From the beginning, our story reveals we were created by God’s love. God’s immense love is moving, it is powerful and it is good BUT… and that’s where we pick up in this episode, with the weighty ‘however.’ Does God’s Love Save You?
Because reducing God’s love for us to a mere feeling subtracts the power and freedom and consequences we have been given the ability to choose.
Also, from the beginning, scripture reveals the cost of our sin. Our society is softening that part of our story, saying Sin is covered by God’s all-encompassing love.
We can’t gloss over the very real consequences when we choose our own way. God’s love is more than sentimentality. It is a commitment.
Allow this episode to challenge you you to a better understanding of God’s love for you.
God’s love is not just a feeling that He has towards us. God’s love is something that moves Him toward action, moves Him in a direction
There’s authority and power in what we do. And, either we are aligning ourselves and saying ‘yes’ to God’s kingdom or we are saying ‘no’ to God’s kingdom.
The modern message is undermining our ability and authority to bring destruction to ourselves and to the universe and the magnitude of the destruction sin has wrought on the Earth.
Hebrews 9:22 “In fact, the law requires that nearly everything be cleansed with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness.”
In Genesis 3 God lays out the consequences for the Sin of man and woman and how their Sin introduces a new universe because of what they’ve done.
There are only two kinds of people in the end: those who say to God, “Thy will be done,” and those to whom God says, in the end, “Thy will be done. CS LEWIS
John 14:21 “Whoever has my commands and keeps them is the one who loves me. The one who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love them and show myself to them.”
If you want to learn more, check out Josh’s latest writings on this very topic at, Why You Need More than God’s Grandfatherly Love
Click for Full Podcast Transcription
So I consider myself somewhat of a student of our culture. I’m not the best student by far, but I try to pay attention to what are the underpinnings of our culture? What are the things that are moving people? What are the things that people are saying? And how are those beliefs, those ideas, those images, moving us in different directions, either toward God or away from it either towards other people or away from other people. And I’ve been noticing a trend that I want to share with you. And I’m not sure if it’s if it’s real in your circles or not. But I feel like it’s in the airwaves around a lot of us. And when it comes to those of us who are wrestling with sexual sin issues, are helping those who are or who have been impacted by sexual sin issues, or who are wrestling with gender identity issues, or same sex attractions. I think, this kind of movement that’s happening in our culture is actually really not helping us. It’s really, actually directing us away from that which will be most beneficial, most life giving for us. So here’s what I’m seeing. And this is really, it’s not just in the culture, but it’s also in the Christian culture. I’m hearing a lot of talk about how God’s love God’s love. God’s love is what saves us. God’s love is what moves us God’s love is is is, is what drives us what compels us. Now, like most things that lead us off track, there’s a lot of truth in that. I mean, For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. God’s love does, in fact, compel us. It’s amazing that he loves us, I am so moved by the fact that in the midst of my depravity, my sin, my mess ups over and over and over again, that God would look on me with eyes of love that he would see me as a son. And he would be a good and loving father, who wouldn’t be looking at me with a critical eyes, but would be looking at me with eyes of love. And even when I mess up, he would still see the true me and still want to pursue me. I mean, I think this is part of what drives us. I mean, one of our favorite, and I’m saying our like, I think in Christian dumb, I mean, one of our favorite parables is Jesus parable, the prodigal son, we are so moved by that story, I think because of the Father’s love. Because there’s a father’s love. The son comes back and deserves nothing, doesn’t even really want relationship with his dad, he there’s nothing he’s not at least doesn’t indicate it. He just wants to. He wants, you know, three meals a day and a roof over his head. And the dad comes out and won’t even hear his his paltry confession. Instead, the father just falls on him with kisses and loves on him. We are moved by God’s love. God’s love is powerful, and it’s good. So please, let me just start there. Let me just start there. But I also need to add, and this is this is one of those things that I I think is happening around us that is so problematic. God’s love is not just what we think. I think oftentimes when we talk about love in our culture, we’re talking about sentimentality. We’re talking about affection. We’re talking about how someone feels