How can I know God loves me?   Leave a comment

I have been asking myself this question for quite a long time and was not convinced with the reasons I heard. Do the sufferings of Jesus on the cross prove that God loves me? But were not 2 criminals suffering the same death penalty? Furthermore, their legs were broken by the soldiers which did not occur to Jesus. Many people endured greater pain than Jesus, they were tortured and saw members of their family go through inhuman treatments. Many people stress on Jesus’ sufferings to justify God’s love. I was not convinced that this argument justified God’s love for me. This is not to say that I’m minimising the pain Jesus endured, but it’s just that I could not see how it proved God’s love for me. To understand God’s love based on the claims of John 3:16, I realized that the questions to be answered were these: Who was on a cross and why?

What is the greatest act someone can do to show his/her love?
Giving all his/her money? Serving and doing everything asked for?

In my opinion, the greatest act of loving is to be willing to die to let another one live. History has so much to say about mothers who died to let their children live.  It’s the willingness, without being forced which gives this act of dying a great sign of love. To love is to give. There’s no greater love than to give his life for his friends Jesus said (John 15:12).

God so loved the world that He gave…  He gave what? A bottle of water? No, He gave His Son,  to die (John 3:16).

The motive for a mother to be willing to die for her child can have several reasons. E.g. This child is innocent, young, does not deserve that and so on…

But what about all of us humans. Are we innocent? In God’s perspective, we are all sinners. From pope to the worse criminals, from richest person to denuded beggars, all are sinners, not one exempted the bible declares. How many will be willing to die for a criminal? Even more, would we be willing to die to let our offenders live? Jesus, who is God, was willing to die for sinners(offenders).

It was not a bad person dying to let a good person live. It was not a bad person dying because he deserved it as the criminals on Jesus’ side said.

But the other criminal rebuked him. “Don’t you fear God,” he said, “since you are under the same sentence? We are punished justly, for we are getting what our deeds deserve. But this man has done nothing wrong.” Luke 23

No, it was a perfect man dying for sinners. Jesus drank this cup of God’s wrath. The God almighty crushed His Son on the cross(Isaiah 53).

A sinner like me did not have a solution to my sins. What could I propose to God to receive forgiveness? Could I say “Look God at all the good stuff I did, you have to forgive me!”. No bargaining, no deal. It was not me who tried to take the first step to reconcile either.

You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous person, though for a good person someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Rom 5:6

The way God wanted to forgive us was by showing this marking evidence that He really loved us i.e. death for our sake. Jesus’ death was NOT a substitute as many people teach but it was God’s way of reconciling humanity to Him. Jesus did not die because we would have died if He did not. We were already dead in our sins the bible teaches. Jesus died for us but not in our place. He was a sacrifice for the forgiveness of our sins.

But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved.” Eph 2:5, Col 2:13

Simply believing that this is God’s way of saving humanity does not make sense to many people. Intelligent people consider it a foolish argument but yet it’s God’s wisdom. God did that so that one could be saved only through faith. Those who rely on their intelligence to find God and refuse Jesus will be frustrated. We could not see how this process of redemption occurred(Col 2:9). Therefore, it’s only through faith that we can believe that Jesus’ death saves us. Faith in God’s provision has always been of central focus throughout the Old Testament. Without faith it’s impossible to please God (Heb 11). In the New Testament, it’s still through faith in God’s provision (Jesus) that we are saved. Because God loves us He did all that? That does not make sense, it seems foolish says the world. Sometimes, love can do things which seems foolish in the eyes of others. Love can make you appear to be weak. It can make you bend, humble yourself, accept to lose for the sake of the one you love, be ready to endure what it cost because you love someone so dearly even if that person does not love you that much.

For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. For it is written:

I will destroy the wisdom of the wise;
the intelligence of the intelligent I will frustrate.”
Where is the wise person? Where is the teacher of the law? Where is the philosopher of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not know him, God was pleased through the foolishness of what was preached to save those who believe. Jews demand signs and Greeks look for wisdom, but we preach Christ crucified: a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles, but to those whom God has called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God…

God's love

God’s love

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Posted August 6, 2011 by Cedric in Theology

Tagged with , , , , , , ,

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