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Richard Bennett :: Chapter 7 Does God Truly Love Me?

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Your Quest for God — Chapter 7

Does God Truly Love Me?

Many years ago a lad in a Sunday School class in England asked his Sunday School teacher: “Does God love naughty boys?” and the teacher said, “No, certainly not.” Oh, the unintentional blasphemy of telling a boy that! If God did not love naughty boys, He would never have loved me! Shakespeare says: ‘Love is not love that alters when it alteration finds.’

—G. Campbell Morgan

Have you ever questioned the love of somebody who is very important to you? Or have you ever tried to prove that you love somebody when they did not believe it? In either case, you will know that there are times when true love can better be expressed by deeds than by words.

Since deeds are so much more powerful than words, God demonstrated His love for you by what He did when Jesus died upon the Cross. When you understand the significance of this, you will need no other explanation to help you understand that God really does love you.

Just after I was converted to Christ, I read the true story of a young bugle boy and a soldier. They both served in the army during the Boer War. The bugle boy, Willie Holt, was twelve years old when he was assigned to a tent with seven godless soldiers. One of these men was called Bill. However, unlike Bill, Willie was a devoted believer in the Lord Jesus Christ. Each night, he knelt by his bed to silently pray and read his Bible. As he did so, the other soldiers mocked and cursed.

One day the Colonel-in-Charge called the Company on parade. A thief had been traced to the tent where Willie and Bill had been assigned. In a desperate attempt to trace the criminal, the Colonel issued his ultimatum to the whole Company: “My previous warnings have been to no avail,” he said. “Last night the thief was at it again. Today, I will give the culprit one last opportunity to identify himself and take his punishment like a man. If he does not respond, every man in the Company will be punished with ten lashes of the whip upon his bare back. But if one of you comes forward to take the punishment, the rest will be spared.”

After a tense silence, Willie stood to attention, stepped forward and said: “Sir, you have just stated that, ‘if one man comes forward to take the punishment the rest will be spared.’ Sir, I will be that man.” With anger, the Colonel cried out against the unknown coward: “How can you let an innocent lad take your punishment?” No one moved. “Then,” said the Colonel, “you will all watch the wretched sight of an innocent boy taking punishment for the guilty man.”

True to his word, the Colonel ordered Willie’s back to be bared, and then the cruel lashes of the whip commenced. As Willie fainted beneath the bitter blows, suddenly Bill, unable to bear the spectacle any longer, rushed from the ranks and shouted: “Stop! I am the thief. I will take my own punishment.” Coming round from his swoon, Willie tenderly lifted his eyes to Bill and whispered: “It’s all right Bill, the Colonel can’t go back on his word now. I will take all of your punishment.” And he did!

Young Willie never did recover from the effects of his lashing. But before Willie went to Heaven, Bill, now a broken man, wept at his bed-side and asked: “Why Willie? Why did you do it for me? I’m not worth it.” Willie‘s answer was simple and telling: “Bill,” he said, “I have often tried to tell you how much God loves you but you always laughed; I thought that if I took your punishment, it might help you to understand how much Jesus loved you when He went to the Cross to take your place and to die for your sin.” Before Willie went to Heaven, Bill accepted the salvation so freely offered by a loving Christ.

In Christ, Heaven launched its triumphant rescue operation for lost humanity. And it was Love—the love of God for each of us—that prompted Christ’s incredible act of sacrifice and suffering.

The Perfect Man

Three crosses were erected on the hill of Golgotha. On two of them, thieves were crucified. Between these criminals the Lord Jesus was nailed, and there He died.

During his last hours of excruciating suffering, one of the thieves ventured to express his opinion about the quasi-judicial system under which all three had been condemned to die. Amazing as it may seem, his primary concern was not for his own pain-racked and tortured body. Instead, his thoughts turned to how the Roman judiciary was out of line in condemning Jesus to the same death as the two thieves. It was this glaring injustice that seemed to trouble him. Lucidly and humbly, the dying thief made three very astute observations as he approached his final moment.

First: We are receiving what we deserve for our deeds. In that brief and humble statement, the dying thief confessed his personal responsibility for his crime, and therefore acknowledged his own personal guilt.

Second: And we indeed die justly…In our day when petty-pilfering and even violent acts of robbery are commonplace, it may be difficult to understand how seriously such crimes were viewed in the first century. But in three brief words, the dying thief expressed his conviction that, in his day, his sentence of death was both legal and just. We…die justly.

