Like many, I have no problem believing that God exists. I believe the Bible is God’s Word and I believe that Jesus died for the forgiveness of sins. But I struggle to believe that I could be a part of something so wonderful. In this I know I am not alone. Many Christians struggle to believe in the love of God reaching out to them. Surprisingly, among those who struggle are some of the greatest ambassadors of the faith.
The heart of our problem is that the devil is a very good accuser. He is quite capable of maximizing our weakness and at the same time making us blind to the good at work in us. This blindness is magnified, in that we see God’s grace being available to others, yet we fail to see that same grace available to us.
Yet that is the very essence of Salvation. It is by grace and not by merit. The truth is that no one is ever good enough to work their way into Heaven. We are saved by grace through faith. This salvation is a gift that God gives freely to all who would believe in the name of Jesus Christ.
Therefore the evidence of salvation is not found in what we do, but rather who we are. If we are saved, we will have the Spirit of God dwelling within us. The evidence of God’s residence is seen in our attitude towards other Christians. It is the love we have for one another. (John 13:34-35)
The world we live in is known for its hatred. A world without Jesus hates others. Any and every difference is justification for unredeemed humanity to cast stones. The nations hate each other. The so-called races hate each other. The generations hate each other. The classes hate each other. And so the list goes on. People in the workplace hate one another. Even in common interest groups, there is disharmony and distrust. We live in a bitter and twisted world that sings of love and peace and yet does everything but.
The regenerated Christian goes against the grain of this world. The Christian blesses, while the world curses. The Christian freely forgives, while the world holds onto bitterness and resentment. The Christian is generous, the world is anything but.
Yet the greatest contrast we have with this world is the love we have for one another. In the Kingdom of God, every soul is precious and we rejoice with the angels over every soul that is saved.
This joy, this hope, this love, does not begin in us. It begins at the throne of God. It begins with God who is the epitome of love. This love is evidenced in the Cross, where Jesus steps down from His Heavenly throne, takes on the form of a human, and ultimately dies in our place, bearing the punishment we deserved.
If Christ so loved us, that He would willingly suffer in our place, how can we say Christ is in us and love for one another be absent from us.
Jesus said, “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, as I have loved you, that you also love one another. In this, all will know that you are My disciples if you have love for one another.” John 13:34-35.