The Greatest of These is Love - Introduction by Deb Waterbury

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The Greatest of These is Love - Introduction
Series: The Greatest of These is Love: A Study of Ruth
Dr. Deborah Waterbury


This teaching download includes teaching notes, the teacher lesson outline and the participant workbook with the study introduction.

Teaching Notes:

There’s nothing that speaks more to us that a good love story. You might not admit it, and I realize that some of us are more “romantic” than others, but we all love “love.” We love to be loved and we want to be loved.

Something else all of us want and long for is a happy ending, and life isn’t always like that, is it? As a matter of fact, I’d venture to say that life on this earth isn’t really like that at all. We’re searching for that happy ending and we’re looking for the most non-resistant way to get to it.

However, we also know that we haven’t been promised a “happy ending” here, have we? What we’ve actually been promised is trouble and pain and sorrow. Philip Ryken said that we are the only people who sacrifice our present on the altar of our hope for the future.

I think Ruth is definitely a love story, but it is much more than that. It’s more than the love story between a Moabite widow and a Jewish man and how her life was redeemed. It’s much, much more than that.

The love story in Ruth is a story of God—it’s the theme of the entire Bible.


The unifying theme of the entire Bible is that God is love and that He so loved us that He sent His only Son to die for the lost. The unifying theme of the Bible is God’s love through His Son, Jesus Christ.


It is absolutely true that one can work through the entire works of Moses and the rest of the Old Testament prophets up to the New Testament and find Jesus there. The little book of Ruth is no different.

The Covenantal Law as was given to Moses was put into place in order to reveal to them their sin nature and their complete dependency on God’s grace. In the case of Ruth, that same law highlighted the fact that as a Moabitess, she was naturally excluded from the fellowship of God and the blessings of His covenant. But the same law, which revealed her natural alienation from God, also made provision for her, as a widow and a stranger, to enter into the covenant community of God’s people.

That is the same for you and me. By nature of our births, most of us are not born within the Covenant community of God’s people. His Law also shows us how incapable we are to then earn our way in.

However, His very Word provides a way for us, and that way is through His Son, Jesus Christ, and His undying and unending love for us. John Owen said,

“To suppose that whatever God requireth of us that we have power of ourselves ...

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