Number of posts : 639
Age : 55
Registration date : 2007-07-26
|Subject: The Greatest Love Sun Aug 05, 2007 2:42 pm|| |
Let us remind one another of "how great is the love
the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of
God" (1 John 3:1)! In the love of God, let us also love one another.
No power or force on earth can be stronger than love. And God's love
is the greatest love of all. By His love, we obtained salvation. By
loving Him and then our neighbors, we manifest such salvation. We love
because He first loved us (1 John 4:19).
The strongest thematic message in the Bible, which contains the Word
of God, is God's love. Everything revolves around God's love. God, who
created the universe by His Word, is the source of love, which is love
in its truest, purest and perfect form.
Many religious sects in the Philippines interpret the Bible in many
ways. They differ in their interpretations of the way to salvation.
There are those who claim that only by good works can men find salvation.
There are those who say that faith alone, even without manifestation
of good works or love, results in salvation. There are those who say
that only those who work miracles by the Holy Spirit are truly saved.
For this, be warned. Not all men who preach the Word of God, no matter
how eloquent they may sound, or do miracles beyond logical comprehension
have found salvation. Neither wisdom nor power to cast out demons is
an assurance of salvation.
Only those who love truly are assured of salvation. Unless a man loves
God and the people around him, he is not saved. How can anyone proclaim
himself saved if he does not love his brother?
In the love of God, let us come to an understanding of His Word. When
asked what the Bible is about, many people could not readily respond.
What is the Bible about? The Bible is about God's love. While it is
true that the Bible speaks about sin and forgiveness or death and salvation,
this is because of one Biblical truth: God's love.
Let us grasp how wide and long and high and deep the love of God is.
God's love endures forever (Psalm 118:1). The earth is filled with God's
love (Psalm 119:64). His love is even better than life (Psalm 63:3)
and surpasses knowledge (Ephesians 3:18).
"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" (Romans 8:38-39).
By His love, He sent Jesus Christ to the world. "For God so loved the
world that He gave His one and only son, that whoever believes in Him
shall not perish but have eternal life" (John 3:16).
"This is how God showed His love among us: He sent His one and only
Son into the world that we might live through Him. This is love: not
that we loved God, but that He loves us and sent His son as atoning
sacrifice for our sins" (I John 4:9-10).
"God demonstrates His own love for us in this: While we were still sinners,
Christ died for us" (Romans 5:. "In love, He predestined us to be
adopted as His sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with His pleasure
and will - to the praise of His glorious grace, which He has freely
given us in the One He loves" (Ephesians 1:5-6).
"Because of His great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us
alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions - it is by
grace you have been saved" (Ephesians 2:4-5).
A question that some people ask is if God really loves all men, why
would He allow the sinners to be punished. Our God, who is rich in love,
reigns with justice and righteousness. "The Lord is slow to anger, abounding
in love and forgiving sin and rebellion. Yet He does not leave the guilty
unpunished" (Numbers 14:. But the Lord, God of heaven, the great and
awesome God, "keeps His covenant of love with those who love Him and
obey His commands" (Nehemiah 1:15).
Jesus Christ, the Son of God, has endorsed love for God and among us.
"For in Christ Jesus, neither circumcision nor uncircumcision has any
value. The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through
love" (Galatians 5:6).
Jesus said, "Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his
life for his friends. You are my friends if you do what I command" (John
15:13-14). His commands: "Love the Lord your God with all your heart
and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and
greatest commandment. And the second is like it: Love your neighbor
as yourself. And all the Law and the prophets hang on these two commandments"
He even exhorts us to love our enemies. "Love your enemies and pray
for those who persecute you that you may be sons of your Father in heaven"
(Matthew 5:44). By loving each other, we will be worthy of His love.
"Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.
By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one
another" (John 13:34-35).
According to Paul, love is the fulfillment of the law. "Let no debt
remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another,
for he who loves his fellowman has fulfilled the law. The commandments,
'Do not commit adultery,' 'Do not murder,' 'Do not steal,' 'Do not covet,'
and whatever other commandment there may be, are summed up in this one
rule: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.' Love does no harm to its neighbor.
Therefore love is the fulfillment of the law" (Romans 13:8-10).
Three apostles of Jesus Christ - John, Peter and Paul - have all encouraged
us to love one another as a testimony of God's salvation. John said
that love comes from God and that God is love. "Dear friends, let us
love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been
born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God,
because God is love" (1 John 4:7-.
Peter said that love defeats sins. "Above all, love each other deeply,
because love covers a multitude of sins (I Peter 4:. Paul said that
of faith, hope and love, the greatest is love (I Corinthians 13:13).
