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Jesus Loves Me 

“God does not love us because we are valuable, but we are valuable because God loves us” –Martin Luther

John 3.16

Don Ruhl • Savage Street, Grants Pass, Oregon • July 16, In the year of our Lord, 2017


  1. The Most Profound Truth 
    1. It is easy to understand the wrath of God.
      1. Have you become angry at someone who wronged you?
      2. Perhaps then you can understand what the psalmist said,

        11 God is a just judge,
        And God is angry with the wicked every day.
        (Psa 7.11)
    2. The love of God is not so easy to understand.
      1. Have you shown love to someone who wronged you?
      2. Have you shown love to every person who ever wronged you?
        1. Is that not what God did in Christ?
        2. Can you explain that?
    3. Martin Luther made a statement that
      1. refutes a modern error and
      2. sets forth the truth,

        “God does not love us because we are valuable, but we are valuable because God loves us.”

        1. He loves the valueless and
        2. makes it valuable.
    4. Karl Barth, considered one of the greatest 20th century theologians,

      “When asked in 1962 (on his one visit to America) how he would summarize the essence of the millions of words he had published, he replied, ‘Jesus loves me this I know, for the Bible tells me so.’” (


  1. The Mystery of All Mysteries: God’s Love 
    1. Could we send our children to die for our enemies?
    2. Look at John 3.16 in a new light.
      1. Do you see for whom God sent His Son?

        16 “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life” (John 3.16).
      2. What happens if people do not believe in God’s Son?
      3. Who is included in the term “world”?
      4. Who made the law that if you sin, you perish?
      5. Who provided the way of escaping that law?
    3. Romans 5 shows four things about us
      1. that could have turned God away from us, but He loved us anyway.

        6 For when we were still without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. 7 For scarcely for a righteous man will one die; yet perhaps for a good man someone would even dare to die. 8 But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. 9 Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him. 10 For if when we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life (Rom 5.6–10).
      2. What were the four things? God loved us
        1. when we were without strength,
        2. when we were ungodly,
        3. when we were still sinners, and
        4. when we were God’s enemies.
    4. Is it a mystery that we love God?
      1. He saves us from hell.
      2. He gives,

        “…us rain from heaven and fruitful seasons, filling our hearts with food and gladness” (Acts 14.17).
      3. In fact,

        “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights…” (Jam 1.17).

        1. How could we not love Him?
        2. He who does not love God does not know of God’s gifts.
    5. However, for God to love us when
      1. we were not thankful for those gifts and
      2. rebelling against His commands,
        1. that is a mystery.
  2. Loving the Unlovely 
    1. The amazing thing about God’s love and grace is
      1. that after our sin
      2. there was nothing in us to attract His love.
        1. There was everything to repel it.
    2. The marvel of salvation is not
      1. that there was something wonderful about us, but
      2. that there was something wonderful about Him.
        1. He did not love us
        2. because of us, but in spite of us.
    3. Ephesians 2 provides further insight,
      1. showing the contrast between
      2. what we were and what He did,

        1 And you He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins, 2 in which you once walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience (Eph 2.1–2).

        1. Imagine dead bodies floating down a polluted river.
        2. God reaches in and revives us,

          4 But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, 5 even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved) (Eph 2.4–5).
  3. God Loves First 
    1. We could understand
      1. if God had loved those
      2. who first loved Him, because
        1. we work in that manner.
        2. I love you because you love me.
          1. Yet, somebody had to take the first step.
          2. Why is it that you have to love me first before I will love you?
            1. Why can it not be the other way around?
            2. We love those who are kind toward us.
              1. What does God do?
              2. He loves those who hate Him.
    2. First John 4 reveals how it happened,

      19 We love [Him] because He first loved us (1Jo 4.19).
    3. First John 3 expresses the marvel of God’s love,

      1 Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God! Therefore the world does not know us, because it did not know Him (1Jo 3.1).
  4. His Love Is Sacrificial 
    1. God gave Jesus.
      1. Did God hold anything back?
      2. What greater gift could He have given?
    2. He loves us freely, but
      1. it is not cheap.
      2. It is free to us, yet, it costs our lives.
    3. When people were rescued from the World Trade Center,
      1. did the rescuers hand a bill to the rescued?
      2. The rescue
        1. was free, but
        2. it required everything from the victim.
  5. God’s Love Brings Forgiveness 
    1. Forgiveness allows us
      1. to avoid eternal condemnation and
      2. to live with God.
    2. This makes love like the aroma we smell
      1. from a flower
      2. after we have trampled it.
        1. We trampled God’s love, but
        2. we did not get rid of it.
          1. It became sweeter.
          2. The smell attracts us and we become His.
            1. In certain spots in my yard,
            2. mint grows.
              1. I bring my mower over it,
              2. slashing the mint, but
                1. the blade throws the aroma into the air.


  1. God loves you. 
    1. Do not turn Him away.
    2. He wants you to accept His Son.
  2. There will come a time when we cannot become Christians. 
    1. That time has not yet arrived.
    2. Who knows when it will be too late?
      1. Your own death or
      2. the end of earth when Jesus returns
        1. signals when we can no longer
        2. accept His offer of salvation.
    3. When will those two times happen?
      1. No one knows.
      2. Now is the day of salvation.