Third: This man has done nothing wrong. Although it is remarkable to read how the thief acknowledged his own personal guilt and how he had accepted the justice of the legal system, it is quite astonishing to read of his concern for Jesus, who hung on the cross beside him. This man—this Jesus, the dying thief observed, was guiltless and therefore had been unjustly condemned to die.

Being convicted of his own sin, as he hung upon the cross the thief had no other hope but to turn to Jesus. So he then earnestly pleaded: Jesus remember me when You come in Your Kingdom. Responding, as He always does, to such an honest confession of guilt and need, the Lord Jesus immediately promised: Today you shall be with Me in Paradise (Luke 23:39-43 NASB).

That day, the dying thief, like all repentant sinners who turn to the Lord, was assured of eternal life. He had turned to the right person—the Lord Jesus Christ—and had asked for His mercy at the right place—the Cross where Jesus died.

Yes, on that awesome day, in the eyes of one of the dying thieves, the Lord Jesus was indeed guiltless. However, at a later time two disciples were even more specific in their observations. They testified that Jesus was sinless. Each of these disciples, together with the Apostle Paul, recorded his own personalized testimonial to Jesus’ sinlessness.

PETER, a close friend of the Lord Jesus, was known as a man of impetuous action. Therefore, when he testified to the sinlessness of Jesus, in accord with his personality, he used an action word: He (the Lord Jesus) did no sin (1 Peter 2:22 KJV).

JOHN also had a very special friendship with the Lord Jesus. Consequently he frequently had the opportunity to observe his Lord when he was away from the critical scrutiny of the crowds. From this vantaged perspective John clearly testified that: in Him (the Lord Jesus) is no sin (1 John 3:5 KJV).

PAUL, on the other hand, was known as a scholar of some exceptional renown. Therefore, when Paul, a man of learning and knowledge, spoke of the Lord Jesus it is not surprising that he declared: He knew no sin (2 Corinthians 5:21 NASB). Such a triad of authentic testimony concerning Christ’s sinless life is most impressive.

But some may want to dismiss these astute observations, saying, “Aha, neither the dying thief nor the apostles Peter, John or Paul, could be described as objective witnesses. The dying thief was a desperate man and the apostles were prejudiced by their devotion to the Lord Jesus.” Well then, how about Pontius Pilate, the Roman Governor of Judea? Certainly, he was no friend of Christ. Nevertheless, when answering the accusers of Jesus who had trumped up a false charge against Him with the intent of securing His death, Pilate declared:

I, having examined Him before you, have found no fault in this man touching those things whereof you accuse Him (Luke 23:14 KJV).

But what are all these human testimonials when we compare them with the declaration of God the Father from His Throne in Heaven? When a person is about to speak at a public gathering, it is considered right and proper that such a one should be politely introduced. Likewise, when Jesus was about to commence His own public ministry, God the Father reserved for Himself the privilege of introducing His beloved Son. With a clarion voice from Heaven, the Father announced: This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well-pleased (Matthew 3:17 NASB).

The Father knew that while Jesus had been in this world in human form He had lived as God had created man to live. Every other person has fallen short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23 NASB). But not Jesus! He was perfect in every way. Therefore, when Jesus was about to begin His public ministry, His Father introduced Him, and it was His Holy Father (John 17:11 NASB) who expressed good pleasure at the way His beloved Son had lived.

As we have already explained, the Lord Jesus was never ever less than God. It is therefore awesome to realize that God had humbled Himself and, having condescended to be born through the womb of a virgin mother, had taken upon Himself the form of man. However, if Jesus as man had not been totally submissive to His Heavenly Father, He could never have brought undiluted pleasure to His Father. Yet, throughout His earthly pilgrimage Jesus was always obedient to, and dependent upon, His Father. Thus His humanity became the earthly expression of His Heavenly Father’s holiness, love and purpose in a world of suffering, selfishness and sin.

Yes, as man, Jesus walked upon the very planet that He, as God, had created. Although the Lord Jesus was never less than God, for 33 years He showed man how God had intended man to live. Nothing in the humanity of Jesus ever violated what God had made man to be. During those years, He was always totally available to His Father in Heaven. Therefore, the Father was well pleased when He gazed upon His own beloved Son, who lived as the perfect man among men.

Guiltless! Sinless! Perfect! To the dying thief and Pontius Pilate, Jesus was guiltless. To Peter, John and Paul, Jesus was sinless. To the Holy Father in Heaven, Jesus was perfect. Guiltless! Sinless! Perfect!—And yet He died: died for us because of His great love for each of us!

