The Manner of His Love

I Jn 2:29- 3:3

29 If you know that He is righteous, you know that everyone who practices righteousness is born of Him. 1 Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God! Therefore the world does not know us, because it did not know Him. 2 Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is. 3 And everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself, just as He is pure. (NKJ)

This message was preached January 13, 2002 at FBC Toulon, by Albert Harmon. See it at


Last Sunday we dealt with the unbelievable fact that we are now, right now children of God. This morning we want to consider the manner of love that has brought us to this place. Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us.

And we would have to admit that there are many love stories around. Some are quite amazing. But I want to attempt to relate to you this morning the uncomprehensible love of God.

I think of love as in degrees or stages. Every relationship has a little different facet of love. First I want to consider the intellectual aspect of love.

  1. Intellectual Love
    1. We have all experienced this but for some it might be hard to remember.
      1. You remember when we first noticed them.
      2. You know what I mean, the first time you noticed them noticing you.
      3. The brain goes into gear and you want to know more about this person.
      4. Where do they live and what do they like.
      5. You start to ask questions about them.
      6. Soon people get the idea that you might have this thing for them.
      7. Usually investigate until you make a decision to proceed or retreat.
      8. If you find something repulsive, then you retreat because you just know you could never love that person.
      9. But if the harder you examine them, the better they look then you will pursue them.
    2. But with God, He knew everything about us and loved us anyway.
      1. He did not love us because we were acceptable or met His standards.
      2. He did not love us because we could meet a need in Him or do something for Him.
      3. God shows us how He loves in Deut 7:7, 8
        1. Deuteronomy 7:7,8

7 "The Lord did not set His love on you nor choose you because you were more in number than any other people, for you were the least of all peoples;8 "but because the Lord loves you, and because He would keep the oath which He swore to your fathers, the Lord has brought you out with a mighty hand, and redeemed you from the house of bondage, from the hand of Pharaoh king of Egypt.

  1. The same is true of us.
  2. He does not love us because we are something but because He love us.
  3. That is marvelous love.
  1. It is not that we loved Him and so He loved us but rather we love Him because He first loved us. 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 propitiation for our sins.
  2. God loves not as people love.
  3. His is a decision to love.
  4. He set His love upon us, because He would love us.
  5. Because love can be commanded it is intellectual, but we do not value intellectual love unless it is also emotional.
  1. Emotional Love
    1. No love between people quickly moves from intellectual to the emotional.
      1. As a matter of fact often in human love, too soon intelligence disappears all together.
      2. We soon move from thinking to feelings.
      3. It is no longer what do we think about this person but how do we feel about them.
      4. In many relationships after a time it becomes predominately intellectual, and when it does love , true love dies.
      5. If you intellectually love some one but there is no emotional attachment, then it will be a calculated love.
        1. A calculated love soon looks for somewhere else to get the emotional part of love met.
        2. Or for social or economic reasons they two remain together but do not manifest an emotional attachment any longer.
    2. But the love of God is both intellectual and emotional.
      1. Emotion is impossible to express outside of human action.
        1. Although I told you of a young man who wrote to his lover.
        2. I love you more than the bees love the flowers. I love you more that the birds love the air. I love you more that Heresies likes chocolate. When I think about you I get all warm inside. I cross the widest river for you. I would climb the highest mountain to be with you. Compared to you the flowers have no beauty. Compared to you the breeze of a spring day is stale. P.S. Next week I will come and visit you if Vikings aren't playing.
      2. In several ways God illustrates the manner of His love emotionally.
      3. One of the most dramatic is in the O.T. prophet Hosea.
        1. The prophet was chosen by God to be a living example of God's love.
        2. First he is commanded to take a wife who was a prostitute.
        3. After a few years Gomer, his wife, leaves him to once again play the harlot.
        4. She falls on bad times is to be sold as a bondservant.
        5. God calls on Hosea to go and purchase her (chap 3) and save her even though se has offended him.
      4. God is willing to follow the great love chapter, 1 Cor 13
        1. Love suffers long
        2. Love bears all things
        3. Love hopes all things
        4. Love endures all things
        5. Love never fails
      5. Can you appreciate God's love for us:
        1. That even when we have gone into the far country,
        2. And wasted all we have on other lovers, (those who would have the affections that belong only to God.)
        3. Yet He is still waiting with the best robe, the ring, and shoes for our battered feet.
        4. He is fattening up the choice calf waiting for us to return to our first love.
      6. Do you perceive what manner of love He has you?
      7. Can you appreciate the marvelous love of God.
      8. But real love will move beyond intellectual, and even emotional to sacrificial love.
  2. Sacrificial Love
    1. Now you remember how this one works.
      1. They want to go some place you would never have even thought about going, but because you love them, no sacrifice to too great to bring a simile to their face, so you go.
      2. Now a few years or even months into the marriage, sacrifice might not come as willingly.
      3. But sacrificial love is seen quite often in life.
      4. In battle one man will give his life to save the lives of his friends.
      5. Or we read of someone who gave a kidney to a loved one.
      6. It was no doubt a sacrifice on the part of Hosea to go and purchase his own wife.
    2. But beyond all doubt the greatest evidence of God's love is the gift of His Son.
      1. We also see the love of the Son because He willingly gave Himself as a sacrifice on a cross for us.
      2. As Jesus said, greater love has no one than this that a man lay down His life for His friends. John 15:13
      3. Remember Jesus said, "I am the good shepherd, the good shepherd give His life for the sheep." John 10:11
      4. Romans 5:6-8 For when we were still without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly.7 For scarcely for a righteous man will one die; yet perhaps for a good man someone would even dare to die.8 But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
      5. Ephesians 5:2 And walk in love, as Christ also has loved us and given Himself for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling aroma.
      6. 1 John 4:7-11 Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God.8 He who does not love does not know God, for God is love.9 In this the love of God was manifested toward us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him.10 In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins.11 Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.

"He speaks unto them as unto children. He deals with them as with sons. He is pleased in infinite love to bid them say, "Our Father;" and he answers to them by calling them children and heirs. He acknowledges their sonship, and pities them as a father pitieth his children. He has called them sons, saying, "I will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord God Almighty." Oh, what a blessing it is to have God calling you his child; the great Almighty and Infinite One looking upon you with a Father's love, and saying, "Thou art my son!" He speaks the truth, and we may believe it, and be sure: he knows his own children, and gives the name of sons to none whom he will in the end disown. He calls us his children; and we are." C.H. Spurgeon.

Does not the gracious Spirit of God now move on your soul, and make you stand in amazement at divine grace? Do you not melt with humble gratitude? What was there in you? What is there in you that you should be a son of God?" If children, then heirs; heirs of God, joint-heirs with Jesus Christ;" why are we lifted to such a privilege? The blessing of sonship has earth and heaven wrapped up in it, and all this is ours. If we know ourselves we mourn our want of worthiness, and yet we rejoice that we are the Lord's dear children. When we consider the persons who are called the children of God, there is, indeed, reason to say, "Behold, what manner of love!" C.H. Spurgeon.


This message was preached at FBC Toulon, by Albert Harmon. See it at