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January 12, 2022 7:00 am
We don't measure the love of God by our circumstances, we go back to the cross.
We say this is love. This cross is the perfect manifestation of the highest form of love that there has ever been in there ever will be.
This is the truth with John Green, founding pastor of truth Community Church in Cincinnati, Ohio hello again I'm building right today.
Don brings us part one of a two-part message called God so loved looking at how the father gave mankind the gift of his love through his one and only beloved son's sin, bearing sacrifice on Calvary, resulting in eternal life for all those who believe so. Turning your Bible to chapter 3 verse 16 of the gospel of John will get stuck here is done in the truth. I want to remind you that the ultimate gift was rooted in the love of God. God gets a bad name from centers.
They have a way of imputing ill motives to him. They have a way of refusing to honor him. They have a way and even Christians fall into this. They have a way of thinking that he is that he is a stingy, unwilling, difficult to please God and none of that is true, and none of that is accurate and it's necessary for us to to remind ourselves and to take the opportunity through a three fresh look at a familiar verse to dispel such unworthy thoughts from our mind and remember the point of gospel preaching like I invite you to turn to the gospel of John chapter 3 verse 16 with me.
This is really just kind of by way of an unrelated introduction to the message that I have the with the opportunity with so many welcome guests with us here today because you've come to see your children. I just want to your children or grandchildren saying I welcome that.
I'm glad that you're here, but I just want to stay plainly and clearly just some aspects from this familiar verse from John 316 for God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life, my friends, it's important for you to realize and to see three little aspects of this verse I say little in a profoundly ridiculous understatement of the majesty of what we see in this verse we see the love of God stated you see the gift of God displayed and you see the promise of God set forth in a way that has ramifications for every man woman and child who has ever lived who is now living and who will ever live until the return of Christ. Notice the disposition of God toward the world the disposition of God toward sinners just like you. It says that God so so loved the world, God is a God who is favorably disposed toward sinners, and who is more than willing to show mercy and grace to those who do not deserve it.
The idea of salvation was God's not man's the. The idea behind the coming of Christ was God's and understand something that's going to sound maybe a little bit a little bit. I don't know a little bit subtle little bit technical maybe but but it's not. It's something that's profoundly important for us to recognize God does not love the world because Jesus Christ came, God loved the world, and therefore Jesus Christ came. Christ came as an expression of the love and the goodwill of God toward sinful men and Christ did not die so as to make God be loving God was already loving and that's why Christ came look over the book of first John chapter 4 and who knows we may just stay with this train of thought and not even get to the text that I had in mind today.
I've had a number of things that I've been reading and studying siliceous go with this one.
Not with the opportunity we have here.
First John chapter 4 verse seven, you know, we just really really need to let the word of God inform us about the character of God and and not be shackled by the false religion perhaps that we were raised in the you know if you were in a ritualistic church that was all about external ritual and you know some Guyana and in a fancy rope holding up away from pretending that it was Jesus Christ. If that's what you grew up with, you know you welcome to the word of God and welcome to the truth.
You know, if you grew up in. Maybe a more Protestant environment, but it was it was external it was ritual it was you know there was a lot of hypocrisy around.
Well let's put that aside to.
Let's not attribute to God.
The sinfulness and false teaching in the hypocrisy of man let's just go to his word and let his words speak to us about who he is and what is likened and what the love of God really means is that fair would you want to be evaluated on the course of your own words, not by the manner of people falsely representing you. Well, why not why not.
Why don't we just give God that same benefit in on what God speak from his word about what is really like in and put away the the distorted spectacles from which we perhaps view them in the past. The first John chapter 4 verse seven beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God.
The one who does not love does not know God, for God is love.
By this, the love of God was manifested in us that God has sent his only begotten son into the world so that we might live through him. In this is love, not that we loved God but that he loved us and sent his son to be the propitiation for our sins and look at look at first John 419.
Just drop down there a little bit where it says we love because he first loved us. Beloved, when God sent Christ into the world to offer himself as a sacrifice for sin, he was doing so because he has a love for humanity has a love for sinners. This shows that he is a God of goodwill toward men is a God of goodwill toward people. And though we are all rightly under the wrath of his justice, because we have sinned so greatly against him in our repeated violations of his law God, as it were passing over sin not executing what he was entitled to do, sent Christ into the world. God became a man, as an expression of the love of God, of the grace of God. Of the patients of God of the mercy of God, of the goodness of God and so we see simply by the sending of Christ we see something of the love of God put on display that the love motivated the sending of Christ. God was already loving even before Christ died on the cross, no look. Speaking of false religion and and speaking of of a a monstrously bad way that people try to evaluate the love of God. People want to interpret the love of God according to the circumstances in which they live.
You know, if in and and and many of you, if not all of you at one time or another have fallen into this adversity comes, you lose a loved one, you fall into the profound sickness and there's not much hope of recovery. All of the doctors reports are bad financial reversal comes the difficulty comes in life. Your preferred candidate doesn't win the election and you start to wonder what did I do to deserve this. Why is God like this is got angry with me is got upset with me.
You know, why does God hate me. Those thoughts are so ridiculously blasphemous for us to think they are a product of our fallen heart rather than an indication of the truth of God, and in some manner of sympathy because I've fallen into that kind of thinking in the past myself in days gone by. Part of the part of the reason is is that we haven't come to Scripture and understood what the true measure of the love of God is your in first John chapter 4. Look at it with me here. First John chapter 4 verse 10 in this is love, not that we loved God but that he loved us and sent his son to be the propitiation for our sins, friends, we don't start measuring the love of God by what's happening in anything in our lives. The love of God is not measured by such temporary passing transient and changeable metrics that so that's a gross mistake to make. And it's no wonder the people that are trained to think that way have it such an unstable concept of who God is an experience of the love of God in their lives. We don't measure God by any of those metrics of common grace know we start with the reality that God loved the world, and sent his son into the world to do a particular act of redemption, God sent Christ into the world to save sinners from the wrath of God that they rightfully deserved and God. God did this himself. Christ, the eternal son of God, the second person of the Blessed holy Trinity himself came from heaven to earth to take on a human body in order to live a perfect life and offer that perfect unblemished life as a sacrifice to God on the cross for the sins of his people and is Christ bore your wrath on the cross is Christ paid the penalty for your sins on the cross in mercy and in undeserved grace bearing a weight of shame and punishment in satisfaction of the justice of God, all being poured down upon his sinless head doing that as a gift to doing that as a man or a sacrifice, beloved, you see something of the measure of the love of God, not measured by your circumstances that are temporary passing measured by God himself, taking on flesh taking on your sin and doing for you doing in active sacrifice for your benefit that you never could have earned on your own. You had no right to that you had no call upon.
This is the love of God and friends, especially those of you that are believers that claim to be believers that have struggled with discouragement and uncertainty about the purposes of God in your life, you must understand this, you and I need to go back in our minds eye, as it were. 2000 years ago to Calvary we need in our in our mind and our mental picture we need to go back in and recognize the theological and the salvific significance of what was happening there. It is an immensely powerful mental thing to do to go back 2000 years ago and picture yourself at the cross, Christ exposed all of humanity Christ and knowing what he is doing and why he is doing it out of love. He is laying his life down for you out of love. He is bearing the total darkness of the wrath of God.
Somehow, somehow, that the wrath of God coming any is bearing a sense of separation in a magnificent way that we can begin to explain suffering physically, but far more infinitely more suffering spiritually is that innocent one takes on the guilt of sin and is punished by God on your behalf and friend friend. Picture yourself or picture anyone else standing at the foot of the cross looking up at that that sinless suffering face. I don't think you love me, look at the circumstantial problems I have I don't I don't think that you really love me. Can you imagine doing.
Can you imagine making an accusation against Christ like that at the cross when he's spilling his blood on your behalf. Can you imagine making an accusation like that.
There is no love in you look at the problem I have here today look at the loss that I've experienced you don't love me. Well, you know, from that perspective, you realize how wicked and how wrong it is for someone to think that way. No, we don't measure the love of God by our circumstances, we go back to the cross and we say, instead we look with our minds eye, at the cross and we say this is love, not only do I repent of my false accusations against God. I recognize and embrace the fact that this cross is the perfect manifestation of the highest form of love that there has ever been in there ever will be. And if you are in Christ, you are on the receiving end of an eternal gift that you did not deserve the God that you had violated the God whose law you had broken the God whose character and name you had spurned did this on your behalf while you were still dead in your trespasses and sins look over Romans chapter 5 Romans chapter 5. It is of most vital significance for every Christian to understand this point that were making today.
I say that without fear of contradiction.
This is how we know the love of God. Chapter 5 verse six for while we were still helpless at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. For one, will hardly die for a righteous man, though perhaps for the good man someone would dare even to die.
Verse eight but God demonstrates his own love toward us in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. It was when you were unworthy. It was when you were guilty it was when you were separated from God. It was when you were in chains to Satan.
