The Greatest Love of All (2)
God's great love for His Son is glorious to study and consider, but He loves His elect children with equal love. Incredible! The Bible says so, which should move believers to honor the Son to honor the Father through Him. Communion is a special event and action to celebrate God's love for us.
- Today is communion Sunday, and we want to exalt the Supper’s reason, great glory, and its importance.
- We just passed Memorial Day to remember those killed in wars for us, but our communion is far better, for rather than strangers that died against their will, today we celebrate Him Who chose to die in love.
- The transcendent act of love that God showed by sending His Son for enemies is best in the universe.
- Everyone wants to be loved, and passionate love by a noble person is precious, but this transcends all.
- Love is the most motivating and joyful passion and a great part of the gospel. Do you fully grasp it?
- I tell you more fully the drama of the universe – the greatest love story with love the greatest passion.
- You recently heard this topic viewed from the angle of God’s love making us His peculiar treasure, but for this study in His word, we want to see the object and measure of His love in a different way.
The World’s Concept of Love Is Blasphemy
- The world believes, declares, and promotes love of yourself as the greatest love, which is blasphemy and profanity, for God’s love of us and our love of others are both greater.
- A well-known song promoting self-love and claiming our sermon’s title, Greatest Love Of All, was written in 1977 for part of the soundtrack for a Muhammed Ali biopic.
- This song was made much more popular when sung by Whitney Houston in 1985; Greatest Love of All is typical childish nonsense both directly and indirectly in its lyrics.
- Though Whitney Houston was raised Baptist in Newark, church life was gospel music.
- The worldly song with lyrics and origin is found on the last page of this sermon outline.
- For a thorough refutation of the heresy and lie of self-love and self-esteem … here, here.
Distinctions Needed about God and His Son
- Our God is Jehovah, I AM THAT I AM, clearly revealed to Moses at the burning bush.
- He created all things for Himself and for His own pleasure and rules the whole universe.
- He planned from eternity to have a Son that would be both God and man to visit earth.
- This Son was born to a virgin named Mary, and He was named thus, Jesus of Nazareth.
- Jesus of Nazareth is a Man, Who lived, died, rose again, and ascended bodily to heaven.
- He is always subordinate to God in His humanity and role as our Mediator with Jehovah.
- Jesus is God in His divine nature; God is not Jesus, for God is an eternal, infinite Spirit.
- Jesus is the Son of God by virtue of being generated through Mary by the power of God.
- Jesus is not God. Jesus is God made flesh. Jesus is the Son of God. Jesus is under God.
- His natures are quite united, but we must understand scriptures that often separate them.
- Jesus is a Man with a birthdate, death date, resurrection date, and is bodily in heaven.
- God Jehovah will soon judge the world through His Son and cast all sinners into hellfire.
- Those written in the Book of Life from eternity and saved by Jesus’ death go to heaven.
- God loves His Son Jesus – the Man Christ Jesus – and we want to further study it here.
- This Son felt all our infirmities, was tempted in all our ways, but obeyed God perfectly.
- Jesus delighted in God like no other, glorified Him like no other, and endured the worst.
- God delighted in Jesus like no other, glorified Him like no other, and put Him over all.
- When we use the terms Father, Heavenly Father, or Father in Heaven, we mean Jehovah.
God Loves His Son, the Man Christ Jesus
- This is not new; I taught it before, especially during exposition of John (Jn 3:35; 5:20).
- Jehovah God sent angelic heralds with His glory to announce Jesus birth (Luke 2:8-14); Jehovah thundered His love from heaven for Jesus (Matt 3:17; 17:5), once correcting Peter who foolishly included Moses and Elijah as comparable to Jesus the Son of God.
- This is God’s love of Jesus of Nazareth, the Son of God by Mary, not God’s love of Himself; Jesus is the only begotten Son of God this way (the Word of God made flesh).
- This is the greatest love of all. Will you consider and delight in this love with me today?
- Think about capacity of love – who must have the greatest capacity? Our God Jehovah; think about the Son’s origin – the most intentional, intimate, covenant plan in history, which we can barely glimpse by comparing human adoption to accidental conception.
- What happened when Jesus was nearly devoured by Herod the Great and then ascended? God protected Jesus by angels directing Joseph to move to Egypt and back. There was angelic war in heaven, for it is too small for Satan and the Son of God (Rev 12:1-7).
