One day last week, I was thinking about the love of God, and it just hit me how incredible the love of God is. I hate to say this, but it’s easy for me to forget about God’s love. If we don’t fix our minds on the love of God, it is easy to take it for granted.
The gospel is the quintessential picture of God’s love. It’s easy after salvation to “move on” to other things in the Christian life, but everything flows out of God’s love in the gospel.
“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.” (John 3:16 LSB).
“For one will hardly die for a righteous man, though perhaps for the good man someone would dare even to die.8 But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:7-8 LSB).
Recently I’ve been reading through a set of sermons by Charles Spurgeon called Majesty in Misery; every sermon deals with an aspect of the last week of Jesus’ life. In addition, I have been listening to sermons by John MacArthur on the gospel, and it has shaken me to my core. I have been in church since childhood, but when I read one of Spurgeon’s sermons or listen to John Macarthur, another aspect of the love of God is revealed, and it’s almost like being born-again, again.
The love of God is so vast and powerful and life-changing that we can study for a lifetime, we can pray and commune with the Lord for a lifetime and still not see the fullness of God’s love in the gospel. The enemy has tricked us into thinking the gospel is just for those who need to be born again, but the gospel is for Christians. The gospel is what saves us, and it sanctifies us. Jesus prayed in John 17:17, “sanctify them through your truth, your word is truth.”
Allow the gospel to be at the forefront of your studies. Don’t just think about Christ’s death and resurrection during Easter; think about it often. Study Jesus’ last week in light of the Passover. Read the Exodus from Egypt and see Jesus in it.
Romans 8:31-37 LSB “What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who is against us?32 He who indeed did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him over for us all, how will He not also with Him graciously give us all things?33 Who will bring a charge against God’s elect? God is the one who justifies;34 who is the one who condemns? Christ Jesus is He who died, yes, rather who was raised, who is at the right hand of God, who also intercedes for us.35 Who will separate us from the love of Christ? Will affliction, or turmoil, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?36 Just as it is written, “For Your sake we are being put to death all day long; We were counted as sheep for the slaughter.”37 But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us.”
The love of God is discovered, received, and known in its fullness in the gospel of Jesus Christ, The Messiah. The gospel is the Word of God; the Word of God was made flesh and tabernacled among us. Jesus is the picture of God’s love. Think about that love often; read something from the gospels every day. We read in Revelation 2:3-4 LSB “and you have perseverance and have endured for My name’s sake, you also have not grown weary.4 But I have this against you, that you have left your first love.” Don’t forget your first love. If you have forgotten what it was like to walk with Jesus, if your Christian life has become routine and lacks the passion it once did, reread the gospels, pray as David did, restore unto me the joy of my salvation.
Let the Word of God sanctify you; let it ignite a passion in you once again. When you’re getting to know someone, you talk with them, you ask about their life. We know Jesus by reading the gospels. We know his “past,” if you will, by discovering Him in the Old Testament. You can find your joy again; you can return to the love you had when you first believed, go back to the stories, read them with fresh eyes, and be renewed.
Books on The Gospel