about us. God’s love is not just a feeling that he has towards us. God’s love is actually something that moves him towards action, it moves him in a direction. God’s love isn’t I mean, even to say it that way is, is probably an accurate because that almost makes it sound like, you know, something is moving God apart from his own will. But God who is love moves concurrently with His love, He moves in alignment with His love, His love is not something that’s passive. It’s not something he’s not the grandfather in the sky, looking at us and saying, oh, you know, dear ones, patting us on the head when you make a mistake and saying, Oh, you’ll learn you’ll learn. God’s love is it has more, is more, dare I say earthy than that? manifested in that visceral than that active in that visible than that part of us. So it’s important because when we think about sin in our lives, and and how God views our sin, how God responds to our sin. And this is really the crux of the matter, and where I see us going off kilter today, and where there’s these messages of God’s love that I think are leading us astray. Because I think when we think about God’s as sentimental in response to our sin, I think oftentimes that we get the impression in modern Christian circles and other places as well. That God puts up with our sin because He loves us. God overlooks our sin because He loves us. Our sin is not as important to God as as we are. And so he just kind of pushes it aside, ignores it. understands, you know, you It’s hard being a human, it’s okay. It’s okay. God loves you, God loves you. That is not the message that we read in Scripture. That is not the whole message, what we read in Scripture. Scripture actually paints a very different picture of the cost of our sin. Beginning, even in Genesis three, there is a cost to our sin. God lays out these consequences for the the sin of man and woman in Genesis three, that really introduces a new, a new universe because of what they’ve done. And the new universe is not good news, it is bad news. Not only are they impacted, but the very earth under their feet is impacted. The man is going to work the soil that the soil is not going to work for the man anymore. Now the man is gonna work the soil, there’s gonna be thorns and thistles that come up out of it. What they did was, it was incredibly destructive. So we got to think here. Let me just talk about sin for a second. I think a lot of us we have a watered down kind of watercolor picture of sin. It’s this you know, kind of small s minor whisper of an issue, it’s maybe foolishness or mistakes that we make. But Scripture paints a very different picture of sin. I think when we watercolor would water down our notion of sin, what we’re really doing is we’re under estimating our own authority on the earth, the part that God gave us to play from the very beginning. In the beginning, Genesis one, God created this one image or one one creature, in His image, male and female, he created human beings. And he gave them authority over his his world, he said, Go fill the earth, and subdue it, have mastery over it. But mankind humankind gave up that authority. We said, yeah, thank you for the authority. We would like to delegate that to the enemy to the evil one, by listen to what he says. And the response in the earth was was was catastrophic, catastrophic. And we’re still experiencing that today. And we’re under estimating. In our modern kind of talk of God’s love for us, we’re under estimating both our authority, our ability to bring destruction, both to ourselves, and to the universe, and the the, the magnitude of the destruction that sin has, has wrought on the earth. And there’s a cost. So even in Genesis three, we see that God slaughtered the first animal in order to cover the man and woman there is no death on the earth before that. But there was a cost human beings now needed to be covered. And they could not be covered adequately, without the shedding of blood. That is a consistent theme throughout the Old Testament, that’s God’s chosen people are people who need sacrifice in order to be right with God. Now, someone might say, well, couldn’t God just have decided to kind of fix this, fix this order? Again, I think that view underestimates the value of and the sincerity that God had when he gave man and woman when he gave us the authority and the place in the universe that he did. God. Hebrews said, It is impossible for God to lie, he does not lie. He doesn’t just kind of mess around and say, Yeah, you could have authority. Oh, you know what? You didn’t handle that very well, I’ll take it back. The message of Scripture includes that God is God moves into humanity, he moves into humanity. So his love is not just kind of the grandfather saying, I forgive you. Don’t worry about it. I know you didn’t mean to it was a mistake. But the message of scripture is God moving into humanity in the Old Testament, through Scott sacrifice of animals and through His covenant, in the New Testament, the New Covenant, where God Himself becomes a human being, why did he