickle. People talk about love, but always it fickle.
Were not talking about that, live questioning whether even his love is a lovely him written by George Matheson called a love that will not let me go, said story behind at him, George Matheson, the writer was to marry the love of his life when he announced to her that he felt God's call to missionary service.
She said I want to be a missionary left in refusing to marry all alone. He wrote these words, a love that will not let me go. I rest my weary soul in the I give the back of the life I/O that in nine ocean depths its flow may richer and fuller. Be God loves you this much.
Can you say with Matheson. I give the back of the life I/O to such love that in nine ocean depths its flow may richer, fuller, be that's the question. Father, we thank you for the reminder again of your love to us, and we just touch so lightly on this great truth and yet to just touch its surface is so enriching, so thrilling and were so grateful you love us with a love beyond our comprehension and it'll take all eternity. And even that will not exhaust its expression. Thank you that while we were yet sinners he loved us enough to send your son to die for us.
We pray for those who may not know Christ. Those who have no knowledge of this love, who are loved in a temporal and temporary sense, but will feel the wrath of your judgment.
Someday if they don't come to Christ father may you draw them to yourself. May you draw them to Christ. Like the prodigal, may they see their sinful condition and come to you believing in Jesus Christ is the one who died and rose again for them that they might have life. For those of us were Christians. May we keep ourselves in the love of God, as Jude said, may we be so devoted to Christ that he has complete access to every area of our lives so that we might comprehend the greatness of this love and bask in its glories, and maybe even today. Lord realized that when we love you as we should. We will love one another. We know that that's that's the fruit of this.
That's the result of this because God loves us. John says we ought to love one another but it all starts with you loving us. May this be a day in which we express our gratitude for such our saviors. This is grace to you with John MacArthur. Thanks for being with us. John is a pastor, author and Chancellor of the Masters University in seminary today.
He continued his current study on the love of God will turning our thoughts from the love of God to the love demonstrated by God's people. John, you spent five decades pastoring a church and encouraging your people to love and serve one another and I know there been challenges along the way so so what have you found to be particularly helpful for fostering biblical love among the congregation. Looking at the church over half a century.
I can tell you the most manifest characteristic of people who have been half a century, under the word of God is not the sound doctrine.
It's love is love from a pure heart.
The goal of our ministry.
The apostle said, this is love from a pure heart. That's what you're after. You would assume I suppose if you didn't know Grace Church and you came for the first time that 50 years of teaching the Bible. These people would be like a lot of little theologians running around spouting Bible verses and been able to explain every doctrine. The truth of the matter is they can explain the Bible they can explain doctrine.
But the first thing you would run into if you came to Grace Church and then you can validate this by just coming your messy people who love and they love the Lord and they love each other. That is the mark not only of obedience but it's the mark of sanctification.
You can be obedient as a young believer, you can be obedient the first day are Christian you can be obedient the first year two years three years.
If you been a believer for 10, 20, 30 years.
Your obedience is more consistent, because you're more sanctified and the more consistent obedience is a manifestation of the work of the spirit and sanctifying you and inevitably it shows up in how much you love real sanctification so it should be true, and I've seen it. True half a century of teaching the word of God produces people who know the truth but who love the God of the truth, and the love of God is manifest from their hearts to all the people around them so that the mark of the goal of ministry is love from a pure heart.
It isn't even to satisfy, and this needs to be said. Were not trying to make people happy with themselves like mega-churches today we want to make you feel good about yourself, know that is not the goal of sanctification that is not the goal of ministry. The goal of ministry is for you to lose your life in loving someone else while. And of course friend to truly minister God's love to others requires that you understand God's word and that you are obeying the word and that you are equipped to communicate the truth of Scripture accurately for excellent help and that, let me recommend you pick up a copy of the MacArthur study Bible.
Order yours today.
You can order by calling toll-free 855 grace or by visiting our website, TTY.org, with about 150 maps and charts and timelines and in particular 25,000 notes written by John. The study Bible explains virtually every passage of Scripture. It's a great gift for any student of God's word. You can order yours in the new American Standard English standard or new King James version of Scripture again to purchase the MacArthur study Bible library of Bible study tools in one volume call 855 grace or visit TTY.org and for even more ways to study God's word and take in biblical truth had to TTY.org. There you can download John's entire sermon archive for free. That's 3500 messages from over five decades of ministry. You can also supplement your daily Bible reading with three different devotionals where you can find helpful articles on the grace to you blog the sermons devotionals in the blog all of that and much more are email@example.com now for John MacArthur on Phil Johnson encouraging you to be here tomorrow when John continues his study, the love of God, with another 30 minutes of unleashing God's truth one verse at a time bomb grace to