Listen To Most Current
Grace Notes Archive
March 2019 (3)
February 2019 (6)
January 2019 (4)
December 2018 (4)
November 2018 (5)
October 2018 (4)
September 2018 (4)
August 2018 (4)
July 2018 (3)
June 2018 (4)
May 2018 (4)
April 2018 (4)
March 2018 (4)
February 2018 (5)
January 2018 (4)
December 2017 (4)
November 2017 (5)
October 2017 (4)
September 2017 (5)
August 2017 (4)
July 2017 (4)
June 2017 (5)
May 2017 (4)
April 2017 (5)
March 2017 (3)
February 2017 (4)
January 2017 (3)
December 2016 (5)
November 2016 (4)
October 2016 (4)
September 2016 (5)
August 2016 (3)
July 2016 (4)
June 2016 (5)
May 2016 (4)
April 2016 (5)
March 2016 (4)
February 2016 (4)
January 2016 (5)
December 2015 (4)
November 2015 (4)
October 2015 (3)
September 2015 (4)
August 2015 (5)
July 2015 (5)
June 2015 (4)
May 2015 (5)
April 2015 (2)
March 2015 (4)
February 2015 (4)
January 2015 (5)
December 2014 (4)
November 2014 (5)
October 2014 (4)
September 2014 (4)
August 2014 (4)
July 2014 (5)
June 2014 (4)
May 2014 (5)
April 2014 (4)
March 2014 (4)
February 2014 (4)
January 2014 (5)
December 2013 (4)
November 2013 (5)
October 2013 (4)
September 2013 (4)
August 2013 (5)
July 2013 (4)
June 2013 (3)
May 2013 (5)
April 2013 (4)
March 2013 (4)
February 2013 (5)
January 2013 (4)
December 2012 (4)
November 2012 (5)
October 2012 (4)
September 2012 (4)
August 2012 (5)
July 2012 (4)
June 2012 (4)
May 2012 (5)
April 2012 (4)
March 2012 (5)
February 2012 (4)
January 2012 (4)
December 2011 (5)
November 2011 (4)
October 2011 (4)
September 2011 (5)
August 2011 (4)
July 2011 (4)
June 2011 (5)
May 2011 (4)
April 2011 (5)
March 2011 (4)
February 2011 (4)
January 2011 (5)
December 2010 (4)
November 2010 (4)
October 2010 (4)
September 2010 (5)
August 2010 (4)
July 2010 (6)
June 2010 (4)
May 2010 (4)
April 2010 (4)
March 2010 (5)
February 2010 (4)
January 2010 (5)
December 2009 (5)
November 2009 (3)
October 2009 (6)
September 2009 (3)
August 2009 (5)
July 2009 (4)
June 2009 (4)
May 2009 (5)
April 2009 (4)
March 2009 (4)
February 2009 (4)
January 2009 (5)
December 2008 (4)
November 2008 (5)
October 2008 (4)
September 2008 (5)
August 2008 (4)
July 2008 (3)
June 2008 (4)
May 2008 (5)
April 2008 (4)
March 2008 (5)
February 2008 (1)
Grace Notes

Current Articles | Categories | Search | Syndication

WE MUST NOT FEAR TO MAKE OUR HEARERS FEAR
by Philip Owen

Happily for us, the Apostle John is never afraid to hammer a theme, nor does he fear being accused of redundancy as the following quotations will attest. 

“He who has My commandments and keeps them is the one who loves Me; and he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and will disclose Myself to him.”  Judas (not Iscariot) said to Him, “Lord, what then has happened that You are going to disclose Yourself to us and not to the world?”  Jesus answered and said to him, “If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our abode with him.  He who does not love Me does not keep My words; and the word which you hear is not Mine, but the Father’s who sent Me.”

 

“If you love Me, you will keep My commandments.”

 

“You are My friends if you do what I command you.”

 

For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments; and His commandments are not burdensome.

 

And this is love, that we walk according to His commandments.  This is the commandment, just as you have heard from the beginning, that you should walk in it.

                                                                                              (John 14:21-24, 15; 15:14; I John 5:3; II John 6)

                I say happily because few biblical truths are less understood by real saints than is the concept of biblical love.  Those of us living today have so identified the idea of love with some emotion-based feeling that it has become nearly impossible to recover a biblical view of love.  But with perfect omniscience, God has provided through these and other texts what He means by the term love.  And as we read the quotations above, we discover that it has nothing to do with feelings and emotions.  Certainly, the entire being (including feelings and emotions, but also the will, desires, thoughts, and energy) will be engulfed in the experience and expression of love.  However, we must note that, by using the term love, God intends to convey the idea of obedience to His will, of keeping His commandments, and of doing so, not by constraint but from a genuine desire to please the One who loved us and gave Himself for us.

            When the question is posed, then—“Do I love God?”—the right answer will not come in terms of warm feelings or happy, positive emotions.  For the most part, only atheists and bitter, hardened sinners have completely negative thoughts about God.  Most people find the idea of God to be a comforting concept and tend to think happy thoughts about Him, if for no other reason than a false belief that such thoughts will tend to put them in good stead with Him. (Again, not that emotion will be absent, but emotion is not “love” in the biblical sense in which God uses the term.)

So we might get a more accurate answer (if we are honest) if instead we asked:  “Am I doing God’s will?” or, “Am I obeying God’s Word?”  It would not be far off the mark to suggest that obedience is a synonym for love, or, more precisely, that doing God’s will in the power of His Spirit, and rejoicing to do so, is love.  This, too, is different from keeping rituals, whether they involve attending church, reading the Bible, saying prayers, or other routine religious acts.  No, to love God is to do His will, not in a ritualistic way in order to fulfill some religious obligation, but from a heart that is thankful for salvation and a will that wishes to glorify the Lord.  Certainly, the psalms are filled with examples of emotional expressions (love does not preclude such any more than it includes them as an essential part of the definition).  But genuine God-honoring, Spirit-precipitated emotions follow from love-obedience:  emotion is not the manifestation, demonstration, or proof of sincere love.  What we do and don’t do and our motivation for doing so is the test of our genuine love for God.  Do I do what God tells me to do in His Word?  Do I love Him?


Actions: E-mail | Permalink

Previous Page | Next Page

Grace Bible Church :-: (217) 372-8692 :-: 3900 N Willow Rd Urbana, P.O. Box 303, IL 61803 :-: pastor (at) gbcurbana.com