Love Without Limit

Now, in your imagination, try to join those spectators who viewed the terrible events of that first ‘Good Friday.’ Around the Cross the crowd gaped. And as they watched the horrific spectacle, they were confronted with a shocking scene of gory contrast.

On either side of Jesus there hung a criminal. Both of these men were guilty before their fellowmen, and both were guilty before their Creator God. For them both the penalty of death was required by the law of the land.

Between these two men, Jesus hung upon His own Cross. In vivid contrast to the thieves, Jesus was not only guiltless and sinless before men, but He was also perfect before His Holy Father. Yes, God…in Christ (2 Corinthians 5:19 NASB) went to the Cross as a lamb unblemished and spotless (1 Peter 1:19 NASB) and the substitutionary death of Christ for sinners was volunteered by God’s heart of love.

The thieves had to die, but certainly the Lord Jesus did not. Earlier, when speaking to His critics, Jesus affirmed: I lay down My life that I may take it again. No one has taken it away from Me, but…I have authority to lay it down, and I have authority to take it up again (John 10:17-18 NASB). And when explaining to His disciples the extent to which His love would soon go, He said: Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends (John 15:13 NASB).

It was after the death and resurrection of the Lord Jesus that the Apostle Paul further emphasized: God was in Christ and that He [God] made Him [Christ] who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him (2 Corinthians 5:21 NASB). Centuries later, the wonderful truth of Christ’s substitutionary death for our sin was meaningfully expressed in these words:

  You are my Righteousness,
  I was Your sin,
  You have taken what was mine
  And given me what was Yours,
  You became what You were not
  That I might become what I was not.

A Grain of Wheat

Being very conscious of His impending death, the Lord Jesus opened His heart to His disciples and said:

Now My soul has become troubled; and what shall I say, ‘Father, save Me from this hour’? But for this purpose I came to this hour. Father, glorify Thy name. To this whole-hearted commitment to the glory of God, His Father tenderly responded: I have both glorified it, and will glorify it again (John 12:27-28 NASB).

But you may be wondering how could the Father be glorified at such a gory scene as that of a Roman crucifixion?

Before the Lord Jesus prayed to the Father, He had already reminded His disciples that it is necessary for a germinal seed to die before there can be an harvest.

Truly, truly, I say unto you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains by itself alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit (John 12:24 NASB).

As a sinless Man, death had no claim upon Jesus. But, He choose to die; die a cruel death as a substitute for your sin and mine. And in this way He would reap an eternal harvest of redeemed people. So the Lord Jesus both tells of His plan, and to every true believer he also gives His promise.

[His plan] I came forth from the Father, and have come into the world; I am leaving the world again, and going to the Father. [His promise] I will come again, and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also (John 16:28; 14:3 NASB ).

This is wonderful, but incredible as it may seem, in spite of the Savior’s amazing love for them, some people will still choose to reject the forgiveness He offers. Others will remain passive and neutral about His death. However, whether people actively reject the Savior, or whether they passively ignore Him, the result will be the same—separation for ever from the only source of eternal life; eternal light and eternal love. This terrible condition has been described in these words.

  Dying you will die,
    Will die so great a death,
  Will die eternally,
    Be ever dying, yet never dead.

However, the Lord Jesus died not only to get you out of hell and into heaven, but also to get God out of heaven and into you!

No, eternal life is not only the assurance of my future in heaven. The Bible also assures the true beliver that eternal life is a glorious, present, living reality.

God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. He who has the Son has the life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have the life…(1 John 5:11-12 NASB).

Eternal Life is in a Person—the Lord Jesus Christ. And when He takes His abode in the human heart, at that very moment eternal life begins.

Enormous Cost

At the cross of Christ; the holiness of God, the justice of God and the love of God all met in one supreme act of sacrifice. There, His holiness was vindicated; His justice was satisfied; and there, God’s love embraced sinful people such as you and me. But the cost to Him was enormous.

In his daily devotional book My Utmost for His Highest, Oswald Chambers issued this salutary warning:

Beware of the pleasant view of the Fatherhood of God which says, ‘God is so kind and loving that of course He will forgive us.’ That sentiment has no place in the New Testament whatsoever. The only ground on which God can forgive sin and reinstate us in His favour is through the Cross of Christ, and in no other way. Even if we understand this to be true, it is still possible to take the forgiveness of sin with the simplicity of faith and then forget at what enormous cost to God it was made ours.

