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The Love of God - Holy One of Israel Part 10

So What? / Lon Solomon
The Cross Radio
October 6, 2022 7:00 am

The Love of God - Holy One of Israel Part 10

So What? / Lon Solomon

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You know we are in the middle of a series entitled the holy one of Israel. It's a study of the attributes of God. The basic characteristics of God and so far we've covered nine of them.

We've talked about the fact that God is eternal and that God is holy. We talked about the faithfulness of God in the omnipotence of God and the justice of God and the mercy of God and the sovereignty of God in a few more if you missed any of these. I urge you to get the tape for the CD or to download the a message off the Internet off our website but you know, no series on the character of God could possibly be complete without us talking about the love of God, and that's what were going to do today in part 10. You know the Bible talks about the love of God more than 100 times, but I think the single most compelling verse of all is found in first John 416 where the Bible says God is law. In other words, the Bible wants us to understand that love is not something God's love is not something God shows love is an intrinsic part of who and what God is and before we go any farther. We should stop for a moment and we should define law is a long break and we think were stupid. We all know what love is.

Well may be in maybe not, you know, I may surprise you to know I think some of you know that the New Testament was not written in English. It was written in Greek coin a Greek exactly everyday Greek layman's Greek of the time and in coin a great. There are four words, all of which are translated into English by our one word love. First of all, there's the word store day, which refers to family love the kind of love that parents would have her child.

Interestingly, this word is never used in the New Testament and then there's the word. Second of all, Eros, from which we get our word erotic. This is romantic love again. Interestingly, this word is never used in the New Testament. Third, there is the word for loss we get the name of our city Philadelphia for loss means warm brotherly love and affection between human beings. Now this word is used in the New Testament, but it is never used in the New Testament of God's love. There's 1/4 word in coin, a Greek the word agape and this is the word that is used consistently throughout the New Testament to refer to the love of God is a love that is above every other kind of human love. It's not romantic love and is not family love and it's not warm, brotherly love. This is divine love, my friends, the kind of love that loves others without personal motive. This is a love whose only motive is the welfare of its object, and you remember what Jesus said. He said John 316 for God so loved God, so agape the world that he gave and what did God give the friends he gave the best he had his son. He gave all he had his life to people who hated him and rejected him and wanted nothing to do with him and despised him. But people who desperately needed his son anyway. And why did God do this very simply friends because this is what agape does agape see someone with a need and it gives all of that is God.

It gives it's best to meet that person's need, even if that person is not in the slightest bit appreciative and agape does all of this without asking for anything in return. So when the Bible talks about the love of God, my friends, this is what it's talking about. This is what it means a divine love, a Savior, love.

So let's go back to first John four and remind ourselves that it says God is agape. The Bible says God is the living embodiment of what agape means and of agape in action. I mean think about it now God could be just and holy and omnipotent and omniscient and eternal and and and righteous and all those things that making God and you know what God at the very same time could be cruel and mean and merciless and selfish and capricious. A God who enjoyed tormenting his creatures and exploiting his creatures like the gods that you saw in Mel Gibson's movie apocalypse to and who's to say God couldn't be that way. And if God were that way.

What could you and I is his creatures do to stop them from being that way my Christian friends.

We need to be very careful that we never ever take for granted the wonderful simple but powerful truth that God is not like this.

God is agape. God is love a man and a man nice in Milan.

That's great. So it's great.

The Bible says that but I me what proof does the Bible give her what proof can you give the God is really and truly like this. Well friends the greatest proof that the Bible is telling us the truth about God, namely that he is agape love that this is his basic character.

