Love, Not Nail, Held Jesus to the Cross
That Love Casts out all Fear
One of the best known and cited verse in the Bible is John 3:16. It has been said that no other verse, “so succinctly summarizes God’s relationship with humanity and the way of salvation.” For that reason, in some countries this Scripture or simply the reference “John 3:16” is often displayed at public events, on car stickers, and graffiti, and elsewhere. Some consider John 3:16 as the “theme verse” for the entire Bible. Everything we need to know about how to be saved is in that one verse. John 3:16 tells us of the love God has for us and the extent of that love – so great that He sacrificed His only Son on our behalf. John 3:16 teaches us that anyone who believes in Jesus Christ, God’s Son, will be saved. John 3:16 gives us the glorious hope of eternal life in heaven through the love of God and death of Jesus Christ.
Let us now turn to this key verse: John 3:16. “For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.” Let me start off by asking you, “What was God’s gift to the world?” God’s gift was His Son, Christ Jesus. Okay. What motivated God to send us His Son? Because God so loved us – His creation. Now, for what purpose did God send His Son? To those that believe in Him, they would not perish but have eternal life with Him – an intimate relationship with Him – it’s called “love.”
Let us now turn to 1 John 4:8 to find out how John describes God? “Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.” Obviously, John describes God as love. The next verse, verse 9 says, “This is how God showed His love among us: He sent His one and only Son into the world that we might live through Him.” So, according to this verse, how did God show His love for you and me? The verse clearly states that God showed His love for us in that He sent His one and only Son into the world that we might live through Him. Moving along to the next verse, verse 10, how was God’s love for you and me acted out? We read: “This is love: not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.” It was acted out in that God sent His Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. What motivated Christ to hang on a cross and die for our sins? Obviously, His love for us. Again, let us turn to Romans 5:8 to find out how did God demonstrate His love for you and me? We read: “But God demonstrates His own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” While we were still sinners God sent Jesus Christ to die for us, not because we were good enough, but because He loved us. Let’s wrap this portion up by turning to John 15:13 which reads: “Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.” So according to this verse, what is the greatest love someone could have for another? Here is the greatest example of human self-sacrifice and that is laying down one’s life for his friends. Of course, they were enemies of Jesus when He died for them, but when they are saved, they became His friends. So, it is correct to say that He died for His friends as well as for His enemies.
God so loved that He gave…. God’s love for you and me preceded His gift. However, this is a point that we often miss. We look at God sending His Son into the world as something He had to do, not something He chose to do. God did not have to send His Son to die for you and me, He chose to because of His great love for us. Christ’s death on the cross is a demonstration of God’s love. There He turned aside the wrath of God, taking away our sins, so that we could come to Him for LIFE. God’s plan for you and me was motivated by His love. Spikes may have nailed Jesus to the cross, but His love hung Him there.
Love Casts Away Fear
I can’t help but send you this as this fits you to a Tee. God works in mysterious ways. I was working on another posting tonight when God revealed this to me regarding the fear of punishment when we sin. Please read and heed as God is trying to tell you something regarding The New Covenant that born-again believers live in today. After Adam and Eve sinned in the garden, how did they respond to God according to Genesis 3:8? We read: “Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the Lord as He was walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid from the Lord God among the trees of the garden.” After they sinned Adam and Eve hid from God among the trees of the garden. Why did they hide from God? The answer is in verse 10: “Adam answered, “I heard You in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid.” Now let us turn to 1 John 4:18 to find out what was the cause of their fear? We read: “There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.
The cause of Adam and Eve’s fear was the fear of punishment. Now what had Adam and Eve done to fear the punishment of God? They disobeyed God – they sinned against God.
Carrying this forward, what causes us to be fearful of God? Our disobedience – sin. When we sin, what are we fearful of? We fear that God is going to punish us in some way or another. What drives out this fear according to 1 John 4:18? God’s perfect love. So, what should cause us to love God and not fear His punishment? His perfect love drives out the fear of punishment.
Where was the love of God for you and me demonstrated? Again, let’s read 1 John 4:10 and Romans 5:8: “This is love: not that we loved God, but He loved us and sent His Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.” “But God demonstrates His own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Again, where was the love of God for you and me demonstrated? God’s love was demonstrated on the cross of Calvary where His Son, Christ Jesus, was the atoning sacrifice for our sins. So, what should we do as a result? We should live a love-filled life because whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in him. To live a love-filled life is to be God-filled. (See 1 John 4:16).
GOD DESIRES ALL MEN TO BE RECONCILED TO HIMSELF
The key verse here is in 2 Corinthians 5:18-21: “All this is from God, who reconciled us to Himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to Himself in Christ, not counting men’s sins against them. And He has committed to us the message of reconciliation. We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making His appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God. God made Him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God.”
Here we see that God’s purpose in sending His Son was the purpose of reconciling the world to Himself in Christ. And how did God reconcile the world unto Himself through Christ? It was by not counting men’s sins against them. Clearly we see here that God was actively removing the cause of the estrangement that had been between Himself and man by dealing with sin. Now the big question is: What makes it possible for God to not count our sins against us? The text tells us that God made Jesus who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in Christ we might become the righteousness of God.
If we go to Romans 5:8 we find out what Christ’s death on the cross was a demonstration of. “But God demonstrates His own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” It was a demonstration of God’s own love for us. The motivation was the love of God. As a result of the fact that God has reconciled us to Himself through Christ, what does Paul urges us to do in verse 20? Be Reconciled to God. If any enmity exists, it exists on man’s part. God has removed any barriers to complete fellowship between Himself and man. The Lord has done all He can do. Now man must lay down his arms of rebellion, must cease his stubborn revolt, and be reconciled to God (2 Cor. 5:20).
In Colossians 1:21 how did we see ourselves in relationship to God? We seen ourselves as being alienated from God as this verse tells us, “Once you were alienated from God and were enemies in your minds because of your evil behaviour.” So, what caused us to see ourselves as God’s enemy? It was our evil behavior. Let us now go to previous verses 19 and 20 and find out how did God reconcile us to Himself. “For God was pleased to have all His fullness dwelt in Him, and through Him to reconcile to Himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through His blood, shed on the cross.” It was through the shed blood of Christ Jesus on the cross that took away our sins – peace through the blood of His cross. Christ’s death provided a way for all people to come to God. It cleared away the sin that keeps us from having a right relationship with our Creator. We can have peace with God and be reconciled to Him by accepting Christ, who died in our place.
In closing, God desires for all men to be reconciled to Himself. This desire for reconciliation stems from His love for you and me and proceeds His provision for reconciliation. Through the work of Jesus Christ on the cross, reconciliation has been accomplished, his sins, have been taken away. Therefore, nothing stands between a man and eternal life but his own unbelief and rejection of God’s gift of salvation. The barrier between God and man has been removed once and for all.
It was love, not nails, that held Jesus to the cross and He died for you and He died for me. The only thing that will keep you from going to heaven is your rejection of Christ Jesus, God’s only begotten Son.
And what ministry has God given to us? It is the ministry of reconciliation by the sharing of His love
PS…. When I think of the nails that held Jesus to the cross, this song comes to mind. It’s called, “The Three Nails.” I think you will really enjoy listening to the song. Click on link:
F/B – The Signs Of Our Times
Understanding The Signs Of Our times .com