Even though we previously mentioned the selfless act of Willie Holt, there is really no human parallel to the suffering God endured at Calvary as an illustration to match His love for us. And through the Spirit-breathed Word we call the Holy Bible, God Himself draws His own curtain aside to give us a fuller glimpse of such sacrificing love. Even then, the magnitude of His love far surpasses the capacity of our limited understanding. However, by reflecting on such an astonishing act of love, we can begin to appreciate a little of the length, breadth, height and the depth of the love of God.

When Jesus died on the Cross He suffered for our sins in a three-fold way.

On the Cross the body of Jesus was racked with agony; on the Cross His love was stretched to the ultimate; and even more traumatic, on the Cross Jesus was cut off from the light and the glory and the peace that He had forever enjoyed in His oneness with the Father. Yes, the sufferings that Jesus endured are really beyond our human comprehension.

However, as we reflect upon His physical suffering, His emotional suffering and especially upon His spiritual suffering we will appreciate in a new way the measure of His love for sinful people.

Physical Suffering: It is really quite impossible to equate the destruction of a priceless Rembrandt painting with the mutilation of a piece of soiled paper. Even more so, the death of the perfect man, Christ Jesus, can never be equated or even compared adequately to the death of any other human being.

In the Old Testament we find a prophecy that accurately predicted the physical disfigurement that Jesus would later endure. There we are told that His appearance would be marred more than any man (Isaiah 52:14 NASB). However, the English translation of this phrase does not convey the full force of the original Hebrew text. In that statement God explained that His beloved Son would be so brutalized that He would no longer resemble a human being. Such a mutilation of Christ’s physical form was prophesied by Jesus Himself:

Behold, we go up to Jerusalem; and the Son of man shall be delivered unto the chief priests, and unto the scribes; and they shall condemn Him to death, and shall deliver Him to the Gentiles. And they shall MOCK Him, and shall SCOURGE Him, and shall SPIT upon Him, and shall KILL Him…(Mark 10:33-34 KJV).

And this is exactly what happened! Later Mark described what eyewitnesses had seen: first they smote Him, then they did spit upon Him, after that they mocked Him, and finally they crucified Him (Mark 15:19-20 KJV).

The Roman scourge that lacerated the Savior’s body was made of leather thongs, weighted with sharp pieces of bone or lead. These cruelly tore His flesh on both His back and His breast. That is why it is prophesied in the Psalm that the Messiah would say:…they pierced my hands and my feet. I may count all my bones; they look and stare upon me (Psalm 22:16-17 NS). Yes, the Lord Jesus—perfect in every way—went to a painful and agonizing death. The callous physical mutilation that He suffered literally dehumanized His physical appearance.

Does that better help you understand how much God loves you?

Emotional Suffering: Though the physical suffering of the crucified Lord Jesus is beyond our human comprehension, that was only a part of His real suffering. His physical pain only touched the surface of His deep agony.

On the Cross Jesus also experienced great emotional anguish. John recorded for us the events of those dreadful hours:

But coming to Jesus, when they (the Roman soldiers) saw that He was already dead, they did not break His legs; but one of the soldiers pierced His side with a spear, and immediately there came out blood and water (John 19:33-34 NASB).

I have heard medical authorities express their belief that the presence of both blood and water indicated that Jesus died of a broken heart. Some heart specialists explain this phenomenon further and suggest that, when the heart of Jesus actually broke, His blood effused into the enlarged surrounding sac of the pericardium. This would explain the fact that, as the soldier pierced the Savior’s side, there came out both blood and water. In Psalm sixty-nine, among other precise prophecies about Christ’s death, we read of a prophetic foreshadowing of His heart-rending trauma: Reproach hath broken my heart; and I am full of heaviness… (Psalm 69:20 KJV). Yes, the indescribable emotional suffering of Jesus literally broke His loving heart.

When across His heart of love there surged the total aggregate of the suffering of the human race; and when upon His spotless soul—the soul of Him who was separate from sinners (Hebrews 7:26 NASB) —there rolled the unthinkable, unprintable filthiness of hell itself, the Lord Jesus died of a broken heart.

Does that better help you understand how much God loves you?

Spiritual Suffering: Most people can more readily understand the physical and emotional suffering of the Lord Jesus than they can His spiritual agony. Yet, surely, the greatest suffering that Jesus endured was when His eternal fellowship with the Father and the Holy Spirit was broken.

