Friday, October 16, 2020

God, Love and Sin

The first thing that I can say about God is that he is a person. He is not a human person, but a person nonetheless. This is an important thing to understand. God is a reasoning, feeling, person.

As far as us humans are concerned God is infinitely intelligent and infinitely powerful, and we can say that he is infinitely good. It is good for us that God is good. Think about it. What would be our lot if God was infinitely intelligent and powerful but not good? After having given this question considerable thought, I have come to the conclusion that being infinitely good is required for any being that will exist in eternity. What I mean, is that if a being was not unreservedly good then the qualities that were not good would eventually eat away at you until you were consumed by them. Forever is a long time and if you are to live forever, then you must start out completely healthy, that is, good, that is, having no unhealthiness in you. You must remain good or else you will begin to decay.

Let us look at a natural body for an example of what I am talking about. Imagine that you have a perfectly healthy body that has trillions of healthy cells and one single little cancer cell. The cancer cell becomes two cells, then four and then eight and so on, and so on. Eventually, cancer will spread and kill your entire body. We can think of each of the trillions of healthy cells as cells that selflessly work in harmony for the good of the entire body. The keyword here is selflessly. A cancer cell is selfish. It cares only for itself. It does not work in harmony with the whole. It is this ‘selfish’ nature that is the core of the problem.

Now, the Bible talks about this, but it uses different words to describe what I am talking about. Instead of thinking selflessly and selfishly we can think of lovingly and sinfully. Love and sin are opposites. This word love in the Bible is not romantic love, but rather it is selfless love. Romantic love is selfish. Selfless love heals and plants and nurtures. Romantic love is selfish and concerns its own gratification. Romantic love is of the flesh, but selfless love is of the spirit. One is temporary and the other is eternal. One is from God and the other is from our flesh.

God does not love us with selfish love. Not one of the teachings of God is there to provide something that God needs from us. God does not water us so that he can feed off us. God loves us with selfless love and gives us what we need. If we value God and appreciate his help then we can show this only by listening to him and doing what he has told us to do. That, and only that, is our only act of worship. You can sing songs and get all goose-bumpy until you are blue in the face, but unless you do the things that God tells you to do, you have not shown your selfless love to him. Remember selfless love is not about you, it is about the other/s. If you want to show God how much you love him, then do what he tells you to do. If you want to show God how much you love him then become the person that he wants you to become, that is, become a part of him; selfless love nurturing others in your sphere.

John 14:21-26
Whoever has my commands and obeys them, he is the one who loves me. He who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love him and show myself to him.”
22 Then Judas (not Judas Iscariot) said, “But, Lord, why do you intend to show yourself to us and not to the world?”
23 Jesus replied, “If anyone loves me, he will obey my teaching. My Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him. 24 He who does not love me will not obey my teaching. These words you hear are not my own; they belong to the Father who sent me.
25 “All this I have spoken while still with you. 26 But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you. (NIV)

We can think of ourselves as a single cell in God’s body. If we are a cancer cell then he will come and push us out of himself and we will eventually die. If we are a selfless love cell then we become part of the whole and are nourished by God’s spirit like a human cell is nourished by the blood. If we are in him and he is in us then the blood of Jesus enters into us and cleans any selfish cells from our body. If we are in him and he is in us then he, like a good farmer, pulls up the weeds within and waters and feeds the healthy cells. The key to what I am saying is that you must be in him and he in you. If you are in him you are alive because of his life-giving spirit, but if you are not in him then you are dead and decaying because the life-giving spirit is not within you.

So, how does a person enter into God, and to whom does God enter into? God enters into anyone who opens up themselves to him. How does one open one’s self to God? One opens one’s self by receiving into themselves his seed, that is, his Word, that is, His Son Jesus Christ. When a person who hears the Word opens their heart to God, to allow his teaching to enter into them, to grow in them, that person who was previously dead becomes alive, because the living life-giving word has entered into them and has taken root. God, by his awesome power, has the power to cleanse every selfish cell from your body. Inch by inch, day by day, his cleansing word pumps through us removing the waste and nurturing the healthy. Provided we remain in him and he in us.

John 5:24
“I tell you the truth, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be condemned; he has crossed over from death to life. (NIV)

The act of opening up your heart to another is called faith. Faith is a heartfelt trust of one person for another. Faith and love (selfless) work very closely together.

1 John 4:16
And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in him. (NIV)

Mark Heaney
This is my greatest desire: That the eyes of my heart may be enlightened in order that I may know the hope to which he has called me, the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, and his incomparably great power for us who believe. Ephesians 1:18–19


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