I. God Cannot Be Found in Selfishness
A. 8 The one who does not love does not know God, for God is love.
1. People demand God provide something on their terms – offer contingent faith in return
a. Then I’ll know you’re real
2. Others want special revelation
a. Just prove it to me
B. Demanding God reveal himself on your terms
1. 1 John 3:14–18 We know that we have passed out of death into life, because we love the brethren. He who does not love abides in death. 15 Everyone who hates his brother is a murderer; and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him. 16 We know love by this, that He laid down His life for us; and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren. 17 But whoever has the world’s goods, and sees his brother in need and closes his heart against him, how does the love of God abide in him?18 Little children, let us not love with word or with tongue, but in deed and truth.
2. 2 Ti 3:2–4 For men will be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, revilers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy, 3unloving, irreconcilable, malicious gossips, without self-control, brutal, haters of good, 4treacherous, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God,
C. Selfish ambition leads the other way
1. Ro 2:8 but to those who are selfishly ambitious and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, wrath and indignation.
II. God Is Found Through Love
A. 7 Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. . . . 12 No one has seen God at any time; if we love one another, God abides in us, and His love is perfected in us.
B. Becoming like God
1. 1 Jn 3:1–2 See how great a love the Father has bestowed on us, that we would be called children of God; and such we are. For this reason the world does not know us, because it did not know Him. 2Beloved, now we are children of God, and it has not appeared as yet what we will be. We know that when He appears, we will be like Him, because we will see Him just as He is.
2. Children take on characteristics of parents
3. 1 Peter 1:15 like the Holy One who called you, be holy yourselves also in all your behavior;
C. Not the same kind of love as everyone else
1. Mt 5:43–48 “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ 44“But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven; for He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. 46“For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? 47“If you greet only your brothers, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same? 48“Therefore you are to be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.
III. Sacrificial Love
A. 8 The one who does not love does not know God, God is love. 9 By this the love of God was manifested in us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world so 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.
B. Jn 3:16 “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.
C. Ro 5:6–10 For while we were still helpless, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. 7For one will hardly die for a righteous man; though perhaps for the good man someone would dare even to die. 8But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. 9Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from the wrath of God through Him. 10For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life.
D. No extent to which Christ wouldn’t go for us
1. Loved us so much, didn’t want heaven without us
2. Ro 8:38–39 For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, 39nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
a. What can separate people from your love?
3. Jn 15:12–13 “This is My commandment, that you love one another, just as I have loved you. 13“Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends.