Sermon for May 22, 2022

You cannot love God, love people, or love yourself without the help of the Holy Spirit

Romans 5:6-11

Romans 5:5-11 KJV  And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.  (6)  For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly.  (7)  For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die.  (8)  But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.  (9)  Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him.  (10)  For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life.  (11)  And not only so, but we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement. (Italics set up the premise of verses 6-11)

I. Because the Holy Ghost is given to believers on the exercise of their faith to work this work within them.[1] Jesus, by dying on the cross and becoming the atonement of sin secured the role of the Holy Spirit TO DO THE NEXT WORK in all of mankind!

II. It is the work of the Holy Ghost thus given to open to us the love of God.[2] —Nothing but the Holy Spirit can disclose to us the love of God first. Nothing else does. That is why so many read and hear of the love of God, and yet do not understand it. But the Holy Spirit coming to the believer as described, “takes of the things of the Christ,” and this shows to him the love of the Father (see John 16:13-14).

John 16:13-14 KJV Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come.  (14)  He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall shew it unto you.

The Holy Spirit shows thus the wonderfulness, the extent, heights, depths, lengths, breadths, of the love of God in Christ, and its unchangeableness (see context, Romans 5:6-8, and Romans 8:35-39).

Romans 8:35-39 KJV Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?  (36)  As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.  (37)  Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.  (38)  For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come,  (39)  Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

III. The Holy Ghost thus given carries the love of God beyond our mere intellect into our inmost nature. —For Christ, by His atoning work, procured the Holy Spirit for men.[3]We are more than our thoughts and our understandings. In our best nature we are “heart.” To this the Holy Spirit can penetrate and no other power like it, and the Holy Spirit can pervade and fill and possess the whole with the wonderful infinite love of God in Christ. Every faculty and power of God-like emotion in the soul can be incredibly moved and shaken, and fresh thinking and power of holy empathy and emotion can be received. Therefore, the love of God is “shed abroad” or poureth forth “in our hearts.”

So oil poured into a vessel, whatever the character of the vessel, finds its way into every part, and even permeates through the vessel itself. So incense shed forth in a room fills every part of it with its fragrance, which often extends beyond. So the breath we breathe from the fresh morning air penetrates in its effects to our very flesh and blood and bones, and is seen in the glow of our health, in the lightness of our step, and in the flash and brightness of the eye. Do we know the love of God? and is it “shed abroad in our hearts”? If so, then

to what extent do we know it?” —John Bennett.

[1] The Preacher’s Complete Homiletical Commentary. 1892. New York Funk & Wagnalls Co.

[2] IBID.

[3] IBID.

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