Here is Love: He is Our End – Romans 8:18

muhammad-ali-s-greatness-remixed-for-maximum-inspiration-video--387b85c789Why even bother?

Romans 8:18 For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us.

That is why we bother.

If your affections, desires, and wants are places on Christ alone, then there is everything that we have endured and suffered will not compared to seeing His glory. What is glory? Here is my weak, futile, mortal attempt to explain what glory is:

All of the goodness of God – Exodus 33:18-23 Moses said, “Please show me your glory.” And he said, “I will make all my goodness pass before you and will proclaim before you my name ‘The Lord.’ And I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will show mercy on whom I will show mercy.

All of the holiness of God– Leviticus 9:23-24 And Moses and Aaron went into the tent of meeting, and when they came out they blessed the people, and the glory of the LORD appeared to all the people. And fire came out from before the LORD and consumed the burnt offering and the pieces of fat on the altar, and when all the people saw it, they shouted and fell on their faces.

All of the fullness of God – Numbers 14:21-23 But truly, as I live, and as all the earth shall be filled with the glory of the LORD, none of the men who have seen my glory and my signs that I did in Egypt and in the wilderness, and yet have put me to the test these ten times and have not obeyed my voice, shall see the land that I swore to give to their fathers. And none of those who despised me shall see it.

Every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God – Deuteronomy 5:24 And you said, ‘Behold, the LORD our God has shown us his glory and greatness, and we have heard his voice out of the midst of the fire. This day we have seen God speak with man, and man still live.

and

Isaiah 55:10–11 “For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven and do not return there but water the earth, making it bring forth and sprout, giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater, so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it.

All of his name – Deuteronomy 28:58 “If you are not careful to do all the words of this law that are written in this book, that you may fear this glorious and awesome name, the LORD your God,

and

Revelation 19:11–16 Then I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse! The one sitting on it is called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he judges and makes war. His eyes are like a flame of fire, and on his head are many diadems, and he has a name written that no one knows but himself. He is clothed in a robe dipped in blood, and the name by which he is called is The Word of God. And the armies of heaven, arrayed in fine linen, white and pure, were following him on white horses. From his mouth comes a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations, and he will rule them with a rod of iron. He will tread the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God the Almighty. On his robe and on his thigh he has a name written, King of kings and Lord of lords.

All of His power – 1 Chronicles 29:10-18 Therefore David blessed the LORD in the presence of all the assembly. And David said: “Blessed are you, O LORD, the God of Israel our father, forever and ever. Yours, O LORD, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the victory and the majesty, for all that is in the heavens and in the earth is yours. Yours is the kingdom, O LORD, and you are exalted as head above all. Both riches and honor come from you, and you rule over all. In your hand are power and might, and in your hand it is to make great and to give strength to all. And now we thank you, our God, and praise your glorious name.

“But who am I, and what is my people, that we should be able thus to offer willingly? For all things come from you, and of your own have we given you. For we are strangers before you and sojourners, as all our fathers were. Our days on the earth are like a shadow, and there is no abiding.

O LORD our God, all this abundance that we have provided for building you a house for your holy name comes from your hand and is all your own. I know, my God, that you test the heart and have pleasure in uprightness. In the uprightness of my heart I have freely offered all these things, and now I have seen your people, who are present here, offering freely and joyously to you. O LORD, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, our fathers, keep forever such purposes and thoughts in the hearts of your people, and direct their hearts toward you.

All of everything – Nehemiah 9:6–38 “You are the Lord, you alone. You have made heaven, the heaven of heavens, with all their host, the earth and all that is on it, the seas and all that is in them; and you preserve all of them; and the host of heaven worships you. You are the Lord, the God who chose Abram and brought him out of Ur of the Chaldeans and gave him the name Abraham. You found his heart faithful before you, and made with him the covenant to give to his offspring the land of the Canaanite, the Hittite, the Amorite, the Perizzite, the Jebusite, and the Girgashite. And you have kept your promise, for you are righteous. “And you saw the affliction of our fathers in Egypt and heard their cry at the Red Sea, and performed signs and wonders against Pharaoh and all his servants and all the people of his land, for you knew that they acted arrogantly against our fathers. And you made a name for yourself, as it is to this day. And you divided the sea before them, so that they went through the midst of the sea on dry land, and you cast their pursuers into the depths, as a stone into mighty waters. By a pillar of cloud you led them in the day, and by a pillar of fire in the night to light for them the way in which they should go. You came down on Mount Sinai and spoke with them from heaven and gave them right rules and true laws, good statutes and commandments, and you made known to them your holy Sabbath and commanded them commandments and statutes and a law by Moses your servant. You gave them bread from heaven for their hunger and brought water for them out of the rock for their thirst, and you told them to go in to possess the land that you had sworn to give them. “But they and our fathers acted presumptuously and stiffened their neck and did not obey your commandments. They refused to obey and were not mindful of the wonders that you performed among them, but they stiffened their neck and appointed a leader to return to their slavery in Egypt. But you are a God ready to forgive, gracious and merciful, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love, and did not forsake them. Even when they had made for themselves a golden calf and said, ‘This is your God who brought you up out of Egypt,’ and had committed great blasphemies, you in your great mercies did not forsake them in the wilderness. The pillar of cloud to lead them in the way did not depart from them by day, nor the pillar of fire by night to light for them the way by which they should go. You gave your good Spirit to instruct them and did not withhold your manna from their mouth and gave them water for their thirst. Forty years you sustained them in the wilderness, and they lacked nothing. Their clothes did not wear out and their feet did not swell. “And you gave them kingdoms and peoples and allotted to them every corner. So they took possession of the land of Sihon king of Heshbon and the land of Og king of Bashan. You multiplied their children as the stars of heaven, and you brought them into the land that you had told their fathers to enter and possess. So the descendants went in and possessed the land, and you subdued before them the inhabitants of the land, the Canaanites, and gave them into their hand, with their kings and the peoples of the land, that they might do with them as they would. And they captured fortified cities and a rich land, and took possession of houses full of all good things, cisterns already hewn, vineyards, olive orchards and fruit trees in abundance. So they ate and were filled and became fat and delighted themselves in your great goodness. “Nevertheless, they were disobedient and rebelled against you and cast your law behind their back and killed your prophets, who had warned them in order to turn them back to you, and they committed great blasphemies. Therefore you gave them into the hand of their enemies, who made them suffer. And in the time of their suffering they cried out to you and you heard them from heaven, and according to your great mercies you gave them saviors who saved them from the hand of their enemies. But after they had rest they did evil again before you, and you abandoned them to the hand of their enemies, so that they had dominion over them. Yet when they turned and cried to you, you heard from heaven, and many times you delivered them according to your mercies. And you warned them in order to turn them back to your law. Yet they acted presumptuously and did not obey your commandments, but sinned against your rules, which if a person does them, he shall live by them, and they turned a stubborn shoulder and stiffened their neck and would not obey. Many years you bore with them and warned them by your Spirit through your prophets. Yet they would not give ear. Therefore you gave them into the hand of the peoples of the lands. Nevertheless, in your great mercies you did not make an end of them or forsake them, for you are a gracious and merciful God. “Now, therefore, our God, the great, the mighty, and the awesome God, who keeps covenant and steadfast love, let not all the hardship seem little to you that has come upon us, upon our kings, our princes, our priests, our prophets, our fathers, and all your people, since the time of the kings of Assyria until this day. Yet you have been righteous in all that has come upon us, for you have dealt faithfully and we have acted wickedly. Our kings, our princes, our priests, and our fathers have not kept your law or paid attention to your commandments and your warnings that you gave them. Even in their own kingdom, and amid your great goodness that you gave them, and in the large and rich land that you set before them, they did not serve you or turn from their wicked works. Behold, we are slaves this day; in the land that you gave to our fathers to enjoy its fruit and its good gifts, behold, we are slaves. And its rich yield goes to the kings whom you have set over us because of our sins. They rule over our bodies and over our livestock as they please, and we are in great distress. “Because of all this we make a firm covenant in writing; on the sealed document are the names of our princes, our Levites, and our priests.

