Of God’s Beautiful Grace
[PART 3 — in the Series]
Implications/Applications of Grace:
>>> Love <<<
Salvation by grace through faith is all based in God’s love, and is the expression of His perfect righteousness.
The whole law is summed up in this: “ You shall love the LORD your God with all of your heart and with all of your soul, and with all of your mind and with all your strength: and you shall love your neighbor as yourself.” (Luke 10:27).
But God’s kind of love is not the type of love that is given or received on the basis of merit — not even by trying to earn it through attempting to love Him and others, the way we should do…(Rom 4:4,6:23, Eph 2:8–9).
Sound like a big,”Duh!”? Well I guess it should be. That is, if we’d never thought that our sinful attainment of the knowledge of good and evil would make us as wise as God.
In truth, the human race became foolish, and susceptible to the Deceiver the moment Adam and Eve believed the devil’s lies in the Garden of Eden (Gen 3:5).
But since our corrupted flesh lives by the economy of trying to earn love, it is neither receiving or giving love according to God’s definition.
Anyone who tries live according to the principle of earning love is all about what is owed — which amounts to wages — not love. They are missing one of the fundamental points the law was intended to prove: that God’s love (true love) cannot be earned.
Neither can God’s love be received or generated by us on the basis of legally required works. It must be received, unto overflowing, as a gift from His grace.
Further, it is not a matter of external actions alone, but is actually a matter of the heart. (Gal 3:23–24, 4:1–7, Rom 3:19–31, 4:1–25, Eph 2:8–9, Matt chapters 5–7).
So, accordinng to God’s Word, it becomes clear that we can never earn the love of God! And as only God’s Spirit can reveal to us, this is certainly true according to simplicity, and child-like reason!
As God’s creations, we are utterly dependent upon Him as our Creator, Sustainer, and Giver of everything for which He could possibly love us… so we have no self-based claim for why we are loved by God. (1 Cor 4:7).
Furthermore, God’s description of Himself is that He is Love— Agape, in the Greek — which is defined as being unconditional in nature! (1st John 4:16) .
Therefore, God as Love is not dependent upon the object that He chooses to love, so as to require that object to provide the reason that His love is given. It is conditioned only on the faith that is willing to receive His love freely. (John 3:16).
God, as Love, is always absolutely free from any such things as could either force Him to love or not to love anyone He chooses to love. The merit for God’s love remains solely in His own worth as the One Who Is Love. Period. (Eph 1:3–11).
Any “love” we have that is not given/maintained unless we “earn” it from someone, or require that someone else “earn” it from us, or force it onto someone, or force it from someone, is not true love, and is not unconditional.
Such “love” is not Agape love — the type of love that God Is, reveals, gives, and develops in His children as the essence of true righteousness. (Matt 9:13, Luke 10:27)
Any kind of love that must be earned is actually a matter of selfishness, which is the opposite of love.
People think that hate is the opposite of love. But even hate is just a manifestation of selfishness. And as we now know, God’s gracious love is received solely as grace, by faith in Jesus Christ.
By our choice to sin in the Garden of Eden we arrogantly chose to twist our approach to relationship with God and others, into a matter of law — a matter of requirement — a matter of our own “righteousness” and “understanding”.
In that sin, the human race withdrew our faith from God’s perfect will for our lives which is according to His Self-Revelation. That was a really bad idea — obviously! God’s will is the expression of His love!!!
When God gave the law through Moses, it was meant to demonstrate His own righteousness, and to clearly reveal that we neither can, nor should want to live by the demands and motivations which are according to law. God’s will is love, because God is love.