Proposition: The secret to spiritual success in the Christian’s life is to embrace, and live by the concept, that it is love, not Law, that frees the soul from the penalty, pain, pollution, and power of sin, thereby enabling the believer to enjoy the love of God, and victory in the Lord Jesus Christ.
Observation: Someone has said that every successful person has been gripped by one driving force. The concept of love, not law, will one day prove to be the driving force that griped the soul of every saint.
While the Law is declared to be “holy,” and the commandment, “holy, just, and good”, the Law is limited in what it can, and cannot, do. “Wherefore the law is holy, and the commandment holy, and just, and good” (Rom. 7:12). Because of the limitations of the Law, in order to keep the Law, and fulfil its demands, the heart must be compelled by love.
The origin of compelling love is God the Father, made possible by God the Son at Calvary, and made functional by God the Holy Spirit as a spiritual fruit.
God the Father. “And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us” (Rom. 5:5).
God the Son. “For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly” (Rom. 5:8).
God the Holy Spirit. “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, 23 Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law” (Gal. 5:22).
It is imperative that the heart of the Christian learn to love the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. We can love each member of the Trinity by knowing, understanding, embracing, and believing all that the Bible teaches about them.
That there is such a concept as the love of God is specifically taught in Scripture. God’s love is not a theory, or a romantic ideal, it is spiritual reality.
The love of God can be passed over by having the heart of a Pharisee. “But woe unto you, Pharisees! For ye tithe mint and rue and all manner of herbs, and pass over judgment and the love of God: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone” (Luke 11:42).
The love of God is not found in the heart of the unbeliever. “But I know you, that ye have not the love of God in you” (John 5:42).
Through the ministry of the Holy Spirit, freely given, the love of God is shed abroad in the hearts of those who believe. “And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us” (Rom. 5:5).
It is possible to be persuaded to believe that nothing, and no one, shall be able to separate the believer from the love of God. “For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, 39 Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Rom. 8:38-39).
The love of God forms part of Paul’s apostolic benediction to the church in Corinth. “The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Ghost, be with you all. Amen” (2 Cor. 13:14).
Prayer must be made asking the Lord to direct the heart into the love of God. “And the Lord direct your hearts into the love of God, and into the patient waiting for Christ” (2 Thess. 3:5).
The love of God is found in the heart of the person that keeps God’s word. “But whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in him” (1 John 2:5).
The love of God, for the individual can be perceived in the Person and work of the Lord Jesus Christ. “Hereby perceive we the love of God, because he laid down his life for us: and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren” (1 John 3:16).
“And can it be that I should gain
An interest in the Savior’s blood?
Died He for me, who caused His pain—
For me, who Him to death pursued?
Amazing love! How can it be,
That Thou, my God, shouldst die for me?
Amazing love! How can it be,
That Thou, my God, shouldst die for me?”
The lack of the love of God in a person’s life is confirmed by a hardness of heart towards those in need. “But whoso hath this world’s good, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels of compassion from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him?” (1 John 3:17).
The love of God has been manifested toward “us”, toward “us who believe”, toward the elect, in that God sent Christ into the world. “In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him” (1 John 4:9).
The love of God, simply defined, is this: that we keep His commandments. “For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous” (1 John 5:3).
The sentimental, the emotional facet of love will flow from gospel obedience. First there is obedience, then will come the emotion. It can be no other way, for sin destroys spiritual emotions.
Having been persuaded of the love of God, having seen the love of God manifested, having enjoyed the love of God in the heart, the believer has a holy responsibility to keep himself in the love of God, while looking for mercy unto eternal life. “Keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life” (Jude 21).
Based on the Doctrine of the Love of God, let the heart sing unto the Lord, for He is good. Let the heart sing about the love of God, as George Beverley Shea did.
“The love of God is greater far
Than tongue or pen can ever tell.
It goes beyond the highest star
And reaches to the lowest hell.
The guilty pair, bowed down with care,
God gave His Son to win;
His erring child He reconciled
And pardoned from his sin.
O love of God, how rich and pure!
How measureless and strong!
It shall forevermore endure
The saints’ and angels’ song.
When hoary time shall pass away,
And earthly thrones and kingdoms fall;
When men who here refuse to pray,
On rocks and hills and mountains call;
God’s love, so sure, shall still endure,
All measureless and strong;
Redeeming grace to Adam’s race—
The saints’ and angels’ song.
Could we with ink the ocean fill,
And were the skies of parchment made;
Were every stalk on earth a quill,
And every man a scribe by trade;
To write the love of God above
Would drain the ocean dry;
Nor could the scroll contain the whole,
Though stretched from sky to sky.”
To stop the heart from believing and enjoying the love of God, the Enemy of Man’s Soul will come, directly or indirectly, to destroy the good gospel seed from finding fertile soil to grow.
The Enemy knows how to destroy the gospel seed in the soul.
Spiritual destruction comes by sowing tares among the wheat. “Another parable put he forth unto them, saying, The kingdom of heaven is likened unto a man which sowed good seed in his field: 25 But while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat, and went his way. 26 But when the blade was sprung up, and brought forth fruit, then appeared the tares also. 27 So the servants of the householder came and said unto him, Sir, didst not thou sow good seed in thy field? From whence then hath it tares? 28 He said unto them, An enemy hath done this. The servants said unto him, Wilt thou then that we go and gather them up? 29 But he said, Nay; lest while ye gather up the tares, ye root up also the wheat with them. 30 Let both grow together until the harvest: and in the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, Gather ye together first the tares, and bind them in bundles to burn them: but gather the wheat into my barn” (Matt. 13:24-30).
Spiritual destruction comes by letting the cares of this world cause the soul to become unfruitful. “Hear ye therefore the parable of the sower. 19 When any one heareth the word of the kingdom, and understandeth it not, then cometh the wicked one, and catcheth away that which was sown in his heart. This is he which received seed by the way side. 20 But he that received the seed into stony places, the same is he that heareth the word, and anon with joy receiveth it; 21 Yet hath he not root in himself, but dureth for a while: for when tribulation or persecution ariseth because of the word, by and by he is offended. 22 He also that received seed among the thorns is he that heareth the word; and the care of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, choke the word, and he becometh unfruitful. 23 But he that received seed into the good ground is he that heareth the word, and understandeth it; which also beareth fruit, and bringeth forth, some an hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty” (Matt. 13:18-23).
Spiritual destruction comes through the sin of pride and overconfidence. “Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall” (1 Cor. 10:12).
Spiritual destruction comes by cultivating a besetting sin, a “darling sin”, as the Puritans used to call them. “Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled; 16 Lest there be any fornicator, or profane person, as Esau, who for one morsel of meat sold his birthright. 17 For ye know how that afterward, when he would have inherited the blessing, he was rejected: for he found no place of repentance, though he sought it carefully with tears. 18 For ye are not come unto the mount that might be touched, and that burned with fire, nor unto blackness, and darkness, and tempest. 19 And the sound of a trumpet, and the voice of words; which voice they that heard intreated that the word should not be spoken to them any more: 20 (For they could not endure that which was commanded, And if so much as a beast touch the mountain, it shall be stoned, or thrust through with a dart: 21 And so terrible was the sight, that Moses said, I exceedingly fear and quake:) 22 But ye are come unto mount Sion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels” (Heb. 12:15-22).