While that greatest proof is found in the Lord Jesus himself. Remember, Jesus said, John chapter 14, he was seeing me, has been the father. Colossians chapter 1 says Jesus is the visible image of the invisible God. Hebrews 1 verse three says Jesus is the exact representation of God's nature. In other words, as Jehovah God wrapped in human flesh. Every act that Jesus did every deed that Jesus performed his sympathy for the poor. His ditty for the sick. His compassion on the downcast is help for the hurting, his clemency towards the guilty his patients with his friends and his mercy on his enemies every bit of this was meant to display to you to me and to the entire human race where the heart of God really is that the heart of God is agape, but nowhere do we see the agape love of God displayed more clearly and more powerfully and more compellingly than we see. It conveyed at the cross, you know, Jesus said, John 15. Greater love greater agape has no one than this, that someone, a man would lay down his life for his friend and I love first John 316 says by this we know what love what agape really looks like.

Namely, that Christ laid down his life for us now. Why does the Bible say this, why does the Bible present to you and me, the cross as the most and ultimate convincing proof that God loves you and me with agape love. Well friends two reasons. Number one because of the spiritual condition that every member of the human race was in when Jesus went to the cross for us.

The Bible says that before we come to faith in Jesus. Every one of us.

Ephesians 21 is spiritually dead in our trespasses and sins.

Everyone of us. Ephesians 418 is darkened in our understanding and separated from the life of God before we come to Christ. Every one of us. Colossians chapter 1 is hostile to God in our minds and John 319. Every one of us loves darkness rather than light, because our deeds were evil before we come to Christ. Romans chapter 5 says that everyone of us is an enemy of God and John 336 says we have the wrath of God sitting on hovering over us. Now this is not a real pretty picture yet the Bible is clear. This is precisely how God sees every single person on this earth outside of Jesus Christ.

And that leads me to reason number two why what Jesus did on the cross proves his agape love and reason number two is because only somebody with agape love for you and me would be willing to go to the cross and pay the price that Jesus paid to redeem us from the miserable condition that we were in Matthew chapter 20 verse 28 Jesus said I did not come to be served but to serve you here that that's agape talking and he goes on to say, to give my life as a ransom for many. Jesus and I'm just not going to walk around on the earth and talk to you about agape love.

I'm going to go to the cross and I'm going to display it for every person on this earth to see Noah stop for a moment and asked the question just what kind of experience was the cross for the Lord Jesus, well we know the just the expectation of the cross was so bad in the garden of Gethsemane that an angel had to come and strengthen the Lord Jesus just so he'd be willing and able to go through it and what was so bad. What was the expectation so horrible that he was worried about. Well first of all, there was the physical suffering that the Lord Jesus knew he was going to go through on the cross friends crucifixion is probably the cruelest method of execution ever created on earth. The Romans did not invent it, but the Romans did perfect in its crucifixion was designed to kill a person slowly and excruciatingly, and to kill them in the most painful way, it was possible to die.

They would strip a person down the Romans would they would beat them in with them and taught them until autonomous total exhaustion you you saw the passion movie you want to stand with that look like you say. Well, wouldn't it be hard to stitch up all those wounds at the end friends, nobody was stitching up anything.

This person wasn't coming back. The understand they were coming back and then they would march them off to the cross and when I got there, they nail their hands and feet to the cross and hoist the cross up into place. But you know what all that beating and all that whipping and even having their hands nailed to the cross that wasn't enough to kill the person know know people would often live for 2345 days hanging on the cross while the heat of the sun and the cold of the night and go on for days without food and water would eventually turn these people into raving lunatics. By the time they died death on the cross. Eventually, for most people came by suffocation hanging there on the cross. A person would become exhausted to the point that they were unable to expand their diaphragm and breathe, and for a while they could get a little bit of relief by pressing up with their legs, although I can imagine the excruciating pain because of that nail to their ankles that that would cause but even then, after a certain amount of time exhaustion would set in bodily fluid would begin the collect in the lungs, and slowly a person would drown to death in their own bodily fluids with the last little bit Allied gurgling out of them at the end was a gruesome way to God. Let's not think that that's the only thing the Lord Jesus was concerned about on the cross because not only was there the physical suffering on the cross spoke. Second of all, there was the spiritual suffering that the Lord Jesus knew he was going to go through on the cross. I mean, first Peter chapter 2 says that the Lord Jesus bore our sins in his own body on the cross. Second Corinthians chapter 5 says that God made Jesus who knew no sin to become sin on our behalf. As he hung there on the cross and the fact that God took Jesus the sinless, perfect Lamb of God and on the cross, God laid on him all the bill and all the putrefaction of this world folks that produced a spiritual suffering in the life of the Lord Jesus that you and I and no creature in this universe will ever fully understand and yet, in spite of that would Jesus do on the cross. What did he say well he said, Luke 23 verse 34. Father forgive them because they don't know what they're doing in his moment of deepest suffering here on earth. Jesus displays the heart of God for every one of us to see and as we look at the heart of God displayed on the cross.

