LOVED

LOVED

“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.” John‬ ‭3:16‬ ‭For God so LOVED. The Greek word for love used here is in a past tense. Most of the Greek is in present participle, meaning it is now and it will continue. This word “loved” is meant for a specific time, specific event and a specific place

. God’s love was shown when Jesus left all His glory, robed Himself in flesh, and went to the cross to die for our sins. God’s love was displayed when Christ’s blood atoned for the sins of all who receive Him and His gift of salvation. So when someone says, “God loves you”, it is only to be associated with the cross. It is only through Christ’s blood shed on the cross that we can even approach a holy God. So then to say that “God loves you just the way you are”, is not the truth. You cannot even speak of God’s love without the cross, it does not exist.

The enemy knows this and has worked hard at practically eliminating the message of the cross from preaching. To say, “your sin doesn’t separate you from the love of God” is not truth. “But your iniquities have separated you from your God; And your sins have hidden His face from you, So that He will not hear.”‭‭Isaiah‬ ‭59:2‬ Unless your sin is covered by His blood, then you are separated from God’s love:“Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God! Therefore the world does not know us, because it did not know Him. Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is. And everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself, just as He is pure.

Whoever commits sin also commits lawlessness, and sin is lawlessness. And you know that He was manifested to take away our sins, and in Him there is no sin. Whoever abides in Him does not sin. Whoever sins has neither seen Him nor known Him. Little children, let no one deceive you. He who practices righteousness is righteous, just as He is righteous. He who sins is of the devil, for the devil has sinned from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil. Whoever has been born of God DOES NOT SIN, for His seed remains in him; and he cannot sin, because he has been born of God.”‭‭I John‬ ‭3:1-9‬ ‭NKJV‬‬ (emphasis mine, translation: “does not continue to live a life of sin”)Jesus said, “And I, if I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all peoples to Myself.””‭‭John‬ ‭12:32‬

‭Since we know and believe that Jesus died and was risen from the dead, we know He is drawing all men. How? Through the Holy Spirit. The Spirit is currently in the process of drawing men to the Father by convicting us of our sin that we might have a chance to repent and be forgiven of our sin and experience the love of God, “Nevertheless I tell you the truth. It is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I depart, I will send Him to you. And when He has come, He will convict the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: of sin, because they do not believe in Me; of righteousness, because I go to My Father and you see Me no more; of judgment, because the ruler of this world is judged.” John‬ ‭16:7-11

‬ ‭He (the Spirit of the Truth, the Holy Spirit) will convict the world of sin. Why? Because in order to experience the love of God you have to repent of your sin and obey the gospel of Jesus, our only Redeemer. God said He loved ALL and Jesus said He is drawing ALL men. But we know only a few respond because men love their sin. (John. 3:19-21)““All their wickedness is in Gilgal, For there I hated them. Because of the evil of their deeds I will drive them from My house; I will love them no more. All their princes are rebellious.” Hosea‬ ‭9:15‬

‭For if God did not spare the natural branches, do you think He will spare you if you continue to operate in sin and rebellion? The answer is, “No”. As He told Israel, He tells us, “I will love you no more”. When there’s no more sacrifice for sin, we are not abiding in the love of God. “For if we sin willfully after we have received the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, but a certain fearful expectation of judgment, and fiery indignation which will devour the adversaries.

Anyone who has rejected Moses’ law dies without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses. Of how much worse punishment, do you suppose, will he be thought worthy who has trampled the Son of God underfoot, counted the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified a common thing, and insulted the Spirit of grace? For we know Him who said, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,” says the Lord. And again, “The Lord will judge His people.” It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.” Hebrews‬ ‭10:26-31

‬Your sin separates you from His love. But Crystal, what about Romans 8? “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written: “For Your sake we are killed all day long; We are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.” Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans‬ ‭8:35-39‬

‭I am well acquainted with this whole chapter. It was the first chapter of the Bible I memorized shortly after I was saved as a reminder to me to walk in the Spirit and not in the flesh, because His love is for those who abide “IN CHRIST”. Also notice this Scripture says nothing about sin separating, only outward circumstances that have the ability to rock our world, but can never touch our faith in our Savior. We have an assurance that nothing can separate us as we remain in obedience and reliance on and in Him. “We love Him because He first loved us.”‭‭I John‬ ‭4:19‬ ‭

When did He first love us? When He died on the cross for our sins. “Therefore be imitators of God as dear children. And walk in love, as Christ also has LOVED us and given Himself for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling aroma.” Ephesians‬ ‭5:1-2‬ and again God’s love is associated with the death of Jesus, “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Romans‬ ‭5:8‬ ‭‭We then receive His love when we repent of our sins, “Then Peter said to them, “Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise is to you and to your children, and to all who are afar off, as many as the Lord our God will call.”” Acts‬ ‭2:38-39‬ ‭NKJV‬‬“

Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.” Romans‬ ‭5:5‬ ‭So then the love of God was first poured out on the cross, but we cannot experience His love until we repent of our sins, thus receiving forgiveness, cleansing of all unrighteousness, the Holy Spirit and then through the Holy Spirit He pours out His love.

Read through the book of Acts. The gospel that the apostles preached was not, “God loves you”, but “repent and receive forgiveness and remission of sins”. Why? Because His love is only associated with the cross of Christ and the cross demands repentance. It is after Paul set up churches and wrote letters to those fellowships who were IN CHRIST to teach, warn, encourage, and admonish them concerning the love of God. If we are not preaching the cross of Christ, we are not preaching the love of God. #runyourrace

To Learn More About Pastor Crystal please visit the Leadership Page

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