john piper

Faith: The Link between God’s Love for Us and Our Love for Others

Galatians 5:1-6
Dr. John Piper

THE GREATEST OF THESE IS LOVE
It was for freedom that Christ set us free; therefore keep standing firm and do not be subject again to a yoke of slavery. Behold I, Paul, say to you that if you receive circumcision, Christ will be of no benefit to you. And I testify again to every man who receives circumcision, that he is under obligation to keep the whole Law. You have been severed from Christ, you who are seeking to be justified by law; you have fallen from grace. For we through the Spirit, by faith, are waiting for the hope of righteousness. For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision means anything, but faith working through love.

    Introduction and Review

This morning I ask the question: What is the link between God’s love for us and our love for others. This is a transitional message in the series on “The Greatest of These is Love.”

For four weeks we have been talking about the depths of Christ’s love for us. The cost of it was infinite: it cost the suffering and death of the Son of God. The strength of his love was so great that he overcame the obstacle to it in our own ungodliness and unworthiness. The benefits of his love are as great as everything God owns in the universe. Nothing will separate us from him. And nothing good will be kept from us by him. We are his heirs. And his love was free. Nobody took his life from him. He laid it down of his own accord. He loves his people — those who will have this love as their treasure — with a love that cannot be greater than it is. If you will receive it as your treasure and cherish it, Christ loves you more than you can comprehend.

And yet it has been our goal to comprehend it in part. And we have been encouraged to pursue this because of Paul’s prayer in Ephesians 3:17-19,

[May you be] rooted and grounded in love, [and thus] be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge.

So he prays for us — and we are praying — that by sending our roots down into the depths of the love of Christ we may comprehend it. Not by standing aside and merely observing it, but by rooting our lives in it. Drinking it up. Savoring it. Depending on it. Taking some risks on the basis of it.

Two Links Connecting Christ’s Love For Us and Our Love For Each Other

Now today we ask more about this root — this link between being loved by Christ and our loving others. What is it practically that converts the love of Christ for us into our love for others?

There are two answers in the book of Galatians. One answer is the Holy Spirit. The other answer is FAITH. And then there is a text that links these two answers in a way that is full of practical implications for living a life of love this week.  [Read the balance of this instructive message at Piper’s Notes]

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