All of me – Psalm 3:3-4 But you, O LORD, are a shield about me, my glory, and the lifter of my head. I cried aloud to the LORD, and he answered me from his holy hill. Selah

All of my salvation – Psalm 21:5 His glory is great through your salvation; splendor and majesty you bestow on him. –and– Psalm 62:7 On God rests my salvation and my glory; my mighty rock, my refuge is God.

All of my strength – Psalm 89:17-18 For you are the glory of their strength; by your favor our horn is exalted. For our shield belongs to the LORD, our king to the Holy One of Israel.

Above all of our gods – Psalm 97:9 For you, O LORD, are most high over all the earth; you are exalted far above all gods.

Above me – Isaiah 6:1–7 In the year that King Uzziah died I saw the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up; and the train of his robe filled the temple.  Above him stood the seraphim. Each had six wings: with two he covered his face, and with two he covered his feet, and with two he flew.  And one called to another and said: “Holy, holy, holy is the LORD of hosts; the whole earth is full of his glory!”  And the foundations of the thresholds shook at the voice of him who called, and the house was filled with smoke.  And I said: “Woe is me! For I am lost; for I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; for my eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts!”  Then one of the seraphim flew to me, having in his hand a burning coal that he had taken with tongs from the altar.  And he touched my mouth and said: “Behold, this has touched your lips; your guilt is taken away, and your sin atoned for.

At best as I can explain it: the glory of God is everything that He is, everything that proceeds from Him and everything back to him. For the latter point, this is where the English language fails me. It is not everything that is due to him but rather He is due everything and will receive everything.  It is easy for the Christian to say, “He is due all the worship” but is that all the worship that we want for him or all the worship that proceeds from us, even if we intentionally or unintentionally worshiped Him? Every single bit of worship is due to God. When we don’t worship God, God will ensure and guarantee that He will get that worship and that glory. Everything that we do either worships God or worships not God.

Philippians 2:8–11 And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

We will all confess that Jesus Christ is Lord whether you are child of God or a child of His wrath. As much as this might tear up our hearts and soul, that is the glory of God. If you want to debate wrath and salvation, we won’t do that here. However, if the question you are asking is, “How do I know if I am his child of God or a child that sits under his wrath?” then that we can talk about.

There is this: Now when they heard this they were cut to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, “Brothers, what shall we do?”  And Peter said to them, “Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. 1

Then you may ask, “I believe and I trust in Christ who forgives me of my sins? Is that all? What’s going to happen now?” This is where God brings you to his glory. He will begin a work in your heart, soul, and mind. He will work constantly and continuously to conformed to the image of His Son. He will sanctify you. He will grow you. He will nurture you. 2

Psalm 73 lays it out like this: “When my soul was embittered, when I was pricked in heart, I was brutish and ignorant; I was like a beast toward you.  Nevertheless, I am continually with you; you hold my right hand.  You guide me with your counsel, and afterward you will receive me to glory.” 3

How can we endure? How can we persevere? The psalmist continues, “Whom have I in heaven but you? And there is nothing on earth that I desire besides you.  My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.” 4

All of my heart is set on Him. Yet, he is all of my strength and my All-in-all forevermore. You see how that works? When we are face to face with our great God and King; when we our hearts have finally, completely, perfectly caught up with His; when we finally get to enter into His joy and our rest, which is when His glory is finally and fully revealed to us. Why does He do that? Because that is love.

Series: Intrigued by the postmodern oft-used answer of “God is love”, by just by digging a little deeper, what I have learned is that people usually mean, “Love is God”. But this begs the question: what is love? To that end, I began writing a series that answers that question.

