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All You Need Is Love???

Love Blog Post

     In 1967, the Beatles had a #1 hit (one of many) with their song "All You Need Is Love."  In case you have lived in a cave for most of your life and you aren't familiar with the Beatles or the song, it opens with a few lines of just "Love, love, love..." and contains the chorus, "All you need is love, love is all you need."  It's a catchy tune, but were John Lennon and Paul McCartney correct in their assessment?  Is love really all you need???

     I suppose to really get to the bottom of things, you'd have to answer that question with another...what kind of "love" are we talking about?  Who's definition are we using?  After all, I could say that I love a good steak or that I love my family.  Do I mean the same thing?  The world defines love in many ways.  As Christians, our primary source of truth is the Bible.  As such, we should be concerned with what God has to say about the topic of love through the scriptures.

     That is why a passage like the one we studied this week from John's first epistle is so helpful for our understanding.  In verse 8 of chapter 4, the apostle writes that "God is love."  If we take a moment to reflect on what he is actually saying there, we can't help but be amazed.  God, in his very nature, defines for all of his creation what it means to love!  Wow!!!

     The truth is, we can see the love of God all around us.  From the care he took in creating us and the universe in which we live (Psalm 139:13-16, Psalm 19:1), to the way we have been designed to exist in fellowship with others (Genesis 2:18), to his gracious provision for our physical needs (air to breath, sunshine, rain to water the earth, food to eat, etc.) (Matthew 6:25-33), his loving care abounds.  However, nowhere is his love manifested more fully than at the foot of the cross.

     The gospel is a love story.  It begins with our rejection of God's offer of loving fellowship with him in favor of our own selfish desires.  In this story, God would have been justified in playing the part of the jilted lover who has been hurt and betrayed, and who desires revenge, but that's not the story God wrote.  True indeed, the story does include justice, but even in his wrath against our sin, God is loving.  Like a loving father, God chastens and disciplines his children, not in order to cause pain and suffering, but rather in order to offer correction and lead us into submission and obedience, so that we might thrive and flourish according to his good purposes for our lives.

     Still, his love goes further, because in spite of his loving rebukes, we have continued in willful rebellion.  Again, God could play the part of vindicator, but in his loving grace and mercy he has withheld his wrath (another example of his love).  In place of wrath, he has offered to an unloving world, his own son, as Lord and Savior, so that whoever believes in him shall not perish, but rather enjoy eternal life and fellowship with him (John 3:16-17).

     The message of the gospel is the proclamation of God's love for his creatures.  No matter how far we run in our sin and rebellion, his love goes further.  The cross is the proof!  If that's what Lennon and McCartney had in view when they were writing their song, then they couldn't be more right.  When it comes to the gospel, all you truly do need is love.

In Grace,
Chris Morris

If you missed this week's sermon (or just want to listen again), follow the link below to listen. Or subscribe to our podcast in iTunes.

The Definition Of Love

Questions discussed in this sermon:

1.  How does the Bible use the word love?
2.  What does it mean that God is love?
3.  How are we called to love?

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