Tuesday, July 31, 2012

“For Us”

     “If God be for us, who can be against us?” (Romans 8:31).

     That God could be “for” any member of a race whose collective sins led to His Son’s sorrowful and torturous death on the cross of Calvary speaks to a gracious mercy beyond comprehension.

    Nevertheless, all who receive the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ become recipients of Divine acceptance and favor.  Each of the Apostle Paul’s epistles begins with the blessing of “grace to you and peace from God our Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ” (Romans 1:7).  This includes the salutation of favor to both the faithful Romans believers and the wayward Corinthians.  God was “for” all recipients of Paul’s letters, just as He forever remains abundantly supportive of every trusting son and daughter in Christ.

     Of course, this does not mean that He condones or accepts attitudes and behaviors that fail to correspond with the character of the Christ who dwells within us to enable godliness of spirit, soul and body.  Nor does it mean that a supportive Heavenly Father will not chasten us when we stray.  To the contrary, “whom the Lord loveth He chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom He receiveth” (Hebrews 12:6).  Because He is for us, our Lord disciplines us as necessary, bringing difficulty into our lives when difficulty alone will open our eyes and redirect our steps.  No parental loves exists that excludes the application of discipline, even as Solomon declared, “He that spareth his rod hateth his son: but he that loveth him chasteneth him” (Proverbs 13:24).

     The born again believer can always look toward Heaven in certainty of God’s loving heart and attitude.  Through the atoning work and intercession of Christ on our behalf, our Father is eternally “for us.”  Much comfort assures our hearts as we remember this blessed truth.  Moreover, much challenge tempers our hearts as we recall that God’s support presently requires firm chastening as well as the tender caress.

“He hath made us accepted in the Beloved.”
(Ephesians 1:6)
“If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not?”
(Hebrews 12:7)   

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