Posts Tagged ‘Irish Calvinist’

The love of God and our love for God has been a recurring theme that has occupied my thoughts from time to time this year. Erik @ Irish Calvinist recently posted an article that urged me to think some more about it. I wrote a short comment which I want to repeat on EA because it fits in with some thinking that is taking place here.

Josh heard an excellent sermon about the love of God that we will be uploading here soon. As with everything that goes on this blog, we are concerned about the implications for evangelism. I think its a no-brainer; It gets to the motive of the evangelist and the motive of the person hearing and responding to the gospel. Here is the comment:

I found the sermon I was thinking of. Its the first in a series.

Here are some quick notes :::The love of God, 3 things it does not mean:

1.It does not mean meeting God’s needs. (Acts 17v35) Love for God is very different than love for others.
The ESSENCE of love for God is RECEIVING from God

2. It is not love for His gifts – eg. forgiveness of sin, escape from hell, resurrection from a pain free life.

3. It is not the things that love prompts you to do. The essence of love for God is not in the fruit.
If you LOVE ME you will do this.

Love for God is the heart’s esteem for/delight in God before it produces anything else. It is life that produces love for God. Deeds of love IS NOT love, these deeds can be imitated. Its not DO DO DO DO and God will approve. Instead start with loving.

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In the bible we read Jesus repeatedly explaining himself to be the exclusive means of forgiveness. Jesus does not give room for any other paths to God. He is clear that things such as forgiveness, love, joy and heaven are found exclusively in him. According to Jesus any other ‘way’ is not a way at all but a sham; Jesus claims nothing less than exclusive authority and ability to save sinners. (Jn. 14.6; Mat. 7.13-14)

So to why is Jesus so narrow minded?

because there is only one God

The bible teaches that there are not many Gods but rather just one. And from this one God everything that has been made was made. This same God now sustains everything with his own power & sovereignty. People may claim that there are other Gods, however, God, in response, says that this is not true. God is intolerant of competition. (Is. 44.6-8; Acts 17.24-28)

because of the high standards of God

God has made everything for himself, to give him pleasure. His standard is inflexible. He demands absolute perfection. The way in which this shows itself is by loving him with all of our heart, soul, mind and strength. This is shown through passionate devotion & obedience to God.

Even the slightest variation from God’s design is rebellion & God views rebellion as worse than treason. The consequence for rebellion is death; expressed now in terms of death, sickness, and inability to earn his favor, and ultimately in terms of eternal condemnation. Where perfect love for God is lacking certain & relentless divine judgment is present. (Mat. 22.36-40; Rom. 3.23; Rom. 6.23; Col. 1.16; Jam. 2.10)

because it is the truth

Jesus himself being God is perfect & cannot lie. So we must remember that if Jesus said it then it is true! Jesus became a man to live here on earth. In his life he showed perfect & sinless love through obedience to God. Jesus is the only substitute for rebels. Our responsibility as humanity is to please God according to his standards (this we did not do), however, Jesus did.

And further Jesus also satisfied the inflexible justice of God by bearing the eternal judgment of God on the cross. Jesus distinguishes himself as the only one eligible to live perfectly and pay adequately for rebels who stand in God’s righteous crosshairs. (2 Cor. 14.6; Tit. 1.2; Heb. 1.3)

JESUS’ narrow MESSAGE for everyone

God was satisfied with Jesus work furnishing proof by raising him from the dead. Now Jesus commands his followers to tell everyone the glorious truth that he is the only Savior; the only one who is able to give rebels forgiveness, life, joy & heaven.

This forgiveness is not automatic like voting when we are 18; instead it comes by recognizing Jesus as king & ruler over our lives. In doing this we turn from rebellion (sin) & turn to Jesus (submission). It is this posture of submission to Jesus as king & following him as Lord that characterizes the Christian life & gives God pleasure.

While there is not room on Jesus’ narrow road for other saviors, there is room for everyone who will come to him for life. Jesus’ truth telling then shows him to not only be the exclusive Savior, but the loving Savior! (Jn. 14.6; Acts 17.30-31; 1 Tim. 2.5; Jn. 3.16-18)

This gospel presentation has been downloaded from Irish Calvinist. It is available as a free tract download. Thanks to Irish Calvinist for their ministry.