Thursday, April 2, 2009

Christian Spirituality III: we know and rely on the Love of God for us

As Christians we know and rely on God’s love for us. Our spirituality is primarily about what this God of love does and has done for us, rather than what we have to do for God.
“THis is love” says john in verse 10, “not that we love God, but that he loved us”. Christians don’t search for what God might feel towards us, because he has shown us, he loves us. Look with me at verse 9-10
And this is How God has shown his love for us, He sent his only Son into the world as an atoning sacrifice for our sins, that we might live through him”.
God didn’t stay content with his own perfect circle of love, distant from the world, but sent his Son into the world, into the messy, difficult, impure world of flesh and blood that was hostile to him. That is what love is, giving of yourself for the weak and difficult.
The Son not only came, but came to be an atoning sacrifice for sin. The sacrifice for atonement in the Old Testament was performed once a year to deal with the rebellion of Gods people, and to make it safe to have a Holy God dwell amongst them . The Son was sent to die, to deal with the problem of sin that had seperated humanity from God. How do we know God loves us, the Son suffered the cross and abandonment, the Father suffered the grief of the death of his Son. God himself has dealt with our punishment. And so any spirituality that calls itself christian but still instills fear of punishment, and demands reparation to be done is not from God. In verse 17 The perfect love of God in Christ drives out fear, and so we can rely on this love to approach God with confidence.
And the Goal of God’s love is that we may share in the divine life of the Son, look at verse 9 , that we might live through him

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