“THE LOVE OF GOD, WHICH IS IN CHRIST JESUS”
Whenever we think about the love of God, our thoughts must begin here: --THE LOVE OF GOD IS IN CHRIST. We rejoice to know that “God is love.” Love is in God. Love comes from God. And apart from God there is no love. But the love of God is revealed, expressed, known, manifest, found and experienced only in Christ. The Bible never speaks of the love of God outside, or apart from Christ. Those who talk of the love of God for sinners apart from Christ, speak in opposition to the Scriptures.
God’s providential benevolence is universal. “The Lord is good to all: and his tender mercies are over all his works” (Psa. 145:9). Because of his goodness and mercy, God feeds the raven, clothes the lily, and sustains the beast of the field. He is kind in the works of his providence even to the thankless and the reprobate (Luke. 6:35). God sends both the sunshine and the rain to both the just and the unjust (Matt. 5:45). But the love of God is in Christ. It is reserved for and given to his elect in Christ.
God’s love is particular and distinguishing. Those who declare that God loves all people alike, the saved as well as the damned, greatly tarnish the love of God, reducing it to a fickle, helpless, frustrated passion. But that cannot be. The love of God is like himself, from everlasting to everlasting, immutable and sure. “Nothing is more absurd than to imagine that anyone beloved of God can eternally perish (A. W. Pink).
Effectual and Saving
When Paul says, nothing “shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord” the word “us” refers to God’s elect, those sinners who are actually saved by his grace. The word “world” in John 3:16 is used by our Lord in reference to God’s elect among the Gentiles. There are some people in this world whom God does not love. The Scriptures state that fact in clear and unmistakable terms (Psa. 5:5; 11:5-7; John 3:36; Rom. 9:13).
And there are some whom he does love. They are his elect, those who are chosen of God, redeemed by Christ, and called to life and faith in him by the Holy Spirit. To tell sinners that God loves them regardless of their relationship to Christ is either to assure them that God will save them without Christ, or to imply that God is weak, mutable, helpless and frustrated. Surely, God will save those whom he loves if he is able to do so. And he is able to do so! God’s love is more than a sympathetic passion. It is his determination to save. Because the love of God is in Christ, nothing can separate us from his love, for nothing can separate us from Christ!
Grace Baptist Church of Danville - Grace For Today Radio Message #807
2734 Old Stanford Road - Danville, Kentucky 40422-9438
Donald S. Fortner, Pastor -Telephone 606-236-8235 - Email firstname.lastname@example.org