We are the product of the Gospel we have been taught.
That in many cases has become lopsided, watered down, tepid in the way in which it has been taught in some place to be acceptable and pleasing to everyone.
The Gospel is the Good News and it does announce Jesus as Lord of our salvation.
God does, however, demand some action from us.
Just as John the Baptist had the cry of :
“Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”
We are called to submit to that Lordship and kingdom.
We have tilted the balance towards the belief in God’s ‘unconditional’ love and in fact that is our language it is not a word in the bible which in its original language has a predominance of nouns but not adjectives.
Scripture does set God’s love on who He elects, chooses.
In the OT that was the entire people of Israel.
In the NT that was on His entire Ekklesia, His church.
It is quoted both by Jude and Jesus that :
We must remain therefore in God’s love.
God values obedience and therefore we must be attempting to be obedient in preference to sacrificing.
God in His wisdom has given His truths in His word.
Having a good understanding and knowledge of exactly what He says scripturally gives us integrity and helps us to equalise the lopsided balance again and the love of God shapes our lives.
We want to be liberated from legalism and religiosity but not at the expense of being disobedient and out of God’s favour, His love.
Jesus is always ambassador for what His Father says and He will convict us of that right and holy voice.
Jesus, now Lord and King calls us to an intimate relationship with Him but it also requires us to bow to and submit to become clothed in Him.
Jesus captivates us and becomes a glorious obsession who we cling to as He holds us in place as He lifts us out of our self obsessive, independent, rebellious existence.
“For this is how much God loved the world—he gave his one and only, unique Son as a gift. So now everyone who believes in him will never perish but experience everlasting life.”
This ‘agape’ love, which translates most closely to:-
As cared for, gave attention to, acted upon, responded to the need of.
Illustrated in the Good Samaritan story is the love he bestows on us and would have us bestow on others.
This describes what is unconditional in this love.
There are conditions to remain in this love; there is a cost and the currency we pay is:
To repent of sin.
Believe what God did through the cross and resurrection.
Forgiveness of sins have to be asked for from our heart.
Remaining in God’s love requires obedience to His word.
The misunderstanding of the concept of unconditional has skewed the balance of the Gospel truth for some of us.
There is an urgency for us to act on the part we have responsibility towards.
There is, however, no discrepancy in the Gospel being for everyone.
The ‘world’ in John’s gospel there represents Humans.
That God’s love for each of us is more than the worst thing any of us has done.
He searches for each of us.
He reveals Himself and convicts.
His patience for us as we seek him or rebel is immeasurable.
He waits and rejoices when His lost children return or are found.
His salvation plan has been since before the world began.
His destiny for us is an eternity in heaven.
The illustration is of the balance loaded towards our redemption in Jesus, love, and the cross and there being a second responsibility to equal the balance for us to remain in believing, repenting, knowing God’s words. The rainbow represents the hope in faith, the spectrum atmosphere that of the Holy Spirits work.
Six scriptures that come to mind:
“For you are a people holy to the Lord your God. The Lord your God has chosen you to be a people for his treasured possession, out of all the peoples who are on the face of the earth.”Deuteronomy 7:6 ESV
“It was not because you were more in number than any other people that the Lord set his love on you and chose you, for you were the fewest of all peoples, but it is because the Lord loves you and is keeping the oath that he swore to your fathers, that the Lord has brought you out with a mighty hand and redeemed you from the house of slavery, from the hand of Pharaoh king of Egypt.”Deuteronomy 7:7-8 ESV
“And have you forgotten his encouraging words spoken to you as his children? He said, “My child, don’t underestimate the value of the discipline and training of the Lord God, or get depressed when he has to correct you. For the Lord’s training of your life is the evidence of his faithful love. And when he draws you to himself, it proves you are his delightful child.””
Hebrews 12:5-6 TPT
“keep yourselves in the love of God, waiting for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ that leads to eternal life.”Jude 1:21 ESV
“Jesus replied, “Loving me empowers you to obey my word. And my Father will love you so deeply that we will come to you and make you our dwelling place. But those who don’t love me will not obey my words. The Father did not send me to speak my own revelation, but the words of my Father.”
John 14:23-24 TPT
“But now, independently of the law, the righteousness of God is tangible and brought to light through Jesus, the Anointed One. This is the righteousness that the Scriptures prophesied would come. It is God’s righteousness made visible through the faithfulness of Jesus Christ. And now all who believe in him receive that gift. For there is really no difference between us, for we all have sinned and are in need of the glory of God. Yet through his powerful declaration of acquittal, God freely gives away his righteousness. His gift of love and favour now cascades over us, all because Jesus, the Anointed One, has liberated us from the guilt, punishment, and power of sin!”
Romans 3:21-24 TPT
The song Immeasurably More. Thelukasband