Honor God Timothy! - Reflections
October 3, 2018 | Didi Bacon
1 John 4:7-14 says:
Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. The one who does not love does not know God, for God is love. By this, the love of God was manifested in us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world so that we might live through Him. In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has seen God at any time; if we love one another, God abides in us, and His love is perfected in us. By this, we know that we abide in Him and He in us because He has given us of His Spirit. We have seen and testify that the Father has sent the Son to be the Savior of the world. (NASB)
Do you remember the occasion when you understood that God sent his son into the world that you might live through him? Can you recall the moment when you submitted to the love of God realizing that Jesus took on the punishment for your sins? I made my pledge of faith at the age of 12. I was baptized into Christ in a swimming pool at the Harare Christian Church in Zimbabwe Africa by my youth minister, Paul Eastwood. It was my faith response to the love of God. The meaning and implication of that moment gain depth and significance more and more as I live the life Jesus gives through the Holy Spirit. The more I have come to understand God’s love, the more I have grown to love God. In college, it rocked my world when I took a class called “The Doctrine of Grace.” There I gained depth to my understanding of Paul’s explanation of the good news in his letter to Romans. It added to the significance of my faith pledge as a 12-year-old. There are two ways to be right with God. The way of law and the way of grace. The way of the law says, “Keep the law, escape the penalty. Break the law, suffer the penalty.” That is fair. Law is fair. But under the law, the fair thing for me is to suffer the penalty, because I am a lawbreaker. I am a sinner. I deserve death. The way of law is not open for me to be right with God. But thank you, thank you God for the way of grace. By grace, God has made a way to be right with Him. A way to have life. The way of grace goes something like this: “The one who kept the law (Jesus) suffered the penalty, so that those who break the law (You and me) may escape the penalty!” Grace is not fair. It is grace! God has made the way of grace open for those who believe. By grace, through faith. I believe that Jesus is the Christ, the son of the living God! Following the pattern of the New Testament, I believe, and I was baptized. Baptism is the occasion that God chose to be the place that we can say this was the point that I went from lost to found, dead to alive, an enemy of God to a child of God. By Grace. Through faith. At baptism. For Good works. We are saved so that we might love as God loves. We might live by His Spirit. It started with God’s love. It comes down to loving God. It means loving others like God in life! Loving God loving people.