Tuesday, March 15, 2011

"Triune Favor"

"Behold what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us" (I John 3:1).
"If any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous" (I John 2:1).
"I will pray the Father, and He shall give you another Comforter, that He may abide with you for ever" (John 14:16).
Born again believers in the Lord Jesus Christ are blessed with the triune favor of God. Both the Lord Jesus and the Holy Spirit are our "paraclete" (the Greek root word translated as "advocate" and "comforter" in the verses above, meaning "one summoned to our side to plead our cause"). And God the Father is the bestower of such "manner of love."
God's holiness requires that sin be dealt with in the most decisive way possible. "The wages of sin is death" (Romans 6:23). This He has accomplished by the sacrifice of His Son on the cross of Calvary in order that the perpetrators of sin, the human race, might be saved from the consequences of our willful unrighteousness. He must be both "just and the justifier of Him which believeth in Jesus" (Romans 3:26). At Calvary, necessary wrath was executed: "Christ died for our sins" (I Corinthians 15:3). From Calvary, and from the empty tomb of our Savior, necessary grace flows from the Father, Son and Holy Spirit unto all who receive the benefits of Christ's atoning work on our behalf.
It is vital that we understand this complete desire of the triune God on our behalf. As the saying goes regarding our salvation, "the Father thought it, the Son bought it, and the Spirit wrought it." The fullness of God's desire is that we might be saved. The necessity of wrath meted out against sin does not preclude this will for our good, but rather ensures the greater good of the sanctity of creation. Sin and sinners allowed to continue forever would ultimately destroy all things, and thus, "the soul that sinneth, it shall die" (Ezekial 18:4). We may therefore look toward Heaven with assurance of our Lord's full intention toward our best interests, even as He works to ensure the ultimate perfection and preservation of creation.
"If God be for us, who can be against us?" (Romans 8:31). I think often of those two little words, "for us." In times of faithfulness and unfaithfulness, believers in the Lord Jesus can be sure that God's intention for us never wavers, never flickers. More to the point, in this moment, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit perfectly and lovingly will our best interests, and are working accordingly to fulfill them. Understanding this truth leads to more unwavering, unflickering devotion in us, and a life that reveals "what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us."
"I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end."
(Jeremiah 29:11)

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