Faith Baptist Church
4258 Botetourt Road
Fincastle, Virginia 24090
(540) 473-2325

The Holy Love of God

“Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the children of God; therefore, the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not.” I John 3:1

There is a far reaching love which our Father has bestowed upon us. It is a love we have received by faith, and not by sight. The Greek text puts the verb, behold, in the imperative mood of command which calls on every believer to stop and reflect intently on this manner of love. The word manner, potapen, speaks of something foreign. This love originates from God. In other words the love of God is out of this world. This love does not originate from the emotions, or sentiments of mankind. This love is expressed unconditionally in that it is offered to all of mankind without respect of person. It is offered through the person and sacrifice of Jesus Christ. This foreign kind of love is also conditional in that it is only experienced by those who receive Jesus Christ. To receive forgiveness of sins and eternal life through Jesus Christ assures the convert that he will also receive and experience this foreign kind of love. To grow in the word of God is to advance ones own understanding and personal experience inside the realm of this love,

I Jn.2:5. This love shows us our unconditional acceptance by our heavenly Father. It shows us the motivation of his character and it compels us to imitate that same character in our own lives.

God’s ancient historical record, which we call the Bible, reveals to us this foreign kind of love. It is a love shown to the entire world. “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” John 3:16

Sight was given to this far reaching love of God over two-thousand years ago; it began at Bethlehem and was consummated at the cross of Calvary. Old Testament people looked forward by faith to the promise of God that he would send his Son, born of a virgin, to be our Redeemer.

We know sin has ruined the entire world. All of mankind sits in spiritual darkness without the Son. He was sent to redeem us from this sin filled darkness. No matter which sins we have committed; no matter how dark they are, his light can penetrate and set us free. To accept his Son as our Savior we are set free. We pass from darkness into his light.

Mankind, since the dawn of time, has imagined many ways to create his own enlightenment.

We have invented, and established our own various religious tenants to lead us. We have taken the stars in their courses and imagined them in such a way so as to guide us. We have made idle time sports and entertainment idols to bring us together. We have explored the wonders of the universe; called it science, and we have allowed those findings to light our way. We have contrived philosophies steered by human reasoning to guide our way. We have compiled educational theories of learning and we have mapped out scholastic courses in which to better our humanity in this world.

But none of these has paid for our sins. None of these means have shown to us the far reaching love of God like Jesus Christ has.

We all have a choice to make regarding what or whom we want to be our guiding light.

The true Christian has accepted the Son of God as the one and only guiding light. The believing Christian searches the Holy Scriptures for more light and the more we understand the less the world knows who we are. Our eternal bond with Jesus Christ makes our earthly home less welcoming, and it makes our heavenly home more inviting. Men and women of real faith in God have for thousands of years been in this catch twenty-two, Phil.1:21-23.

We seek better circumstances in this life, and we seek to serve and be a channel of God to bring salvation to others. However, we feel like strangers and pilgrims looking for that heavenly city. When met with adversity to our faith we depend on the understanding and love of God in us to encourage us to keep being his witnesses. His love constrains us; it motivates and encourages us to tell others about him. It compels us to constantly evaluate our manner of living because we truly are not living as we can unless we are living in the sphere of his love.

When true faith is freely exercised by the believer then energized by the Holy Spirit the results are wonderful and variegated. Some believers go off to hazardous mission fields. Some speak up for God in the public sector knowing it may cost them their family’s lively hood. Some remain firm in their convictions knowing they will be alienated from friends and family, but because our faith is real we go forward.

We know God is real and the conscious eternal aspect of our immortal existence will not let us give up.

Staying in the teachings of God’s word is the only way to understand and operate in the plan of God. We all have choices to make moment by moment. Will we stay in the plan of God, or will we go AWOL? I trust we all will make the right choices.

The Pastor
December 2009