Heaven is a World of Love
Topic: Love Passage: 1 Corinthians 13:1–13, Luke 9:23, Romans 15:1–2, Philippians 20:3, John 12:24–26
Introduction: Christian love requires a kind of self-denial
1. Christian self-denial has two unique ideas
a. Putting others first
Romans 15:1–2 ESV
We who are strong have an obligation to bear with the failings of the weak, and not to please ourselves.
Let each of us please his neighbor for his good, to build him up.
Philippians 2:3 ESV
Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves.
b. Self-interested self-denial
Luke 9:23 ESV
And he said to all, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.
John 12:24–26 ESV
Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit.
Whoever loves his life loses it, and whoever hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life.
If anyone serves me, he must follow me; and where I am, there will my servant be also. If anyone serves me, the Father will honor him.
2. The text contains at least three self-interested reasons for you to engage in self-denying love
a. You avoid becoming a noisy gong of religious emptiness
Illustration: Great Grandma ordering a Big Mac at a chicken shop.
b. You begin to be a person of substance
“If you are bent on pursuing personal freedom, you remain frozen hunting for the perfect field, the perfect person. You never land. You have to commit to make love work. We don’t love in general. We love someone, somewhere. Setting our affections on someone always means narrowing down.” - Paul Miller, A Loving Life
[College] graduates are told to: Follow your passion, chart your own course, march to the beat of your own drummer, follow your dreams and find yourself. . . . But this talk is of no help to the central business of adulthood, finding serious things to tie yourself down to. . . .
Most successful young people don’t look inside and then plan a life. They look outside and find a problem, which summons their life. A relative suffers from Alzheimer’s and a young woman feels called to help cure that disease. A young man works under a miserable boss and must develop management skills so his department can function. . . .
Most people don’t form a self and then lead a life. They are called by a problem, and the self is constructed gradually by their calling. . . . When you read a biography of someone you admire, it’s rarely the things that made them happy that compel your admiration. It’s the things they did to court unhappiness—the things they did that were arduous and miserable.
c. You are acting in a manner consistent with the main theme of heaven
3. Heaven is a world of love
a. Verses 8-13 describe a kind of “love apocalypse.”
The partial giving way to the perfect (8-10)
The immature giving way to the mature (11)
Reflection giving way to reality (12)
Partial knowledge vs. full knowledge (12)
All of that shows that love is king (13)
b. Love is king
c. because the king is love
d. and heaven is where he dwells.
Quotes from Edwards’ “Heaven: A World of Love.”
“…the God of love Himself dwells in heaven. Heaven is the palace or presence-chamber of the high and holy One, Whose name is love, and Who is both the cause and source of all holy love.”
“Heaven is a part of creation that God has built for this end, to be the place of His glorious presence, and it is His abode forever; and here will He dwell, and gloriously manifest Himself to all eternity.”
“And this renders heaven a world of love; for God is the fountain of love, as the sun is the fountain of light. And therefore the glorious presence of God in heaven, fills heaven with love, as the sun, placed in the midst of the visible heavens in a clear day, fills the world with light.”
“There, even in heaven, dwells the God from whom every stream of holy love, yea, every drop that is, or ever was, proceeds. There dwells God the Father, God the Son, and God the Spirit, united as one, in infinitely dear, and incomprehensible, and mutual, and eternal love.”
“There dwells God the Father, Who is the Father of mercies, and so the Father of love, Who so loved the world as to give His only-begotten Son to die for it.”
“There dwells Christ, the Lamb of God, the Prince of Peace and of love, Who so loved the world that He shed His blood, and poured out his soul unto death for men.”
“There dwells the great Mediator, through Whom all the divine love is expressed toward men, and by Whom the fruits of that love have been purchased, and through Whom they are communicated, and through Whom love is imparted to the hearts of all God’s people.”
“There dwells Christ in both His natures, the human and the divine, sitting on the same throne with the Father."
“And there dwells the Holy Spirit—the Spirit of divine love, in Whom the very essence of God, as it were, flows out, and is breathed forth in love…”
“There, in heaven, this infinite fountain of love—this eternal Three in One—is set open without any obstacle to hinder access to it, as it flows forever. There this glorious God is manifested, and shines forth, in full glory, in beams of love. And there this glorious fountain forever flows forth in streams, yea, in rivers of love and delight, and these rivers swell, as it were, to an ocean of love, in which the souls of the ransomed may bathe with the sweetest enjoyment, and their hearts, as it were, be deluged with love!”
Questions for Ongoing Bible Study & Discussion:
Look up all the scriptures listed and pick one that stands out to you
Read the text out loud to the group
Retell it in your own words
What does this tell me about God?
What does this tell me about people?
What does this suggest I should do?
Who else in my life would benefit from hearing about this?
Rhythms, Repairs, & Reaches
Also be prepared to discuss the following each Community Group:
Rhythms: How are the basic rhythms of your life (Family time, time with God, sleep, fitness, etc...)
Repairs: Is there anything in your life/heart that needs to be healed, attended to, fixed in any way
Reaches: Do you have anything big coming up? Any dreams? Any long range plans or hopes we can pray for?
Exported from Logos Bible Software, 7:40 AM September 18, 2022.