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Christ commanded us to love one another even as . For us to know how to love each other we must understand the character of the rich deep love that Jesus Christ that Paul describes in Ephesians 3 as surpassing knowledge.

(MULTILINE REVEAL SMALL)

I. His love is unmerited

A. 1 John 4:10 “In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the .”

B. Ephesians 2:4-7 “But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.”

C. What escapes definition is that even when we reject Him, we disobey Him, we sin against Him, . We call it ‘’, unmerited love from God to His rebellious creation.

D. God’s unmerited love is given to us, people who don’t deserve His love to transform and change us into new creations.

E. We are such undeserving beneficiaries of God’s . He reached down to us in our absolute total depravity and lifted us to Himself pouring out His grace to us.

(MULTILINE REVEAL SMALL)

II. His love is unlimited

A. He, who loved us forgave us, doing so without limit.

1. Revelation 1:5 And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood,

2. Luke 23:34 Then Jesus said, ‘Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do.’ And they divided His garments and cast lots.

B. John 3:16 For God so loved the world that He gave his only begotten Son…

(MULTILINE REVEAL SMALL)

III. His love is unselfish

A.

1. 1 Corinthians 13:5-6 Love “Does not behave itself unseemly, seeks not her own, is not easily provoked, thinks no evil; Rejoices not in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth.”

2. Jesus is the perfect example of selflessness. Matthew 20:28 says, ‘Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give His life a ransom for many.’

B.

• 2 Corinthians 8:9 “For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, so that you through his poverty might become rich.”

• John 10:10 ‘The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it] more abundantly.

(MULTILINE)

When you think about suffering, what comes to mind? Do you envision bedraggled children with distended stomachs, a hospital patient hooked up to life-sustaining medical equipment, or a courageous veteran dealing with the aftermath of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.  Adversity seems to be a common denominator to human existence, but what does the Bible have to say about suffering?

Jesus spoke to His disciples about suffering. One of the most well-known verses reads, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me” (Matthew 16:24 ESV). The Greek word for cross in this verse is staurós. It refers to the crossbeam which the lowest criminals carried as they trudged toward their execution. The cross symbolized degradation and indescribable pain as well as sacrifice.

While the invitation to eternal life is free, it comes at a price–certain suffering.

(MULTILINE)

(MULTILINE)A Need. A Savior. A Cross

  • I want to start this morning by asking you some very difficult question.
    • How many of you were perfect this week?
    • How many of you could not have done anything better, all this week?
    • How many of you messed up?
    • How many of you failed God in some way this week?
  • I want to share with you something that God has been dealing with me about for a couple of years now.
    • This passage of scripture has messed me up.
    • If you have your Bible turn to:
    • Exodus 28:1-4

“Now take Aaron your brother, and his sons with him, from among the children of Israel, that he may minister to Me as priest, Aaron and Aaron’s sons: Nadab, Abihu, Eleazar, and Ithamar. And you shall make holy garments for Aaron your brother, for glory and for beauty. So you shall speak to all who are gifted artisans, whom I have filled with the spirit of wisdom, that they may make Aaron’s garments, to consecrate him, that he may minister to Me as priest. And these are the garments which they shall make: a breastplate, an ephod, a robe, a skillfully woven tunic, a turban, and a sash. So they shall make holy garments for Aaron your brother and his sons, that he may minister to Me as priest.

    • Then if you go on through the rest of chapter 28 and 29, God gives Moses explicit instructions on what he is to do to Aaron and his sons.
      • God tells Moses explicitly what he is to do to sanctify and consecrate Aaron and his sons.
      • God is very detailed in what is take place.
      • He names Aaron and his sons by name.
  • I know some may be thinking, Pastor, what is so important about these verses?
    • These verses by themselves are important but it’s what is found in Exodus 32 that makes these verses stand out.
  • But before I get to that, let me paint you a picture of what is going on.
    • Moses is on Mount Sinai.
    • He is face to face with God.
    • God is giving him instructions about the law, about the tabernacle, about what is going to take place in the tabernacle.
    • And God is giving Moses instructions for AARON and his sons.
  • While Moses is on the Mountain, something completely opposite is going on in the valley.
  • Exodus 31:1-6
  • Now when the people saw that Moses delayed coming down from the mountain, the people gathered together to Aaron, and said to him, “Come, make us [a]gods that shall go before us; for as for this Moses, the man who brought us up out of the land of Egypt, we do not know what has become of him.” And Aaron said to them, “Break off the golden earrings which are in the ears of your wives, your sons, and your daughters, and bring them to me.” So all the people broke off the golden earrings which were in their ears, and brought them to Aaron. And he received the gold from their hand, and he fashioned it with an engraving tool, and made a molded calf. Then they said, “This is your god, O Israel, that brought you out of the land of Egypt!” So when Aaron saw it, he built an altar before it. And Aaron made a proclamation and said, “Tomorrow is a feast to the Lord.” Then they rose early on the next day, offered burnt offerings, and brought peace offerings; and the people sat down to eat and drink, and rose up to play.
  • Did you catch what was taking place?
    • While God is giving Moses instructions about Aaron and his sons being the priests of the Most High God,
    • Aaron is making a Golden Calf to be their new God.
    • He’s not just committing sin.
    • He’s not just laying out of church.
    • He’s not drinking.
    • He’s not doing drugs.
    • He is making an idol.
    • He is making a false god.
    • He is making something to replace the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.
    • He is making a god to replace the ONE that brought them up out of Egypt.
    • He is making a god to replace the ONE that parted the Red Sea.
  • So often we find out that someone has messed up, and we are ready to walk away from them.
    • We are ready to throw in the towel for them.
    • We are ready to discredit them.
    • We are ready to write them off.
    • After all THEY MESSED UP!!!!
    • But I have come by here this morning with a message from God.
      • I don’t care what someone has done or is doing.
      • IF GOD HAS A PLAN FOR THEIR LIFE.
      • IF GOD HAS A CALL ON THEIR LIFE.
      • GOD CAN FORGIVE THEM,
        • HE CAN CLEAN THEM UP.
        • HE CAN SANCTIFY THEM.
        • HE CAN CONSECRATE THEM!
      • We’ve got to STOP giving up on people WHEN GOD ISN’T FINISHED WITH THEM.
    • …….(SLOW DOWN)
    • AND… let me just drop this revelation for you this morning.
      • Your past isn’t perfect either.
      • Matter of fact… Neither is your PRESENT!!!
    • I like to read 1 Corinthians 6:9-11 when I start feeling too self-righteous.
    • 1 Corinthians 6:9-11

Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, 10 nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God.

    • Let me just burst your righteous bubbles this morning.

11 And such were some of you. But you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God.

      • Some of us were some of the worst sinners.
        • Or maybe I should say some of the best sinners.
    • BUT GOD…. He didn’t leave us at the beginning of verse 11.
    • The rest of the verse says: But you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God.
  • One of the reasons that I was thinking about this passage is because of what today is.
    • Today is Palm Sunday.
    • Today is when Jesus made His Triumphant Entry into Jerusalem.
    • Mark 11:7-10 says:

Then they brought the colt to Jesus and threw their clothes on it, and He sat on it. And many spread their clothes on the road, and others cut down leafy branches from the trees and spread them on the road. Then those who went before and those who followed cried out, saying: “Hosanna! ‘Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!’ 10 Blessed is the kingdom of our father David That comes in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest!”

    • They were worshipping Jesus.
      • They were having a good time!
      • It would have been amazing to have been in the crowd.
    • But a few days later the cries of Hosanna would be replaced with shouts of Crucify Him!
      • Throwing palm branches down would be replaced with hitting Jesus with the palms of their hands.
  • Can you imagine, one day your worshipping God with everything in you and a few days later you are crying and begging for Him to be crucified?
  • As I was praying and meditating on this message, God showed me something amazing.
    • The cries of the crowd was not the reason Jesus was crucified.
    • It wasn’t the crowd.
    • It wasn’t Pilate.
    • It wasn’t Herod.
    • It wasn’t the High Priest.
    • It wasn’t the Pharisees or the Sadducees.
    • It wasn’t the Romans.
    • The reason that Jesus was crucified was because:
      • He knew those same people that were worshipping Him last week,
      • The very ones crying crucify this week…
      • HE KNEW THEY NEEDED A SAVIOR!!!!
    • John 19:10-11
    • 10 Then Pilate said to Him, “Are You not speaking to me? Do You not know that I have power to crucify You, and power to release You?” 11 Jesus answered, “You could have no power at all against Me unless it had been given you from above. Therefore the one who delivered Me to you has the greater sin.”
    • God knew that just like those crying crucify; He knew that you and I needed a savior.
    • He knew every bad thing that we’ve ever done.
    • He knows every bad thing that we are doing right now.
    • He KNOWS EVERY BAD THING THAT WE WILL EVER DO.
    • AND NONE OF THAT CHANGED HIS MIND ABOUT ENDURING THE CROSS!!!!
    • Hebrews 12:2 says…

looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

    • That cross wasn’t joyful.
      • But oh the Joy that Jesus has when one of His children come home to Him.
      • It’s then that He looks at the Father and says, “Father, it was worth it!”
      • He is the just like the Father in the story of the prodigal when he says,
        • Luke 15:24

24 for this my son was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’ And they began to be merry.

      • The reason that Jesus Christ endured the cross was for YOU!!!!
    • And regardless of the condition that you are in right now,
      • Just like God was with Aaron, He has plans for you.
      • He’s giving instructions and directions for your life.
      • He’s guiding.
      • He’s leading.
      • He’s preparing YOU to do His will.

***************MUSIC******************

  • I started this morning by asking you a few questions.
    • How many of you were perfect this week?
    • How many of you could not have done anything better, all this week?
    • How many of you messed up?
    • How many of you failed God in some way this week?
  • Let me throw this question is now.
    • But how many of you are washed?
    • How many sanctified?
    • How many are Justified by the Lord Jesus Christ?
      • If you are, let’s give Him some praise this morning!
  • If you couldn’t join with those worshipping God, this morning because you haven’t been washed yet.
    • There is no better time to allow Him to wash you white as snow.
    • There is no better time to repent.
    • There is no better time to receive the salvation of the Lord.
    • With every head bowed and every eye closed.
    • If you are ready to be washed, will you acknowledge it by slipping up your hand?
    • If you raised your hand, will join me and some others in the altar?
    • We would love to pray with you.

 

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