Part 2 – The Love of Advent
As believers we are all thankful that the Lord God has given each of His children – through the indwelling of His Spirit within us, and through His Word – the confident expectation or hope of a promised eternity with Him. But this raises a deeper question: Why would the Lord even want to give a sense of hope to rebellious and spiritually dead sinners who are actually enemies of Him and His Holy, Righteous, and Perfect nature? The answer is found in Ephesians 2:4-5 –
But because of His great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy,
made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in
transgressions - it is by grace you have been saved.
The Lord gives us a future confident hope because of His great love for us. The approach I took in understanding how great the love of God is in choosing to send His Son to Earth as a newborn baby in order to save us, was for us to think about the extent of that love – how far did the Lord God go to show us His love. As a springboard I spoke about how far people will go to show their love towards a girlfriend/spouse. Some, as we saw, “would walk five hundred miles, and then walk five hundred more, just to be the man who walked one thousand miles to fall down at their loved one’s door”.
How far did the Lord ‘walk’ to show how great His love was/is/always will be for His elect children?
Jesus left the throne room of Heaven and became one of us in order to procure our salvation. He put on flesh (the incarnation) and felt everything we have felt and experienced all that we have to experience, yet without sin; but then suffered like no other human has or will ever suffer in order to pay our debt of sin. He was rejected, mocked, beat, spat upon, whipped, nailed to the cross, had all the sins and guilt of the sins of the elect placed upon Him, and probably the worse part (and I failed to mention this) – had His very own Father turn His face away from Him. He suffered the ultimate rejection – from His own Father. But thank the Lord He defeated death and rose from the dead for our sin and salvation!
But one other aspect of His love that I found to be fascinating was the amazing fact that the Lord didn’t ‘love’ us because He had to, or needed to love us in order to ‘complete’ Himself. The Triune God is in need of nothing – not even our love – so, the proof of His great love for us (besides dying for us!) is that the Lord chose to love us according to His own good pleasure and will. The Lord doesn’t need us, but rather wants us, which is far greater. Need implies weakness, and since the Lord God is omnipotent, omniscient, and sovereign, He is not in need of anything from us. So, His choice in loving us and saving us, just proves again how amazingly large and generous His love is to we vile and rebellious sinners.
So, if you ever have times (and we all do) when we wonder if the Lord really loves us, or if we have behaved or performed well enough to warrant His love, just remember that the Lord needs nothing from us; He chose us according to His good pleasure and will; Jesus died for us; and He wanted us to be a part of His family. That should make Christmas all the more comforting and encouraging….we have a Savior and King that loves us that much!