Loved in Christ

August 30, 2020 Series: In Him: How Our Union with Christ Transforms Who We Are

Passage: Hebrews 13:20–21

Loved in Christ

Our English bible uses the word “love” or a form of it over 750 times. I would like for us to look at all of them this morning. Clearly, we cannot.  I say that to illustrate the overwhelming scope and magnitude of the subject of God’s love.

Since we simply cannot comprehensively cover the subject of God’s love in one sermon, I want concentrate on preaching about the love that God has for all who are in Christ.  The initial scripture for this topical sermon will be Hebrews 13:20-21, primarily because of the reference to the Eternal Covenant between the Father and the Son.

Purpose: The purpose of this topical sermon is to glorify God in Jesus Christ and encourage His people by setting forth his particular and distinguishing love for his people in Christ.  May our great God be glorified and may we his people be encouraged to humility, thanksgiving, praise, and worship. He has done great things. 

Hebrews 13:20-21. "Now may the God of peace who brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, the great shepherd of the sheep, by the blood of the eternal covenant, equip you with everything good that you may do his will, working in us that which is pleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen." 

  • The Son of God is our resurrected Lord Jesus
  • He is the great Shepherd - We are his sheep
  • That there is an Eternal Covenant between Father and the Son, ratified by the blood of Christ
  • It is God that that equips us to know and do His will through Jesus Christ, for His glory

Introduction: As we begin, let us recognize that the Bible says that “God is love”.  This simple and profound statement that “God is love” is a Bible fact, but it is not everything the Bible has to say about God and his love.  We know from the Bible that God is love, but Love is not God. Another example is this, it is clear from the Bible that there is a significant distinction in the manner in which God loved the world at large, and the particular and distinguishing love he has for all who are in Christ.    

  • The Bible says that this world and everyone in it is contaminated by sin and rebellion against the holy God. The Bible tells us that that a day of fiery judgment is coming when the Lord will righteously pour out his vengeance and fury on the unbelieving, unrepentant rebels and that each day that passes stores up more of his wrath.  Yet, the scriptures also tell us that the Lord is merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and that he takes no pleasure in the death of the wicked.  It is the merciful and long-suffering nature of God that forestalls the judgment.  The Bible tells us that the Lord demonstrated his love for the world by sending his only Son so that all who believe in him will not perish but have eternal life.  But make no mistake, the judgment that has been promised and is currently being withheld will come with sudden destruction and catastrophic effect, just as it did in the days of Noah.  And just as it was in the days of Noah, only those whom the Lord God has shut up in the ark of safety will be saved.  Noah found favor, grace in the eyes of the Lord and the Lord shut him in the ark.  The rest of the world remained outside the ark and perished under the judgment of God at the divinely appointed hour. 
  • The ark in Genesis 7 is a prophetic picture of the reality of being in Christ. Those, and only those whom God, by his sovereign grace has placed into Christ will be saved from the everlasting judgment.  God has placed them in Christ and decisively determined their destiny.  His love for them is what distinguishes them from the lost world.  Just as in the days of Noah, God’s longsuffering and mercy with the lost world by withholding the appointed judgement must not be mistaken for the saving love he has for those in Christ.   The mercy of God in withholding judgment is much like the general blessing of rain that falls from the sky on the just and the unjust alike.  But, the power of God’s saving grace is not general at all. It is particular and definite and specific.   God’s salvation comes like a bolt of lightning from HIs throne of grace, upon God’s appointed people at God’s appointed time.  The love of God is particular and specific for those whom he has sovereignly chosen to love in Christ.

I will take the subject of God’s love for those in Christ under four heads:

  • The origin of God’s love for those in Christ
  • The purpose of God’s love for those in Christ
  • The results of God’s love for those in Christ
  • The steadfastness of God’s love for those in Christ

1. God’s Love to those in Christ is Eternal in Origin

  • Eternal Covenant
    • Made between the Father and the Son before creation, but we benefit
    • The Father would give a people for his Son
    • And provide the Spirit without measure to Him
    • The Son would become a man and be the representative of His people
    • The Son would take the sins of his people, experience the wrath of God that his people deserved, and redeem His people with His blood, and experience death
    • But He would conquer death and be exalted to the Father’s right hand
    • That all those the Father has given Him will come to him
    • That Christ would send the Holy Spirit to his people
    • That multitudes from every tribe and people and language and nation will partake of his redemption and kingdom
    • The Christ will see the travail of His soul and be satisfied
  • Eternal Love: before the foundation of the world Eph 1.4
  • Electing Love – he chose us in Christ before the foundation of the world Eph 1.4
  • Comprehensive Love – blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in heavenly places Eph 1.3
  • Love that Predestines (He determined our destiny)
    • Adopt us as sons and daughters through (in) Jesus Christ Eph 1.5
    • According the purpose of His will, not our will or any other reason Eph 1.5
    • The purpose was the praise of his glorious grace Eph 1.6

