A Redemptive Love
The love of God, in its essence, is self-giving for redemptive purposes. He says you can take that love, that kind of love by faith.
Alright. Thank you very much and hello again, my dear radio friend. How in the world are you? You’re doing all right today? Well, sure, I wait for you to answer because I know some of you do. And we have our own little thing going, don’t we, you and I? And I ask you a question and you answer and we both know that we’re both there even though we can’t see each other. Thanks for being there on the listening end, and I trust that what we have today from God’s inerrant, infallible, eternal Word, the Bible, may be of blessing and help and inspiration and comfort to you, my beloved friend. I cherish these times together with you. It does something for my own soul to look into God’s words and share it with you, precious friends.
We’re looking at II Peter Chapter 1 and the subject is things that you can add to your own life and personality through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. Now, remember, Peter says that you already have everything you need to be a success as a Christian. “His divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness through the knowledge of Him who hath called us to glory and virtue.” You got it all already at Calvary. He gave it to you. Everything you need to be a success as a Christian is yours. What implements all of these is the Word of God. Exceeding great and precious promises that by these, promises that is, by these you might be partakers of the divine nature have escaped the corruption that is in the world through unbridled desire.
So you’ve already got everything you need to be a success and you can cash in on it through the Word of God hidden in your heart and mind and in the computer of your mind that cranks things out under the proper stimulus, partakers of the divine nature. God’s very personality profile reduplicated in you, believer, the fruit of the Spirit, the result of the Holy Spirit being in control is love, joy, peace, long suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance. The profile of the divine nature reduplicated in you and in me who were originally candidates for nothing other than judgment in hell. By the grace of God in the wonderful working of His Holy Spirit and through the Word of God in our lives, His very nature can be reduplicated in our hearts and lives. That’s wonderful, isn’t it? Praise God for His matchless grace and His love and His mercy to us.
Now, then Peter says there’s something you can do by faith. Remember, every contact you have with God, every meaningful and productive contact you have with God has to be by faith. “Without faith, it is impossible to please Him for He that cometh to God must believe that He is and that is a rewarder to them that diligently seek Him.” Every contact, he that cometh to God must, didn’t say “may,” Every contact that you and I have with Almighty God if it’s to be productive and helpful has to be on the basis of faith which we exercise in him. Remember the little acronym FAITH, Forsaking All I Trust Him. You let go of every other claim and every other hope and every other dependents and you launch yours, you abandon yourself to the will of God, that’s faith. And you come to God on that basis. Now, when you do, Colossians 2:6 says: “As you have therefore received Christ Jesus, the Lord so walk you in Him,” that means the way you got saved is the way you live by faith. Three times in the New Testament, you have an Old Testament verse quoted, “The just shall live by faith, faith to be saved and faith to be kept, and faith to keep on in the work of God.” Faith can be used to make a change in the person you are. So I said, beside this giving all diligence add to your faith virtue, knowledge, temperance, patience, godliness, brotherly kindness, and Calvary love.
Now, we’ve gone through that whole list and I did a little review here in five minutes just to bring some of us up-to-date who may have joined the group just lately. And now we’re talking about this word “love.” In the King James Version, it says “charity.” Actually, that’s a word that is the same as John 3:16, “God so loved the world,” Greek word “agape,” love, Calvary love, divine love, sacrificial love, the God so loved the world kind of love. And you can add by faith the quality of divine love in your life.
Dr. Bill Bright taught me this many years ago as we were talking together and he told me the story of a morning when he was praying about a person who really disturbed him because our Brother Bill felt that this man was undermining him in the work and that happens sometimes. You know, there’s politics in religious works just like in any other human relationship. So he was praying about him, maybe praying against him. Who knows? But as he was, the thought came to him — two thoughts. He said to me, I came to him. One was God said, “Why don’t you let him be My problem instead of yours?” And he said he — stopped short and said, “All right, Lord, as of now he’s your problem. In Jesus’ name, I hand him over to you.” The second thought that came to him was, “Why don’t you take love for him instead of resentment. By faith, take love for him instead of resentment.” And he said again, “I prayed, ‘Lord, by faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, I take love for this man instead of resentment,'” he said, with a smile, “Today, we’re good friends.”