For three hours of desolate darkness—from 12 noon to 3 pm—Jesus was forsaken by God the Father and God the Holy Spirit. During that time, Jesus—God the Son—cried with a loud voice: “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?” (Matthew 27:46 NASB).

On that startling day, the eternal tri-unity of God’s oneness (which had eternally embraced indescribable light) was severed. Severed by your sin and mine. Consequently, when Jesus hung on the Cross, God could not co-exist with the sin that, in His sinless body He bore, because God “made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf…” (2 Corinthians 5:21 NASB).

Therefore, it is not surprising that, when Jesus died, this wicked world was shadowed in eerie darkness for three solemn hours.

  Well might the sun in darkness hide
    And shut his glories in,
  When Christ, the mighty Maker, died
    For man the creature’s sin.
             Isaac Watts (1674-1748)

God is light, and in Him is no darkness at all (1 John 1:5 KJV). The light of God’s holiness, and the darkness of man’s sinfulness could never co-exist. Just as darkness will disappear when you turn on a light, so darkness will prevail when you turn the light off. It was darkness that prevailed when Jesus bore the sin of lost humanity.

Sadly, this spiritual darkness will also be the eternal state of every person who turns from the light of God’s redeeming love. Darkness that is thicker than midnight; lonelier than solitary confinement, and longer than time itself. For: “This is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil” (John 3:19 KJV). To turn from Jesus will result in spiritual darkness and death—spiritual death and eternal death. To turn to Jesus will result in life— spiritual life and eternal life.

The Victor’s Cry

The good news is, that as those three desolate hours of darkness drew to their conclusion, Jesus did not sorrowfully bemoan “I am finished.” Certainly not! Love’s redeeming work had been accomplished. So now he triumphantly proclaimed “It is finished” (John 19:30 NASB).

The price for your sin and mine has been paid in full. Finished!

Then, having finished His redemptive work, the fellowship of light that the Lord Jesus had forever enjoyed in the triune Godhead was eternally restored (John 17:5 NASB). Now there is nothing left for you or for me to do to pay for sin. And there is absolutely nothing Satan can do to nullify the completed work of Jesus on your behalf. The sting of Satan, the viper, has been de-fanged.

Death Conquers the Prince of Death

The reason that God clothed Himself with ‘flesh and blood’ was not only that He might die for your sin and mine, but also that: Through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil (Hebrews 2:14 KJV).

Just as David used Goliath’s own sword to destroy the stunned Goliath, so Jesus took Satan’s own weapon—death—and used it to totally defeat him. Jesus is the true emancipator of man—men and women. He is God’s deliverer—the only One who is able to set people free from the eternal death and spiritual bondage—the bondage that Satan had purposed for every person, in his own rebellion against God who created mankind in His own image.

It was in His human body of real flesh and real bones that Jesus defeated Satan, conquered death and rose from the grave. Then we read of His ascent to Heaven, where Jesus has entered as a forerunner for us (Hebrews 6:20 NASB). For the first time man—a guiltless, sinless, perfect Man—had entered Heaven. Because of His death on the cross He has now opened the way for others to follow.

In his day, Charles Wesley was convinced that God really did love him when he wrote:

  Amazing love: how can it be;
    that Thou, my God; should die for me?

But Now is Christ Risen!

“But the fact is that Christ (the Messiah) has been raised from the dead, and become the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep [in death]. For since [it was] through a man that death [came into the world, it is] also through a Man that the resurrection of the dead [has come]” (1 Corinthians 15:20-21 AMP ).

The late Dr. Sangster was one of the most gifted orators that I have ever heard. He delighted to use his silver tongue to speak well of His Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Ironically, before he died, Dr. Sangster was totally unable to speak because of the cancer in his mouth. Just before going to Heaven, he gestured to his daughter to pass a pencil and paper. That Easter Sunday morning he wrote: “Better to have no tongue and a burning desire to shout ‘Christ is risen,’ than to have a tongue with no desire to shout!”

When the Apostle Paul appeared before king Agrippa to defend himself against false accusations, he drew their attention both to the suffering and to the resurrection of Christ: “That Christ should suffer,” he said “and that He should be the first that should rise from the dead, and should show light unto the people…” (Acts 26:23 AMP).

However, before the resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ, in the New Testament it is recorded that other people had been physically raised from the dead. There was Lazarus and the daughter of Jairus as well as the son of the widow of Nain. Though Jesus had miraculously restored these people to physical life they all died again within a few years. However, that is not so with the Lord Jesus Christ. Today, He is not only physically alive, but also spiritually and eternally alive. He was indeed the first that should rise from the dead!

