Sunday, November 12, 2006

He loved us

In this is love, not that we have loved God
but that he loved us and
sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.
(1 Jn 4:10 ESV)

In our Westernized understanding of everything, today was no different. The theology of the self and of self-esteem and all things subject to self, when the Bible is being read today, instead of reading the Bible from the viewpoint of writer, we force our modern concepts onto the Bible.

It is no different with our verse here today (1 Jn 4:10). In a sermon today, this verse was used to demonstrate that God loves all human beings indiscriminately and evenly. Of course, emphasis is put on the fact that it was not we who "loved God but that he loved us." The "us" is seen as any human being, whether saved or not!

Further, it was opined that God has already given us His love. It now depends on us to receive it and only then could we experience it.

The fact is that this verse is not saying that at all!

The book of 1 John is full of terms like "us." It is clear that when the apostle John wrote 1 John he was making sure the readers would understand that the information contained in the letter was specifically meant for them as Christians.

What John was trying to teach his readers was that they were not the ones who loved God first. The fact is that all of us are dead in our trespasses until God sheds His love abroad in our hearts. John was telling them that God was the one that reached out to them and not they to God. God was the initiator in this love expression (v9).

It is not us who must receive God's love. It is God that must unveil His love and pour it out on us. God's love is not simply an offer on the table that in order for it to take effect, we have to actually take hold of it first! God's love is not like a $100 bill put on the table that we have to appropriate first before it becomes part of us. No! God's love is like a fresh outpouring of rain that cannot be avoided. It is poured out on us.

It is God's love that seeks us out. We cannot and will not seek it out, since we are under the wrath of God while we are without Christ.

(9) What then? Are we Jews any better off? No, not at all. For we have already charged that all, both Jews and Greeks, are under sin,
(10) as it is written: "None is righteous, no, not one;
(11) no one understands; no one seeks for God.
(12) All have turned aside; together they have become worthless; no one does good, not even one."
(13) "Their throat is an open grave; they use their tongues to deceive." "The venom of asps is under their lips."
(14) "Their mouth is full of curses and bitterness."
(15) "Their feet are swift to shed blood;
(16) in their paths are ruin and misery,
(17) and the way of peace they have not known.",
(18) "There is no fear of God before their eyes."
(Rom 3:9-18 ESV)

Just thinking...

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