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The Proof of Love

If you have been following the news in the UK recently, there is one word that you may have heard on the lips of journalists and politicians: confidence! Does the public have any confidence in Theresa May to deliver a good Brexit deal following the suicidal performance in the elections? Most importantly does she have any confidence in herself to succeed, with vultures in the party now circling for her job? It is perhaps not surprising that the proposed deal between the Conservatives and DUP is called a “confidence and supply” arrangement.

We can’t function in any area of life without confidence. That includes our Christian life. We cannot live effectively for God unless we know and are confident that God loves us in Jesus. Sadly, many Christians lack confidence in the love of God for many reasons. May be you are struggling against temptations and are now wondering does God still love me? Or perhaps you are have suffered recent heartache or you are facing some pain. These things can erode our confidence in the love of God for us.

One of the things I like about the apostle John is that he is not blind to the challenges we face as followers of Jesus. The key message of his first letter is that God is love and He has shown us His love in the person of Jesus Christ. And yet we may ask, how can we be confident in God's love in face of all other competing loves and claims we hear in this world? John answers that question powerfully with this:
And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent his Son to be the Saviour of the world. Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God. So we have come to know and to believe the love that God has for us. God is love, and whoever abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him. [1 JOHN 4:14-16]
John is saying we can be confident that God loves because he has  proved it publicly by sending the Eternal Son of God, the Lord Jesus, to come and save us from our sins. John is speaking as an eyewitness. He and the other apostles lived with Jesus and now stand as witnesses to the great proclamation of God’s love!

How does the coming of Jesus as our Saviour prove that God loves us? Because of what Jesus coming as our Saviour involved. Here are just six things.  First, to be our Saviour Jesus became man so that he can ultimately die in our place for our sins. John 1:14 says, “the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth”. 

If Prince Harry decided to leave Buckingham palace and live in a rundown apartment in Woolwich we wouldn’t know whether it is the case that he has lost the plot again or he has finally found true love in Woolwich!  With God we have no such doubt. God proclaims his love for us by coming as a man, descending an infinite distance to reach us in our sinful state. 

By putting on our humanity, the Creator God fully identifies himself with us fallen creatures. The eternal embraces the temporal. Omnipotence now sits side by side with weakness. The infinite God is now dressed in finitude as a man. The God of glory now walks around with human grief. The infinite God who dwells in light, now sits as an infant in cradle. Such amazing love!

Secondly, to be our Saviour Jesus lived a perfect life so that he could be the perfect and acceptable sacrifice for our sin before God. Hebrews 7:26 says, “For it was indeed fitting that we should have such a high priest, holy, innocent, unstained, separated from sinners, and exalted above the heavens”.

In most marriage cultures, there is a period of courtship when couples prove their loyalty to another. For us and Jesus it was one sided. Jesus proved his commitment to be with us by succeeding where Adam completely failed. Jesus lived perfect enduring suffering and temptation! And by doing that He has now obeyed God in our place and through his death exchanged his perfect record of his life with our sinful record. Because of the sinless life of Jesus, God now looks upon all who are in Jesus as looks upon Him – “this is my Son, in whom I am well pleased”.

Thirdly, to be our Saviour Jesus died the death we deserve, as our perfect legal substitute and sacrifice for sin. As John says earlier in his letter, “In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him. In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins” [1 John 4:9-10]

The death of Jesus demonstrates God’s love for us because of who sent Jesus, the recipients and the nature of the gift. Jesus willingly gave Himself up for us the underserving and rotten sinners of the universe. He died for enemies of God. There is nothing lovely about us. Someone has said, the death of Jesus for us is like the sunshine shining upon the garbage dump. We deserve Hell! And yet the Sun of Righteousness has entered this dark world and let his love shine on the cross for us. We are now His bride! What amazing grace!

Here are some of the benefits his death for you who are trusting in Jesus: the death of Jesus reconciles you to God (no longer enemies); it redeems you back God (no longer imprisoned to death, sin); it is your substitute and sacrifice for your sin (it takes away all your sin – past, present and future, and keeps you safe from God’s wrath and judgement); and, finally his death defeats all your enemies (death, sin, Satan and hell). There is no greater public proof of God’s love for you than the death of Jesus!

Fourthly, to be our Saviour, God accepted the sacrifice of Jesus for our sins by raising him from the dead with us. Colossians 2:13 says, “And you, who were dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made alive together with him, having forgiven us all our trespasses”. Jesus is like a rescue agent who bound his fate to those he came to rescue! If we won’t get out, He also won’t! But he did, and so have we!

The resurrection of Jesus is not only God approving of the work of His Son, it is God welcoming us into the family as His children. Because we are now risen with Jesus and have life in Him, we will never stop being a member of God’s family – Just like with our human family. More than the resurrection of Jesus has now completely defeated death for us. We will now live forever with God and have a great future ahead of us!

Fifthly, to be our Saviour, Jesus our Brother has ascended to heaven and sat on the throne of God forever, with powers subjected to Him. When a driver wins a formula one championship, they get on the podium and for that season he is now reigning champion. Jesus is not a one season champion. He is reigning for ever.

The ascension of Jesus means that for the first time a human being now sits on the throne of Heaven. Dust sits at the right hand of God! All who belong to Jesus have been brought into the very presence of God. Ephesians 2:5-6 says, “ Even when we were dead in our trespasses, [God] 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”.

What a powerful demonstration of how much God loves us and has bound us to himself and brought it his presence! We are no longer lost. We not merely existing in this world. We are ruling and reigning with Jesus in Heaven now! That is how much God loves us!

Finally, to be our Saviour, Jesus is coming again to deliver us from this present evil age and bring us safely into the new heavens and new earth. All of history is marching towards that day when Jesus appears in glory! Jesus is coming to judge to judge the living and the dead! It will be a terrible day for those who do not know him. But for us who are in Jesus, it will be a glorious day of salvation when Jesus reaches out with a warm, nail-scarred hand of flesh and welcome us home!

At that very moment, the Bible tells us we shall be like Him because we shall see Jesus as he is – in all his glory as God and Saviour. Revelation 22:3-4 says, “No longer will there be anything accursed, but the throne of God and of the Lamb will be in it, and his servants will worship him. 4 They will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads”.

What a sight that will be! A sight infinitely better than all the great wonders brought to us by Lord Attenborough in our televisions! The best part is that we will enjoy our Lord Jesus forever! Can imagine being with Jesus every day? You don’t need to imagine because if you are trusting in Jesus you will be there fitted with a new body, custom made from Heaven.

We can go but the point is clear. The entire saving work of Jesus from his incarnation to the second coming is public proof that God truly loves you in Jesus. Thiss should encourage you in the here and now. Maybe you are struggling with sickness, emotional or physical pain. Perhaps you have relatives in such situation. Maybe you just feel rotten inside. You feel lonely, worthless and disappointed. You may even be struggling in your faith and barely holding onto Jesus. John saying to us,  we have come to know this amazing love of God. God has proved it publicly in sending Jesus as our Saviour!

If you belong to Jesus, you are greatly loved by God, so be confident in His love. Let the scale and immensity of this love sink deep within your heart so that it becomes the centre of your entire relationship with Him. God loves you!

Love Series :

Copyright © Chola Mukanga 2017


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