“True love for God must be in the heart–or else there is no grace there whatever. If a man does not love God, then he is not a renewed man. Love for God is a mark which is always set upon Christ’s sheep, and never set upon any others.
I have no right, therefore, to believe that I am a regenerated person–unless my heart truly and sincerely loves God. If I have been regenerated, I will not be perfect, but this one thing I can say: “Lord, You know all things. You know that I love You!” When by believing we receive the privilege to become sons of God–we also receive the nature of sons, and with filial love we cry, “Abba, Father!”
There is no exception to this rule! If a man does not sincerely love God–then he is not born of God. As the sun must give forth its light–so must a soul that has been created anew by divine grace, display its nature by earnest affection toward God. You are not born again, unless you love God. Sincere love to God is indispensable!”
– Charles Spurgeon
“If anyone does not love the Lord, he is to be accursed!” – 1 Cor. 16:22
Martin Luther called it the heart of the Bible. Spurgeon called it the soul, head, foundation, and cornerstone of the Gospel. To miss it is to miss the central idea of God’s Word.
Up to now (Romans 1-3:20), Paul has shown the overwhelming evidence in God’s court that Man is hopelessly guilty.
This is the verdict of Man.
“Is the wound forever incurable? No; blessed be God, there is way laid open for us!” – Matthew Henry
This is the scene in the movie; the sudden turn/twist: the last minute intervention; riding into the wedding or execution.
Something unexpected happens that changes everything.
The Righteousness of God comes…
“21 But now the righteousness of God apart from the law is revealed, being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets, 22 even the righteousness of God, through faith in Jesus Christ, to all and on all who believe. For there is no difference; 23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24 being justified freely by His G.R.A.C.E.through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, 25 whom God set forth as a propitiation by His blood, through faith, to demonstrate His righteousness, because in His forbearance God had passed over the sins that were previously committed, 26 to demonstrate at the present time His righteousness, that He might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.”
The Verdict is overruled = NOT GUILTY
1. Apart from the Law= you can’t be good enough/keep laws/rituals (emphatic position)
2. Justified by His Grace = “made right/innocent” before God by His grace. Scandalous!
3. Through faith in Jesus for all who believe = Too good to be true? Trust in Jesus. It really happened, he died for me! It is finished/done!
This is the BOMB dropped; the ripple effect – the event that changed everything
This is where “Mercy & truth have met together; Righteousness & peace have kissed.” (Psa. 85:10) It’s all because of Jesus on the Cross!
God prefers love to Him & love to your neighbor above religious lip service. Worship with no heart disgusts Him.
Do you call the Sabbath a delight?
“If you turn away… From doing YOUR pleasure on MY holy day, And call the Sabbath a delight,… And honor Him, not doing your own ways, Nor finding your own pleasure, Nor speaking your own words, Then you shall delight yourself in the LORD,”– Isa. 58:13-14 (Emphasis mine)
Where does God want the focus? On Him or your service? He desires you to actually WANT to worship, not HAVE to. If you want to worship God, then you will definitely find joy in the Sabbath!
God is not a means to an end – Serving God is satisfying in itself.
Far too often we have the incorrect response to God, myself included. Micah 6:8 is the correct response. He lays out what is required of God from His followers. This is is what’s expected:
“He has shown you, O man, what is good; And what does the Lord require of you, But to do justly, To love mercy, And to walk humbly with your God?” – Micah 6:8
Micah 6:8 is the RECIPROCAL RESPONSE TO GOD’S GRACE. It is a lifestyle of justice, mercy, and humility. It is the by-product of loving Jesus.
Let us all strive to embody His lofty requirements!
God sent Jeremiah on a field trip to a potter’s studio where he saw an artist forming & fashioning clay as he saw fit. The end result was a beautiful, useful pot.
This simple, but powerful analogy illustrates how God shapes the lives of nations & individuals.
With total authority, God patiently & purposefully uses circumstances & people to mold us into what He desires.
He forms us into His image, we do not form Him into ours!
To be in God’s will is to be on His wheel.
When we face difficulties, often we ask, “God, why is this happening?” But we must remember to trust the hands of the Potter. His way is best, even when we can’t understand it. He knows how hot to make the kiln and how long to keep us in there. Without faith, it is impossible to please God! (Heb. 11:6)
Jeremiah 18 is a wonderful reminder that God loves to remake marred vessels. He continually sanctifies us. Without the Potter, the clay can do absolutely nothing! Yield & submit to the Potter; His ways are best.
He is in the people-molding business. God looks at that marred lump of clay and sees the potential pot yet to be formed in the future.God can use whatever He wants in order to turn you into an honorable vessel for His service; pain, relationships, promotions, & demotions.
This may seem depressing – but when you really think about it, it’s VERY HOPEFUL!
God doesn’t give up on you.
He knows what He is doing,.
He will create the best version of you that you will allow Him to create!
That is a powerful message!
It’s really a story about the Potter’s Grace!
When you see a wonderful & beautiful vase, you don’t think that the vase made itself: you marvel at the Maker!
If this blessed you, please Like & Share!
For this teaching in its entirety, IM me your email address and I would be happy to share it!
Remember CliffsNotes? I’m not sure if they still even have them now or not. Kids probably just use Google. But anyways for those too young (or for those who actually DID do their homework), CliffsNotes were the abbreviated version of literature classics. If you didn’t read the actual thing, you could buy the CliffsNotes and get the gist of it.
Are you getting Jesus or the CliffsNotes?
“The right understanding of Jesus Christ is essential to understanding many other vital truths, particularly the gospel and salvation. There’s no good news apart from Christ.” – John MacArthur
Let me give you just one verse. It is short and easy: “I and the Father are one.” – John 10:30.
I was at a restaurant once and they poured my Ginger Ale over a ton of ice. I could hardly taste it. It was gross, really. I have harsh words for anyone who waters down the Gospel to make it easier or more user-friendly. Its gross, really.
MacArthur also admonishes those who make their faith a “private” matter: “If your faith is ‘a private thing,’ it’s not the Christian faith.” I have heard this defense as I’m sure you have too.
Nothing about the Great Commission sounded “private” to me.
“And there is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among people by which we must be saved [for God has provided the world no alternative for salvation].” – Acts 4:12 (AMP)
Don’t make that private. Make it public!
Don’t settle for an abridged rendition of Jesus. Demand the full version!