Tuesday, January 19, 2016

The greater our sin the greater his Grace

When we are most ugly, and unlovely, God is loving us most. How so? It requires more love to love someone when they are most unlovely then when they are most lovely i.e. To love us at our worst involves a greater love (commitment to love) than loving us at our best. 

"For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. For one will scarcely die for a righteous person - though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die - but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us." - Paul an apostle of Jesus. Rom 5:6-8

This is simply because God's love has nothing to do with our performance. It is based entirely on Christs performance. That commitment of love was made a long time ago (Eph 1:4-6) and the decision and follow through on it "is finished (John 19:30)." Therefore nothing we do can add to or take away from God's love, nothing!!! His love is secured for us and is now fixed on us no matter what! (Rom 8:31-39

Why? Because it is secured by someone else's efforts not our own. And not just anyone's, but the efforts of non other then the perfectly loved and perfectly faithful/obedient eternal son of God. The love God has for his Son is now the very same love he has for us. 

As we come to recognize this is the kind of love God has for us as his children; a love that, in the above sense, is more intense and steadfast the more unlovely we are, this love... his love, begins to transform us. 

To put this in practical terms, think of one of the area's you struggle with most. Anger, gluttony, anxiety, fear, lust etc...fill in the blank. Whatever it is think of the last time you blew it in this area. How did you feel after your failure? Dejected, rejected? (Not by God. That my friend is all in your head, not in God's heart. More on this later). 

Next time you find yourself failing in the area you struggle with most, make your self (choose to) think in the midst of that struggle, "God is loving me right now while I am in the middle of this. He is loving me in my sin and in my struggle!" Than make yourself think of why he is 100% with you and for you, loving you at that very moment and what he did so he doesn't turn away but is always loving you, as much as ever (and in a sense more than ever); that he died for that very sin you are in he middle of. 

How will this effect what you are struggling with? My suggestion is, if you really "get" his love (i.e. believe he loves you the way he says and proved) it will cause that sin's pull to lose it's grip as it's happening. If it doesn't, it is only because you don't truly believe He really loves you and is loving you in that moment. 

"...where sin increased, grace abounded all the more," Rom 5:20 

Are we getting better or worse? BOTH!

God's love for us wasn't just before we came to Christ but also now that we are in him... And in a sense, even more so. As we mature the awareness of our need for God's love increases (our objective need for it remains constant and never changes however, as well as it's availability). 

But as we mature, our actual sin/unbelief/distrust truly declines over time (i.e. our faith increases resulting in greater faithfulness/obedience) while our subjective awareness of our sin/unbelief/distrust increases. Or to say it another way, we are getting better in one sense but getting worse in another, at the same time

Our sense of increasing dependence, need and appreciation for the grace of God also increases (the need itself is and has always been present, our sense of that need has not; it grows over time).

As we mature in our faith we become more keenly aware of the various areas of our rebellious distrust as well as God's grace extended to us in that rebellion. It's not that these are new areas. They were always there, we just weren't aware they were there. They are only new to our awareness of them. 

That is not to say sin/distrust/unbelief/unfaithfulness does not matter (or to say it positively, whether faith matters), it does. Rom 6:1-2  But we are talking about God's disposition of love towards us in our sin, not our subjective experience and participation in that love. Our rebellious distrust in God does not change his actual love for us, it only changes our experience of it.

God's love objectively and our experience of that love subjectively are entirely distinct even though connected. One is always true (his objective love) while the other (our experiencing of his love) comes and goes according to our faith i.e. our trust that His love is there, never ending, uninterrupted, no matter what. 

For a further on our participation and experience of God's love click here

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Grace to you
Jim Deal