Think about this excerpt from insanitybytes22’s post.
The other day I was just crying in sheer frustration. A lot of religious people, a lot of Christian people, avoid love, fear love, question love. Over and over again I slam into what basically amounts too, “you can’t talk about God’s love, people need to hear about His wrath and hatred of sin, because repentance must proceed being accepted by Him.”
Is Christianity all about the horror of sin, or is it all about love, love, love, love,….?
Well, what is the Bible about? The story of our redemption by Jesus Christ? Yep!
What did Jesus redeem us from? Was it sin? Our sinful nature? Yep!
Why did Jesus redeem us? Is it because He loves us? Yep!
What did Jesus do? Jesus summarized His mission when He spoke to Nicodemus (see John 3:1-21). Here are the key lines.
John 3:9-17 New King James Version (NKJV)
9 Nicodemus answered and said to Him, “How can these things be?”
10 Jesus answered and said to him, “Are you the teacher of Israel, and do not know these things? 11 Most assuredly, I say to you, We speak what We know and testify what We have seen, and you do not receive Our witness. 12 If I have told you earthly things and you do not believe, how will you believe if I tell you heavenly things? 13 No one has ascended to heaven but He who came down from heaven, that is, the Son of Man who is in heaven. 14 And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up, 15 that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life. 16 For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. 17 For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.
Like Nicodemus, we find Jesus’ words confusing. God would allow Himself to be hung up on a cross? By us? For our sakes? Yet Insanitybytes22 and Mel Wild are most certainly correct. God loves us, and we will not be saved unless we accept and believe in God’s love. Still, we must remember why we need salvation — why we are tempted to refuse God’s love. We sin and God hates sin. In our pride we sin, and in our pride we refuse God’s love.
Without the realization that we are sinners, we will not repent. Yet without the realization that God loves us, we will not be convicted of our sins. We will not be shamed enough by our sins to repent. Hence, like that bronze serpent in the wilderness (Numbers 21:4-9), Jesus allowed Himself to be held up — crucified — so we could see God’s His hatred of sin and perceive His love for us, that He loves us even though we are still sinners.
That is why that Bible is the story of our redemption. We need to know we are sinners in need of salvation, and we need to know God loves us enough to save us. We need to learn how to love.
1 John 4:19 New King James Version (NKJV)
19 We love Him because He first loved us.
For some reason Tina Turner’s song, “What’s Love Got to Do With It” keeps going through my head. Love, a stupid “second hand emotion,” right? That false notion actually all fits in quite well with Sam’s post the other day and now Mel Wild’s,” The Power of His Love.”
What’s love got to do with it? Everything!
The Bible says, “it is the kindness of God that leads to repentance.” The Bible also says, “God is love.” And it says, “Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.” And, “We love because He first loved us.” And “while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”
I hope that doesn’t sound critical or shaming because a whole lot of us are just like a kinked up garden hose that can’t let genuine love flow through. We’ve either gotten all scarred up from the…
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