When considering the love of God, it can be difficult at times to believe that God loves His people like He says He does. One reason for this is that when we think about human love, it’s usually based upon performance or merit. But we need to remember that God’s love towards us doesn’t depend on any of these things.
View the full sermon: Knowing The God of The Doctrine
Why did God choose you? Why did God call you? Why are you His inheritance? Why is He towards you with His great power? Because He loves you. It was God’s love that set this whole thing in motion. Why does He bring us to Himself to be with Him forever and to know Him more and more? Because He loves us. Why is He with us and never leaving us? And at work in us today? Because He loves us. He wants us to be experientially knowing the breadth and length and height and depth and to know the love of Christ and be filled with the fullness of God.
Let’s ask the next question that this stirs in our hearts. Why does He love us? Why would He love us? Let’s make it very personal because this is very personal. God saves individual people. Why does He love me? I’m a mess. I’m not a good inheritance. Why does God love me? You know what the Bible says? “I love you because I love you.” “That’s why I love you.” “I love you because I love you.”
And beloved, I’ll tell you this, you need to be very careful here that you don’t do what I struggle with and that is we must be careful not to attribute to God our experience of what we call love in our relationships here on earth and attribute that up to God and call that love. Because nearly everything you and I experience on earth in the name of love is performance based. In other words, the reason on earth even within this circle – because we’re still growing in this – the reason on earth people love is because there’s something loveable in the object that’s being loved. Even in relationship, you’ve seen the struggles that we have in our churches, right? Oh, we love each other, and then something happens and we’re offended. You know what? Hmm, I don’t love you so much anymore sometimes.
We can’t take our definition and experience of love and attribute it to God and then begin to ask the questions: Why do You love me? Because you know what you’re going to turn into then? You’re going to get on the treadmill. You’re going to start running really hard because you’re trying to earn what has freely been given. We don’t earn the love of God. It is freely set upon you. God Himself is love. And He takes that love – and this is what’s so amazing – He sets it upon individual people. And from there, He pre-knows them, foreknows them and then predestines them and then redeems them and then calls them. And what’s the end of that? Because He wants us to know Him. That’s why. When you love someone, you want the very best thing for them. And I want you to know this: The very best thing is God Himself. It’s not what God can give me. It’s God giving of Himself to you.
God’s love for you is not performance-based. I love foreknowing being in eternity past. I love that. You know why? Because it was before I had done anything good or evil. “This one I love.” Why I love that is because I’ve done so much evil and Christ redeemed me from it all. And when I still as a born-again Christian struggle God does not remove His love from me. It was never set upon me based on my performance and it never diminishes based on my performance. It’s always at its peak which is perfection. And it’s what started all of this. And it’s what will carry all of this to the end. And it’s why He is drawing us to Himself because He wants us to know Him – this God of love.
This excerpt was taken from the full sermon: “Knowing the God of the Doctrine” by Jesse Barrington from the 2021 Fellowship Conference.