What do we find there we don't find anger and we don't find bitterness and we don't find hatred and we don't find revenge and we don't find retaliation.

What we find is God's agape love for every single one of us.

Jesus could've prayed on the cross for justice. He could've said father condemn them. He could've prayed on the cross for revenge father consume them. He could've prayed on the cross for deliverance decoder stepfather get me off for this cross. I'm not going through with this and I will care for all go to hell okay or but instead what did Jesus pray for, pray for our part, father forgive them and I'll stay here on the cross, Jesus said, and all I'll take all of this pain so that you will have the righteous basis on which to do that very thing to forgive them friends. This is agape love it, its highest. This is divine love at its highest returning mercy to the very people who are crucifying you and staying on the cross in spite of their insults and in spite of their taunts because as condemn sinners.

They need you to stay on the cross. They want proof God really loves you, friend. You want proof that God really loves me and the rest of the human race than you look at the cross and you will have that proof in spades. This is why the Bible says, Romans 58 God demonstrated his love. God demonstrated his agape for us in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Now that's as far as we want to go in the theological treatment of the love of God right now because we want to stop and we want to ask our most important question we all know what that is right I you guys up there. You know what that is right yes okay so here we go nice allowed 123. Yet you say lawn. So what say God bless you up there man you're working hard, your preaching God bless you.

But what differs is any of this make to me in my life. I put some handles on this for me William, well, I'd love to start by asking an interesting question. Here's my question.

How do you think God the father felt. How do you think he felt about the suffering that the Lord Jesus went through on the cross, I mean the Bible says John chapter 1 verse 18 that the Jesus was in the bosom of the father. That's an expression to explain to us the intimacy and the love and the depth of relationship that they had in fact Jesus said, John 17 that God loved me. Jesus said before the foundation of the world and John chapter 3, Jesus puts it simply he says God the father loves the son you know the Bible is clear that God the father love the Lord Jesus with a love more intimate and more deep than he has ever loved or will ever love any creature to ever live, so I'm back to my question. How do you think God the father fell about watching the Lord Jesus suffer on the cross will how you feel about watching your children suffer me there's not a parent here who hasn't stood next to a sickbed with a child with a fever and pain in tried to comfort that child when there was really nothing we could do standing there helplessly watching them suffer and many of us here had the experience of watching the scared look in a child's eye as the nurse wheeled him down the hall and around the corner and into the operating room and away from us.

Many of us here we have held our children and our arms through their tears as they told us about how the cruel world would hurt them. That day, and we've we've heard with many of many of us have with our children through divorce, and many of us have heard with our children to a miscarriage.

Many of us have heard with our children to a cancer diagnosis and chemotherapy or through the loss of their spouse. So okay is apparent now you take how you felt as you watch your child suffer and you multiply that by 10 million times and you will have a beginning of understanding how the Lord Jesus on the cross how God the father felt about his suffering. Now you got that show you something.

Isaiah chapter 53 verse seven he the Lord Jesus was oppressed and afflicted, yet he did not open his mouth. He was like a lamb led to slaughter verse eight he was cut off from the land of the living for the transgression of my people to whom the stroke was really do verse nine he was assigned to death with wicked men, even though he had done no violence, nor was any deceit found in him all of this recounts the agony and the suffering of the Lord Jesus on the cross. Now look at verse 10.

