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“God’s Love Revealed”

(Romans 5:5)

I. Introduction.
A. Orientation.
1. We’ve been looking at the communion we have with the Holy Spirit.
a. We were already familiar with some of these things: His quickening, His
giving to us what Christ has purchased, His comforting.
b. But we’re beginning to see some new things: We understood how the
promise to remind applied to the apostles – to write Scripture – but we may
not have been aware of how it applies to us – that He would bring the
promises to our mind and apply them powerfully and sovereignly to our heart
for our comfort.

2. We saw last week that when He does this:


a. He doesn’t draw attention to Himself unnecessarily or to anyone else.
b. He draws attention to Christ; He glorifies Him.
(i) He receives what Christ has earned.
(ii) He reveals and applies them to us.
(iii) But in a way that we see our indebtedness to Jesus Christ.

B. Preview.
1. This morning, let’s look at a further work of the Spirit, one more way we have
communion with Him – He reveals God’s love for us.
a. Paul isn’t referring to the love the Spirit gives us for God. The Spirit
certainly does this – that’s one thing we should remember from our series on
the Marks of Grace.
(i) We come into this world spiritually dead – we hate the light, the holy
things of God, His Son, His commandments, His people.
(ii) But He quickens us – makes us alive, when He unites Himself with our
souls.
(a) He becomes a principle of love in our hearts, of love towards God and
the things of God.
(b) Once He does, our hearts beat for Christ, our eyes are opened to His
glory and beauty, our ears are opened to His will, we receive Him, we
follow Him.
(c) These things are true, but it’s not what Paul speaks about in our text.

b. Rather, the Spirit reveals the Father’s love for us.


(i) He shows us our communion in the Father’s love.
(ii) The Spirit is the One who makes this connection.
(a) The Father loves us.
(b) Jesus works to allow this love to be consummated.
(c) The Spirit is sent to consummate it.
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2. This morning, let’s consider two things:


a. The two ways in which God is said to love us.
b. How the Spirit reveals this love to us.

II. Sermon.
A. First, what are the two ways the Father loves us?
1. The first way is His electing love.
a. Many today believe that our love for God determines our salvation.
(i) God loves us all the same, sends Christ, and wills us to come.
(ii) If we see His love and respond in love – by trusting and embracing Jesus
– we will be saved.

b. But the truth is God’s love for us determines our salvation.


(i) He loved us before He created the world, “He chose us in Him before the
foundation of the world, that we would be holy and blameless before Him.
In love, He predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to
Himself, according to the kind intention of His will, to the praise of the
glory of His grace, which He freely bestowed on us in the Beloved” (Ep.
1:4-6).
(ii) He loved us while we were spiritually dead/His enemies.
(a) “And you were dead in your trespasses and sins” (Eph. 2:1).
(b) “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were
yet sinners, Christ died for us” (Rom. 5:8).

(iii) And it’s only because He made us alive that we could ever love Him in
return.
(a) “But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which
He loved us, even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us
alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved)” (2:4-5).
(b) “We love because He first loved us” (1 John 4:19).

c. This love he had for us in eternity in Christ, this electing and predestining
love, is the first sense in which He loves us.

2. The second way is by receiving us in Christ as though we were Christ.


a. When we trust in Christ, all our sins are forgiven and we are clothed in His
righteousness.
b. The Father sees us now in Christ and receives us.
(i) He receives us as He would His Son – spotless and blameless.
(ii) He receives us as His children – He adopts us into His family.
(iii) And He loves us for what He sees of His Son.
(iv) These are the two ways the Father is said to love us.

B. But now, second, how does the Spirit reveal this love to us?
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1. He does so first from within our hearts/souls: “The love of God has been
poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us”
(Rom. 5:5).
a. He resides in our souls – This is what it means that we are the temple of the
Spirit, “Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who
is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own?” (1 Cor.
6:19).
b. He does this from within and not from without.

2. What does He do in our souls? His presence is enough to bring this about.
a. Another thing we learned in our study on the Marks of Grace is that the Spirit
is the love of God.
(i) He is the love the Father has for the Son, and the love the Son has for the
Father, eternally breathed out towards one another.
(ii) He is the One the Father and Son pour out on us, giving us love for them
and for the saints, as well as allowing us to sense their love to us.
(iii) This is what Jesus means when He prays, “O righteous Father, although
the world has not known You, yet I have known You; and these have
known that You sent Me; and I have made Your name known to them, and
will make it known, so that the love with which You loved Me may be in
them, and I in them” (John 17:25-26).
(iv) This is also what Peter is referring to when he writes, “For by these He
has granted to us His precious and magnificent promises, so that by them
you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the
corruption that is in the world by lust” (2 Pet. 1:4).
(v) The Spirit is the love of God, the divine nature of which we partake.

b. When the Spirit is in our soul, He pours out the love of God.
(i) He fills our souls in a way that convinces and satisfies us that God loves
us.
(ii) The more we have of the Spirit, we more we will sense this love. The
more we sense it, the more we will be assured of His love.
(iii) This is another way in which we have communion with the Spirit: He
persuades our sinful souls that the Father loves us in Jesus Christ, that He
delights in us, that He thinks kindly towards us, to the point where our
souls are convinced.
(iv) Putting this together with what we’ve seen, when He comforts us, He
does so in such a way that Jesus is glorified, and in such a way that we
sense the Father’s love in it.

c. This communion with the Spirit in the Father’s love is what the Puritans
called Heaven on Earth.
(i) Heaven is a world filled with the Father’s love (or the Spirit), and when
we’re finally there, we will be filled with that love/Spirit.
(ii) While we’re on earth, this is the closest thing we’ll experience of heaven
– God’s love/the Spirit in our hearts.
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(iii) The more we have of the Spirit, the more we’ll experience this love.
(iv) And the more we experience this love, the more we’ll know that we
have the Father’s electing love.
(v) And this amounts to a strong assurance.

III. Application.
A. First, do you love God and the things of God?
1. This is the best way to know if the Spirit has united Himself to you – if He has
quickened/saved you.
a. Do you love the Father?
b. Do you love His Son, Jesus Christ? Have you trusted in Him?
c. Are you showing your love to them by keeping their commandments? Not
just part, but all of them?
d. Do you love the worship of God? Do you love communion with God?
e. Do you enjoy the fellowship of God’s people? Do you enjoy serving God?

2. If these things aren’t true of you, you need the Spirit; you need to be born again.
a. Look to Jesus Christ; ask Him to change your heart.
b. Then trust in Him to save you and turn from your sins.
c. If you can from the heart, then He has heard and answered your prayer.

B. If you do love Him from the heart, second, do you sense the love God has for you?
1. If you are a true believer, you will to some degree.
2. But it will depend on how filled you are with God’s Spirit.
a. The more you are in worship, the Word and prayer, the more you will sense
it.
b. The more you serve Him, the more you will sense it.
c. The more you receive the sacrament by faith, the more you will sense it.
d. The less you do these things and the more you sin, the less you will sense it.

3. Realizing that our usefulness to the Lord largely depends on our love for Him
and the sense of His love for us, let’s be exhorted to do all we can to guard the
Spirit’s work in our hearts.
4. Let’s also prepare to come to the Table in faith – that exhibit of God’s infinite
love toward us in Christ – that we might receive more of His presence and more
of His love. Amen.

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