Thursday, August 22, 2013

Our Love vs God's Love. Which Came First? (NT examples)

And so we continue to look at God's covenant with His people of promise as the example of why God's love always comes before ours.  In fact, God's love, is the cause of our love.

Thus we enter the New Testament or New Covenant.  The great story of Jesus.  The only one who ever perfectly kept God's laws, lived the sinless life we could never live, and died the death we should have died..  This Savior sent by the one and only wise, loving, living God, Creator of all things.  This God demonstrated His great love for us in that while we were yet sinners Christ died for us(Romans 5:8).

In Christ, God fulfills the prophecy of Ezekiel 36:25-27 in which he states, "I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you shall be clean from all your uncleannesses, and from all your idols I will cleanse you.  And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you.  And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.   And I will put my Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes  and be careful to obey my rules." 

If you are a believer in Christ you must understand this in order to gain a proper understanding of God's grace.  And we must teach our children this.  There is nothing that we have ever done or will ever do, that makes us worthy of Christ's death.  Romans 5:10 says that we were enemies of God, yet we were reconciled to God by the death of His Son and saved by His resurrected life.  Romans 3:23 is Paul's summary statement regarding our righteousness apart from God stating that "all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God."  In Isaiah 64-6 scripture states that "all of our righteousness is as filthy rags"

Something supernatural must happen in us to make us right with God.  Those who are living according to the flesh are hostile towards God.  They cannot submit to God's law, nor can they please Him(Romans 8:6-8).  We must be born again of water and the Spirit(John 3, referencing the above passage from Ezekiel).  Apart from Christ we were "dead in our trespasses in sin"(Ephesians 2:1).  Apart form Christ we "were by nature children of wrath"(Ephesians 2:7).

"But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ, by grace you have been saved, and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.  For by grace you have been saved through faith.  And this is not of your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that know one may boast.  For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them." (Ephesians 2:4-10)

This supernatural thing; being born again; being dead, yet made alive in Christ; was activated by God's love for us....FIRST.  We have done nothing of worth to deserve this love or merit the sacrifice that makes this eternal love available to us.  That's why it is called sovereign grace.  Because it is provided by a sovereign God to those that do not deserve it.  This righteous grace is available to all those "who have sinned and fallen short".  And they that believe and confess Jesus as Lord will have been justified freely, as they are enabled by this grace.(Romans 3:22-24, Romans 10:9-13)  And just to be clear, being saved and justified freely by this grace does not justify Christian laziness.  Because just as Ephesians 2:10 states, "we are now his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand , that we should walk in them."

And so now, I will close with the Doxology or closing from the book of Jude.  "Now to him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you blameless before the presence of his glory with great joy, to the only God, our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion, and authority, before all time and now and forever"(Jude 1:24-25).

In Jesus name,


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