A Telling Tale of Love
Natural man knows God as Judge and as an enemy (Heb 10:26–28). It is only when God’s love comes to a man that he knows the salvation of the Lord (Ps 119:41). Salvation visits an elect soul by God’s Word (Rom 10:17).
The Word of God subdues the rebel soul, bringing news of God in Christ, reconciling the world to Himself (2 Cor 5:18–20). As a result, those who have been transferred from darkness to light have peace with God (Rom 5:1; Col 1:13). Here is a peace that passes all understanding that makes God’s redeemed people, a peculiar people (Ex 19:5; Dt 14:2; 26:18; Ps 135:4; Titus 2:13; 1 Pet 2:9).
The presence of the Holy Spirit, indwelling the adopted child of God (Rom 8:9, 11, 15, 23; Eph 1:5), brings a reproach from the world. The believer in Jesus shares in the sufferings of Christ’s body, the church (Col 1:24). The world hated Jesus at His incarnation (Jn 15:18–19), and He promised His followers that they, too, would suffer hatred from His adversaries (Jn 17:14; 1 Jn 3:13).
Christians trust in God’s Word (Ps 119:42). It proves itself to be the Word of truth (2 Sam 7:28; Jn 17:17). God is true (Rom 3:4), and He sends truth to His lost sheep in a world of lies. It is the truth of God’s Word that cuts and separates men of truth from deceivers. The god of this world is the father of lies (2 Cor 4:4), and our salvation is from enslavement to him (Jn 8:34). He speaks lies to people (Jn 8:44), and they believe him. He leads humanity on to the wide way that is the path of destruction (Mt 7:13).
The Christian is identified as a sheep (Jn 10). Sheep are bold when in their own company, but they are quite sheepish when in the world’s scrutiny. They become silent, and their conversation lacks the Word they love so much. Jesus reiterated, “Do not be afraid.”
It is grace that streams the Word to the saint’s heart and mind. God in us is our strength (1 Jn 4:4), and His Word is powerful through His people. One thinks of the prophet Micaiah, or Stephen, or Paul before the authorities of their day. The Spirit of boldness was upon them as they boasted in the Lord (Ps 20:7; 1 Cor 1:31).
Conscious of the temptation to be double-minded, the Christian prays, “Remove the false way from me, and graciously grant me Thy law (Ps 119:29).” It is God who establishes His law in the regenerate’s heart (Ps 78:5). It is the Spirit of Christ who teaches the child of God to walk in righteousness (Ps 143:10; Lk 12:12; Jn 14:26), even causing him to do so (Ezek 36:27). It is the indwelling Spirit who enlarges the Christian’s heart. He does this by filling the heart with God’s Word.
The fear of shame and reproach from the world becomes less important. The beloved of God is more concerned with offending the one who loved her from heaven. Her ambition is to please Him and not bring shame to His name because of her sin (Joel 2:26; Acts 5:41).
Walking in liberty, that is, walking in Christ does not exclude the world’s temptation to sin (Rom 7). When a Christian succumbs to the wiles of the devil for a season, he will be labeled a hypocrite by sinners. In this, Christ is shamed and devalued. The pride of man is bolstered, as Christ appears powerless in his failed ambassador.
Christians must be conscious of their daily dependence upon God’s Spirit and God’s Word. As Christ increases in the saint’s mind and heart, it will be Christ coming through those fully submitted to Him.
Men speak of that which they love. They tell you of their favorite sports team; their favorite food; and their favorite travel destinations. The Christian, filled with Christ to overflowing, will exude Christ to others. Others will know the Christian by the community’s love for its own. The Spirit-filled church, will be recognized by their good works, prepared by God for them (Jn 13:35; Eph 2:10).
Good works are the produce of genuine faith in God’s Word. We believe; therefore, we speak. Christians insist to the watching world, “It is not I who deserves recognition, but Christ, who lives in me.” Saints live for the glory of God, in the power of the Holy Spirit, who lives in them and who works in them (Gal 2:20).
Christ Jesus is the wisdom of God (1 Cor 1:24). We preach Christ and Him crucified (1 Cor 1:23). We proclaim Him and His excellencies (Col 1:28). We desire to make Him known (Mt 24:14; Mk 16:15). He is the holy one of God (Lk 4:34), who is the holy one of Israel (Ps 89:7). The Israel of God, the church of Jesus Christ (Gal 6:16), rejoices in our exalted Head (Col 1:18). Because we are His body, we lift our hands to His commandments, which we love (Ps 119:48).
By this action of Christ’s body, under the direction of our Head, He gathers in His elect to the church. We cry out in the wilderness of this world, and the lost sheep of Israel hear His voice (Jn 10:3–4). They follow because His Spirit has been given to them, to obey His call (Rom 8:30). There is no shame in testifying to God’s Gospel of grace, which tells the world that God has come to save His people from every nation, tribe, and tongue (Mt 1:21; Rev 5:9; 7:9).
Grace means that salvation is all of God and none of man (Ps 3:8; Jon 2:9; Rev 19:1). It reveals God’s motive (love), as well as His purpose (Eph 3:11). Love does not fail (1 Cor 13:8), nor does grace, and this is the certainty of our salvation. It is fully outside us, but the Word of His glorious grace has reached us who believe, and thus, we have something to tell of Him and His abounding grace (Rom 5:15, 20; 2 Cor 4:15; 9:8).
Spokane Valley, Washington
May 7, 2022