- How did Herod the Great die, who tried to kill Jesus? Josephus recorded, Intense itching, intestinal pain, shortness of breath, convulsions, and gangrene of the genitalia.
- Jehovah was committed with all His zeal to the plan for His holy child Jesus (Is 9:6-7), and He prepared Him, taught Him, and defended Him against all enemies (Is 50:4-9).
- God the Father gave the Holy Spirit without measure to Jesus His Son, far outstripping the gift of the Holy Ghost to anyone else (Ps 45:7; Isaiah 11:1-5; John 3:34; Heb 1:9).
- The householder parable has God hoping Jews would honor His Son (Matt 21:33-46);the parable of the king’s marriage for His Son shows His delight in Him (Matt 22:1-7)within that generation Jesus came to judge in the glory of the Father (Matt 16:27-28).
- God brought the greatest tribulation in human history on that generation for neglecting His Son’s visit to Israel and then crucifying Him without any cause but envy for His goodness (Luke 19:43-44; I Thess 2:14-16; Matt 24:21-22; Daniel 12:1; Matt 27:18).
- As Jesus got close to the cross, the Father thunderously answered Him (John 12:27-30), and six days later He could ask in His last published prayer for glory (John 17:1,5,22).
- Consider how God the Father sent angels to help Jesus at His temptation by Satan, in the Garden of Gethsemane, and throughout His life (Matt 4:11; Luke 22:43; John 1:51).
- Jesus knew in Gethsemane at His arrest that the Father would send angels (Matt 26:53).
- Who afflicted Pilate’s wife while Jesus perfectly confessed (I Tim 6:13-16; Matt 27:19)?
- How did Judas Iscariot die for betraying Jesus? Horribly by prophecy (Ps 109:6-20)!
- Darkness covered the earth while God’s Son hung naked and shamefully on the cross, but there was also an earthquake and the temple veil torn downward in honor of Jesus.
- David in Psalm 2 exalted the jealous affection of God for His Son, and the apostles prayed for that divine jealousy to defend them for the holy child Jesus (Acts 4:23-31).
- Jesus is the brightness of God’s glory, which is God’s reflection through Him (Heb 1:3), for this Child, this Son, is in a public, formal, and official relationship above any angel.
- Jehovah loved what His Son did by humiliation and dying for us (Philippians 2:9-11), and it is important to see how God is glorified by the reverence shown to His Son Jesus.
- Jesus reception in heaven was only by God’s glorious will (Revelation chapters 4-5).
- How intimate is the relationship of God and His Son – in His bosom (John 1:18); this is not God or the Word of God – this is God and the Man Christ Jesus, His beloved Son.
- Where is Jesus now? It is repeated very often. He is on a throne at God’s right hand.
- God promised to make His Son’s enemies His footstool (Ps 110:1). See the great love.
- God gave wonderful testimony and witness of His Son in nearly nine ways (I Jn 5:6-8).
- The points here do not fully explore or exhaust the relationship or love of Father to Son.
God Loves Us Equally with His Son Jesus
- Far better than men, God exalted His love by killing Jesus for enemies (Rom 5:6-11), which is the opposite of our recent Memorial Day, when enemies were killed for friends.
- Think about capacity of love – who must have the greatest capacity? Our God Jehovah; think about the cost of love – who gave the most to show great love? Our God Jehovah; think about the benefit of love – what did God’s love do for us? Beyond any measure.
- The question must be asked, Is there a difference between God’s love of Jesus and us?
- Our answer is simple and profound, God loves us equally with His Son (John 17:23); our answer is simple and profound, God’s love for His Son is to be in us (John 17:26); our answer reaches even higher, We are joint-heirs in Jesus inheritance (Rom 8:15-17).
- This is the greatest love of all. Will you consider further how this is true by scripture?
- Without you and me, His elect and covenant brethren, Jesus is incomplete (Eph 1:23), which is a staggering thought and hard to accept, but it is stated plainly enough by Paul; the scriptures bear this out for He was assigned and He promised (John 6:37-40; etc.).
- Let His fabulous, final prayer describe our perfect connection to the Father and Him – mutually owned (Jn 17:10), intimate union like They have (Jn 17:11), us believers intimately united with God and Son (Jn 17:21), family connection of sonship (Jn 17:22), perfect unity in Father-Son love (Jn 17:23), to know the same love of God (John 17:26).
