Sunday, December 23, 2012

Christmas: Divine Love

Gavin Peacock preached a wonderful sermon today on the familiar verse John 3:16. It was a presentation of the gospel that fell on my ears like refreshing water. This simple, yet infinitely profound, gospel never gets old. 

What keeps ringing in my ears and heart from the sermon is the thought that God, infinitely holy and righteous, could love a world and a people so stained in sin and so bent on self-rule. A world who rejects his rightful rule and His revelation and interpretation of life and reality. I include myself in this world - me, who am constantly more concerned for my own happiness and recognition than God's glory, who can become bitter and resentful in spite of the great forgiveness God has offered me,  who can become so irritable, impatient and unkind with my toddler and husband in spite of God's clear command to be patient, kind, and meek with them. Oh, I may not be as bad as Hitler, Lanza, you fill in the blank; but they are not the standard (what a low standard that would be). A perfectly holy God is the standard, and against that I (and you) fall infinitely short. 

So this is the wonder of Christmas: That this perfect, good, righteousness God could love sinners and give His infinitely valuable Son to take the penalty for sin in their place and in exchange give them His own righteousness. Not only this, but in John 17 Christ says that God the Father loves those who have embraced Christ as Savoir  even as He loves God the Son. Can you get your head around how immense that love must be? Now that we know something about the unmeasurable span of the universe, we may understand why the Psalmist said: "For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his steadfast love toward those who fear him." (Psalm 103:11)

I encourage you to take a listen to the whole sermon here, especially if you have never understood the big deal of this familiar Bible verse or of Jesus Christ for that matter. 

 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.(John 3:16)

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