You can by faith add Calvary love to your heart. So it has to begin inside. It doesn’t begin with changing the relationships. Husband and wife not getting along together and some of the counselors say, “Well you have to talk it all out. You have to talk it all out.” Well, I believe in communication. If you’re not willing to say anything, you’re not going to really get very far. I understand that. But to drag out all of your discouragements and your disappointments and your resentments and your hurts and parade them all out there in front of each other, it will result in a good old argument before you’re through.
Love has to start inside not with a lot of talk and not with a lot of dialogue and not with negotiation and all of that. Calvary love and your relationship with other people on that basis start inside. So Paul says in Romans 5:5, “The love of God is shed abroad in our heart by the Holy Ghost who is given unto us.” So divine bestowment. You see, Paul says in Titus 3 that the natural state of the unsaved person is full of hate. He said we ourselves also were sometimes deceived and living in malice and envy, hateful, and hating one another. That’s Titus 3:3. “We ourselves also were foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving different lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful and hating one another.” But after the kindness and love as your word “agape,” the Calvary love of God, our Savior, toward man appeared not by works of righteousness which we have done but according to His mercy. He saved us by the washing of regeneration and the renewing of the Holy Ghost. “The love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Spirit.”
It starts there and he says you can add this by faith. Do you have courage enough to try that on something where you have nothing perhaps but hurt and resentment or downright hatred? This is a very big step to take and it’s an immediate offense if somebody comes to you and says, “You shouldn’t hate him. You have to love him,” you know. And your immediate response will be, if you’re polite about it, you’ll say you don’t understand. And if you’re not polite, the response will be something quite stronger than that.
Advice that we give to other people is not going to change our feelings, is it? You’re crying about something and someone comes and pats you on the shoulder and says, “Don’t cry. Don’t feel bad.” Does that help to ease the pain? No, it doesn’t. If somebody telling you, “Don’t cry,” that doesn’t take away the reason why you’re weeping. You’re scared, stiff, and somebody pats you on the shoulder and says, “Don’t be scared.” Does that help you not to be scared? Probably not. Why? Because the cause of that feeling has not been removed. All right. So he says you can take love by faith. Add to your faith Calvary love.
Now, we already talked about brotherly love. That was the word that preceded it so we’re not going to get into that part of it again. But let’s talk about this matter of divine Calvary love. What kind of love was it that God manifested toward you and toward me? “Herein is love, not that we loved God,” says John in his first epistle, “but that He loved us and sent His son to be the propitiation for our sins. ” “To Him that loved me and gave himself for me,” said Paul. The love of God is wrapped up in His giving of Himself and of the Lord Jesus Christ to be God’s Passover lamb bearing the sins of all the world as He hung there upon Calvary’s cross. God visiting human nature. God coming down the stairways of the stars and taking on a human body. Paul says in Philippians 2 that, “Our Lord Jesus didn’t think that being in the form of God was a thing to be grasped at, but emptied Himself and became obedient, took upon him the form of a servant and became obedient under death, even the death of the cross wherefore God hath highly exalted him and given him a name which is above every name. That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,” and so on.
Now, the love of God in its essence is self-giving for redemptive purposes. The love of God in its essence is self-giving for redemptive purposes. “God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten son that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” Now, he says you can take that love, that kind of love by faith.
Are you willing to take hold of that in the sensitive areas of your own life? Know my giving you advice isn’t going to make you feel any different. I know that. But as you bow in earnest and sincere prayer and by faith you commit that area of difficulty or resentment or hurt or hatred, you commit that to God. That feeling that wells up whenever somebody’s name is mentioned. You can’t help it. By faith you commit that to God and you take by faith. Instead of that resentment, you take love, Calvary love, by faith just as you took salvation when you became a Christian. Oh, it works.
We’ll get at this again the next time we get together.
Lord Jesus, be with us today and give us love, divine love, in our hearts. Amen
Until I meet you once again by way of radio, walk with the King today and be a blessing!
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