- How do we measure God’s love for us? The logical view of God killing His Son for us involves some obvious reasoning in wisdom. Would God kill Him for us to love us less?
- This is love – not our love of God but His of us – killing His Son (I Jn 4:9-10; Jn 3:16), which should affect you, for how can Wisdom kill a superior to result in inferior love?
- For love great enough to impress the angels with God’s wisdom in our salvation and cause their curiosity, the result must be spectacular (I Pet 1:12; Eph 3:10; Heb 2:10-18).
- Yes, we were enemies before His saving death (Rom 5:6-11), but here is one more place we must rightly divide by phases of salvation, for we were loved eternally (Eph 1:3-6), because we were not enemies and sinners in every respect, but only legally, vitally, etc.
- Though our Lord’s office, role, glory is greater than ours as the firstborn and preeminent Son, still we are the sons of God ourselves, and the Father loves Him and us as brothers.
- He did not spare His own Son (note the words) to guarantee all things for us (Rom 8:32), and the sacrifice of His Son requires us be equal in loving respects to the Son He gave, for all things that death secured are all God’s spiritual blessings in heaven (Eph 1:3-6).
- Yes, in His divine nature Jesus the Son of God is infinitely different and better than we, but when we view the Man Christ Jesus as our Mediator, God loves us all together, similar to how we understand the Godman subordinate to God as the Son (I Cor 15:28).
- The connection of the Father to the Son and the Son to us is loving friendship (Jn 15:15), for the relationship is measured by how much friends share with their true friends – all.
- The unique personal knowledge the Father and Son have is shared with us; God saved us to have this fellowship and intimate knowledge of Them (John 17:2-3; I John 5:20).
- Jesus (the Son of God) told us to pray to God as an infinitely better Father (Matt 7:11), and He pities as an infinitely better Father faithfully recalling our frame (Ps 103:13-18), and when we pray we can consider God’s love for us directly as Jesus taught (Jn 16:27).
- Nothing can separate us from God’s love, for it is in Christ Jesus for us (Rom 8:38-39), and why should we make it different, since it is in Him, by Him, for Him, through Him?
- If you say, but God loved His Son Jesus before the foundation of the world (John 17:24), then you need to remember that God has loved us with an everlasting love (Jer 31:3).
- To be filled with all the fulness of God requires Christ’s love for us (Eph 3:14-19); this love passes knowledge and is revealed by Holy Ghost power – it must be very great!
- We are brethren of Jesus Christ and children (Heb 2:10-13), for the Father’s goal has been for a family with Jesus firstborn among many brethren (Rom 8:29-30), so we see that God diluted the inheritance of Jesus for us, proving our equality (Romans 8:15-17).
- Our adoption is more real than most consider – we shall be like Jesus (I John 3:1-2), and this is so true that we shall be joint-heirs with Him (Rom 8:15-17), and it is obvious that lesser-loved sons do not get the same share of the estate as the beloved, darling Son.
- We are brethren of Jesus Christ and children (Heb 2:10-13), and He is not ashamed to call us brethren, which He should if we were His inferiors in the Father’s affection.
- How could we be more connected to Jesus than His bone and flesh (Eph 5:29-30), so why should we expect or think the Father loves us differently than our one flesh Lord?
- No matter how equal in some ways, His office/role will be our Lord forever (Rom 8:29), just as His equality with God is to be distinguished from His mediatorial role (Jn 10:30).
- When we view our position and privileges in the Son, we discover that we have a white horse like He does, we judge angels right along with Him, our throne is His throne and next to the Father, we live and reign with Him over others, we have a rod of iron for ruling as does He, we get spectacular new names including an unknown one, etc., etc.
You Better Honor and Love God’s Son
- Consider that our God is named Jealous (Ex 34:14), which must be very great for Jesus, for He brought on that generation neglecting/killing His Son the worst tribulation ever.
- The householder parable has God judging the Jews for killing His Son (Matt 21:33-46); the parable of a king’s wedding for His Son includes furious judgment (Matt 22:1-7); for the murder of His Son, God charged all righteous blood from Abel (Matt 23:33-36).
- The words might be unusual to you, but thy holy child Jesus is inspired (Acts 4:23-31) for it simply means descendent or son by a synonym, which comes from David (Ps .
