12/20/12 The Gift - Love Demonstrated!

Posted by Pator Steve Siegrist on Friday, December 28, 2012 Under: Sermon

Text: John 3:16 (KJV)

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”

8 But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. 9 Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him. 10 For if when we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life.” Romans 5:8-10 (NKJV)

Intro: Merry Christmas to everyone who hears this or reads this from the Website, and I wish you a happy New Year!

Final week of advent, the messages that I have shared over the last four weeks have all focused on the Gift! Hope, Joy, Peace and this week Love have been the topics that a person can truly experience after receiving the Gift of Christ. He loved us so very much! Even while we were yet sinners.

This time of the year many of the Churches have a Nativity seen out in front of their church, the most common picture you see on the Christmas card is the picture of the Christ Child in the manager. It is all about a baby; it’s all about the New Birth.

The background in this text deals with a Pharisee, a leader of the Jews who was not able to see the difference from the physical and the spiritual birth of man. He did not understand you must be born again to experience God’s Love Demonstrated. Nicodemus was confused the spiritual language was out of his understanding. God’s message and His method demonstrate His Love for us, that’s the Gift!

Application: “whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”

1. The Message:

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”

The first two letters in the word message are m and e and these letters give us the word (Me). The message that God has given us and the Gift of Love He wants us to experience is to realize Christ died for (Me) and He wants me to receive the gift of eternal life, my sins forgiven! That’s the message: God so loved the world He gave!

It was God’s plan from the beginning that He would give His Son to mankind to bring good news, to share a message with a dark and lost world of a gift of Love anyone can receive if there born again. Our earthly birth is flesh.

The Spiritual birth (new birth) is supernatural, being of God! Nicodemus just didn’t get it, and that is the same state more of the world is in today, confusion!

Don't be surprised at Christ's words, "YE MUST BE BORN AGAIN!" Christ compared the new birth to the wind. You cannot see the wind, but you can feel it. So it is with the new birth. You can't see it, but you can see the change of life.

The Message is simply Love!

God is love; He is full of love (agapē): a selfless and sacrificial love; a love of the mind, of the reason, of the will as well as of the heart and affections. It is the love that goes so far: that it loves a person even if he does not deserve to be loved, that it loves the person who is utterly unworthy of being loved and that it is compelled to sacrifice itself for its enemies. “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. 10 For if when we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life.”

4 But God is so rich in mercy, and he loved us so very much, 5 that even while we were dead because of our sins, he gave us life when he raised Christ from the dead. (It is only by God’s special favor that you have been saved!) 6 For he raised us from the dead along with Christ, and we are seated with him in the heavenly realms - all because we are one with Christ Jesus. 7 And so God can always point to us as examples of the incredible wealth of his favor and kindness toward us, as shown in all he has done for us through Christ Jesus. 8 God saved you by his special favor when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God. 9 Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it. 10 For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so that we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.” Ephesians 2:4-10

The message is a clear simple life changing eternal giving note, of God Demonstrating His love toward us, to receive this Gift one must merely open it and (Believe!)

2. The Method:

“And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up, 15 that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:14-15

There is an important Allegory here: just as Moses explained to the Israelites to look up to the serpent hanging on the pole to remove the poison, so must the Son of Man hang on the cross and be lifted up for sinful man to have their sins forgiven. “that whoever believes.”

The method of God’s demonstrated love is revealed in His affection for us and our acceptance for Him.

- His affection Person — "God."
- Practice — "So loved the world."
- Proof — "That he gave his only begotten Son."
- People — "That whosoever believeth in him."
- Promise — "Should not perish."
- Peace — "But have everlasting life."

Our acceptance - before a person can be born again, he must accept Christ as his personal Savior: “But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name.” John 1:12

“For "whoever calls on the name of the LORD shall be saved." Romans 10:13 Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me.” Revelation 3:20

God's love is forgiving. We may be able to understand a God who would forgive sinners who come to him for mercy. But a God who tenderly searches for sinners and then joyfully forgives them must possess an extraordinary love! This is the kind of love that prompted Jesus to come to earth to search for lost people and save them. This is the kind of extraordinary love that God has for you. If you feel far from God, don't despair. He is searching for you.

God's love is beyond measure, God's love is eternal and God's love is sacrificial. The entire gospel comes to a focus in this verse. God's love is not static or self-centered; it reaches out and draws others in. Here God sets the pattern of true love, the basis for all love relationships - when you love someone dearly, you are willing to pay dearly for that person's responsive love. God paid dearly with the life of his Son, the highest price he could pay. Jesus accepted our punishment, paid the price for our sins, and then offered us the new life that he had bought for us. When we share the gospel with others, our love must be like Jesus'. We must be willing to give up our own comfort and security so that others might join us in receiving God's love.

- That’s the Christmas story - God’s love.

"We become vulnerable when we love people and go out of our way to help them." That's what the wealthy industrialist Charles Schwab declared after going to court and winning a nuisance suit at age 70. Given permission by the judge to speak to the audience, he made the following statement: "I'd like to say here in a court of law, and speaking as an old man, that nine‑tenths of my troubles are traceable to my being kind to others. Look, you young people, if you want to steer away from trouble, be hard‑boiled. Be quick with a good loud no to anyone and everyone. If you follow this rule, you will seldom be bothered as you tread life's pathway. Except you'll have no friends, you'll be lonely, and you won't have any fun!" Schwab had made his point ‑‑ love may bring heartache, but it's worth it!

When Jesus was on the cross did he say it is not worth it!

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self‑seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.

Throughout History man has failed, fallen short of their relationship with God, but God is Patient. When man has been evil, and lost in self-deception, God has been Kind. When God sent His Son into this world He did not boast of His entry, His Son made His first appearance wrapped in swaddling clothes lying in a manger, His love was not proud.

The Christ child was not self‑seeking (was the cross for His gain?). Was Jesus teaching us to be angry or did He teach us to forgive 70 times 7. When the world keeps record of all of our doings Jesus` tells us that “He is faithful and just and forgives us of all unrighteousness.” The believer is not to delight in evil but rejoice in the truth, “and the truth will set us free.” God will protect us, we can always trust Him, and with faith comes hope and we know the greatest of all is love. God`s love never fails.

That’s the Christmas story, God`s love. Love may bring hard ache but it is worth it!

When Jesus was on the cross did he say it is not worth it! I am reminded of the song: “When He was on the Cross I was on His mind!”

“Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one's life for his friends.”

God’s Love was demonstrated through His Message and the Method He offered it through the Gift of His Son. This Gift gives us a Living (Lively) Hope, a Joy that the world doesn’t have but the Christians can rejoice always. This Gift gives us a Peace that passes all understanding and with that we can say and experience a Merry CHRISTmas!

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