Saturday, 18 June 2022

A Revelation of Love

Objectively in history and subjectively in experience, God has given us good grounds for believing in His love
But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Romans 5:8

How can we believe in the love of God when there appears to be so much evidence to contradict it? The apostle Paul spells out in Romans 5, two major means by which we become sure that God loves us. The first is that he “has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit whom he has given us” (v5). The second is that “God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were yet sinners, Christ died for us” (v8). How, then, can we doubt God’s love? To be sure, we are often profoundly perplexed by the tragedies of life. But God has both proved His love for us in the death of His Son and poured His love into us by the gift of His Spirit. Objectively in history and subjectively in experience, God has given us good grounds for believing in His love. The integration of the historical ministry of God’s Son (on the cross) with the contemporary ministry of His Spirit (in our hearts) is one of the most wholesome and satisfying features of the gospel.

What the bible does, is not to solve the problem of suffering but to give us the right perspective from which to view it. Then, whenever we are torn with anguish, we will climb the hill called Calvary and, from that unique vantage ground, survey the calamities of life.

What make suffering insufferable is not so much the pain involved as the feeling that God doesn’t care. We picture him lounging in a celestial armchair, indifferent to the sufferings of the world. It is this slanderous caricature of God that the cross smashes to smithereens. We are to see him not on a comfortable chair but on a cross. For the God who allows us to suffer, once suffered himself in Jesus Christ, and He continues to suffer with us today. There is still a question mark against human suffering, but over that mark we boldly stamp another mark – the cross.

Further reading - Romans 8:28-39

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters. And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified.

What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things?  Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies. Who then is the one who condemns? No one. Christ Jesus who died—more than that, who was raised to life—is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword?  As it is written:  

“For your sake we face death all day long;

    we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.”

No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Author: John Stott

May God bless and enrich your life

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