Notes:

  1. Acts 2:37-38
  2. Philippians 1:6; 2 Corinthians 4:15-18
  3. Psalm 73:22-24
  4. Psalm 73:25-26

Here is Love: He is Our Revelation – Romans 8:19-22

Romans 8:19–22 For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the sons of God.  For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of him who subjected it, in hope  that the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to corruption and obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God.  For we know that the whole creation has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth until now.

3wolfmoon_7785What is the creation?

Creation is the entire material plane, every bit of the universe, every part of the world and all of its inhabitants.  This includes all of the earth with its oceans, mountains, volcanos, tsunamis, hurricanes, tornados, and blizzards. 1 The whole creation subjected to bondage of corruption and futility and vanity; it waits and groans together in the pains of childbirth until now.

This includes very creature—every bird, every animal, every fish, and even the creeping crawly things like spiders and ants 2—cries out in pain, torment, hunger, thirst, from the hunt or being hunted down. The whole creation subjected to bondage of corruption and futility and vanity; it waits and groans together in the pains of childbirth until now.

As hard has this to imagine, but the whole creation knows this is not the way things should be. Natural disasters, prey/predator, starving, dying of thirst, death was not part of the original design. All of death was unknown, unfelt, and inexperienced by the whole creation until sin entered into the material plane and broke everything down to the subatomic level.

The Creator subjected creation to an existence ending in nothingness. Yet the seas and its inhabitants roar! All of the rivers claps their hands. The hills sing for joy.  The stones cry out. All of the earth and its inhabitants waits for its Creator. 3

Yes, even mankind yearns for the infinite and yet, was subjected to same vanity. However, as we can simply observe around us and even in our own lives, we tend to suppress the truth that is really around us.  For example, a tragic event occurs and then weeks later, people would forget it and then make the absurd claim that “everything is fine”. 4

No, everything is not fine. The dumb beasts in the field know that. The earth knows that. Why don’t we know that?

Yet, God, true to Himself, responds. He responds in love and he does so by sending his own Son to become flesh—to become an inhabitant of the earth. There is no hope if creation has to get back to its Creator. There is no hope if man has to make his own way to God. Yet, it is the fullness and the truthfulness of love that the Creator who subjected creation to the bondage of corruption and sheer nothingness, becomes a part of that creation and subjected himself to the same bondage of corruption and sheer nothingness.

In other words, for God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. 5

We all know this love: either by direct revelation by God, common grace by God, or the yearning that is in the heart of every person ever born or will ever be born.

Yet, Jesus Christ is life: Mankind has fallen and died and Jesus Christ came to reverse the effects of sin. Jesus Christ is the way: Mankind is running away from him and He pursues and grabs us. Yet, Jesus Christ is righteous: All have sinned and no man or woman can dare to approach God and yet Jesus Christ saves, lifts up the lowly one, gives abundant life, fullness of joy and infinite pleasures and calls that one, friend.

His love is so strong and true that He has given one simple instruction to those who now live, “Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation. 6

God has not forgotten about His creation. God has not left His creation in disarray. God has not left His creation to die. He enter into His own creation in order to make things right with Him. God revealed His Son, Jesus Christ, to all of mankind and all of creation.

That is what we call love.

Series: Intrigued by the postmodern oft-used answer of “God is love”, by just by digging a little deeper, what I have learned is that people usually mean, “Love is God”. But this begs the question: what is love? To that end, I began writing a series that answers that question.

Notes:

  1. Genesis 1:6-13
  2. Genesis 1:20-31; Genesis 6:20, 7:14, 8:17
  3. Psalm 98:9; Luke 19:40
  4. Ecclesiastes 3:11; Romans 1:18-32
  5. John 3:16
  6. Mark 16:15

Here is Love: He is Our Longing – Romans 8:23

What is there to look forward to?

Romans 8:23 And not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies.

My mother abandoned me when I was five years old and I never seen her since. My father physically, emotionally, mentally, and sexually abused me when I was a child. While I have “grown” physically, my heart and my emotional growth stunted to that of a child. It is only by the grace of God and the beautiful love and patience of my wonderful wife and friends that I have emotionally matured in the last couple of years.  However, despite that growth, I have a long ways to go before I can considered myself emotionally mature.

It has been seven years since God has saved me. And while I don’t know the proper commentary definition of this passage, I know that it resonates heavily with my soul.

It is because I have the Spirit of God within me, I am a child of God. And because His Spirit within in, these are ideas that shape my soul:

Oh, how I longed for a Parent who would not abandoned me but be with me.

Oh, how I desperately wanted a Father who would not hurt me or abused me, but rather, make me feel safe and love me tenderly.

Instead of being the oldest brother in trying to protect my brothers and sisters, oh how I would trade everything I had to have an Older Brother that would watch out for me, love me, and protect me from destruction.

Oh, how I need guidance, wisdom, understand, knowledge, comfort, and love. Wouldn’t you know that God gives us all those things and more through His Son by the power of the Holy Spirit.

And by that same Spirit who raised Christ from the dead, I have the power to cry out for my Father, “Father, I’m hurt. Please make it better. Please take away this pain and torment. Please wipe away my tears. Please make everything right.”

Wait eagerly? That would be an incredible understatement, Paul. I would give anything to have to be completely, wholly, holy, one with my Savior and Lord. I want to be in His Presence and tangibly know that everything perfectly all right. I need to have that bond between me and God to be impervious to disconnections and dissolution.  I need it all.

I cry out to my God and Lord and Father and Savior and Love and Spirit: “Make this right. Heal my wounds. Change my mind. Fill my heart. Restore my soul!”

