“How Can I Know for Sure God Loves Me?”

Psalm 103 (various)   January 8, 2006  Play video

“Would You Still Love Me?”

•     human attachment can be very conditional
•     unconditional love our greatest need

Love is the Essence of God’s Nature

•     Father loved Son before world created (Jn 17:24; Mt 3:17, 17:5)
•     God is love; part of self-description (1Jn 4:7f; 1Jn 4:16; Ex 34:6f)

Loved Along with the World

•     God so loved the world...as shown by the cross (1Jn 2:22; Jn 3:16; 1Jn 4:9f; Rom 5:8)
•     Israel not loved because most numerous; rather, fewest, rejected (Deut 7:7; Ezek 16:5)
•     God loved rebellious nation, taught to walk, led with ties of love (Hos 11:1-4)
•     people loved more than sparrows; Father’s love like shepherd for lost sheep, parent for prodigal son (Lk 12:6f; 15:3-7, 11-24)

Loved on Account of the “Forefathers”

•     God’s covenant with Abraham resulted in grace to nation (Deut 4:37; 10:15)
•     church seen as new Israel: believers children of Abraham too (Gal 3:7,14; Rom 4:11,16)
•     God’s love shown to those who were formerly not “My people” (Hos 2:19,23)
•     Father’s love lavished on children - special to Him (1Jn 3:1)

Loved “In Christ”

•     chosen in Jesus to freely receive Father’s love (Eph 1:4ff; 13f)
•     involves our love for God in response: obedience, trust, righteous pursuits, discipline (Jn 14:21,23; 16:27; Prov 15:9, 3:12)
•     nothing can separate us from God’s love in Christ (Rom 8:37ff)

The Mystery of God’s Sovereign Choice

•     God’s love of Jacob not Esau a puzzle, but all for God’s purpose (Rom 9:11-13; 8:28f)
•     Father’s pleasure to make “many brothers” for Christ, as potter has right to do as pleases with clay (Rom  9:21f; Jer 18:4)
•     wonder that Father gives Son in exchange for us, because precious to Him (Is 43:4; Ps 103)

This I Know

•     great theologian assured of Jesus’ love “for the Bible tells me so”
•     God’s knowledge and realistic love of me brings comfort and relief (JI Packer)

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