JUST as the Father has Loved Christ, He Love You

If we are to enjoy the benefits of God’s love, we not only need to embrace it through faith in Jesus Christ, we need to actively enter into it in an ongoing way as a lifestyle:

“Just as the Father has loved Me, I have also loved you; abide in My love. If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love; just as I have kept My Father’s commandments, and abide in His love” (ref,John 15*9-10).

May God grant that we may enter more and more into His love, and that we may therefore become instruments of His love to a lost and loveless world.
God’s love is an exercise of His goodness towards individual sinners whereby, having identified Himself with their welfare, He has given His Son to be their Saviour, and now brings them to know and enjoy Him in a covenant relation.

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Own Righteousness is to Shun the Love of God

The first and foremost question I must ask you today is this: “Have you accepted God’s gift of love in the person of His Son, Jesus Christ?” Jesus Christ is the “beloved Son” of God, in whom God is well pleased (ref,Matthew 3*17). Because of this, we should “listen to Him” (ref,Matthew 17*5). To accept the sacrificial death of Jesus Christ on the cross of Calvary as God’s gift of salvation to you is to enter into His love. To reject Jesus Christ and attempt to stand before God in your own righteousness is to shun the love of God and to deservedly await eternal punishment. Only those who trust in Jesus Christ can experience and express the love of God.

Those who reject the gift of His love in Christ have no claim on His love. The fact is that none of us have any claim on His love, but those who are saved gratefully receive it, and give glory and praise to Him for His grace.

In our witness to a sinful, lost, and dying world, we dare not distort the love of God. God is the One who defines love, not men. We must accept God’s love as God has defined and expressed it. We dare not rely on God conforming to the distorted perceptions of love to which fallen men ignorantly cling. We must be careful not to compartmentalize God’s love and separate it from His other attributes, or try to evangelize men by appealing only to the love of God. Our Lord did not indicate that we should depend upon the “attraction” of His love, as much as He has indicated that lost men should be compelled by a sense of His righteousness, our sin, and the judgment which awaits sinners (ref,John 16*7-11). The sinner ought not to be comforted by assurances of the love of God (apart from Christ), but should be reminded that God hates sinners

Hope is An Important

Hope is an important ingredient in life. Suffering would be practically intolerable without it. God knew this, of course. So He gave us the gift of hope. Hope is present in us when life is relatively comfortable. But hope is essential when life offers us its worst. During those deep valleys we cling to it in desperation. We rest on God’s promises of a better future where our unfading inheritance awaits us. This enables us to experience joy even when we suffer. Because of God’s gracious provision, we don’t lose hope.

God Demonstrates His own Love Toward Us

How quickly human “love” can turn to hate in the divorce court. God’s love is not like this. His love is unchanging. As God is immutable, so is His love

Who is a God like Thee, who pardons iniquity And passes over the rebellious act of the remnant of His possession? He does not retain His anger forever, Because He delights in unchanging love (ref,Micah 7*18).”Every good thing bestowed and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation, or shifting shadow (ref,James 1*17).God’s love is holy. It is communicated to us through the Holy Spirit,

And hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.

God’s love is always an expression of God’s holiness. It is also directed toward producing holiness in us. God’s love seeks to make us holy just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before Him. In love (ref,Ephesians 1*4).

Furthermore, we had earthly fathers to discipline us, and we respected them; shall we not much rather be subject to the Father of spirits, and live? For they disciplined us for a short time as seemed best to them, but He disciplines us for our good, that we may share His holiness (ref,Hebrews 12*5-10).

Many people think God’s love is such that He “accepts me just as I am.” This is not true. We come to Him in the words of the hymn writer, “Just as I am, without one plea.” But He cannot accept us this way. He accepts us “in Christ,” just as Christ is. God cannot and will not accept our sin. And so, in love, God disciplines us, moving us in love toward holiness. The love of God is not a guarantee that we will not suffer; it is the assurance that whatever suffering we endure is directed toward making us holy by a God who loves us. If it was necessary for Christ to suffer in order to demonstrate God’s love toward us, why would we think our suffering is incompatible with God’s love toward us?

 

God’s love is not self-serving but sacrificial. Love comes at a high cost, and the one who loves is the one who willingly pays the price.

“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life (ref,John 3*16)

but God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us (ref,Romans 5*8).“You did not choose Me, but I chose you, and appointed you, that you should go and bear fruit, and that your fruit should remain, that whatever you ask of the Father in My name, He may give to you” (ref,John 15*16).

God’s love is not given to men because they are lovely. He has chosen to love us in spite of our miserable condition. But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us (ref,Romans 5*8).

