Bethel Baptist Church
Worship Service @ Home
15 May 2022
Service available on Youtube, or as text (below), or for audio see the Podcasts page.
“Lord, help us to love one another like You love us, Amen!”
“A picture of wheat becoming bread – wheat and flour go through a number of processes before becoming bread. So we all need to be patient as the Lord takes us through a lot of stages till we conform to His likeness and become vessels for His use and glory”.
But God demonstrates His own love for us in this: while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.Rom. 5:8
Every time we see the phrase, “But God”, we know it’s going to relate to something good following some kind of mess, sin, or evil that the world has brought about. In this short passage, Romans 5:1-11, we have the phrases – Romans 5:6 “powerless” – Romans 5:6 “ungodly” – Romans 5:8 “sinners” – Romans 5:10 “God’s enemies” – so humanly speaking there is no chance! In the culture of the day, even under Judaism, as we have been told in Romans 5:7: “Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous person, though for a good person someone might possibly dare to die” – a righteous person being a morally upright person and a good person being a benefactor. Dying for enemies was unheard of, so no chance! …
“But God …” There is always hope with God; there is always a way out with God; there is always a way through with God … “But God demonstrates His own love for us” – This is remarkable love; love unheard of; love unimaginable, for God loves even His enemies, so great is His love. There is no merit on our part, rather the opposite, “we have all sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (cf. Rom. 3:23). There is nothing deserved on our part, rather the opposite, we deserve wrath rather than reconciliation (Rom. 1:18-3:20). But God loves us because that is what He is, “God is love” (1 John 4:8, 16), and that is what He does, “God so loved the world” (John 3:16; Eph. 2:4; 1 John 4:9-10) – “We look in vain for an explanation … as in Deuteronomy 7:7: God loved you … ‘because He loved you’” (Thiselton).
How very humbling all this is when we think of people we don’t love; and then when we think of people we don’t love with the same love that we love say the members of our own families with. What! are we to love even our enemies like that? – yes and even more than that for we are to love them with the love of Christ for we read here, “God demonstrates His own love for us …” – it’s His love that is the standard! God doesn’t simply shout down from heaven “I love you” and that’s it. No, He demonstrates, or proves His love for us, by giving His Son up for us, 2 Cor. 5:19: “that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself” as James D. G. Dunn puts it, “the death of Christ … a timeless proof of God’s love.” And we can’t even leave it there for this love must be the measure of all we do, say and think.
What a different world it would be if we all imitated Christ in this way, demonstrating His love. I still believe that the most loving thing we can do for people in our communities and neighbourhoods is to tell them about the love of Christ in dying for them but we might have to show love in so many ways before they listen!
Quote of the week
“If they can see you love them, you can say anything to them”
Arise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord rises upon you.See, darkness covers the earth and thick darkness is over the peoples, but the Lord rises upon you and His glory appears over you. Nations will come to your light, and kings to the brightness of your dawn.Isaiah 60:1-3
Heavenly Father, we worship You for proving Your love for us in giving Your Son and reconciling us to Yourself. Thank You that we now know peace with You and that You have poured Your love into our hearts through the Holy Spirit. Help us to love others like You do in Jesus Christ, Amen.