Posts tagged ‘God loves Himself’

The Parable of the Sower

All who have read the Bible are familiar with this parable in Mat 13. It principally states four different outcomes in the delivery of the Gospel. These four outcomes are as follows

1. The Gospel is not received at all by the person
2. The Gospel is received, but the man has no root in himself (v21) i.e. the word of God does not become the foundation of his life. He is not standing on the rock that is Christ and so he falls away rather than being sanctified in affliction.
3. The Gospel is received but this person attempts to serve two masters: money and the Lord. But as much as this person thinks he is in Christ, he is deceiving himself because the branch cannot bear fruit unless it abides in the vine i.e. Christ.
4. The good soil alone is the Christian example, it must be understood here that the good soil is not good by itself; you may want to consider the example of John the Baptist. It was prophesied of him to make straight the way of the Lord in John 1:23 and so John preached a Baptism of Repentance. But repentance is the work of the Holy Spirit in the life of a believer (Acts 11:18 Acts 5:31). So just as a farmer treats the soil to receive the seed. The Spirit readies the foreordained believer to receive Christ.

There are many who read the parables as plainly as the morning newspaper but for some reason these same people cannot come to terms with what Mat 13:10-15 plainly says. It seems so hard for these seemingly Bible believing Christians to understand that God hates the reprobate and loves the Church. As blasphemous as this may sound: the school of thought that says God hates sin but loves the sinner, attempts bring God to the feet of the unbeliever in believing that God’s love is subject to human volition in being reciprocated. Contrarily scripture states that we love because he loved us first i.e. had it not been for His love, we would not have the capacity to love Him beyond our flesh. 1 John 4:19 is therefore seen as matter of ‘cause and effect’ i.e. the absence of the effect means only the absence of the cause.

To oppose this many people may bring scripture showing that Jesus received and ate with sinners but it is interesting to note that Jesus detested the seemingly righteous Pharisees of his time. Since the Bible is internally consistent, an interpretation of scripture is only valid if it harmonizes with the rest of the Bible. Hence when Christ says that that He came to call sinners and not the righteous: so speaking in the light of Romans 3:23, it means to say He came to calls only those who had been prepared for Him in repentance. Take the Parable of the Pharisee and the tax collector, scripture ridicules the self righteousness of the Pharisee saying in Luke 18:11 that the Pharisee’s prayers were said to himself not God.

John 12
24 Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit.25 He who loves his life loses it, and he who hates his life in this world will keep it to life eternal.26 If anyone serves Me, he must follow Me; and where I am, there My servant will be also; if anyone serves Me, the Father will honor him.

The response of the servant who was given one talent in the parable of talents can also be seen in the context of parable of the sower.

Mat 25
24 “And the one also who had received the one talent came up and said, ‘Master, I knew you to be a hard man, reaping where you did not sow and gathering where you scattered no seed.25 And I was afraid, and went away and hid your talent in the ground. See, you have what is yours.’
26 “But his master answered and said to him, ‘You wicked, lazy slave, you knew that I reap where I did not sow and gather where I scattered no seed.27 Then you ought to have put my money in the bank, and on my arrival I would have received my money back with interest.28 Therefore take away the talent from him, and give it to the one who has the ten talents.’

Mat 13 (from the parable of the sower)
12 For whoever has, to him more shall be given, and he will have an abundance; but whoever does not have, even what he has shall be taken away from him.

From Mat 13:12 we see the Godly reproach upon the wicked servant in Mat 25. Notice the phrase: ‘whoever has’ and ‘whoever does not have’, it does not say ‘whoever has MUCH’ or ‘whoever has little’. It becomes only the question of having or not having. So when we see this in the context of the Parable of the Sower and the Parable of the Talents, the ‘has’ and ‘does not have’ becomes a question that is answered in Mat 13:11.

Mat 13
11 Jesus answered them, “To you it has been granted to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it has not been granted.

2 Timothy 1
9 who has saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace which was granted us in Christ Jesus from all eternity,

So we see from 2 Tim 1:9 that the calling does not materialize unless it has been granted unto us in Christ according to His own purpose. To the antinomian the call to Christ is a call to a grace separate from the Law but that is not so because it is a call to obedience unto the Moral Law of God. The Gospel actually gives the believer a new heart to walk in statutes of God and follow His Law (Ezek 36:26-27). What the antinomians refers to as the weakness of the Law, was in actual a weakness of the people not the Law (Heb 8:7-8). The Law was meant to convict transgression and so sin got it power to kill from the Law but when man is born of the Spirit as stated in John 3:5 he receives the salvation of Christ and comes to life fulfilling the requirements of the Law (Moral not Ceremonial) in obedience because he now has a new heart upon which is written the Law of God.

Romans 8
3 For what the Law could not do, weak as it was through the flesh, God did: sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and as an offering for sin, He condemned sin in the flesh,4 so that the requirement of the Law might be fulfilled in us, who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.

