CHRIST-LIKENESS (Part 2)

​[Please note that this post is the continuation of a series titled “CHRIST-LIKENESS“] 

The Father’s Love
Jesus lived by a love that did not originate in this world. All the works He ever performed, the miracles, rebukes, teachings, prayers, all were compelled by this love. The love was rooted in the Father and was expressed without any hindrance because Jesus submitted totally to the Father. The Father’s Love was expressed through the Son. 

Jesus was completely dependent on the Father in His earthly Ministry. By himself, the Son could do nothing except what He saw the Father do (John 5:19, 5:30, 8:28). The Father’s Will was His mission and the Father lived it through the Son. When the Son fulfilled the Father’s Will, he became the embodiment of that Love for all who come to God. 

Paul spoke about “…THE LOVE OF GOD which is IN CHRIST JESUS…” (Romans 8:39) and John wrote concerning this love: “Love not the world, neither the things in the world. If any man loves the world, THE LOVE OF THE FATHER is not in him.” (1 John 2:15). 

Empowered to Love 

The Apostles could never attain to this Love by being physically with Jesus. The same is true of us today. No man can take the Love of God by himself. It is exclusively a gift of God. Like the Apostles, we need to be empowered to walk in this Love. The Holy Spirit is the empowerment, he is the Master living within the saints and energizing them in Love. Paul understood this and wrote that “…the Love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by Holy Spirit” (Romans 5:5). 

The Love released powerfully by Holy Spirit into the heart of the saints becomes the propelling force in the believers’ life, propelling them into the Father’s ageless purpose in Christ. This is what Paul referred to saying that “…the love of Christ constrains (urges, drives, directs, controls) us” (2 Corinthians 5:14). 

Love At Work

When Love is at work in the saints, it is expressed towards both God and man. Firstly, this Love makes the believer respond to God by sharing in His Nature. John noted that “we love Him because He first loved us…” (1 John 4:19). 

Secondly, it makes the believer love other believers deeply. In fact, anyone who claimed to love God but did not have love for other believers was considered with great suspiscion because Love is the believers’ way. John noted again “…if you love the Father, you would love His children also” (1 John 4:20-21; 5:1). This is not the kind of love that exists only between members of a particular Christian denomination or sect. It is the True Love that embraces all who call upon Jesus out of a pure heart (2 Timothy 2:22). 

Thirdly, the Love makes the believer love those who are not in the faith unconditionally, with a desire to see them come to the Lord Jesus and lay down their lives. This is found throughout the new testament. 

Love is the Hallmark in the Kingdom of God. In this Kingdom, we walk by faith and not by sight (2 Corinthians 5:7) and it is impossible to please God without faith (Hebrews 11:6), but faith works by Love (Galatians 5:6). 

In addition, hope which is a product of weathering the storm (hardships and tribulations in believers’ life) is preserved to receive its expectation by love. This is a paraphrase of Romans 5:3-5: “More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.” (ESV). 

The seeming greatest works are brought to nothing if not inspired or compelled by this Love. This is seen plainly in 1 Corinthians 13:1-3: 

“If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing.”

Whatever originates with God originates with Love because God is Love

Love was the Life Jesus lived while He walked this earth. It was Divine Love, the Father’s Love and this is the Life of Jesus lives through the saints in the earth today. 

Continued in the next post

Kindly go here for the previous post in this series. 

Related post: “Love” (a poem).

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