There is nothing else ever to ever that would have the ability, the will, and the want to answer my call except one: God Almighty.  And God answered my prayers. I wanted God, I cry out to God and therefore I get God. That thought boggles my mind. How else can I respond to such incredible love but lift my eyes to heaven, attempt to look in the face of God, and say, “Thank you for loving me.”

Series: Intrigued by the postmodern oft-used answer of “God is love”, by just by digging a little deeper, what I have learned is that people usually mean, “Love is God”. So we then have to ask, what is love? This series is my attempt to answer that question as theologically and biblically as possible.

​Here is Love: He is Our Hope – Romans 8:24-25


Theology-of-the-Body-Hope-1Romans 8:24-25 For in this hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what he sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience.

What is this hope?

Walk backwards from the text. Our hope in adoption as sons? Redemption of our bodies? That creation would be set from its bondage to corruption and obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God? The revealing of God’s glory? Heir of God? Fellow heir of Christ? The Spirit bearing witness that we are children of God?
See the pattern?

But all of those things that we long for and desire and hope for are found in Christ alone.

He is our declaration of no condemnation.

He is our condemned sinful flesh.

He is our righteous requirement.

It is His Spirit by which we live, move and have our being. 1

It is His Spirit that dwells in us.

It is by His Spirit that we have been given life.

But Christ is someone we don’t see. Likewise, we cannot see the Father nor the Spirit. Because we can’t see him, we long for him. Like long distance lovers. Like husband off to war waiting for the day to come back home to be with his wife. Heck, like the guy who has to go to work 8 hours a day and fight hours of traffic just to be with his woman. Like the gal who goes out of town on business who just can’t wait to be with her baby.

In that waiting, we are not impatient as a kid wanting ice cream after dinner. We know we can’t see God right away but one day, we will. And when we see him, He will wipe away all of tears, make all things right, give us the fullness of joy and pleasures evermore.

Notes:

  1. Acts 17:28

Here is Love: He is Our Mediator – Romans 8:26

Romans 8:26 Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words.

When coming to the full acknowledgment of the pain and anguish of sin that he seems to never be able to overcome, Paul cries the same incredible prayer in the same spirit as the tax collector in the synagogue:

Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death?1

And I believe the totality of Romans 8 is the extended, thorough, exegetical explanation to his powerful nine-word answer: “Thanks be to God through Christ Jesus our Lord! 2

So let’s suppose that we find ourselves in the same shoes as Paul. We see our sin and we even try to wrestle it and overcome it and try to choke the life out of it but we all know that our strength is neither perfect nor mighty. It wanes day to day and even moment to moment. We are not as strong as the Almighty Savior who counted it as all joy to ascend to the cross and hand over his life as a ransom for many.

What shall we do? Do we give up hope? Do we scream out “Forget this! This is too much for me to handle. I will never succeed! Why even try?”

But don’t you see? Your cries are exactly like those of the children of Israel. The Old Testament is your prayer and the New Testament is your answer.

What, you can’t do it? God knows and He shows us His great love for us in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us? 3

Remember before God saved you to himself and filled your heart with His Holy Spirit? When you were “once foolish, disobedient, led astray, slaves to various passions and pleasures, passing our days in malice and envy, hated by others and hating one another.” 4

Yes, God was mindful of you, saw you, and saved you despite your own wickedness, evilness, and malice towards the Himself.

If God is so good and powerful to do that, what do you think He’s going to do when you know you are weak, sick and more need of a Savior? Leave you? NO! You are His precious adopted child to whom all that belongs to His only begotten Son also is yours.

That gift includes the world. 5 But that includes something much greater than all of anything that we could want or desire on this earth:

God himself.

God the Father, whose mind, compassion, grace, sovereignty, and love is yours.

God the Son, whose life and body was in your place on the cross so that you could be with “His God, your God, His Father and your Father”. That’s yours.

God the Spirit, by whom is the power, connection, intimacy, closeness and the very voice that brings you and God together forever never to break apart or be forgotten. That’s yours.

By the power of the same Spirit that Jesus was able to walk this earth and live as we should have lived.

By the power of the same Spirit that raised Jesus Christ from the dead.

If His Spirit dwells in you, you are now fully completely alive.

God WOULD NEVER ABANDON YOU, FORSAKE YOU, NOR FORGET YOU.

So why would he leave you at your weakest?

Paul goes on to say:

But when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that being justified by his grace we might become heirs according to the hope of eternal life.6

When sin crouches like a hungry lion ready to devour our souls.

When the Devil and his demons shower you a million arrows of arrows to consume your flesh.

When everything that has worked before and now nothing does.

When you are at loss for words and nothing comes out.

That’s when the almighty Spirit steps in, shatters the mouth of the lion, shields us and absorbs every single arrow aimed for our hearts. He actually gives you the power to overcome all fears, anxiety, and sins, and speaks perfectly to God, our Father, on your behalf. Giving what is the very best for you when you couldn’t figure that out yourself.

That is powerful love.

Series: Intrigued by the postmodern oft-used answer of “God is love”, by just by digging a little deeper, what I have learned is that people usually mean, “Love is God”. So we then have to ask, what is love? This series is my attempt to answer that question as theologically and biblically as possible.

Notes:

  1. Romans 7:24
  2. Romans 7:25
  3. Romans 5:8
  4. Titus 3:3
  5. Hebrews 1:1-2
  6. Titus 3:4-7

Here is Love: He is the One Who Knows Us – Romans 8:27

Romans 8:27 And he who searches hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.

This is a fantastic God

What compares to the knowledge of God when He alone reveals all truth and science to us? Yet, he is not merely the best supercomputer in the world with every single piece of knowledge and scientific fact ever. 1

What compares to the knowledge of God that he numbers the stars in the all of the cosmos, grains of sand on all the beaches and even the number of the hairs on your head? But he is not the greatest calculator that can count really, really high.

What compares to the knowledge of God that he not only knows the past but knows the future. He is not some brilliant scientist who has discovered time travel. He knows the future because he made the future.

