The Incarnation Reveals the Love of God
Text: 1 John 4:9-10
For many people this is a time of year of showing love. We send cards and gifts and make phone calls to those we love in order to remind them of the love we have for them.
But in this chapter we see the true origin of love; v8. Love is divine in nature. It is an attribute in God, that like Him is infinite, eternal, and unchangeable.
“God sent his only begotten Son…and sent his Son” v9-10
Both these verses are essentially saying the same thing, and echoing John 3:16.
“manifested” i.e. revealed. Not by a passive indifference to what we do. Far from it. He revealed His love by sending His Son.
So this text focuses on God’s love for men.
I. GOD’S LOVE APPOINTED A SUBSTITUTE “for our sins”
This is the who was with God in the beginning.
Christ came to stand in for men and do a work for men. Man has a problem that John identifies here as “our sins”.
“Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows…But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities…the Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.” Is 53:4-6
“Christ our passover is sacrificed for us” 1 Cor 5:7
“Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us” Gal 3:13
“Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God” Eph 5:2
“Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity” Tit 2:14
“Christ hath suffered for us” 1 Pet 4:1
“he laid down his life for us” 1 Jn 3:16
And remember, in order to do this he had to take our guilt. Imagine taking the guilt of one who had committed awful atrocities. “For he hath made him to be sin for us” (2 Cor 5:21).
He felt the guilt of being a liar, a thief, an adulterer, a sodomite, and a murderer. It was all laid on Christ, and that’s why multitudes who have committed these sins still bring the gift of their lives to the one who lay in a manger.
And until you bow before the one that was born being both God and man, you can never be saved.
II. GOD’S LOVE ACHIEVED SATISFACTION “propitiation”
God can’t just overlook sin. Satisfaction had to be achieved.
His death satisfied the justified and so the wrath of God was turned away. The star pointed to one who would deal with sin. The shepherds came to worship the one who would deal with their sin. The gifts brought by the wise men were in gratitude for the one who would deal with their sin. If you miss this, you’ve missed the whole purpose.
While you’re engaging in frivolities at this time of the year, God does not take lightly to your negligence and perversion of the incarnation. You sing carols of Christ coming heaping more condemnation on your own head as you wilfully reject the one who came to deal with sin.
I don’t care how satisfied with your own holiness you are, God is not impressed. Unless you have make the King born in the city of David the sovereign of your life, you are yet in your sins toying with hell’s torment.
III. GOD’S LOVE ASSURED SALVATION “that we might live through him”
“For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.” Jn 3:17 “I came not to judge the world, but to save the world.” Jn 12:47
To receive the child of Bethlehem is to receive all the blessings of Almighty God. Forgiveness, righteousness, adoption, and eternal life.
What sins are you planning to engage in at this holiday time? Drunkenness? Revelry? Fornication? God have mercy on your soul.
You can’t idolize your sin and go to heaven.
God deserves our love. That is what the commandments are summarized, that we should love the Lord our God.
But look at the only reason why any of us love Him, “not that we loved God, but that He loved us” v10 (see also v19).
This is love. God sent His Son. God sent His Son for us. God sent His Son do die for us.
You say preacher, why are you preaching about His death? Because that’s the whole reason why He came.
He did not come to be sentimentally represented by plastic dolls in a nativity scene. He came to die!! Only the devil wants a Christmas without the cross!
And you my friend, you need to get to the cross. You need to get the Christ of the cross. You need to get under the blood of the cross. And when you receive gifts from friends and family this year, make sure you have the gift that lasts, not just in time, but throughout eternity.
“For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.” Lk 2:11