- Neglecting the Lord’s Supper (past His mercy) will bring righteous judgment; abusing it corporately or personally will bring damnation and condemnation (I Cor 11:26-34).
- What else is there to do in life but to promote God’s Son Jesus (Psalm 22:30-31; 45:17), for no one is fairer by any measure, and no one has done anything for you in comparison.
- Let us be living epistles of Jesus Christ, known and read of all men, showing that we are His disciples, which we can do much better than Corinth (II Cor 3:2-3; John 13:35).
- This is the only relationship that should affect you … all others are infinitely inferior; if you take pains to make sure you are in fellowship with any, He is more crucial; Asaph corrected foolish thinking by delighting in God (Ps 73:25-26), but he did not of Jesus.
- Earthly, human, temporal, fickle love moves persons powerfully and causes them to do extreme things, but this love is far greater and should make us the greatest zealots ever.
- We honor God by honoring His Son due to His love for Jesus (John 5:23; Phil 2:9-11), which we should not forget, so that while honoring God directly we also do it indirectly.
- We pray in Jesus’ name for it invokes the greatest motivation for God (John 16:23-27), and our use of that name should be very careful in comparison to any foolish, trite use; we can follow Paul’s proportions and emphasis on the Son in his prayer (Col 1:9-17).
- Our church is the body of Jesus Christ and bride of Jesus Christ. How important is it? How do you show love of Christ by your love of the church? Are you FILO or LIFO?
- Our church is to be the pillar and ground of the truth about Jesus. How important is it? How do you show your love, defense, and promotion of the great mystery of godliness?
- We want to praise, worship, and serve Him with all our might to honor God His Father.
- Hear Paul? If any man love not the Lord Jesus Christ, let him be Anathema Maranatha.
The Lord’s Supper Is a Serious Event
- Paul was taught communion by Jesus Christ – he was not at the first one (I Cor 11:23).
- Taking it unworthily is to be guilty before God of Jesus’ body and blood (I Cor 11:27).
- Not examining for sin or not discerning its significance brings damnation (I Cor 11:29).
- Not judging yourself is to love sickness or death, for God will send it (I Cor 11:30-31).
- Coming to communion should be done carefully to avoid condemnation (I Cor 11:34).
- God’s love for His dear Son will burn hot in jealousy for Him and in wrath against you.
- Jesus the Son of God has witnesses of His identity, including communion (I Jn 5:6-8), and a positive result of believing the witness is faith overcoming the world (I Jn 5:4-5), and a negative result is bad, since we believe the inferior witness of men (I Jn 5:9-16).
- Consider the differences we make on Communion Sundays to make sure we honor Him.
- You should also make differences in private by examining
- Do you trust the Bible enough to believe God’s great love for you (Jn 17:23,26; Rom 8:15-17,29-32).
- Since we always want to glorify Jesus and never dilute His glory, it is hard to fully believe such love.
- We are not foolish enough to think all offices, roles, or glory are the same … but His love is the same.
- How will this knowledge here affect your confidence, love of God, obedience, praying, and worship?
For Further Study:
- A Mother’s Love … here, here, here.
- Peculiar Treasure … here, here.
- Love Is the Greatest … here, here.
- Sonship of Jesus Christ … here.
- Three Witnesses of Jesus … here.
- Heresy of Self-Love … here, here.
Greatest Love of All
Lyrics by Michael Masser and Linda Creed in 1977.
The song was written for a Muhammed Ali biopic.
It was first recorded by George Benson in 1977.
It grew popular by Whitney Houston in 1985.
I believe the children are our future
Teach them well and let them lead the way
Show them all the beauty they possess inside
Give them a sense of pride to make it easier
Let the children’s laughter remind us how we used to be
Everybody’s searching for a hero
People need someone to look up to
I never found anyone who fulfilled my needs
A lonely place to be
And so I learned to depend on me.
I decided long ago
Never to walk in anyone’s shadows
If I fail, if I succeed
At least I’ll live as I believe
No matter what they take from me
They can’t take away my dignity.
Because the greatest love of all
Is happening to me
I found the greatest love of all
Inside of me
The greatest love of all
Is easy to achieve
Learning to love yourself
It is the greatest love of all.
And if, by chance, that special place
That you’ve been dreaming of
Leads you to a lonely place
Find your strength in love.