. The Father Heart of God (Part 4)




We’ve been out of the text for a few weeks now, as I was away, and then preached another sermon last week. Just a quick reminder of last week. Our desire at Logos is not to simply have a high view of God, Scripture, the Church and Missions, but our desire has to be to love God. Love His Word, Love His people and love the lost. May we never become a club, but may we always be the church that Jesus intended us to be. Now, back to the series on ‘The Father Heart of God’. I truly believe that if we understand these sermons, and in particular when we get to the Prodigal Son part of the series, we will be able to love God right back, as we understand His love for us.


So, how do we understand the love of God? Or as we put it in sermon 1. How is the love of God, which is a demonstration of the Father Heart of God seen in the Son of God?

The love of God which explains the Father Heart of God is the motive that stands behind and explains the death of the Son of God. But, how do you understand something that is so infinite and immeasurable? Over the last few weeks I have reminded you that my desire with Paul is that we will understand the length and the breadth and the depth and the height of God’s love for us and that it will cause us to fall in love with God the Father all over again. Paul says, that this love of God is so unique that you will battle to understand it. But there is more. We saw something very exciting. Ephesians 3:17-19 (ESV) says: 17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith—that you, being rooted and grounded in love, 18 may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, 19 and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.” Wow, Paul links the knowledge of this love with “being filled with all the fullness of God”. Is that not what we all desire? That is what makes this series so vitally important.


We all rely on God’s love as we read in 1 John 4:16 (ESV) 16 So we have come to know and to believe the love that God has for us. God is love, and whoever abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him.” So, we live in God’s love, and we know that God abides in us. But surely we want to understand this love in all its dimensions so that we may be filled with all the fullness of God, don’t we? Sadly, people today make other things their priority than being filled with the fullness of God. That is what we spoke about last week. People are more concerned about programme, length of services, worship style, air conditioning, things done my way, who belongs and who is not welcome etc. etc. A club is not interested in the ‘fullness of God’, but the church has to be.


For this reason we spent the two weeks looking at how God put His love on display through His son, by looking at the Divine Gift, which is really the first point of the series.


We talked about ‘why God gave’, and we saw that the reason can only be explained by God. We talked about ‘what God gave’. He gave His only one and unique Son. He gave His other self as Charles Spurgeon put it. God gave God when He gave His Son. Then we considered ‘how God gave’ His Son. He gave Him in a way that He would have to suffer humiliation from His birth to the cross. Then we considered ‘when God gave’ His Son. We saw that God gave His Son before time, and then He gave His Son in time, and even now through the preaching of the gospel He offers His Son to sinners.


All of this speaks of the love of God. This is one way you grow in your understanding of the love of God. But let’s build on this, and we will keep doing so for weeks. We do not want to move through this series too quickly. It is just too important.


Then in the last sermon we saw the second way in which the love of God is put on display. We looked at the Divine Plan. We saw that it is not a plan for law-keepers and self-changers but that it is a plan for believers.


But there is a third way the love of God is on display in the text before us.


Point 3. The love of God is seen in the divine choice.


You see in the text clearly God’s choice of the people whom He will save.  Who can be saved this way? Who has permission from God to be saved by His Son? What is the answer? Anyone who believes will be saved. John 3:16 (ESV) 16 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.”


‘Whoever believes in him’ from our point of view is an unlimited word. It is a liberating word.


‘Whoever’, regardless of your race, or your age, or your social position, or anything else we all come the same way if we were to be saved, and that is through faith in Jesus.


‘Whoever’, regardless of your past, or your present. You might say today, that based on what you have done or are doing you are therefore beyond salvation. Not in God’s books. In God’s books it says ‘whoever.’ I’m telling you today on the authority of God’s word that there is not a person you can think about presently alive in this world who is beyond salvation.


‘Whoever’ regardless of the faith others have in you. You might sit here this morning and know that others think that you are past saving. Not only do you know that you are lost, but you know that everybody else knows that you are lost. The text says that God believes you are capable of being saved. It doesn’t matter what others think. Salvation is from the Lord.


‘Whoever’ regardless of the faith you have in yourself. Maybe you think that you are beyond saving. Maybe there was a time that your heart was soft, but now it is hard and you think you cannot be saved. I know someone who can take that stony heart out of you and give you a heart of flesh. I know someone who can break your heart this very morning and save you forever. If you will believe in His Son, you will be saved.


