and who has also put his seal on us and given us his Spirit in our hearts as a guarantee. [2 corinthians 1:22]
“behold, what manner of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are.” [1 john 3:1a]
love is what i see pouring out of our text today. God’s love given to us. to be clear, let’s go over what manner of love he has given us.
- holy God created man to show his own character and glory.
- man rebelled against God, falling short of his glory.
- man’s rebellion earned him nothing but death and seperation from God.
- God still loved man and had planned a way to bring man back to himself.
this was the plan…
- God sent his one and only Son to the world for the very ones who had rebelled.
- his Son, Jesus, lived a sinless life, only to willingly die a brutal death on a cross to pay the penalty of death that man had earned, to satisfy the wrath of holy God, and to create a way for sinful man to be in the presence of God.
- to those whom God has called his own, though completely dead in their sin, God breathed life, opened their blind eyes to his righteousness, gave them faith to follow his ways, permanently branded them with his stamp of ownership, and put in them his very Spirit so that he could live in and with them always.
and he did all of this to show his glory.
today, as you think of being permanently branded by the King, rest assured that this is an irrevocable promise fulfilled in Christ Jesus. no matter how we mess up, we cannot lose it. no matter how hard we work, we cannot earn it. we have no more ability to work our way to “beloved” status than a dead man has to take a breath. believe the promise. believe Christ’s work is enough.
and so we don’t try and turn back to our old self and reject God’s call, he has guaranteed our calling with his Spirit. to think that a holy God, righteous, and wrathful against sin, could also be loving and personal enough to actually live in a broken, sinful, rebel like me is overwhelming. it fills me with gratitude and joy, which grows my desire to know him more, which creates a desire to follow his ways, and which drives me to show the rest of the broken world that they too can have a relationship with him.
so church, let us press on to know Him. (hosea 6:3)
Father, thank you for your perfect plan of redemption. thank you for calling me yours, branding me with your love, and filling me with your Spirit. forgive me for trying to earn my way into your family. i confess that Jesus’ blood is enough, help my unbelief. help me to walk in step with the Spirit today. amen.
~ arwen eastman