What compares to the knowledge of God that he searches the whole world but he is not merely the best surveillance system ever.

This is the God who actually, perfectly knows each and every one of us. But what does that even mean in our world today? Where we put ourselves on social media but only show the world what we want them to see. But every single one of us are yearning to be truly seen and truly known—maybe not by everybody but by somebody.

Maybe we think, “I hope that God sees the good inside of me.” But what if this God saw a lot deeper than that. What if he saw past your social media posts, and then your walls, and then past your personality? What if he could peer inside your soul and see the deepest corners of your heart? What would God see then?

What if he saw your bad? Your fears, your doubts, your sin, your trespasses? You might think if he saw that, he couldn’t possibly want you or even love you?

Here’s the truth: he knows all of that. But this is the mind of the Spirit: way before you were born, the stars were placed in the sky or even before there was even dirt, he made up his mind about you.

Long before Genesis 1:1, he saw into the future and saw you not at your best or your greatest but at your weakest, sickest, and most terrible. Before you could even fathom a thought, God thought of you, loved you, and set the plan in motion not only to create you but to save you.

Who is truly like this God who is not scared nor frightened of your deepest sins? Who is like him whose heart breaks for what broke yours? Who grieved over your pain and also, who was rightfully jealous when you ran away from him?

Ah, but he knows you and sees you truly for who you are.

His reaction is not one of condemnation and tosses you away. He does not strike you down where you stand. He does not turn his back on you. Instead, he comes after you: not like the Devil Lion who would only consume your soul but the like the Protective Hound who simple chases you down, places you gently into his jaws and carries you back to safety.

I know this to be true because he sent his only begotten Son, Jesus Christ, who came not into the world to condemn you but only through him, to save you.

My Beloved, if you are his adoptive, precious child then do not fear that God knows you inside and out as he is only here to remind you of your fears and weaknesses. That is the Devil’s job. But Rejoice! For God sees you, knows you, loves you and wrote your name in His Son’s book of life. Run to him! Flee to him! Let him comfort you in the only way a perfect Father could ever do.

But what if you don’t know God like this? What if this is all foreign to you? Just know that our precious God made sure there is more than ample room at the foot of the cross of Christ for you.

Let the Almighty God take you into his strong arms as he begins to constantly, consistently, thoughtfully, and lovingly pray and intercede for you according His own will because he loves you.

I pray that everyone who reads these words would know that God didn’t create you and left you behind. He didn’t save you and then distance from you. God didn’t rescue you and then be disconnected from you. No! He saved you, pulled you in close, whispers blessings into your ear, rejoices and sings over you in gladness! 2

Because he loves you.

Oh, the mighty love of God be will with us all today and forever. Amen.

Series: Intrigued by the postmodern oft-used answer of “God is love”, by just by digging a little deeper, what I have learned is that people usually mean, “Love is God”. So we then have to ask, what is love? This series is my attempt to answer that question as theologically and biblically as possible.

Notes:

  1. 1 Corinthians 1-3
  2. Hosea 2:14; Zephaniah 3:17

Here is Love: All Good – Romans 8:28

Romans 8:28 And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.

Herein lies love: all things work together for good for those who love God. Within our world, one might dare to ask, “What about those who don’t love God? What about my friend or neighbor or co-worker who is basically a good guy or gal? What about them?”

But what is goodness? Is it good/better/best or a quality that is wholesome and pure and without sin or evilness?

While we cannot assume the opposite is true in some cases, we can actually make that statement here: all things do not work together for good for those who do not love God. Or if things do work together for good, then it is for good/better/best and not at all for goodness according to the God.

Paul is saying nothing new. There is a distinction between those who love God and do not love God. We just got done reading at the beginning of Romans 8: “For those who live according to the flesh, set their minds on things of the flesh… Those who are in the flesh cannot please God.” 1

Perhaps you might think Paul is too harsh. Let’s think through things for just a moment:

There are always talks about harmonizing the Gospels of the New Testament but when you study the teachings of Christ and the writings of Paul, what I think is happening that Paul is simply giving a theological explanation to the words and deeds of Christ.

I dare to say that Paul is not giving anything new outside of what Jesus Christ has already said and done.

So when Paul talks “mind set on the flesh and spirit” or in our case “for those who love God”, how is that different than when Christ spoke of those on his left hand and his right, goats, and sheep, child of hell versus sons of God?

Or here: Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life; whoever does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God remains on him. 2

Paul is simply going into a more detailed explanation of what Christ said.

Why is this so important? All the promises of God are both yes and amen, but the promises for you, if you are a child of God, go many more AND deeper, more meaningful, more lovely and beautiful than anything we could have imagined.

You, however, are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if in fact the Spirit of God dwells in you. Anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him. But if Christ is in you, although the body is dead because of sin, the Spirit is life because of righteousness. If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit who dwells in you. 3

For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!” The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him. 4

So who loves God? We just read that “And he who searches hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.5 That God knows the heart and that is such good news that he looks and sees us intimately.

So, what are all things? That circumstances and sin and wickedness do not dictate the statuses and the faiths of the children of God. Abuse does not.  Trauma does not. Being ignored does not. Being betrayed does not. Being tempted does not. Being poor does not.

Let the world take everything–my innocence, my money, my family, my job, my education–everything that I could put all of my identity in and fall into idol worship. But because I have God, I have everything.

How’s that you say? Again, let us use the words of Paul:

Let me live and I will live to Christ.

Kill me and Christ is my gain!

Take my job and force me into poverty and I will be content.

Throw me in prison and I will preach the gospel and see that the guard’s and their households are saved.

Let all things come my way and try to destroy me.

But God, let me see more of you to where the things of this world no longer entertain me.

God, set me on fire so the rest of the world can watch me burn.

God will because He loves me and will keep me forever.

