THE LIVING WORD TRANSCRIPT
Program Air Date – 6-9-13
LESSON TITLE: “LOVE SAVES.”
Here we are together again on a wondrous Lord’s Day Morning. Privileged to serve our God in songs of praise and through the study of His Word. We welcome you to this time of offering to God.
I hope each of you had a great week and I hope you are ready today to think on things above, and to give full attention to our Creator who has done so much for all of us. In fact, this morning we want to begin by talking to our God in prayer. Won’t you bow with me at this time before the throne of God.
At this time we want to sing our first song of the morning. Won’t you all join in with the congregation at this time as we praise God together with the hymn, “ Walking In Sunlight.”
(SONG # 1)
When was the last time you took some medicine for a headache, pain or for some discomfort. Some of us have already taken some this morning, and the rest will probably take some during the day. And if not today then you at least will take something during this next week. If you don’t think American’s are into taking medicine then you need to check with statistics. The medicine industry is a multi billion dollar one here in the United States, but why? Well, because we all know we can treat our symptoms and pains with these medicines that have been invented by man.
In the book of Proverbs, the wise man Solomon knew a little about medicine, too. The best part of it is that he talked about a medicine that is really effective, but cheap. There aren’t too many of those today. Also, the medicine he mentions can be found anywhere and it is readily available to everyone. Read with me the word of Solomon, where he said, “A merry heart does good, like medicine, but a broken spirit dries the bones,” Proverbs 17:22. Did you get all of that? He said, that a merry or cheerful heart does good, just like medicine. Doesn’t this idea just make good sense?
Consider a person who is always serious, down or depressed. What type of life do they have? What type of health do they have? If we are negative and depressed most of the time, it affects the way we feel, also. However, if we are happy and jolly, then we will really enjoy life and the things that it has to offer. Even when those trials or problems come our way, a cheerful person is going to take them more lightly and be able to deal with them better.
How many times have you been really serious or worried about something, but a year later you can’t even remember what it was. You see we must live life, taking the good and the bad, knowing that if we have a happier disposition, then life will be easier to deal with and much more enjoyable.
Furthermore, God wants us to be a happy people, and not just for our own sake but for the sake of those around us. How many of us like to hang around that person that is always sad or depressed? But how many of us like those who are fun to be around, or the life of the party? Would anyone want to know our Jesus if they always see us unhappy? If people see Christ in us, they are going to have to see the joy we have because of Him and His promises. So, cheer up in the Lord, take His spiritual medicine and your life will be a lot more worth living. However, not only will it be a blessing today, but a blessing eternally as well! Are you a happy child of God in this life?
Our study this morning will again focus on our series entitled, “I Say These Things That You May Be Saved.” Our specific topic today is, “Love Saves.” So continue with us this day and after our next song of the morning I will return to lead this lesson from God Word. Let’s join together in our second hymn of the morning, its name “Trust And Obey!”
(SONG # 2)
By Ray Sullins
We thank you so much for continuing with us today as we now go to God’s word and we look together at another lesson in relationship to our series which we have taken from John 5. You might recall with me there a statement made by Jesus stating the fact that He had spoken certain things that they might be saved. This indicates several things to us first of all that God has revealed certain things, said certain things that must be heard and that we must respond to in order to be saved. Together over the past several weeks we have seen the idea of what is required specifically to become a child of God that we might be saved, or really taking that first step towards salvation being added by God to His Church through our faithfulness to His requirements of salvation. But now for the past several weeks we have looked together at the idea of those things that are included in salvation. You see not only is it important that we know our God and know His will to be saved, to become a Christian, but there are some things required as those who are saved. So it’s not enough just to be saved and to become a child of God but we must continue in salvation. That certainly clarifies the need that we have to not only know certain things but to continue in certain things if we remain in the grace of God. So we have looked together at the idea of the essential aspect of faith in salvation. That you cannot be saved without faith, it is impossible to please God without faith the Hebrew writer says in Hebrews 11. But also the idea last week of hope, that hope certainly saves, and that God has given us His hope. The hope of eternal life, the hope of not only the promises and blessings of the Bible that are given to us, but also the hope that we through the blood of Jesus might be saved.