How could a tomb of death and decay imprison the Creator of life? Because the Lord Jesus Christ is the Creator God, He brought life out of nothing. Because, as perfect Man, Jesus is the Savior God He brought life out of the grave and pioneered the way to Heaven for every person who would receive Him, by faith. To them it is promised:

But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our transgressions, 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 (Ephesians 2:4-6 NASB).

Writing to believers in the city of Corinth, the Apostle Paul reminded them that they had been saved from the consequences of their sin because they had received (adhered to; trusted in and rested upon) that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures (1 Corinthians 15:3-4 NASB). Today, every true believer rests upon the glorious fact that “Christ died for my sins; and rose again, and gives me new life in Him.”

From Day One to Day Three

Now, you may be wondering, “what happened to the Lord Jesus Christ between the time He was crucified and the time He rose from the grave three days later?” Anticipating such a question, God revealed the answer:

What does ‘he ascended’ mean except that he also descended to the lower, earthly regions? He who descended is the very one who ascended higher than all the heavens, in order to fill the whole universe (Ephesians 4:9-10 NIV).

Yes, the Bible tells us that before ascending to Heaven, the Lord Jesus Christ actually descended to the lower regions. After that He ascended to Heaven leading Old Testament saints (who had died believing) in the train of His triumph. Today, every true believer is happily assured that the door of death is really his gateway to glory. Miraculously, Christ Himself has triumphed over both physical and spiritual death on our behalf.

O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, who giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ (1 Corinthians 15:55-57 NS).

Appendage—The Bequest of His Love

It is wonderful to know that the Lord Jesus has pioneered the way to Heaven and that now we can follow in the train of His triumph.

It is equally wonderful to know that before His death, in love for His own, Jesus promised that after His ascension to Heaven He would send the Holy Spirit to believers on earth.

To His disciples He said:

He who believes in Me, as the Scripture said, “From his innermost being shall flow rivers of living water.” But this He spoke of the Spirit, whom those who believed in Him were to receive; for the Spirit was not yet given, because Jesus was not yet glorified. (John 7:38-39 NASB).

But now I am going to Him who sent Me…And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper…the Spirit of truth…it is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper shall not come to you; but if I go, I will send Him to you…He shall glorify Me (John 16:5; 14:16-17; 16:7, 14 NASB).

We have already noticed how God was glorified in the death of His Son. Now you may ask another question: “How can Jesus be glorified by sending the Holy Spirit to you and me?”

This question is partly answered by the fact that Jesus is glorified in the life of each believer through whom the love of God is flowing. We read: the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us (Romans 5:5 NASB). God’s indwelling love—made real by the Holy Spirit—far transcends the loftiest pinnacle of human attraction or affection. As by faith you respond to His finished work at the Cross, the Lord Jesus, in the Person of the Holy Spirit, will begin to love other people through you. Marvelous!

To believe that Christ died for your sins, and then to give thanks in your heart for that fact, is for you to enjoy the personal assurance of God’s forgiveness and saving love.

Then, to make your life available to the indwelling presence of the Lord Jesus Christ is for you to become the vehicle of His love to a loveless world.

A German theologian, famous for his scholarship, was once asked the question: “What is your most profound thought about God?” Astonishingly he replied in the words of a children’s chorus: “Jesus loves me; this I know, for the Bible tells me so.”

Yes, God truly loves me! and yes, God TRULY does love you!

  O, the love that drew salvation’s plan,
    O, the grace that brought it down to man,
  O, the mighty gulf that God did span,
    At Calvary!
  Mercy there was great, and grace was free,
    Pardon there was multiplied to me,
  There my burdened soul found liberty,
    At Calvary.

Pause to Consider

  1. What is the best way to prove you love somebody? Is it by what you say? Is it by what you do?
  2. How did God prove His love for you?
  3. How will you personally respond to God’s love?
Chapter 6 Why Are People so Misguided? ← Prior Section
Chapter 8 Where Can I Find Life? Next Section →

The Blue Letter Bible ministry and the BLB Institute hold to the historical, conservative Christian faith, which includes a firm belief in the inerrancy of Scripture. Since the text and audio content provided by BLB represent a range of evangelical traditions, all of the ideas and principles conveyed in the resource materials are not necessarily affirmed, in total, by this ministry.


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