We must conclude then that love is a choice—God’s choice. God chose to love us above others, not because of anything which we have done, or will do, but simply as a choice of His sovereign grace.

 

 

 

Who is God to us?

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Let’s start by understanding that God is our Creator and that we are a part of His creation and we are created in His image. Man is above the rest of creation and was given dominion over it (ref,Genesis 1*26-28). Creation is marred by the fall but still offers a glimpse of God’s works (ref,Genesis 3*17-18; Romans 1*19-20). By considering creation’s vastness, complexity, beauty, and order, we can have a sense of the awesomeness of God.

Reading through some of the names of God can be helpful in our search of what God is like. They are as follows:

ELOHIM – strong One, divine(ref,Genesis 1*1)
ADONAI – – Lord, indicating a Master-to-servant relationship(ref,Exodus 4*10, 13)
Most High, the strongest One(ref,Genesis 14*20)
El Roi – the strong One who sees (ref,Genesis 16*13)
El Shaddai – Almighty God(ref,Genesis 17*1)
El Olam – Everlasting God (ref,Isaiah 40*28)
Yahweh – LORD “I Am,” meaning the eternal self-existent God (ref,Exodus 3*13, 14).

God is eternal, meaning He had no beginning and His existence will never end. He is immortal and infinite . God is immutable, meaning He is unchanging; this in turn means that God is absolutely reliable and trustworthy . God is incomparable; there is no one like Him in works or being. He is unequaled and perfect . God is inscrutable, unfathomable, unsearchable, and past finding out as far as understanding Him completely .

God is just; He is no respecter of persons in the sense of showing favoritism . God is omnipotent; He is all-powerful and can do anything that pleases Him, but His actions will always be in accord with the rest of His character (ref,Revelation 19*6; Jeremiah 32*17, 27). God is omnipresent, meaning He is present everywhere, but this does not mean that God is everything (ref,Psalm 139*7-13). God is omniscient, meaning He knows the past, present, and future, including what we are thinking at any given moment. Since He knows everything, His justice will always be administered fairly (ref,Psalm 139*1-5; Proverbs 5*21).

God is one; not only is there no other, but He is alone in being able to meet the deepest needs and longings of our hearts. God alone is worthy of our worship and devotion . God is righteous, meaning that God cannot and will not pass over wrongdoing. It is because of God’s righteousness and justice that, in order for our sins to be forgiven, Jesus had to experience God’s wrath when our sins were placed upon Him.

God is sovereign, meaning He is supreme. All of His creation put together cannot thwart His purposes . God is spirit, meaning He is invisible(ref,John 1*18; 4*24). God is a Trinity. He is three in one, the same in substance, equal in power and glory. God is truth, He will remain incorruptible and cannot lie

God is holy, separated from all moral defilement and hostile toward it. God sees all evil and it angers Him. God is referred to as a consuming fire. God is gracious, and His grace includes His goodness, kindness, mercy, and love. If it were not for God’s grace, His holiness would exclude us from His presence. Thankfully, this is not the case, for He desires to know each of us personally.

Since God is an infinite Being, no human can fully answer this God-sized question, but through God’s Word, we can understand much about who God is and what He is like. May we all wholeheartedly continue to seek after Him (Jeremiah 29:13).

 

Salvation Depends Solely upon Jesus Christ.

 

Salvation depends solely upon Jesus Christ. He is our substitute, taking sin’s penalty. He is our Savior from sin. He is the author and finisher of our faith (ref,Hebrews 12*2). The work necessary to provide salvation was fully accomplished by Jesus Christ Himself, who lived a perfect life, and took God’s judgment for sin, and rose again from the dead.

The Bible is quite clear that our own works do not help to complete or merit salvation. We are saved “not because of righteous things we had done”. “Not by works” . “There is no one righteous, not even one” (ref,Romans 3*10). This means that keeping the commandments, going to church, being baptized, and other good deeds are incapable of saving anyone. No matter how “good” we are, we can never measure up to God’s standard of holiness.

The Bible is just as clear that salvation is conditional; God does not save everyone. The one condition for salvation is faith in Jesus Christ. Nearly 200 times in the New Testament, faith (or belief) is declared to be the sole condition for salvation (ref,John 1*12; Acts 16*31).

One day, some people asked Jesus what they could do to please God: “What must we do to do the works God requires?” Jesus immediately points them to faith: “The work of God is this: to believe in the one he has sent” (ref, John 6*28-29). So, the question is about God’s requirements (plural), and Jesus’ answer is that God’s requirement (singular) is that you believe in Him.