Now as you think about faith and hope and their involvement in salvation and the fact that you can’t be saved without them there is only one verse that comes to my mind immediately and that’s found in 1Corinthians 13. You might recall with me there in the text as Paul speaks to the Corinthian Church he says, “Now abide faith, hope, and love and the greatest of these is love.” Well, certainly if faith is required unto salvation and to remain saved and if hope is required unto salvation and to remain faithfully saved in the sight of God; what about love? Love is even greater. So the Bible tells us love saves. Now perhaps to help us understand that better than any other place we can go to John 3. Perhaps the most familiar verse of the entire Bible, one that has been memorized and quoted more than any other since it’s writing and that is John specifically chapter 3:16. Now what do we learn there? “For God so loved the world,” that He did what, “He gave His only begotten Son that whoever believes in Him will not perish but have everlasting life.” I don’t know about you but certainly salvation is what we are working toward, everlasting life they are one in the same. I became a Christian, I desire salvation because of that ultimate promise of eternal life and here he says how God did it. He gave His Son, why did God give His Son? He gave His Son it says because He loved the world. The world that He created. Certainly that indicates to us that love saves. The love of God has saved me, has given me a hope that otherwise I would have never had.
I also think this is reiterated well in the book of John if you turn over to 1John 3. We learn two specific things here that help us with this point. First of all there specifically in verse 8 God is love, love is of God is mentioned there in verse 7, and everything that has to do with anything is based on love and therefore it then ties into love. But in verse 8 specifically he says God is love. Then he says why God has shown love and demonstrated His love in the greatest of ways. There verse 9 says in this the love of God was manifest toward us, that God sent His only begotten Son to live and to die. So here we see that love saves because God is love and God first loved us. In fact verse 10 goes on to say love is not in the fact that we have loved God although we are required to love God but in the fact the He first loved us. So love saves, the love of God to see that we in sin would die and be lost eternally. The love of God offered the redemption and the price of redemption through the sacrifice of His son Jesus on the cross the blood shed. Therefore Him showing us rather through Him that He loved us first and was willing to give the ultimate sacrifice, pay the ultimate price that we might have hope of salvation. So, that we might develop faith in God unto obedience and therefore because of love we might be saved, the love of God that whoever believes in Him will not perish but have everlasting life.
So God is love, and God has loved, and God has proven His love. So therefore, what must we do? Well, God has loved unto salvation and therefore love saves but the second part of our lesson that we want to think about for the rest of our time is the fact that we are to love as well. In fact you might even think about what was said later in the same text back in 1John 3 after he says that God is love, and that God has loved us enough to give His son, and that He first loved us by allowing that Son to shed His blood. He then in chapter 4 verse 11 says, “Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.” There we have it; you see if God loved, we love. You see the foundation of all things faith, hope, and love, the greatest of these is love for love is the foundation of all things from God, about God as God is love, and the foundation of all things that we are suppose to do even as His beloved children. Love is a wondrous, glorious thing from God that we imitate. Are we to be imitators of God? Certainly, as His dear children Ephesians 5, we are to imitate God. But also Paul said be imitators of me 1Corinthians 11:1, “Imitators of me as I also am of Christ.” If God is love and I am suppose to imitate God I must love.
There is one text that really jumps out to me about the depth of love. It is found there in Ephesians 3; after he has just there in chapter 4 talked about grace and faith, the necessity of faith. After he also has talked about in chapter 1 the sacrifice, the bloodshed that we might have hope in eternal life. He then goes to this element of love specifically right before he then talks about how we find unity. Certainly, our ability to have unity is based on, guess what, love and this fellowship that we have together in and through Christ Jesus and the love that God has shown us. But there in chapter 3 at the end notice what he says with me there about the glory, the riches of the glory of God and God’s Spirit that has been given for us and that is now as he says in us. Now read verse 17 with me, “That Christ may dwell in your hearts,” notice he says, “through faith.” There is that idea of faith again. Certainly the ideas that we have covered already. “That Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you being rooted and grounded in love.” Wow, you mean the way that I develop, and I have proper faith, and I demonstrate my faith, and I act on my faith, is when I find that I am rooted and grounded in the foundation of love? Yes, because guess what the foundation is, God, and God is love. So when I put my roots down and they grow and I stand on a firm foundation of God what I am seeking is love. For it is that same love that has been demonstrated to me that when I in turn demonstrate it to others and God as well I am able to as he says, comprehend. At least in a small way something that really is impossible to comprehend. In fact what he actually goes on to say in verse 18, “That we may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height,” of what the love of God. What is that width of that love? The love of Christ. And in verse 19 he specifically says, “To know the love of Christ,” the love that would give His own life for our sakes. The love that would allow the father to allow His Son to die for sinners as we were still sinners Christ died for us. Oh, what love.