Series: Intrigued by the postmodern oft-used answer of “God is love”, by just by digging a little deeper, what I have learned is that people usually mean, “Love is God”. So we then have to ask, what is love? This series is my attempt to answer that question as theologically and biblically as possible.

Notes:

  1. Romans 8:5-8
  2. John 3:36
  3. Romans 8:9–11
  4. Romans 8:14–17
  5. Romans 8:27

Here is Love: What God Saw In Us – Romans 8:29a

Romans 8:29 For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers.

There are many verses that can be used to aptly say what verse twenty-nine so succinctly and definitely says here. I can think of two passages:

1 Peter 1:20–21 He was foreknown before the foundation of the world but was made manifest in the last times for the sake of you who through him are believers in God, who raised him from the dead and gave him glory, so that your faith and hope are in God.

Ephesians 1:3–14 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love he predestined us for adoption to himself as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved. In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace, which he lavished upon us, in all wisdom and insight making known to us the mystery of his will, according to his purpose, which he set forth in Christ as a plan for the fullness of time, to unite all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth.

In him we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to the purpose of him who works all things according to the counsel of his will, so that we who were the first to hope in Christ might be to the praise of his glory. In him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of his glory.

In order to understand God and his love for his people, we can take this little verse, walk through it, and answer the following questions:

What did God see in us in that we would be saved to Him? Many have speculated and theorized that foreknowledge of God simply means that God saw into the future and determined God saw those who would believe in him and not believe in him and pick accordingly.

We teach our kids the story on how God saved Noah:

Genesis 6:5–9 The LORD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intention of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. And the LORD regretted that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him to his heart. So the LORD said, “I will blot out man whom I have created from the face of the land, man and animals and creeping things and birds of the heavens, for I am sorry that I have made them.” But Noah found favor in the eyes of the LORD.  These are the generations of Noah. Noah was a righteous man, blameless in his generation. Noah walked with God.

And because of our philosophies born out of the world in which we live today, we surmised that it was Noah, first, that lived a righteous life and it was only then God saved Noah.

But does that line up with any story of salvation that you ever heard in the Bible or is Paul correct when he says:

Romans 5:8 but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

Notice it doesn’t say, “while we were really good” or “doing our very best, that Christ died for us.”

Let’s go back and look at the passage and walk through it step by step:

  1. God saw the evilness of humankind – The LORD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intention of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually
  2. God regretted making mankind and it grieved him – And the LORD regretted that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him to his heart.
  3. God had a plan to make everything right-standing with him – God So the LORD said, “I will blot out man whom I have created from the face of the land, man and animals and creeping things and birds of the heavens, for I am sorry that I have made them.”
  4. And give grace to some – But Noah found favor in the eyes of the LORD.
  5. And save them – … Noah was a righteous man, blameless in his generation. Noah walked with God.

Let’s consider all of the Bible. What makes actual sense? Did Noah act right in order for God to save him? Or if we are to read every single account of salvation in the Bible and since the creation of the world, could we logically, theologically, and reasonably concluded that:

  • Noah was wicked (check)
  • every intention of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually (check)
  • that God was grieved to the heart because of Noah (check)
  • that because of his righteousness and holiness and love and mercy, God saved one family out of many and bestowed unmerited grace upon him (check)
  • And because we are only saved by grace alone, it is that Noah was declared righteous and blameless by God and walked with God as he would a friend, (check, check, and check).

As old dead white guys would say two hundred years ago, let us lay an axe to our pride and to anything that would cause us to boast before the world, each other, and most importantly, God, that we could say, “I am good, save me!” with the same intentionality as one philosopher would say, “God has to save me–it is what he does”.

Should we be audacious before the throne of grace? As the Spirit of God bears witness with our spirits, then yes! But as a child of wrath with no thoughts or convictions about our own sin or zero affections and love towards the Saviour of the world? No! For the child of wrath is declared by the all-knowing God to be unknowable.

And you might say to me, “This foreknowledge to too much for me to dwell on. How can I comprehend it?” My friend, it is not a belief in foreknowledge of God that would save you but it is faith and belief in the one who lived a life that we could not possibly live, the one who died dying a death that we should have death, resurrected back into life by which we have no power over unto the glory that belongs to God alone. I ask you to comprehend and trust the risen Christ! It is Christ alone who came into the world as a baby and to grow in a man faced every type of temptation just like you or me. But unlike us, he never sinned. For in that glorious work of Christ by the power of the Holy Spirit, we are now able to see the Father!

So in all of this, I must concede to one answer to the question of “What did God see in us to save us?”

Before Genesis 1:1, before time and space began, before the formations of the sun, moon, stars, and planets, before the dirt and mountains and sky and birds, and fish, and animals and anything in all of creation, he looked upon me and saw my wickedness, my pride, my sins, my thoughts, and my intentions, and powerfully, mightedly, gracefully, lovingly, mercifully, righteously, and justly declared,

“He is mine! He is in my family! And by the power of My Spirit, I will bring in him into my family because my Son will do everything in order to save him to me!”

What kind of love this? The heart can barely contain the amount. Praise God for his love.

Series: Intrigued by the postmodern oft-used answer of “God is love”, by just by digging a little deeper, what I have learned is that people usually mean, “Love is God”. So we then have to ask, what is love? This series is my attempt to answer that question as theologically and biblically as possible.

Here is Love: How Did God Save Us? – Romans 8:29b

Romans 8:29 For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers.

So we have firmly established that God did not look into the future and see that I was good enough to be saved. I did not make the right decision to be saved or do a bunch of “good” works to be saved. We now know that from eternally past, God looked upon me and saw my wickedness, my evilness, my sins, and trespasses and graciously, sovereignly, completely, and mightily decided to save me if for no other reason other than for His glory.

