The New Testament declares every born again believer in the Lord Jesus Christ to be a spiritual temple of the love of God.
"The love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Spirit which is given unto us" (Romans 5:5).
In our presently imperfect existence, we may or may not "walk in love" despite the presence of God's love in our hearts (Ephesians 5:2). Many commands in the New Testament call us to "love one another," clearly implying the possibility of our not living in devotion to our Lord and others (I John 4:7). Our experience sometimes confirms this fact. How then can believers more consistently and increasingly experience the self sacrificial devotion to God and others that dwells within us through the Holy Spirit?
A primary ray of light can be found in our initial conversion. "As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in Him" (Colossians 2:6). That which happened in the beginning of our relationship with our Heavenly Father is meant to continue. When we trusted the Lord Jesus, we realized that God offered in His Son the free gift of forgiveness for past sins and newness of life for the present and forevermore. We acknowledged the impossibility of cleansing our own hands and heart. In response to the Word of God and the Spirit of God, we trusted the Lord Jesus to be and do for us what we could never be and do for ourselves. Indeed, we began the eternal journey of "looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith" (Hebrews 12:2).
On this basis of grace, we then seek to "walk" in the same dynamic of "as ye have therefore received." Rather than attempting to motivate and manufacture our own loving devotion to God and people, we determine to trust in our Savior's presence and working on our behalf. Instead of seeking to be love, we bear love, the love of God. We have no need to manufacture love for God and others in ourselves if we have trusted the Lord Jesus. He rather privileges us to believe in His promised presence and working already resident within our hearts. "The just shall live by faith" (Romans 1:17). Thus, we love by faith, that is, we trust the Spirit of God to reveal our Lord's sublimely unselfish character, nature, and way in us. "It is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of His good pleasure" (Philippians 2:13). We play a genuine role in the matter as we freely respond to God's truth and submit ourselves to Him in the expectation of His faithful working. However, as in our salvation, we discover the blessed grace whereby we serve as branches of the True Vine, the Lord Jesus, as opposed to attempting by our own devices to live and love. Without Me, ye can do nothing… I can do all things things through Christ which strengtheneth me" (John 15:5; Philippians 4:19).
In the Person of the indwelling Holy Spirit, God gave Himself to our hearts when we believed. Thereby He enables us as we affirm His presence and working. We find ourselves loving God and people in ways we could never begin to motivate and manufacture in ourselves. Our Father could bestow upon us no greater grace than to lead us to love as He loves. As we live looking unto the Author and Finisher, we will love by the bearing of His blessed presence in our hearts.
"And the grace of our Lord was exceeding abundant with faith and love which is in Christ Jesus."
(I Timothy 1:14)
Weekly Memory Verse
And the grace of our Lord was exceeding abundant with faith and love which is in Christ Jesus.
(I Timothy 1:14)