And yeah, the Bible says the Lord was pleased to cross him and the Lord was pleased to see him suffer grief you say lawn that makes no sense. That makes no sense. I mean, of God feels about the Lord Jesus the way I feel about the suffering of my child except 10 million times more.

Why in the world why in the world would he be pleased to see them go through that look your friends. I'll tell you why, because God loves sinners. That's why because God knew that only by the Lord Jesus being on that cross and being crushed on that cross.

Only by doing that. Could it mean the deliverance of the salvation of sinners, God knew that only crushing the Lord Jesus would enable him to redeem you and me from eternal death, only crushing the Lord Jesus on the cross would mean that he would be able to remain righteous and forgive our sins and wipe away our guilt only by crushing the Lord Jesus could he make us his adopted children in Christ and give us eternal life, and take us to heaven folks God loves sinners and he loves them so much that he was thrilled.

He was thrilled to see the Lord Jesus Christ on the cross, God loves sinners so much friends that there was no price he was not willing to pay to redeem you and me. God loves sinners. You know, the greatest evangelist of the 19th century was a fellow named Dwight L. Moody Moody was a young man he went to Chicago and he began pastoring a church there in one week he was out of town and so he asked the visitor to come in and preach form a fellow named Henry Moorhouse. Well, he got back to town and he went the asked his wife, he set out Moorhouse to and she said well she said I liked him very much.

Dwight, she said, but he preaches very differently than you do. Moody said how so and and she said well he tells the worst sinners that God loves and Moody said well then he's wrong for next Sunday Moorhouse preached again in Moody's church, Moody went to hearing and here's what he said and I quote, Moody said Moorhouse turned to John 316, and preach the most extraordinary sermon from adverse he went through the whole Bible from Genesis to Revelation, proving that in all ages. God loved the world, Moody set up until that time. I never knew that God loved us that much. He said this old heart of mine began to fall out. I could not keep back the tears.

He said Morehead be that group down into my heart and I have never doubted it since Moody said I used to preach that God was behind the sinner with a double-edged sword ready to hacking down but now I realize that God is behind the sinner with his eternal love and that what that man is running away from is the love of God" you know, folks. Thanks be to God. Many of us here, stop running away from the love of God, thanks be to God.

Many of us here have fallen on our knees at the foot of the cross. Thanks be to God.

Many of us here have cried out, Lord Jesus, save me from my sins and save me from myself and thanks be to God than many of us here have fully surrendered our lives to Christ, and we know the joy and we know the beauty and we know the healing that the agape love of God brings into a life. Thank God for that. I did that same thing 38 years ago. It was the single greatest decision I ever made in my life but you know some of us here are still running friends, some of us here are still fighting. Some of us here are still resisting and my friend I'm here to tell you on behalf of Almighty God, that you are running away from the most amazing love ever offered you in this universe. No one ever has no one ever will love you the way the Lord Jesus loves you. For God so loved the world.

Jesus said he so agape the world that he gave his only begotten son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but shall have everlasting life and friends. Whoever means whoever I don't care what you've done. I don't care how you live. I don't care what you said. I don't care how rotten you been, you know, I'll hold up myself as an example and I say to you 38 years ago in college I smoke go. I have sold all I had smuggled though.

I dropped LSD I had lied.

I had cheated in school. I cheated my friends at cards. I had shoplifted I'd stolen money and I had drunk and myself into a stupor.

More times than I care to remember. I had a profane mouth and I had a profane mind. I have slept with scores of women and I got my girlfriend pregnant and I forced her against her wishes to have an abortion. Listen compared to me. Howard Stern is a saint instead what I'm saying to you and you 38 years ago. John 316 the offer. There was open to me and you know why real simple. I'm whoever I'm whoever and friends that they offer.

