The sum of salvation in Christ is this: God’s prevailing love. The gospel is a revelation of divine love, and it is the greatest of all truths. Of all realities concerning man—his past, present, and future—this gift of God is said by Him to be the greatest of all. Love is the greatest of all exercisable virtues, “But now faith, hope, love, abide these three; but the greatest of these is love” (1 Corinthians 13:13). But the truest love is first a divine gift: “We love because he first loved us” (1 John 4:19). So it follows that love is not only the greatest gift that we can give; it is the greatest gift that we can receive.
In love, God has willed to give us the greatest possible expression of love. And since nothing is greater than God Himself, He chose to give Himself to us and to express that gift of Himself as a gift of love. So we read both that “God so loved” (John 3:16) and “God is love” (1 John 4:8). The giving of His Son is the giving of Himself, to which Thomas Boston reflects, “Jesus Christ was love covered in flesh.” The love of God in Christ to sinners both now and forever surpasses our knowledge (Ephesians 3:19). We simply cannot overstate the love of God; it is greater than what know or believe. But we can and must extol the greatness that we do know, and are growing in. We will never be able to exaggerate the immeasurable excellencies of God’s love.
We should take special note that love is uniquely personal and relational. When we hear words like ‘predestined’ or ‘elected’ we tend to think abstractly, that is in a manner quite disconnected from personal intimate interest and relationship. There are truths which like body and soul are designed to never be separated; to do so is death. There is no surer path to dead orthodoxy than the separation of God’s love and the predestinated salvation of sinners. Foreknowledge, predestination, calling, justification, and glorification are all statements of God’s love expressed and divinely accomplished (see Romans 8:28-30). So the consummate goal is emphatically relational, with every appointed means being a movement of personal divine love.
But the sum of salvation in Christ is not just God’s love, but God’s prevailing love. Many miss the mark in thought and discussion on the matters of election, predestination, and free will. Irreducible divine truths are reduced to fit man-sized thinking. Man rather than God becomes the measure of logic and love. The diamonds of God are diminished to debate, and the forest is lost for the trees. Unwittingly, trying to protect God, man robs God of His greatest gift to man.
This series is intended to capture the biblical mark of predestination. Accordingly, it will address related subjects such as election, free will, and reprobation. These are otherwise known as the doctrines of sovereign grace. Our aim in this study is to enlarge our viewing and valuing of God through Christ crucified and risen. Soli Deo Gloria
“Prevailing Love” – New Wednesday series begins!
Wednesday January 22 | 7:00p.m.