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Wednesday, December 21, 2011

God's Amazing Love

Romans 8 : 34 - 39, Who is he who condemns? It is Christ who died, and furthermore is also risen, who is even at the right hand of God, who also makes intercession for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written: "For Your sake we are killed all day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter." Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. NKJV

There's no possible way for us as humans to describe fully the love that God has for us. The purpose of today's thoughts isn't a veiled attempt to excuse sin, but rather to use what we, as former sinners, have gone through to illustrate further the experience and depths of God's love. The first account of God's love in the Bible is found in Genesis 2, where God provided the needs of Adam and Eve. All that mankind needed was supplied for them by the Lord God. Consequently, we can look at God's provision and better understand His love for us. Everything is fine until we get to the part in the story of God's love for us where man decided to take advantage of Him and His graciousness, and they chose to sin.

What would be the outcome of such a damnable decision? Would God choose to love mankind even after Adam and Eve ignored the goodness of God and decided to choose sin and its consequences over the bountiful blessings of the Lord? If you read the rest of the story in Genesis 3, you will see where God looked at the fallen state of man and made the choice to kill an innocent animal in order to cover the nakedness and shame of the fallen couple. This action was the first indication that God chose to continue displaying His love for the man whom He had created to be in His image and likeness. In order to justify and to cover the sins of the guilty, it required the life of an innocent animal. Where is the justice in this? Why did an innocent creature of God have to give its life so that a person who had consciously and deliberately chosen to sin could have his shame covered? We see now, that in order for God to love fallen man, it would come at a high price to God and creation, but it was a COST (CROSS) that God was willing to pay in order to show us the depth of His love for us, as sinners.

Jesus tells us in John 8 that Satan was a murderer from the beginning. We know this by the account of man's choice to sin and die. Nevertheless, it was God, who took the first life. For the first time in the Word of God, we see the exchange of a life for souls. Does this mean that we can continue in sin and allow God to kill innocent lives to restore us... and through these continued sacrifices, witness the depths of God's love for us as sinners? I echo the words of the Apostle Paul,  "Absolutely not!!!"

This is where repentance enters the story of God's love for fallen man. When God came to Adam and asked him if he had eaten of the forbidden tree, God was giving man an opportunity to confess his sins and "get right." Instead, Adam chose to deny his actions and blamed them on his wife. If we should deny that we have sin, the Apostle John tells us that the truth is not in us, and we are liars. However, he also says, if we confess our faults to God that He is faithful to forgive us and to cleanse us of all unrighteousness. Therefore, when you and I sin, we must look at God's love as a way OUT OF SIN and not the means to remain in sin, lest we perish in sin.

Does God love obedient children? Yes. Does that mean that God doesn't love disobedient children? No. Sin has cost God the life of His Son on earth. Consequently, because of sin, we, who didn't know the righteousness of God, have now become the righteous seed of God in the earth through Jesus. We have also become recipients of God's love at a much deeper level. Sin cost us everything. Even so, it cost God even more. We, who have chosen to REPENT of our past mistakes and failures, will never pay for one sin by going to HELL. Christ had to pay the price for us as the Last Adam, and through His life, God's wrath has been forever appeased. 

By Grace through Faith Are We Now saved,
Pastor Asa Dockery

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