In John 316 is open to you because your whoever and you can't possibly be a worse whoever than I was. Listen, I didn't have to clean up and I didn't have to dress up and I didn't have to wash up and I didn't have to straighten up and I didn't have to fix myself up. All I had to do is turn 180 to Jesus Christ. Saul had to do and repent of my sins and tell God I was sorry I've been living the way I was and I wanted to live different in all I needed to do was embrace the blood of Christ shed on the cross for me is my only payment for all of those sins.

And finally, all I had to do was surrender my life to the Lordship of Christ. Jesus Christ came into my life and transform me into a human being that today I hardly recognize that person. I just told you about my friend, this is all you need to do as well. You don't need to clean up. You'll need to straighten up.

You don't need to dress up or wash up or fix yourself up, my friend. All you need to do is turn to Christ and do exactly what I did 38 years ago and so I'm here today to say if you been running from God. I'm here to beg you on behalf of Almighty God, to let the running end right here today I'm here to beg you right here today to make 180 turn and say our Lord from long enough time to come home and give you the chance to do that right now the star hits together with our heads bowed and our eyes closed. If you're here today and you're tired of running your willing to make a turn in your life and come to Christ and repent of your sins honestly tell the Lord your sick live in the way you been living and with his help, you want to live differently if you're willing to embrace the blood of Christ is the only payment for your soon and to abdicate the throne of your life, and handed to the Lord Jesus and you can do that right where you're sitting. You'll need to walk and I'll come down front to do anything you can do it right there and I'm going to lead us in a short prayer were to give you the chance to do that.

So with our heads bowed. I'm gonna pray, one phrase at a time, out loud you pray silently right behind me. Let's stop running today here we go where Jesus I'm tired running. So today of my own free will. I turn to Christ, I repent of my sins. Lord, I'm really sorry I lived the way I've been living and I want to live differently.

Sincerely and also I trade in today. Everything else I've ever trusted to earn me eternal life, and I embrace the blood of Jesus shed on the cross for me as my one and only payment for sin. Finally, I abdicate the throne of my life, Lord Jesus, I handed to you come into my heart today. Forgive my sins and cleanse me from the guilt adopt me into your family and give me eternal life and begin transforming my life, your owners into something worth getting up for the morning. In Jesus name I pray, amen and father. I want to pray for the folks who pray that prayer that right now you would confirm in their hearts that a great transaction has taken place in the heavens that they have passed John 524 from death into eternal life never to go back. Father I pray you would come into their lives and that you would begin to transform those lives into something truly worth living.

Father, thank you for the many of us here who've already pray that prayer. Thank you. When we got to the end of the road, Lord, that the cause of your agape love.

It was a place to actually turn thank you Lord Jesus that we can love you because you first loved us and my prayer father is that you would help us who are already followers of Christ really love you like, we should forgive us Lord.

So often we don't challenge us today that with the kind of love. You showed us Lord Jesus, we should love you with all of our heart, soul, mind and strength. Everything we got because you are worthy of it change our lives because we were here today. Father we pray this in Jesus name, amen anything closing, the great theologian Karl Barth not agree with everything the guy said, but he was an amazing theologian appeared on the cover of Time magazine in April of of a 1962, just unbelievable.

Mine he was once asked by an interviewer what is the greatest theological truth that you have ever discovered the thought for a moment and he said Jesus loves me this I know for the Bible tells me so you know folks okay how much you study God's word on okay how many commentaries or theology books you read, you will never discover a more compelling or important theological truth than that Jesus loves us in spite of what we are. Jesus loves us as wretched as he found us and if you do been the only person on the face of this earth. My friend, Jesus would've gone to the cross for you.

There is no greater truth in the world and that so when you go to the mall this week go to work this week we drive on the Beltway this week wherever you go this week and you gotta do all that stuff. Understand the friends let's rise above that and have joy in our life because Jesus loves us this we know we don't deserve it. We can't merit it.

If I was God. I would love us and you would neither. I'm so glad you're not God, and you ought to be glad I'm not God. Jesus loves us in spite of what we are, warts and all that done, bring joy to your life. Well friends I don't know what in the world will Jesus loves us the greatest theological truth in history.

God bless you have a good week