GOD S UNCONDITIONAL LOVE What is Unconditional Love and How Does it Affect Me? Relationship or Religion Love or Fear?

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1 Living in the Balance of Grace and Faith Page 1 SUBJECT 7 GOD S UNCONDITIONAL LOVE What is Unconditional Love and How Does it Affect Me? God is Love, and His love is very different from human love. God's love is unconditional, and it's not based on my worth, feelings or emotions. He doesn't love us because we're lovable or because we make Him feel good; He loves us because He is love Relationship or Religion Love or Fear? Love is a greater motivation to trust God than fear can ever be. What kind of a relationship can you have with God based on fear, if you think that God won t love you if you don t do certain things or live up to certain standards? o What if your spouse said, If you don t do this and this and this, I am not going to give you any more money and I m keeping a record and if you keep it up I might even beat you up? What kind of a relationship would that be? o What if a mate treated you the way religion says God treats us. In essence they teach that if you mess up God is not even going to listen to you unless you repent. You can just go hungry or cold unless you shape up. He might kill your baby if you don t repent and shape up. You wouldn t live with a person like that. If we don t understand God s unconditional love, we will live in fear ( 1 John 4:7-19). NKJV 7 Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. 8 He who does not love does not know God, for God is love. 9 In this the love of God was manifested toward us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world, 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. 11 Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. 12 No one has seen God at any time. If we love one another, God abides in us, and His love has been perfected in us. 13 By this we know that we abide in Him, and He in us, because He has given us of His Spirit. 14 And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent the Son as Savior of the world. 15 Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God. 16 And we have known and believed the love that God has for us. God is love, and he who abides in love abides in God, and God in him. 17 Love has been perfected among us in this: that we may have boldness in the day of judgment; because as He is, so are we in this world. 18 There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love. 19 We love Him because He first loved us.

2 Living in the Balance of Grace and Faith Page 2 o An analysis of 1 John 4:7-19, When we understand that God unconditionally loves us, and it is not based on our performance: We become more loving. Vs. 17a Love has been perfected among us (NKJV). God s love has reached its goal in us (GWT). We more readily love others. Vss. 7-8 Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. He who does not love does not know God, for God is love (NJKV). We stay connect, or stay in relationship with God. Vs. 12a If we love one another, God abides in us, (NKJV). If we love one another, God lives in union with us, (TEV). God s love is brought to full manifestation in us. vs.12b and His love has been perfected in us (NKJV). love is brought to full expression in us (NLT). We won t be afraid that we haven t done enough or afraid that we have done the wrong thing therefore, we won t be afraid of God s judgment, or punishment, Vs. 17b - 18 that we may have boldness in the day of judgment; because as He is, so are we in this world. 18 There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love. (NKJV). Vs. 17b -18 So we will not be afraid on the day of judgment, but we can face him with confidence because we live like Jesus here in this world. Such love has no fear, because perfect love expels all fear. If we are afraid, it is for fear of punishment, and this shows that we have not fully experienced his perfect love. (NLT). Vs. 17b -18 so we will not be ashamed and embarrassed at the day of judgment, but can face him with confidence and joy because he loves us and we love him too. We need have no fear of someone who loves us perfectly; his perfect love for us eliminates all dread of what he might do to us. If we are afraid, it is for fear of what he might do to us and shows that we are not fully convinced that he really loves us. (TLB). As we experience God's love, which is more than mere knowledge about God's love, discouragement, depression, despair and fear will be chased away. Vs. 19 We love because He first loved us (HCSB). other mss add Him.

3 Living in the Balance of Grace and Faith Page 3 You can t have a good relationship with God and live with fear of His punishment. If your religion is based upon your performance, rather than being based upon His grace and His unconditional love, you will constantly wonder if you are doing enough and will live with fear of judgment. God loves you because He s a good God, not because you are good guy or gal it s called grace! God does not respond to you because of the work you do for him. You work is a response to what he has already done for you. Romans 4:5 NLT But people are counted as righteous, not because of their work, but because of their faith in God who forgives sinners. Ephesians 2:10 HCSB For we are His creation created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared ahead of time so that we should walk in them. God doesn t respond to you because of your faith, your faith is a response to what He has already done. o He s already forgiven all of your sins. Your goodness or lack thereof is not the basis of your relationship with God. Galatians 5:6a GWT As far as our relationship to Christ Jesus is concerned, it doesn t matter whether we are circumcised or no. (works of the flesh). But, you need to quit sinning so you don t let Satan have an inroad into your life. o He s already healed you. But, you need to take care of you health and not let Satan use your bad habits to kill you. o He s already provided for you. But, you need to work, make good investments and spend wisely so Satan won t steal from you (2 Thessalonians 3:19 ). By understanding and applying these truths to your life, you ll move to a whole new level of relationship with God. Understanding God s unconditional love makes it so easy to believe and trust Him, and live without fear. o We should be spending more time thinking about how much God truly loves us. o This kind of intimacy and relationship with God isn t just possible it s what He created us for in the first place (remember Eden?).

