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Love and Sacrifice
by Pastor Alex Lindsay
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Reference: John 15:9-14

Our text has much to say about relationships, especially about having a relationship with the Father and with His Son, Jesus Christ.

  • John 15:9 - A relationship with God starts with God's love (I John 4:19). The Father loves His Son. He also loves us (John 3:16). In order to keep us for all eternity, God sacrificed His Son to fulfill His righteous displeasure with sin (Romans 3:19-26; II Corinthians 5:21; John 14:1-6). We must believe in the love of God and receive the gift of His Son (I John 4:7-16; John 1:12-13).

  • John 15:10 - We must dwell in this environment of love. This love will show itself through obedient commitment (Jude 1:20-21; Ephesians 3:14-19; I John 4:16; John 14:15; Matthew 7:21-27; I John 2:3-6).

  • John 15:11 - This love will bring joy and fulfillment (Ephesians 3:17-19; I Peter 1:8).

  • John 15:12 - We are to be guided in love by the example of Christ ("… as I have loved you" cp. II Corinthians 5:14-15).

  • John 15:13 - Love is sacrificial, not self-centered. Christ is the perfect example of true love (John 13:1; Ephesians 5:2; I John 3:16 cp. II Corinthians 8:7-9; John 1:14,16-17).

  • John 15:14 - Friendship reveals itself in a love that takes action (Proverbs 18:24). Friendship develops a common bond and an investment in others (Ephesians 4:1-3).

Perhaps one of the most well-known statements is John 15:13, "Greater love has no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends." What a great thought for Memorial Day! Many men and women have laid down their lives for our country and for our freedoms that we have enjoyed for so long. Perhaps some of them weren't thinking of patriotism when they joined the armed forces. Maybe, they were looking at a way to get employment and an education. Maybe they were drafted. But the time came when they had to go into harm's way and risk their lives, along with the others that were with them - and they made the sacrifice. Jesus spoke of a man who had two sons (Matthew 21:28-31a). He told one son to work in his vineyard. The son said that he would not do it, but later changed his mind and went to work. The second son was told to work in the vineyard and said, "I will go, sir." But he did not go. Jesus asks, "which one did his father's will." Today, we honor the memory of those who took action and paid the price with their lives.

But John 15:13 speaks most clearly about the sacrifice that Christ made for us. It was the Father's love that sent Him. It was Christ's love that made Him obey the heavenly Father and make that sacrifice (Ephesians 5:2). In John 11:47-52 Caiaphas, the high priest, unwittingly made a prophesy that Christ would die for the nation Israel, the scattered Jews around the world, and people of the Gentile nations as well. Caiaphas was only trying to stir the council to take action to have Jesus put to death. But nonetheless, he was fitting into the plan for Jesus to die as a sacrifice that would bring salvation to the whole world (Acts 2:22-23; 4:27-28 cp. Isaiah 49:6; John 10:11, 14-16; I Peter 2:1-10; I John 2:1-2).

What wondrous love? It calls us to faith, to loving service, to adoration and praise! It compels us to tell others. Time is short. Redeem the time because the days are evil (Ephesians 5:1-17).

Originally delivered May 30, 2021
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