But what response do we need to have not only to understand that love but that we might be able as he says here to be rooted and grounded in it. No wonder Jesus said even in the Gospel accounts and that period when He was ministering on the earth. “If you love me,” John 14:15 what will you do, “keep my commandments.” Love rooted and grounded in the love of God for God is love and that love demonstrated in us is through and by faith doing what God says and showing forth love to God in obedience and love to others that they might know God as well. Still not sure about those things let’s look and see what the Bible says. To help us to know that certainly this is the case. Look there in Ephesians with me again but in chapter 5, two chapters over we have mentioned several in the book of Ephesians, there in verse 1 he says as we mentioned earlier, that we must, “Be imitators of God as His dear children,” then He says, “And walk in love.” There it is, the daily walk that Christian walk is a walk of love, why? Because Christ also loved us and gave Himself for us. God loved first then He requires love. So right after he says be imitators of God as His dear children then he say walk in love, why? You know the answer, God is love. We are to be those who love through our obedience to God. Those who love through our care and concern for our fellow man, those who give ourselves and partake with one another of the glorious foundation of those things concerning love that we are rooted in, that we are grounded in. Therefore, as we establish ourselves in such we exemplify love as God has commanded us in all that we do and in all that we say.
That is really what I want you to notice with me next as we for instance go back to Galatians 5 and we read there about what the difference is in walking in the Spirit and walking in the flesh is. Guess how it says that we bear the fruit of the Spirit. You might look with me their specifically in verse 22 he says, “The fruit of the Spirit is love,” that’s what he says, “love, joy, peace, longsuffering…” He mentions many things but thing he starts with, the foundation, the grounding is love. Why? Because again God is love. But do you notice the idea and the way that he describes the fruit of the spirit. When we think of fruit, or the fruit of something, we think of a tree that will bear fruit. So how does the spirit bear fruit in me, the Spirit that is in me, He bears fruit through different Godly characteristics, and attitudes, and actions, and words. One of those is love. When I show love people see the Spirit of God in me. When you show love people see the Spirit of God in you. Let’s go over to the book of Peter, it’s good certainly to see the different perspective as all of these men inspired by the Holy Spirit indicate the same truths. Peter there in 2Peter 1 indicates for us the very same ideas he speaks of those things that we must be diligent in if in fact the text says we are to be those who make our calling and election sure. If we are to be those he says actually in verses 8-9 who are fruitful and not barren. How do I bear fruit? Well back up there with me to verse 5, he begins to talk about that diligence and he says that I must, “add to your faith virtue, to virtue knowledge, to knowledge self-control,” and he goes on to mention several things. The last thing that he mentions in verse 7 is, “add to brotherly kindness love.” You see there the heart? The need for love in a relationship, the love that we have for God, the love that we have for others, the obedience of love and what does it mean? That we bear fruit he says, that we make our calling and elections sure. What does it mean that we have an entrance, verse 11, into the eternal promise of heaven that God has given to all those who love. Isn’t that a beautiful thought that God has given to all those whom he has loved enough to do what? To create us, to bless us, to give us promises, to reward us, to care for us, that He has given His Son, and all that God has done to show love.
But how do we show love? Brethren let us be imitators of God as His dear children and brethren let us walk in love as Christ also has loved. Are you willing to make that kind of commitment to your God? That you might know that as love saves you are doing your part to show forth such love, love that is the greatest of all things, love that is at the foundation and the ground level of all things, love that is required for without love we cannot be saved and without love we will not receive heaven. So do you love today? Do you love as God requires? Will you love until you receive that reward in the end?
(SONG # 3 - “Victory In Jesus!”)
What a wondrous time we have had together in participating in the things of God. I hope we all have been encouraged through our time spent together. Please remember, you are invited to join us every Sunday morning at 7:30, as we commit ourselves to this service of God.
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How blessed we are to have the opportunity of salvation through the Wondrous Love of our God. In fact, He loved us enough to give His life for us. Have you responded in a positive way to the beautiful love of your Creator?