The first fruit of the Holy Spirit is love (Galatians 5:22-23). Love
binds all good virtues in perfect unity (Colossians 3:14).
Paul said that the gift to do miracles would be nothing without love.
"If I speak in the tongues of men and angels, but have no love, I am
only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy
and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge; and if I have a faith
that can move mountains but have no love, I am nothing. If I give all
I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have
no love, I gain nothing" (1 Corinthians 13:1-3).
How can we show our love to God and to our fellowmen? Jesus Christ said
that if we love Him, we will obey what He commands. "Whoever
has may commands and obeys them, he is the one who loves Me. He who
loves Me will be loved by my Father, and too will love Him and show
myself to him" (John 14:21). Jesus said: "If anyone loves Me, he will obey
My teaching. My Father will love him, and we will come to him and make
our home with him. He who does not love me will not obey my teaching"
(John 14:23-24). The apostle John said,
"Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God, and
everyone who loves the Father loves His child as well. This is how we
know that we love the children of God: by loving God and carrying out
His commands. This is love for God: to obey His commands" (1 John 5:1-3).
"If anyone says 'I love God,' yet hates his brother, he is a liar. For
anyone who does not love his brother, whom he has seen, cannot love
God, whom he has not seen. And He has given us this command: Whoever
loves God must also love his brother" (1 John 4:20-21).
"This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down His life for
us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers. If anyone has
material possessions and sees his brother in need but has no pity in
him, how can the love of God be in him? Dear children, let us not love
with words or tongue but with actions and in truth" (I John 3:16-18).
Paul described love this way. "Love is patient, love is kind. It does
not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is
not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.
Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always
protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never
fails" (I Corinthians 13:4-.
Love is important, because by this we know that we have eternal life.
John said that "we know that we have passed from death to life, because
we love our brothers" (I John 3:14).
With love in our hearts, we have the assurance and joy of salvation
in Jesus Christ, the Son of God. "God is love. Whoever lives in love
lives in God, and God in him. In this way, love is made complete among
us so that we will have confidence on the day of judgment, because in
this world we are like Him. There is no fear in love. But perfect love
drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who
fears is not made perfect in love" (1 John 4:16-18).
"If anyone acknowledges that Jesus is the Son of God, God lives in him
and he in God. And so we know and rely on the love God has for us" (1
John 4:15-16). God, Himself, makes us capable of love through the Holy
Spirit. "God has poured out His love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit,
whom He has given us" (Romans 5:5).
of the Lord Jesus Christ will come
again to Earth, this time to bring salvation to those who believe in
Him. "Just as man is destined to die once, and after that to face judgment,
so Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many people;
and He will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation
to those who are waiting for Him" (Hebrews 9:27-28). He will
bring us who love Him together in one body. "Speaking the truth in love,
we will in all things grow up into Him who is the Head, that is, Christ.
From Him the whole body, together by every supporting ligaments, grows
and builds itself in love, as each part does its work" (Ephesians 4:15-16).
In Jesus Christ, we have a new life. We
rejoice at the fact that "our citizenship is in heaven" (Philippians
3:20). We say these things to you because these are true, and because
God wants you to know that He loves you very much and patiently waits
for your acceptance of His gift of eternal life.
[size=12 [/size]Invitation Jesus Christ says: "Here I am! I stand at the door and
knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in and
eat with him, and he with Me. To him who overcomes, I will give the
right to sit with Me on My throne, just as I overcame and sat down with
my Father on His throne" (Revelation 3: 20-21). If you have not yet accepted the love of God in Jesus
Christ His Son, we invite you to open your heart, confess that you are
a sinner and receive His gift of salvation. Below is a suggested prayer:
God, the most high, I praise You with all my heart.
Forgive me, Lord, for the sins I have committed against You and the
people around me. I confess that I am a sinner and could not do anything
by myself to reach your righteousness. I am humbled by Your love. Though
I deserve death, You love me so much that You sent Your Son Jesus Christ
to die for my sins instead. From now on, I accept Jesus Christ as my
Lord and Savior and claim the salvation that He offers to me. I allow
Him to dwell in me, so that I will always keep Your decrees in my heart.
Let me live as a new creation, with love in my heart. Let me love with
actions and in truth, as Jesus Christ loves us, to the glory of God
in the highest. Amen! Friends, if you want to know more about the life offered
by Jesus Christ and the wonderful things that He has done for us, we
invite you to join us in our worship service every Sunday at Emmaus
Bible Fellowship Center in Mandaluyong City. We would also be glad to
conduct Bible studies at places near you.
To contact us, please visit http://emmaus.50megs.com.