Truth is not only
violated by falsehood;
it may be equally
outraged by silence.
“This is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.” (John 17:3, KJV)
Although Adam and Eve had rebelled against God, He did not turn His back on the human race: He did the opposite. He pursued us. And He gave us promise after promise of a coming Saviour.
Through the line of Abraham He called out Israel to be His very own nation. He wanted them to be a light to the rest of the world so that all the other nations would be drawn to Him too. Justice, peace, prosperity and upliftment are always the lot of a nation that lives in obedience and faithfulness to the true God. And it was that way in the beginning with Israel.
God likened His relationship with them to that of a marriage bond, because it was grounded in love. That’s the only way a relationship with God will work. Only when genuine love, commitment and faithfulness become part and parcel of the picture, does a relationship blossom and grow into something joyful, fulfilling and worthwhile. Selfless sacrifice, one for the other, then becomes the natural outflow.
A husband’s role in marriage is to support, protect and uplift his wife to the extent that he considers her welfare to be his welfare. In other words, he becomes one with her. And.God refers to Himself in the Old Testament as the husband of His people, Israel (Isaiah 54:5, Jeremiah 31:32).
Under the New Covenant, Christ is the bridegroom of His people, the church (c/f Matthew 9:14-15, 25:1-13, Revelation 19:6-8). In line with this, in Ephesians 5:22-32 the apostle Paul uses marriage as an analogy of the church’s relationship to Christ. Just as a wife will have no problem in submitting to a husband who lays down his life for her, so in the same manner does the Christian willingly submit to Christ.
Christianity is a not a religion. It’s an eternal bonding, forged in love, with the One who laid down His life for us.
God is our Creator and the provider of all that we have. So it is only right and proper that we should serve, worship and obey Him. But He wants this to stem out of our love for Him, not out of duty. His greatest commandment is that we should love Him with all of our hearts, souls, minds and strength:
“… The first of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord: And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment.” (Mark 12:29-30, KJV)
This isn’t an unreasonable demand. Nor is it one-sided. He started the ball rolling by loving us first. And we are astounded that this perfect deity of unimaginable holiness, purity and light could actually love us, bearing in mind our faults and failings. Yet when we were at our most repulsive, He stretched out His hand to lift us up out of the cesspool of self-centeredness and sin that was our way of life.
God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we
were yet sinners, Christ died for us. (Romans 5:8, NASB)
We love him, because He first loved us. (1 John 4:19, KJV)
But it doesn’t stop there. Although we may have thought differently, the Bible makes it clear that it is God who seeks us out, not the other way around.
“No man can come to me [Christ], except the Father which hath sent me draw him …” (John 6:44, KJV)
Just as God chose Israel to be His called out nation, so He has chosen each and every one of us who comes to Christ for salvation, to be part of His called out, universal body, the church. And Christ assures us:
“All that the Father gives Me shall come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will certainly not cast out.” (John 6:37, NASB)
The following article may be of interest to you: The Glory of God in Christ Jesus
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