But there is a limited word here. The word ‘whoever’ is unlimited, but ‘whoever believes in Him’ is limited. This salvation will only come to believers. Every unbeliever is excluded. Some people believe that the love of God is so great that all men will be in heaven and nobody will be in hell. There are many churches around the world that are into universalism. They believe that the various verses in the New Testament that refers to Christ dying for the sins of all people implies salvation for all. I am telling you today that that is not the love of God. No, salvation is limited. Who is it limited to? It is limited to believers. Every unbeliever is excluded.


The blood of Christ is sufficient to save all people but it is not efficient to save all people. It simply means that God can save all people, but that not all people will be saved.


You might ask. What about those who have never heard sufficiently that they could make the right choice. According to the text they are already condemned unless they come to a point of putting their faith in Jesus.  Here is the good news. Our God is sovereign, and He does all things right. And God is able to get His gospel wherever He wants it sent. God will do all things well. We don’t have to worry about that. But this I know, that if not hearing the gospel means that everybody automatically then goes to heaven, you then don’t have the great commission, but you have the greatest cover up ever and the easiest way to evangelise the world then would be to keep the gospel from people. Let’s then declare today that the best way save all the babies in our midst for sure  is to keep them secluded from the gospel. Salvation is limited to believers.


God’s love is seen in the freeness of the offer. It is a genuine offer. Now we know from other parts of Scripture that we cannot claim credit for our belief can we? Why did you believe if you are a believer? Because of a sovereign work of God’s grace by His Spirit in your heart. But this offer is genuine and sincere to the entire world. Whoever hears this message, and whoever believes in Christ will be saved.


Listen, God genuinely desires though He has not decreed it, the salvation of every man. We have no other message that this. Whoever, believes will be saved.  Ezekiel 18:32 (ESV)32 For I have no pleasure in the death of anyone, declares the Lord God; so turn, and live.” Now is that the Word of God or isn’t it? Let’s combine it with John 3:16 ‘I have no pleasure in the death of anyone, so whoever believes in me will have eternal life.’ If we really believe that God has that kind of love for all men, then we will take the gospel to anyone.


So therefore we preach this good news to all that if they were to repent of their sins and believe in God’s Son they will be saved. Ezekiel 33:11 (ESV) 11 Say to them, As I live, declares the Lord God, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but that the wicked turn from his way and live; turn back, turn back from your evil ways, for why will you die, O house of Israel?” There is the heart of God in the Old Testament, and it is that same heart that says; ‘for God so loved the world’.


If you have not repented from your sins and turned to God by faith in Jesus Christ, why will you die, why will you die, when a loving God has made such a salvation available to you? Hebrews 2:1-4 (ESV) 1 Therefore we must pay much closer attention to what we have heard, lest we drift away from it. 2 For since the message declared by angels proved to be reliable, and every transgression or disobedience received a just retribution, 3 how shall we escape if we neglect such a great salvation? It was declared at first by the Lord, and it was attested to us by those who heard, 4 while God also bore witness by signs and wonders and various miracles and by gifts of the Holy Spirit distributed according to his will.”


You’ve heard it from the Lord, you’ve heard it from the Apostles, and you’ve seen its evidence by signs and wonders in the book of Acts. How will we escape if we neglect such a great salvation?


Did you know that it doesn’t take great faith to be saved? It just takes real faith, true faith. It doesn’t mean that you must first understand all mysteries. It simply means that you know yourself to be a lost sinner in need of the Son of God and He is the only Saviour, His death must be the answer for your sins. You need to reach out to Christ, trust in Him and you will be saved forever. You will find out that that small faith will be grown by God and you will grow. True faith loves the Son of God and will not let go of Him and God will preserve you in faith and He will keep you by His power in faith and grow you until the day that He will glorify you in His presence.


Will you love the Son of God today? Will you come to Him for life if you have not already?  John 5:39-40 (ESV) “39 You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; and it is they that bear witness about me, 40 yet you refuse to come to me that you may have life.” Are you willing to come to the Lord Jesus today? What is the desire of God for each and every one of us here today? It is to save us. What are we required to do? We need to believe in Jesus and come to Him trusting in Him alone for salvation.


Look at the divine gift, it was for you. Look at the divine plan, it is for you. Look at the divine choice. It includes you if you simply believe.


It is not a plan for law-keepers; it is not a plan for self-changers. It is a plan for believers. Do you believe? Then come to Jesus today.



Soli Deo Gloria

Logos Community Church:- 28 September 2014