It was when you were kissing your sins and loving them but Christ you in utter blackness. Christ laying it down so that one day you could be draped with his righteousness, and forgiven and reconciled to a holy God. Beloved bats love that's what love looks like. Not this emotional sentiment that were used to do with Hallmark movies and all that stuff and all of the weepy sentimentalism that's gone by morning know this is an enduring and eternal love that has has eternal consequences that God was under no obligation to do any port it all out for us in Christ God so loved the world. This is the love of God, my friends and we start with Christ. We start with the cross and we understand it from that perspective. Well, a kind of blended two points together here. Go back to John 316 God so loved the world, Jew and Gentile, and there is no nationality that is excluded from the love of God, there is no nationality that is excluded from the free gospel offer of free forgiveness and Christ in his love was found not in the way that he felt about us but is point number two.
It's found in the gift of God. The gift of God, his love Matt that he gave and he gave his only begotten son, as we've been saying here this morning. He gave his only begotten son love expressed itself in action. You know, and it does it does us no good to try to think about God having feelings and emotions force in trying to to think about love and in those categories as our encouragement is our strength as our hope as our foundation. No beloved know the love of God is found in what he did it in in in what he gave any gave us his one and only son. He gave us the Lord Jesus Christ and you look at it in verse 17 and you see the context and the purpose of what of what God was doing God did not send the son into the world in his first coming. He did not send the son into the world to judge the world. Christ did not come with a sword in his first coming.
He came in order to give his life as a ransom for many.
And so Christ did not come to judge the world in his first coming. Rather, Kai came in a way that provided deliverance for judgment for those who would believe in him a gift of God no look, I realize that you know there's probably some of you if not many of you, you know and and part of the way that we can isolate and diagnose the way that we think about these things is to deal with the simple question it's often that's often been asked when you die and you stand before God in judgment and he asks you why should I let you into my heaven your answer.
The what you think. Your answer should be to that has a exposes the heart and the understanding and what's really in your heart. Many of you, I'm sad to think and say and I fear many of you deep in your heart would say something like well you know I've been a pretty good person that the good outweighs the bad.
You know 5149 I and are not like Hitler wasn't a Democrat in all of these ways showing eight a self-reliance and an assertion that I'm that I'm I'm good enough. I belong here. You need to let me in because I satisfy the standard standard of my own making. Will beloved this is this is grossly perverse thinking and it's not true is not true to think that way. Look over Romans chapter 3 Romans chapter 3 God has already delivered the verdict against your self-righteousness and he has said it is unacceptable. It does not meet the standard that he requires. You are not good enough to go to heaven. You are bad enough to go to hell everyone of you. This is true. You are all bad enough and sinful enough to go immediately to hell. This is the way that we must understand things in light of the word of God rather than this. This false view that I'm good enough to go to heaven. It's not true.
We not need to not only repent of sins that we committed, we need to repent of that self-righteous way of thinking that you can just send as you are into the presence of the thrice holy God. This is insanity in God's word convicts us all. Chapter 3 verse 10 of Romans is none righteous, not even one. None who understands none who seeks for God. All have turned aside, together they become useless.
There is none who does good. There is not even one. Let's not pretend that were an exception to what God is said about six or seven times in the span of three versus none none none not even one.
All of turned aside were all condemned by the holiness of God were all condemned by the law of God, and we have no hope in ourselves we have no righteousness of our own. You have no righteousness of your own. I'm just showing you Scripture and I want to tell you, for the sake of your own good and for the sake of your own soul, and in honor of Christ and the glory of God. It doesn't matter how many preachers or other people have told you something different. That said, you can get to heaven apart from Christ just watching a little video two nights ago wearing a Catholic priest was telling a Jewish man that he was good enough to go to heaven. What what a travesty.
What a condemnable lie, knowing that some of you have heard those things and and man in order to curry your favorite occurring gifts from you, have flattered you by telling you that you were good enough for God, you're not that stone green with part one of his message titled God so loved the world, Don will bring us the second half of this powerful lesson next time. We hope you be able to join us then if you like to hear this message again, or perhaps share it with a friend or loved one. We invite you to visit the truth.
Pulpit.com. You'll find today's message along with all of Don's teaching available to you 24 hours a day. Again, that's the truth.
Pulpit.com. Just before we go there again is done with the closing word my friend if you enjoy these broadcast.
I am sure that you would enjoy the live stream of our church services from truth community church we meet Sunday morning at 9 AM Eastern time and Tuesday evening at 7 o'clock you'll find the live stream length prominently displayed at the top of our website. The truth pulpit.com and you know if you do join us like that, drop us a note at the website to let us know. Even your brief note helps us know that our resources are reaching friends who want to grow in God. Thank you and may Christ be with you. Thanks, Don, and friend.
Thank you for being with us today I feel like you will see you next time on the truth