Tuesday, March 15, 2011

For God So Loved

In my opinion, this phrase taken from John 3:16 is the key to understanding what the Bible is all about. Here we have the statement that God is, i.e. He exists and is a real person that loves us. Not only does He love us, He desires to have fellowship with us. His desire for fellowship is so much that He sent His only begotten Son to make reconciliation with us and He invites us to have a personal relationship with Him.
In these blogs, I have discussed that there is a difference between having religion by which one attempts to gain favor with God and between having a relationship with God. The Bible states that there is nothing we can do to earn favor with God. “All have sinned and fallen short (Romans 3:23)”. “There is none righteous, no not one (Romans 3:20).” All our righteousnesses are as filthy rags (Isaiah 64:6).” But God has reached down to us by sending His Son to settle the debt between us and Him. All we have to do is receive.
A religion is a set of manmade rules. A relationship is experiencing the presence of another person. When that other person is God this means I can count on Him no matter what the circumstances. I can bring to Him my every concern and every sorrow. I can ask for wisdom and direction in everything I do. In short, I am never alone. I know of no religion that offers this.
There are those that want scientific proof of all this, but the Bible does not go about to prove God, merely stating His existence as in Genesis 1:1. The proof that God does offer is found in the receiving of Him. John 1:12 states that “As many as received Him to them gave He the power to become the sons of God even to them that believe on His name.” In other words, God calls on us to accept His offer of relationship and has promised not to disappoint.
Science fails us in this area. Hebrews 11:1 and following verses tell us why. Science cannot explain to us things that cannot be seen. However, just because things cannot be seen does not mean they do not exist. Jesus mentioned to Nicodemus in John 3 we don’t deny there is a wind because we cannot see it. Even so we don’t deny God because we don’t see Him, because we can see what He does. Most significantly we see God in the changes He makes in people’s lives as they give themselves over to Him in relationship.
I will not say Science cannot give us any evidences for God’s existence. I don’t believe that in order to receive Christ one has to first commit intellectual suicide. However, even if I could definitively prove scientifically to you that the God of the Bible exists there is still a hurdle you have to overcome before you can enter into a relationship with Him. You have to receive Him; i.e. you have to be willing to admit His existence and His right as Creator to everything you are. You need to be willing to have Him involved in your life. It is not enough to accept His existence. We need to receive Him.
Why should we receive Him? This brings us back to John 3:16. We receive Him because He loves us. It is His love that makes the relationship possible. Romans 10:13 states “Whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved”. Call on Him, He will not disappoint.

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