2. God’s Love to those in Christ is Effective in Purpose

  • It is initiated by God, irresistible, active, powerful
  • His blessings to us are in the Beloved Son of God Eph 1.6
  • Unconditional Love
  • Love Undeserved, comes by his sovereign grace thru faith Eph 2.8-9
  • Initiating Love: We love him because he first loved us 1 John 4:19
  • Love that calls: Rom 8.30
  • Love that justifies: Rom 8.30
  • Love that glorifies: Rom 8.30
  • Love that Opens Hearts: Lydia in Acts 16.14
  • Irresistible Love: All that the Father hath given me will come to me John 6.37
  • Purifying Love – that we should be holy and blameless Eph 1.4-5
  • Love that Completes: I will raise them up John 6.40
  • Substitutionary Love for Sinners Rom 5.8
  • Sacrificial Love for Sinners Rom 5:8
  • Love that saves from the Wrath of God: Rom 5.9
  • Love that Produces the children of God, He has made us the sons and daughters of God 1 John 3.1
  • Produces Good Works: Eph 2.10
  • Love that Provides Rest: I will give you rest Matt 11.28
  • Greatest Love there is: Great love has no man than this John 15:13

3. God’s Love to those in Christ is Equipping for Life

  • It prepares, provides, preserves, furnishes and supplies all we need in this life
  • Everything for life and godliness, physical and spiritual, temporary and permanent
  • Reconciling Love: Rom 5:10
  • Redeeming Love: Redemption thru the blood of Christ Eph 1.7
  • Forgiving Love: Forgiveness of our trespasses Eph 1.7
  • Informing Love: Knowledge of the mystery of his will Eph 1.9
  • Regenerating Love: give us a new nature and makes us partakers of the divine nature 2 Peter 1.4
  • Love that provides and Inheritance: we have obtained an inheritance Eph 1.11
  • Confirming Love: the Holy Spirit is our seal Eph 1.13
  • Love that Guarantees: the Holy Spirit is the guarantee of our inheritance until we fully possess it  Eph 1.14
  • Loves that Cleansing Hearts: Acts 15:9
  • Love that Restores: 1 John 1.9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness
  • Love that Helps – the Spirit is our Helper John 14.16
  • Love that Comforts - the Spirit is our Comforter John 15.26 (KJV)
  • Love that Intercedes – the Spirit intercedes for us in prayer when we don’t know what to pray Rom 8.26
  • Correcting Love: The Lord Disciplines and Chastises those whom he loves Heb 12.6
  • Maturing Love that Produces Confidence for the day of judgment 1 John 4.17
  • Love that Provides: all we need for life and godliness 2 Peter 1.3

4. God’s Love to those in Christ is Everlasting in Effect

  • It is endless, ceaseless, enduring, undying, abiding
  • Irreversible Love: All who come to me, I will never cast out John 6.37
  • Endless Love: He loved them unto the end John 13.1
  • Enduring Love: And so we will always be with the Lord 1 The. 4.17
  • Inseparable Love: Nothing can separate us from the love of Christ Rom 8.38-39
  • Abiding Love: Christ abides in all those feed on the flesh and drink his blood of Christ
    • Abiding Love: We abide in him and he abides in us 1 John 4:13
  • Love of Preparation: He has gone to prepare a place for us / and he knows we will be there, because he’s coming to get us John 14.3
  • Love of Reception: I will receive you unto myself John 14.3
  • Love that provides a new Song: And they sang a new song Rev. 5.9
  • Royal Love and Priestly Love: Have been made kings and priests unto God Rev. 5.10
  • Powerful Love: We shall reign with him in power Rev. 5.10
  • Nourishing Love: Given us the right to eat from the tree of life Rev 22.14
  • Welcoming Love: Given us the right to enter into the City of God Rev. 22.14

Now there are many other ways that God loves those in Christ.  If every one of them were written, I suppose the world itself could not contain the books that would be written.


  • The Love of God in Christ should produce Humility, not Pride – it is God that makes us to differ 1 Cor 4.7
  • The Love of God in Christ should produce Worship, Thanksgiving, and Praise for who he is and how he loves us in Christ
  • It should produce a Strong desire to know better the one that loves us so that we
    • Pray for the desire to love him deeper
    • Pray for the desire to know him more in his fulness
    • Pray to hunger and thirst after righteousness
    • Pray for him to break our heart over remaining sin
    • Pray for love for our brothers and sisters
    • Pray for love for lost people and motivation to evangelize


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