ACCEPTED IN THE BELOVED Lesson Number 7 GOD LOVES US
"According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love . . . " (Eph 1:4) It has become fashionable these days to talk about the love of God. But there is a casualness about much of this that concerns me. It has not, for the most part, produced the consistent results that glorify our Father in heaven. The love of God is affirmed in Scripture, and our concept of it must be formed by those expressions (Rom 5:8; 8:39; 2 Cor 13:4; Eph 2:4; Tit 3:4; 1 John 3:16; 4:9). While the love of God appeals to our emotion, that is not its primary appeal. Its primary entreaty is to the rational part of man. It motivates decision and determination, awakening the part of us dulled by sin. Let the following expressions persuade you more fully of God's acceptance of you in Christ. And what do you say of these things? Can tribulation -- going through the divine threshing -- cause God to stop loving you? Can the distresses of life that bring you low drive a wedge between you and God? Can the opposition of religious people cause His banner of love to be removed from you? What of the deprivations of life -- famine and nakedness? Can they make you displeasing to your heavenly Father? And what of the fierce conflict into which you have been called. Does the weariness produced by "peril" and "sword" make you repulsive to you God? A resounding NO! to all of these questions Rom 8:35-39)! You have been "made accepted in the Beloved." Your acceptance was not based upon your accomplishments, and your rejection will not be based upon your difficulties. Stay in Christ, and you remain accepted!
A GREAT LOVE!
The love with which you have been loved is a "great" one. As it is written, "But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us" (Eph 2:4). It transcends all other loves. It can survive both furnace and flood. There are no depths into which it cannot reach. There is no obstacle it cannot overcome. It reached you when you were dead in sins (Eph 2:5), and it sustains you now that you are alive in Christ. God's objective for you extends into eternity. He has a great work for you to do there. His love for you is in preparation for that time, and it will keep you until then. He has seated you with Christ in heavenly places, and that is your safety factor. Stay there, and do not become enamored with the world. It made you unacceptable once, and it can do it again!
A CONFIRMED LOVE
The love of God is confirmed to you by the hope of the future. The consolation He has given you is "everlasting." It keeps you now, and will extend into the world to come. No one can take it from you. I know you can abandon it, but who in their right mind desires to do so. The hope He has given you is "good hope," and it has come to you through marvelous grace. God has given you an investment in the eternal world because He wanted to. Your willingness to participate in that glorious future is your guarantee of participation in it. The fact that God sent His Son into the world reveals His love for us. There was no other reason for Christ to come! The reasons motivated by love are staggering. Take them into your heart and dwell upon them. They have sanctifying power. "That we might live through Him!" This is spiritual, life. It is being able to respond to God, to hear Him, obey Him, and fellowship Him. "To be the propitiation for our sins." Just as the mercy seat hid the condemning law from a merciful God, so Jesus hides you from God's indignation. You have been "delivered from the wrath to come" because of Jesus (I Thess. 1:10). The coming wrath is real, and your deliverance is real. You have been "made accepted in the Beloved."
-- TOMORROW: PREDESTINATED! --