We therefore come to understand that in the very beginning God chose a people unto Himself and blessed them consecrating them as priest whom He would love and bring them to know Him and worship Him forever. We see that such a blessing can only come out of grace, His grace. In Eden man disobediently took a righteousness of self that is contrary to the righteousness of God. This self righteousness of man, has seen man see himself differently from the way God sees him, which has been in effect ever since the fall. Like the parable of the laborers in the vineyard who grumble against their Master concerning their wages, so too we see man grumble in regards to the doctrine of Sovereign Election because it makes no sense according to the self righteousness he has come to possess. God’s ways are not man’s ways so the Bible says and so the ‘parable of the sower’ tells us how the Sovereignty of God extends to the elect that He draws them through the Holy Spirit’s sanctification, out of the corruptions that has become of their nature and selves. This is the power of Almighty God that even angels look on (1 Peter 1:12) to see His Salvation at work in His elect.

The Purpose of His Salvation!

There are many who feel that Salvation is just about God loving them and nothing more. Well, God loves His people, I agree but when people think of their “Christ given Salvation” purely as a reason to love and pamper themselves all the more, it makes me feel like I smell a rat. I have heard people pitch the Gospel saying to just about anyone that “God values them so much that He offered His Son to die in place of them and some go to the extent of adding that God loves you more than Jesus”. Well I don’t question the Salvation of such people because that is between them and God but I do question their knowledge of scripture.

Do you know what was foreordained that the people of God would carry with them? They carry His Name!

Numbers 6:27 (Old Testament)
“So shall they put my name upon the people of Israel, and I will bless them.”

John 17:12 (New Testament)
While I was with them, I kept them in your name, which you have given me. I have guarded them, and not one of them has been lost except the son of destruction, that the Scripture might be fulfilled.

Now these are only a few scripture among many to show you that the people of God carry with them the name of God. You must understand now that any harm that comes against the people of God or anything that soils God’s own people, this comes against God Himself and God therefore acts against that primarily because it tarnishes His Name, which His people bear.

Ezek 36:22
“Therefore say to the house of Israel, Thus says the Lord GOD: It is not for your sake, O house of Israel, that I am about to act, but for the sake of my holy name, which you have profaned among the nations to which you came.

If the above scripture makes you feel less important than God, then I have hit the nail on the head. God wants us to love Him more than we individually love ourselves and it is in this light that we need to look at the scripture below.

Matthew 19:29
And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or lands, for my name’s sake, will receive a hundredfold and will inherit eternal life.

Matthew 24:9-10
“Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and put you to death, and you will be hated by all nations for my name’s sake.
And then many will fall away and betray one another and hate one another.

Mark 13:13
And you will be hated by all for my name’s sake. But the one who endures to the end will be saved.

Mat 19:29, shows us what kind of love God is asking from us, for those who like to loll and lavish in God’s love I wonder how they will do if they are exposed to the test of Mat 24:9-10. Human nature is such that it likes flattery and we like to get mushy with people who we feel are honestly appreciating us, the funny thing is, we want that even from God and His Gospel too. God has no reason to flatter man and the Gospel seen in the right light is God centered, not man centered. I am a little cautious when I come across people who say they are lavishing in their blessing, because though I don’t question their salvation, I don’t exactly agree with their picture of God. I feel people like these will only see God as He is, when they get over themselves.

From the scripture I have shown you, are you able to tell that God loves Himself more than He loves man? Do you think I am blaspheming? Well if I was blaspheming, I would be blaspheming you not God because I am showing God in His exalted state and you and me in our pitiful state.

Isaiah 33:10
“Now I will arise,” says the LORD, “now I will lift myself up; now I will be exalted.

Ezek 38:23
So I will show my greatness and my holiness and make myself known in the eyes of many nations. Then they will know that I am the LORD.

From the above two scriptures, would you see God tolerating such statements if it came from men? A few of the many examples showing God punishing man’s pride and any form of man’s self exaltation are mentioned below. Yet we see God making these same statements Himself

Isaiah 10:12
12 So it will be that when the Lord has completed all His work on Mount Zion and on Jerusalem, He will say, “I will punish the fruit of the arrogant heart of the king of Assyria and the pomp of his haughtiness.”

Jeremiah 48:29
29 “We have heard of the pride of Moab–he is very proud– Of his haughtiness, his pride, his arrogance and his self-exaltation.

If you say that God has every right to exalt himself then I too will agree, so considering the facts that God exalts Himself and expects His people to love Him more than they love themselves, then can we not safely conclude that God loves Himself beyond everything, especially when you consider the extent He goes to for His own namesake?

Frankly, I am not being Galileo in 1611 telling you that the world is round. The idea of a Sovereign, Almighty and All-Sufficient God, my dear friend is what the believing Church has held on to right from the beginning.

We therefore need to remember that unlike the world religions where it is the people themselves who are highlighted by their religious works more than their god/gods, we Christians are called to know that we are a God centered people, where we don’t even matter and our Salvation and Perseverance is assured only because He chose us as a people before the foundation of the world to glorify His name.

1Chronicles 16:35
Say also: “Save us, O God of our salvation, and gather and deliver us from among the nations, that we may give thanks to your holy name and glory in your praise.

1Samuel 12:22
For the LORD will not forsake his people, for his great name’s sake, because it has pleased the LORD to make you a people for himself.

John 1:12-13
But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God,
who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.

So remember the next time you worship, it is not about you or me, it all about God: Father, Son and Spirit.

John 4:23
But the hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father is seeking such people to worship him.

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