For my name’s sake I defer my anger;
for the sake of my praise I restrain it for you,
that I may not cut you off.
Behold, I have refined you, but not as silver;
I have tried you in the furnace of affliction.
For my own sake, for my own sake, I do it,
for how should my name be profaned?
My glory I will not give to another. 1

But because God is so glorious, the overabundance of that glory is my joy:

You make known to me the path of life;
in your presence there is fullness of joy;
at your right hand are pleasures forevermore. 2

But how did God save us?

In other words, was it enough for God to save us by sending his Son to be born of an unwed, virgin, teenage girl and to live as a carpenter’s stepson?

Was it enough for the Son of God, filled with the Spirit of God, to wait until he was 30 years old to start his earthly ministry, all the while spending his entire life completely sinless and perfectly obeying the law of God?

Was it enough for Christ Jesus to finish his life and ministry by being falsely accused, falsely arrested, falsely tried, and falsely executed upon a Roman cross for crimes and sins he did not commit?

Furthermore, to be buried in a tomb for three days, and by that same Spirit of God that dwelled in him, risen again to be made alive, and then continued his ministry on earth for 40 more days and then ascend to the right hand of the Father?

Was all of that enough for Jesus Christ to save His people?

Anybody who has grown up in church all of their lives will shout the answer, “You must believe in Jesus Christ in order to be saved!” That is the answer. Just believe in the one who lived and died for you and you shall be saved.

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. 3

But let us think about this: what if Christ came to live and die and no one believed? Would his life and death be in vain? Absolutely not, because Christ death on the cross on actually and factually accomplished something.

The Bible speaks of this through and through.  I believe it is most evident in the Gospel of Matthew chapter 1 verse 21:

She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins. 4

Read that verse. Does it give the mere possibility of saving his people from their sins or does it say distinctly will save? Does God fail in anything that he will set out to accomplish? Even if his word goes out, it will accomplish something and does not go out in vain 5, what more than God alone who all powerful, all knowing, and ever-present will perfectly set out what he wants to accomplish.

We say believe but did God die for the possibility of saving everybody? If we have established that God will perfectly execute his plans then we know that even the mere possibility indicates possible failure. Even we can bring up a couple verses starting in 1 John:

He is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world. 6

But reading 1 John as a whole especially starting with chapter 2 verse 1, we can see that John’s intention was not to say “the whole world is saved” but rather that all brothers and sisters for all around the world are saved because of the the propitiating work of Jesus Christ who is our advocate with the Father when and if we do sin. 7 To even suggest that the whole world would be saved would directly contradict Matthew’s witness account of Jesus: “Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many.8

And I would say that John would be contradicting himself in his own gospel account in the aforementioned John 3:16. But look closely: John did not write, “that whoever believes and doesn’t believe in him should not perish” but “that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.

Yes, John did write in verse 17 “For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.” but see how he ends the chapter with verse 36 “Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life; whoever does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God remains on him.9

Both John, Matthew and the writers of the Bible are not mincing words when we speak of who God does and does not save (especially when you read about the Kingdom of God in Matthew chapter 13). Instead of looking at individual verses and making them stand on their own, let us be like Christ when he walked on the road to Emmaus and understand the entire Bible speaks about himself, Jesus Christ.

So we know that God is powerful to save. We know it wasn’t our “good works” or right decision that attracted the grace and favor of God upon us. We have established that God didn’t send his Son to die in mere hopes that we would make the right decision–nevermind the fact that that decision was already too late for the Old Testament saints. 10

We must always remember that, unlike Christ, we came into this world “foolish, disobedient, led astray, slaves to various passions and pleasures, passing our days in malice and envy, hated by others and hating one another.11

We were all born sinners who have fallen short of the glory of God 12— remembering that this is the same glory that God spoke about by which he would save His people. 13

We have all fallen short of the glory of God that saves us.

What are we to do if we are not already saved?

Without God, we are blind and cannot see. We are deaf and cannot hear. We have minds but cannot understand. We inhale breath but we are not completely alive.

In other words, we are completely dead in our trespasses. 14

But open your eyes and see this good news: Just as Moses lifted the serpent up in the wilderness that the Israelites might look upon it and be saved 15, God appeared:

But when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that being justified by his grace we might become heirs according to the hope of eternal life. 16

God saves us

  • According to his own mercy
  • By the washing of regeneration
  • Renewal of the Holy Spirit
  • Poured out on us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior
  • Justified by his grace
  • So that we might become heirs according to the hope of eternal life

Might not as in mere possibility but based on the strength of the love our God our Father by the power of the Holy Spirit through the broken body of Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior.

There is no greater news than this because there is no greater love than this.

Series: Intrigued by the postmodern oft-used answer of “God is love”, by just by digging a little deeper, what I have learned is that people usually mean, “Love is God”. So we then have to ask, what is love? This series is my attempt to answer that question as theologically and biblically as possible.

Notes:

  1. Isaiah 48:9–11
  2. Psalm 16:11
  3. John 3:16
  4. Matthew 1:21
  5. Isaiah 55:10-11
  6. 1 John 2:2
  7. 1 John 2:1
  8. Matthew 7:13
  9. John 3:36
  10. Romans 3:21-26
  11. Titus 3:3
  12. Romans 3:23
  13. Isaiah 48:9–11
  14. Ephesians 2:1-3
  15. John 3:14-15 Cf. Numbers 21:9
  16. Titus 3:4-7

Here is Love: By Whom We Are Saved – Romans 8:29c

Romans 8:29 For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers.

When we speak of Romans 8, most Christians rightfully cling to the verse 1: There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. But Romans 8:1 is not the very first line of this epistle from Paul to the church in Rome. What I am getting to is that idea didn’t just come out of nowhere. What was Paul responding to? Perhaps we can look at the verses right before:

Romans 7:24–25 Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, I myself serve the law of God with my mind, but with my flesh, I serve the law of sin.

Seem familiar? Don’t we hear the same desperation in anyone, who by the grace of God, see their own sins as an affront and treason against holy and loving God? It is the great cry of the tax collector, “… standing far off, would not even lift up his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying, ‘God, be merciful to me, a sinner!’” 1

Even more than that, it seems to be the same question Isaiah asked:

Isaiah 64:5–6
     You meet him who joyfully works righteousness,
     those who remember you in your ways.
     Behold, you were angry, and we sinned;
     in our sins we have been a long time, and shall we be saved?
     We have all become like one who is unclean,       
     and all our righteous deeds are like a polluted garment.
     We all fade like a leaf,
     and our iniquities, like the wind, take us away.

Isaiah the great prophet, to whom Christ unraveled his glory before him and Christ then sent an angel to touch Isaiah’s lips with a hot coal and cleansed his soul from all unrighteousness even asked, “Shall we be saved?”

I know that Paul answers all the cries of all the saints who clearly see their own sin before a glorious God, “THERE IS THEREFORE NOW NO CONDEMNATION FOR THOSE WHO ARE IN CHRIST JESUS!”

Let that be one of the many banners over our souls and hearts: “THERE IS NO CONDEMNATION BECAUSE I AM IN CHRIST AND HE IS IN ME FOREVER!”

But this is not some standalone “theory” that we have to do doctrinal gymnastics in order to arrive at this point. The world wants to make the Bible more difficult than it needs to be. By either claiming to be nonsense, or it is a book filled with fantasy, or that God is an angry god or there are just too many contradictions. To such counters I will say two things: One, you cannot understand any gift of God without the Holy Spirit of God 2. Two, once you have the Holy Spirit and by his will, power and wisdom alone, you can now begin to grasp the Bible for it really is—the word of God.  All of a sudden, when we read passages like Luke 24 when Jesus taught his disciples about all the Scriptures, we realize that the Bible is really all about Him.

If the Bible is all about Jesus, then logic and reason dictate that salvation comes through Christ alone.

Let’s see what the rest of the Bible says:

Acts 4:12 And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.”

John 1:12–13 But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.

Romans 5:9-10 Since, therefore, we have now been justified by his blood, much more shall we be saved by him from the wrath of God.  For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life.

1 Corinthians 15:1–11 Now I would remind you, brothers, of the gospel I preached to you, which you received, in which you stand, and by which you are being saved if you hold fast to the word I preached to you—unless you believed in vain.

For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures, and that he appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve. Then he appeared to more than five hundred brothers at one time, most of whom are still alive, though some have fallen asleep. Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles. Last of all, as to one untimely born, he appeared also to me. For I am the least of the apostles, unworthy to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace toward me was not in vain. On the contrary, I worked harder than any of them, though it was not I, but the grace of God that is with me. Whether then it was I or they, so we preach and so you believed.

Ephesians 2:1–10  And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience— among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind. But God, being rich in mercy, because of the 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 your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no 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.

Titus 3:3–7  For we ourselves were once foolish, disobedient, led astray, slaves to various passions and pleasures, passing our days in malice and envy, hated by others and hating one another. But when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that being justified by his grace we might become heirs according to the hope of eternal life.

And the Old Testament says nothing less about it even despite our “Age of Information” brains who can only search by keywords. Go back and start at the beginning.

Genesis – beginning of the promise of Jesus Christ

Exodus – Jesus will save his people from their sins

Leviticus – the weight of the holy law upon the shoulders of Christ

Numbers – the progressive sanctification of his people or to put it into other words, being conformed to the image of His Son.

But how do we know that Christ was the Savior of those in the Old Testament when they didn’t even know His name? Paul says that in Romans 3 that God put Jesus Christ forward as a propitiation with Christ’s own blood to be received by faith. Not only with us the New Testament saints but the Old Testaments as well. God was passing over their sins in divine forbearance because those saints believed in Christ Jesus. 3

Saints of old and saints of new were all perfectly saved by Christ alone.

We know that those old saints were under the burden of the law with sacrifices and shedding of blood. But the shedding of the blood of ox and goats or even following the law perfect never intended to save God’s people 4.

Jesus Christ was born, lived, died, rose again, and ascended to the right hand of the Father to rule and reign over everyone, everywhere, and everything.

And Christ rules, reigns and saved his people because He went to the cross in humility and joy.

Jesus Christ is the literal crux where God’s steadfast love and God’s faithfulness meet and He is where His righteousness and His perfect peace kiss each other. 5

Because of all that he has done and because of what he is doing now and will do, there will be one fine day that I will stand in the presence of my Savior, just as Joshua did before the Commander of the Most High or as the adulteress caught red-handed and thrown before this King of Kings. I saw my Savior’s beautiful face but can I approach him? I can say nothing. But I fall to the ground in worship and in true awe before the one who saved me.

But then, the Holy Spirit bears witness with my spirit, “Father of Lights, this is your precious son!”

And I can imagine Christ turning to his Father and the Father’s voice booms the heavens, “THIS IS MY SON IN WHOM I AM WELL-PLEASED!”

And upon that declarative state, Christ descends from his rightful throne, lifts me up to stand with him and finishes the holy judgment before angels, elders, and the other saints:

NO CONDEMNATION! Come and enter in the joy of your master.

It is then and only then that I will have a chance to hold my lovely Saviour’s face, look deeply into his eyes and kiss him a thousand kisses all because of what He has done for me.

Series: Intrigued by the postmodern oft-used answer of “God is love”, by just by digging a little deeper, what I have learned is that people usually mean, “Love is God”. So we then have to ask, what is love? This series is my attempt to answer that question as theologically and biblically as possible.

Notes:

  1. Luke 18:13
  2. 1 Corinthians 2:12
  3. see Romans 3:21-26
  4. Hebrews 9:1-28 Cf. Romans 8:1-4
  5. Psalm 85.10