One of the many gifts we have been given is what Adam and Eve sought after: to become like God-- to be equal with him.
This allows us to live in God and to receive his generous incomprehensible love. Living by any other means, especially in any degree of law, does not allow us to experience his love. This is because it produces condemnation and guilt in us, and love can't truly be experienced if we live in a mindset of guilt and condemnation.
And as we've seen, most Christians still try to love in their flesh, as the law directs them to. They try to live by means of that trick question asked by the lawyer about the law. Living in law voids God's love.
GOD'S MANNER OF LOVE FOR US
John says, "Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God" (I John 3:1). The term 'sons' is a word of identity, and of equal identity with God. We have equal love and glory with Jesus, as he says in John 17. We also have joint, equal inheritance with him (Rom 8:17). This doesn't just mean in heaven, but in the here and now.
In the parable of the Prodigal Son, when the prodigal son came home, his father put on him (1) his shoes, (2) his robe, and (3) his ring. This spells nothing less but that the son was made equal with his father. The father closes this story saying, "All that I have is yours" (Luke 15:31).
In Ephesians chapter 1 we're told that we have been given the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of God, so the eyes of our understanding will be enlightened to understand we have been given (1) the hope of his calling, (2) the riches of his glory, (3) his inheritance that is ours, and (4) his power and authority in us.
We have Christ's ministry, his glory, his inheritance and his authority. How much more equal with God can we be unless we actually were God himself?
THE LOVE OF CHRIST KEEPS US IN ITS FLOW
God's love is like the current of a flowing river. I have been in a Kayak on the Colorado River, and I can testify to the power of its current, or flow. It is strong. People even drown in it. Paul says, "The love of Christ constrains us" (II Cor 5:14).
Immediately, because of our sin-conscious thinking, we interpret this to mean that God's love should keep us from ever doing anything wrong (i.e., sin). If we are honest for even one heartbeat we know it doesn't accomplish this. But it does keep us in the flow of God, and holds us together in God's will and purpose, focusing us on his desires. This it does do.
WE ARE A NEW CREATION IN CHRIST
Paul says we are a new creation in Christ. We are a new species -- we are no longer just human. We are a GodMan, which has no sexual connotation. In Christ, we are to live in the security of his love, and not in fear of his judgment.
THE LOST COMMAND OF JESUS PRODUCES LOVE
When we truly believe the gospel, which I call the LOST command of Jesus, it empowers everything else in our lives, especially our ability to love God, and love others. Paul says the gospel is the power of God (Rom 1:16). He doesn't say it's 'A' power but 'THE' power. It's a definite singular article.
When we live in the power of God, everything else in life flows so much easier and readily. This is why Paul says to continue in the gospel, and it is what fulfills the word of God in us (Col 1:21-23). It is what produces good fruit, or good things from us as we've seen (Col 1:5-6).
"LOVE ONE ANOTHER... AS I HAVE LOVED YOU"
Any ability we have to love is born in first receiving God's love. It's like Jesus says, "I love you so much that I give you the same, equal position with Abba Father God that I have. This allows you to receive his love, and love him back more than you ever dreamed possible. This is the beginning of the gospel that gives you access to every gift, promise and blessing imaginable."
Paul says to be rooted and grounded in the love of God. This means it's meant to be the foundation for all things in our lives. Jude says, "Keep yourself in the love of God." I picture this as taking a constant shower in God's love, regardless of my sin.
WE ARE MEANT TO GIVE AWAY 'USED LOVE'
After we accept and experience God's love ourselves, then we give it away to others. Because we've used it, I call it 'used love.' But used love is the best kind. It's love that we know personally, so all we do is add value to it when we give it to others.
We've seen Paul's words before: "The Lord make you increase and abound in love one to another" (I Thes 3:12). INCREASE means to fill up like a balloon that is so full it's ready to pop. ABOUND means to spill over on everyone else around you. But whose love are you increasing in? God's! And whose love are you abounding over with? God's! It's all God's love, not our love.
When we are willing to believe anything God's gospel says, then our trust grows until it is a total, abandoned, even reckless trust in him. This then reproduces his love and grace in us, so we can share more of it with everyone else. This is a synergistic, centrifugal force that is powerful.
It's God's process in us. Our only job is to let him do it in us.
This is what causes us to live the Christian life better by accident than we ever could on purpose. This is what makes the Christian life easy, and a total pleasure to live. This is what causes us to truly fall in love with Abba Father God more than we could ever possibly imagine, which causes us to receive more of his love and grace.
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As The Gospel Life Coach, Roger shows how the gospel is the power of God, enabling us to live life better by accident than we ever could on purpose. www.TheGospelCoach.com. You will begin to find new coaching videos at: RogerHimesLifeCoach-GospelTranformation.com. Read regular tweets on Twitter: /TheGospelCoach
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