Sep 19

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In this last article under the heading, “For God so loved,” the first words of the “golden text” of the Bible, we will look at the ultimate evidence of God’s love. Of course, the text reads: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life” (John 3:16).
When the text says, God “gave his only begotten Son,” it is pointing directly to one event, which is both the lowest and the highest event in human history. In the rejection of Jesus, when the Jews cried out, “Crucify him, crucify him” (Luke 23:21), and Pilate uttered the words, “see ye to it.” (Matt. 27:24), the voice of man had reached its lowest point in history. When the nails were finally driven into the hands and feet of Jesus, humanity had reached its lowest act. Yet, in the blood that was shed from this body of Jesus, the Son which God gave, we have the greatest act of love in the history of mankind! So, look at the cross and see Jesus nailed upon it and understand the event; in one act, the lowest act in human history and the greatest love mankind has ever witnessed.
How many sermons, how many articles, how many books, yet, even though we look upon it with love, we fail to understand it fully. If only we could visit heaven and hear as the Godhead formulated the plan of sending one of their own to be clothed in humanity; flesh and blood and all the desires as he would be tempted in all points as we; but even at its beginning, how do we mere humans fathom the thought, of God dwelling among us? Nevertheless, John wrote: “And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth” (John 1:14). Yes, there it is, God began to dwell in flesh and among us! Join to this the thoughts expressed in Paul’s words: “Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross” (Phil. 2:6-8). Do we really understand the words, “thought it not robbery to be equal with God?” The Greek word is “harpagmos” and means: “to be held fast, retained.” So, just what was this member of the Godhead giving up? But, let us keep in mind, the context of Philippians chapter two is about “unreserved self-sacrifice,” “unselfish giving.” Just what did the second member of the Godhead give up in making “himself of no reputation,” and taking “upon him the form of a servant,” and being “made in the likeness of men?” We know the final result, the context of Philippians chapter two is about “unreserved self-sacrifice,” “unselfish giving,” and this is something Deity could not do as flesh and blood were required! As this would end as he: “became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross!” Whatever parts we do not understand; we do understand, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”
Look at the cross, as this is where Philippians chapter two takes us: “became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.” There is the greatest act of love! But, what does this love awaken in us, what does it produce in us? If God’s love does not create love in us for God, then, we have failed. Get this now, God has not failed, we have failed! John wrote these words: “For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous” (1 John 5:3). Keeping of the commandments of God is the evidence of our love of God! Just how else would a person show his love for God? Love, like faith, is an invisible thing; it is an internal quality that can only be evidenced that it exists by external action! Hear James on this: “Even so faith (love, frw), if it hath not works, is dead, being alone. Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith (love, frw), and I have works: shew me thy faith (love, frw) without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith (love, frw) by my works” (James 2:17-18).
So, as we conclude this series of articles, at least for now; a sense of failure hovers over this humble writer. How can an uninspired writer ever do justice to such a subject? Maybe the woman taken in adultery will help us just here. Do you remember what Jesus said to her? Hear his words and think of yourself: “Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more” (John 8:11). Do you think this woman ever forgot these words? Do you think these words changed her life? Well, this is what the words: “For God so loved” says to each of us, “Go and sin no more!” Go and keep my commandments! If we don’t get this, we just do not understand: “For God so loved!”

— Frank R. Williams

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