Friday, August 06, 2010

Seven things about the love of God

The two sermon series The Matchless Love and In-being by Richard Sibbes are a wonderful invitation to experience the love of God. At the start of the sermon he recaps some lost sermons on the subject. His summarising remarks are worth noting.
"We never know all, but we may know more, and we ought to know more. So that by consequence there is a perpetual necessity of Christ's prophetical office: 'I have declared, and I will declare,' etc. "
"When God is the teacher, it is no matter how dull the learner is, for Christ does not only bring doctrine, but he brings wit, grace, and ability to the inward man; that is, not only a declaration, as man does teach the outward man, but he unlocks and opens the heart..."
Sibbes notes that now God would makes himself known to us relationally as "the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ". Our knowledge is not complete, but we have the person Christ who comes to us, to our hearts.

From John 17v26 he notes that he has previously outlined six points. It's a rich summary and regretful that the sermon being recapped has been lost.

1. God loves Christ, because he is the first object of his love, his own image.
2. After Christ, God loves all that are Christ's with that love with which he loves Christ.
"He loves Christ, and he loves us in Christ, and not otherwise....God loves us in Christ therefore, and only in Christ; because in Christ only his wrath is satisfied. Christ only is the mediator, the only treasury of the church to convey all to us. The adopted sons find their excellence, and all that they have, in the virtue of the natural Son."
3. The love of God to us is in Christ, loving us in him, as electing us, and doing all good to us in him
"This love in them will be enough to set them on fire on all good things whatsoever. 'We love him, because he loves us first,' 1 John 4:19. We know him, because he knows us first, Gal 4:9, and we choose him, because he chooses us first. We joy and delight in him, because he joys and delights in us first. All is a reflex from him... "
4. This love of God to us may be known, and ought to be known of us
5. The way to know God's love to us, is the manifesting of his name in the gospel
6. Christ being in us.

And then on to the actual sermon! Of which more another day.
What do you make of Sibbes six things about the love of God? What would you add?

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