become a human being? Because we as human beings had significant authority on the earth, and God needed to enter into our condition. As human beings, he humbled himself, and then sacrificed himself for the sake of, of restoring creation and restore, including us. Hebrews 922 says, without the shedding of blood, there is no forgiveness of sin. Without the shedding of blood, there’s no forgiveness of sin. So when we come back to just this notion of this is God’s love sufficient? Is that really what saves us? And the answer is both Yes. And no. It’s no if you think of love as kind of God’s sentimental like, yeah, I see that you’re acting out sexually. Yeah, I see that you’re defrauding others. Yeah, I see that you’re sexually exploiting other people and taking advantage of them by lust and pornography and etc, sir. Yeah, I see that you’re confused about your gender and you’re acting out on that in, in in, you know, according to your own desires. Yeah, I see that you’ve cheated on your spouse. But it’s okay. I forgive you. I know It’s hard. If that’s our view of God’s love, then no, God’s love does not save us. God’s love. But if we mean by God’s love, as as, as God, moving into our condition, becoming a human being hanging on the cross, and then becoming sin itself on the cross for ourselves, taking on all of our sin to the extent that he scripture says, He who knew no sin became sin, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him. If that’s what we mean, by God’s love saves us then then yes, but I think that we need to recapture and talk about this more. And you know, in a 1015 minute podcast, there’s not enough time, we need to recapture a more thorough to use an old fashioned word a more thorough catechesis, for what Christianity actually teaches about our condition, our authority, what we have wrought on the earth and in our own lives, and what what is required to repair and restore and redeem the mess that we’ve made. And the magnitude of that mess and the magnitude, subsequently, of Christ’s movement into our lives because of God’s love. I think we need to recapture that if we’re actually going to make progress, moving away from our sin, and moving towards God, saying no to our sin, and saying yes to God, why not? Because it’s just a sentimental response. Like he loved me so much. I’m going to you know, okay, I’ll refrain, but rather because, because there’s, there’s, there’s authority and power in what we do. And we are either aligning ourselves and saying yes to God’s kingdom, or we are saying no to God’s kingdom. And CS Lewis said, in the end, there are only two kinds of people. There are the kinds of people who who say, to God, thy will be done. And they’re the kinds of people who say to God, my will be done. And it’s a, it’s a serious is a serious matter. And I think here if John 1421, in these are Jesus’s words, our Savior who loves us, who is the manifestation of God’s love for us, his words to us in their sobering words, Whoever has my commands and obeys them, he or she is the one who loves me. And he or she, who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I too, will love them, and show myself to them. Whoever has my commands and obey some, this is the one who loves me, and you love me, it will be loved by My Father, and I too will love them, and show myself to them. This this is, this is what love is love moves. God moved into, into our situation because of love. sacrifice himself gave up his, his desires when we think about Golgotha I mean, get so many when he said, Lord, not my will, but yours be done. This is his expression of love. This is an act of love and our love, to love He invites us into which is truly actually what it means to rule and reign on the earth, in the name of God, what it means to move into the earth, and subdue it, and have dominion over it. If we’re doing that for God, as opposed to for sin. If we’re doing that for God, then it means a loving response to him and obedience alignment. Yes, to God’s will and God’s way. So brothers and sisters, listen, if you are pursuing him, Take heart, take heart, He loves you. And His love has gone the distance for you and even sacrificing himself for your sin, that you would be cleansed and freed from the mastery of sin. And I’m able to say no to saying yes to God. And also be challenged and be sobered that you have, by God’s design have been given freedom to choose him or to choose your own way and when you choose against him, there is a there is a power to that. And when you choose him there is a power to that. Jesus, we speak of things that are beyond our full understanding. And we need your help. Lord, would you help us to walk in and agreement walk in agreement with the truth of what it means that you love us the truth of our condition that we might indeed, be set free from sin and be walking in alignment and agreement with you, your will your way that we pray it for our good for the good of the world and all those around us and for your glory now and forever. Amen.
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