"KEEP YOURSELF IN THE LOVE OF GOD."
I. WHAT IS MEANT BY THIS INJUNCTION?
A. Neg. It does not mean to keep yourself in a state to make God love you.
1. God's love was unsought, undeserved, and unconditional.
a. You cannot, in this life, put yourself outside His love.
b. "God so loved the world..."
2. "Does God love bad boys?"
3. You may have rejected Him, hurt Him, and forgotten Him, but He has never ceased to love you.
B. What is meant, "Keep yourselves?"
1. Being in the love of God, keep yourself from all that is unlike Him or out of harmony with it.
2. You are called, beloved in God and kept in Christ.
a. Correspond to that in which you dwell, answer God's love.
3. What was sin of Cain? Hatred. Balaam? Greed. Korah? Rebellion.
a. All of these things out of harmony with God's love.
II. THE IMPORTANCE OF THE INJUNCTION.
A. We are surrounded by seductive forces. We are in His love. If we are not watchful, danger of wandering, not from His love, but from its full potential and manifestation in us.
B. Look again at the three illustrations: What are the sins?
1. Murder. Cain hated his brother.
2. Enticing others to evil. Balaam seduced the people to sin.
3. Rebellion against the government of God. Korah and such.
4. Foolish to mention those sins here.
a. Christ said, "Who so hateth his brother.."
5. Cain had just offered sacrifice in worship of God. Balaam had just uttered beautiful anointed prophecy. Korah led a popular movement - he was a man of the people.
C. Privilege is not enough; it creates responsibility. I am not saved by grace, independent to my response to it. "Keep yourselves in the love of God."
1. Israelites delivered from Egypt yet perished in the wilderness.
2. Angels who kept not their first order.
3. Cities in beautiful, watered valley, destroyed by fire.
Answer: His love, yield to His love, respond.
III. HOW CAN WE "KEEP OURSELVES IN THE LOVE OF GOD?" BUILDING, PRAYING, LOOKING.
A. Building up faith in Christ.
1. He is God incarnate.
2. He lived a sinless life.
3. He died an atoning death.
4. He was raised from the dead.
5. He is at the right hand of the Father in glory.
6. He is coming again for His Church. Could you slay your brother while building up this faith?
7. Let Christ be the Lord of your life. I did 10 years ago.
B. Praying in the Holy Spirit.
C. Looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life.
1. Looking for His second coming.
Now unto Him who is able to keep you from falling...