Monday, June 01, 2009

For God so Loved the World!

Read John 3:16-21

God’s Love for you!

This is the passage that everyone seems to know, one that he or she will either love or hate, triumph or loathe, be convicted by or despise, adore or disgust. Just as it is with Christ—we either love Him or hate Him! But, whether we love or hate Him, serve Him or work against Him, Jesus did, in fact, come into this world to save us. God sent Him to us because of love—His love for us all. In so doing, this love cost the biggest payment ever conceivable, the death of His Son given for us. God did this so that we may not perish in our sins, rather be able by His Holy Spirit to receive Christ and experience His sacrifice that will pay for our salvation and eternity. All we have to do is believe, have faith, and trust Him. He did all the work; we just reach out and take hold of His miraculous grace, His wondrous work all for us! In fact, the main point and purpose of Jesus Christ's Person and work is not to condemn, but rather to save; not to punish but to inspire.

This is a about the declaration of God's great and intense love and His motivation to be involved for humanity and give us unmerited salvation. This is counter cultural to Jews, both then and now, who believe they are the chosen ones and the Gentile world is outside of God's will and plan. God chose the Israelites to be His beacons and examples of faith to the world. The remedy for the main problem of humanity, which is our sinful nature, God solved through His Son's work of atonement (Gen. 12:1-3; 22:2, 16; Ex. 34. 6-7; Deut. 7:7-8; Judges 10:16; Psalm 136:1; Isa. 9:6; 16:11; 63:9; Jer. 48:36; Hos. 11:1-11; Matt. 5:44-45; John 1:14, 18; 6:32; 12:47; 2 Cor. 6:18; Rom. 8:32; 1 John 4:9-10; 5:20).

This is the quintessential Bible passage and summary of the Gospel Message

This is the verse that just about everyone knows and what people assume tells us what it means to be a Christian. This is all about who God is, One of Love, and what He does: He loves. This is His indispensable and primary attribute, but that is not just what God is about. Rather, it is a summary of all of His character, not just His one attribute. Love is one of His many characteristics and qualities. This is how His character and Person comes to us, how He loves by not waiting for us to come to Him, because we can't; rather, He comes to us. God demonstrated His ultimate Love by sending His Son as a sacrifice. His sacrifice included becoming a man, a suffering and dead man, for our benefit. Jesus came into a world that had already condemned itself and rejected God. We all are condemned for judgment because of sin and the refusal to accept God's way; we rejected Him, His self realization and law. Yet, Christ came to us who are undeserving, offering us His free grace if only we believe and trust in Him.

When we realize this, we can trust Him, we can be saved, and He will not allow us to be condemned. Those whose faith is in Christ do not have to fear judgment or punishment because God's Light has conquered the darkness of our sins; Christ came into this world as the Light. But, beware; those who refuse Him, who love darkness and sin, and who fight against God and His people will be doomed and will have the full magnitude of fear and condemnation. So, see His love, receive His grace, throw off hate and worry, and put on His love, allowing His saving work to envelop and intervene deeply in you so you are truly and completely saved! By doing what He asks and loving it, you will have a better life—a marvelous life here and a wondrous eternity beyond measure or description!

The precepts in this passage are pure and simple.

We have a God who goes out of His way to intercede in our wayward life to save us. The center of the Gospel is that Jesus beckons us, calls us, allures us, and seeks to persuade us to Him when we are unworthy of His attention, let alone His salvation. All because His prime directive is love and that means to love the unlovable—and the unlovable means you and me. The sad fact is that we are predetermined by our will, pride, and sometimes experiences and beliefs to reject His love. Yet, His love is offered. We seek to live our lives our way and not His Way, yet His love is there for us to grab hold of. He does not want us to perish or die or suffer; He wants us to have a good, joyful, and triumphant life! Jesus Christ came to save and to love, so why do so many of us spend all of our energy fighting Him? Why would we rather die in our vomit of unbelief and the darkness of our pride when we can have His Light for eternity?

Why would we want to choose what is self-destructive and meaningless and toss out what is good for us and meaningful?

Why do we want a bad life when we can have a good life?

The love we have to work with is conditional and provisional, but God's love has no limits or conditions—only that we receive it. Like any gift to be brought to a person, he/she has to reach out, open it, and use it to make it work. So it is with God's grace. Therefore, we are the ones who put conditions upon His most marvelous gift of love and grace!

Remember: God's love is not the love of our feeble standards. His is real and effectual!


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