4 Living in the Balance of Grace and Faith Page 4 As we relax in God s love, we will spend more time expecting better things rather than fearing worse things. It s what religion and tradition has taught you about God that hinders you from enjoying Him. When you understand the truth of how much He loves you and how good He really is, you will : Never doubt that He loves you. Never feel unloved. Never feel unworthy or worthless. Never doubt your eternal salvation. Never think that you are not good enough. Never doubt that He is healing you. Never doubt that He is providing for your needs. Never think that He is the author of bad things in your life. (Consider the choices you made) Never fear the future. But, to enjoy what God has for you, you must accept His love as a gift. He sent His Son, Jesus Christ, 2,000 years ago to pay the penalty for all of your sins. That payment has already been made, but, have you really accepted it as a free gift? Eph. 2:8-9 God saved you through faith as an act of kindness. You had nothing to do with it. Being saved is a gift from God. It s not the result of anything you ve done, so no one can brag about it. o Try to pay for a gift, and you will insult the giver. o Try to work off its worth, and you re working in vain. o A gift is free for the taking, or it is no gift at all. Have you received your salvation as a gift? In Acts 2:16-21, in Peter s Pentecostal sermon he quotes from Joel 2:32 whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved. Romans 10:9 CEV So you will be saved, if you honestly say, Jesus is Lord, and if you believe with all your heart that God raised him from death. o Making Jesus your Lord means you put Him in control of your life. o Because of what Jesus did, you receive salvation as a gift.

5 Living in the Balance of Grace and Faith Page 5 o You might need to pray: Loving God, I turn from trusting in myself and my own performance for salvation. I believe in my heart that Jesus paid all the penalty for my sins and that God raised Jesus from the dead, and so will raise me to eternal life. I receive Your gift of salvation by faith. Thank You for revealing Your love and grace to me. Receive the Holy Spirit A better understanding of God s Word is a matter of revelation. That s a job of the Holy Spirit. That s were the Holy Spirit helps. (Remember He is our Helper, John 14:16, 26; 15:26; 16:7 NKJV) John 14:26 But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you. John 16:13-14 However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come. He will glorify Me, for He will take of what is Mine and declare it to you. Revelation knowledge is an important benefit of submitting to the full measure of the Holy Spirit. The very Person who inspired the Bible will help teach you what it means. Once you are born again you need to be baptized* in the Holy Spirit (*immersed in or giving your self totally to the Holy Spirit). The measure to which the Holy Spirit works in you is proportional to the degree you submit to Him. To receive the baptism of the Holy Spirit you ask, believe, and receive. Luke 11:10, 13 For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him! But the baptism of the Holy Spirit is like a pair of tennis shoes: It always comes with tongues. By faith, as you submit to the Holy Spirit, some sounds (syllables) from a language you don t recognize will rise up from your heart and out of your mouth. You must allow your mouth to make sounds! o Your spirit will be speaking to God 1 Corinthians 14:2a For he who speaks in a tongue does not speak to men but to God, NKJV o No man will understand what your sounds mean. 1 Corinthians 14:2b for no one understands him; however, in the spirit he speaks mysteries. o You don t think about what to say, the sounds do not come from your mind.

6 Living in the Balance of Grace and Faith Page 6 1 Corinthians 14:14 For if I pray in a tongue, my spirit prays, but my understanding is unfruitful. NKJV my spirit is praying, but my mind does nothing. NCV my spirit prays indeed, but my mind has no part in it. TEV o You won t know what you are saying. 1 Corinthians 14:14 my spirit is praying, but I don t understand what I am saying. NLT my spirit is praying, but I don t know what I am saying. TLB You are in control of when and where you speak in tongues. 1 Corinthians 14:26, 27, When you meet together 27 someone must interpret what they say. 28 But if no one is present who can interpret, they must be silent in your church meeting and speak in tongues to God privately. As you speak out loud, by faith, you are releasing God s power from within and building yourself up in the spirit. 1 Corinthians 14:4 He who speaks in a tongue edifies himself, NKJV A person who speaks in tongues is strengthened personally NLT Pray from you heart something like this: Father, in Jesus name I ask you for the filling of the Holy Spirit. By faith I fully submit myself to be filled with and to be led by Him right now. Thank you for making it possible. Holy Spirit, you are welcome in my life! Now you are filled with God s supernatural power and revelation. It doesn t matter whether you felt anything or not when you prayed to receive the fullness of the Spirit. If you believed in your heart that you received, then God s Word promises that you did. Mark 11:24 Therefore I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them.

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