Receiving God’s Gift of Love”
Message Outline – Key Verses
I. The heart (motive) of Christmas – LOVE (John 3:16-18)
John 3:16 (NASB)
“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.”
II. The true gift of Christmas – God’s “only begotten Son” (1 John 4:7-19)
1 John 4:9-10 (NASB)
“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.”
III. Our response to God’s gracious gift of love—FAITH (John 1:9-13)
John 20:30-31 (NASB) *
“Therefore many other signs Jesus also performed…, 31 but these have been written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing you may have life in His name.”
Key Words—The Christmas LOVE connection
“love” (21x in 1 John 4:7-19) Koine Greek expressed 3 “levels,” or “kinds” of love (1) eros (0x -not used in the N.T.) – a powerful “ME” love; a basic human need
cf. English “erotic” which comes from this Greek word (i.e. physical love)
(2) philia (1x noun Gk #5373 “friendship” / 25x verb Gk #5368 – see John 21:15-17) a mutual “WE” love; cf. English “Philadelphia” which is a compound word mean- ing “brotherly love” or mutual concern and companionship
(3) agape (117x noun Gk #26 / 144x verb Gk #25) – an unconditional “THEE” love – See 1 Corinthians 13:1-8; In John 21:15-17 Jesus is asking Peter if he loves” (Greek

25) Him, and Peter responds, “Lord, you know that I ‘love’ You” (Greek #5368) — probably because of his 3x denial he could not claim to “love” (Gk #26) Jesus

*Note: You can see where the emphasis is in the N.T. by the frequency of use
Conclusion—Christmas really is the gift that keeps on giving! (cf. 1 John 4:11,19) God’s supernatural love is… (cf. 1 Corinthians 13:1-8)

  1. Unselfish (i.e. sacrificial or giving) – John 3:16 (NASB)
    “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever be- lieves in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.
  2. Undeserved (i.e. unmerited) – Romans 5:8 (NASB)
    “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.
  3. Unnatural (i.e. not normal – agape love must be learned) 1 John 4:19 (NASB)
    “We love, because He first loved us.” *Note: agape love is learned at the foot of the cross!

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