Oh, The Love That Sought Me

Dear BPCWA worshipper, Today is Easter wherein we celebrate the resurrection of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!  His victory over death means that we too will have our bodily resurrection one day.  Christ’s life, death, and resurrection completed the work of salvation for both the Old and New Testament saints.   In the weeks before Good Friday, we looked at the doctrine of election and how God irresistibly drew us to salvation.  How should we respond as we commemorate Christ’s finished work today? 

Responding with greater love, devotion, and worship of our Lord.  With the recent revisit of our doctrines of salvation, we must understand that these are not mere impersonal theological doctrines to tickle our minds or for debates about.  Understanding the doctrine of election must draw our hearts to worship, adore, and serve our Living Savior with greater fervency and zeal.  When we tell others about Christ’s work for us, we must not lose sight that we are speaking about He who is the Almighty God who created the world, rules heaven and earth, and will rule for all eternity.  He could command legions of angels to fight on His behalf when He was arrested, unjustly tried, and cruelly crucified, but He meekly endured it all to obey His Father’s will for His creature’s salvation.  He was perfectly obedient for “Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered” (Heb 5:8).  When we read about the angels that met His disciples on the morning of His resurrection, we must realise that Christ commands the angels who hasten to do His bidding and minister to Him.  The very angels adored and worshipped the Christ in heaven who was sent to be my substitute. This is what the Mighty God, our Lord, our Saviour, did for us. 

Responding in gratefulness and praise.  We did nothing to deserve the love which God set upon us.  We were His enemies, condemned, and inevitably headed for hell.  Yet God sought us, drew us, and saved us.  We turned in repentance to God only because God regenerated us from being dead in sins to turn to Him.  We believed not because we were more morally inclined, more seeking, humbler, nor more willing to submit to God than the unbeliever that we speak to during evangelism.  If we were present at Christ’s trial, we would have participated in the crowd there that reviled Christ.  If not for God who sought us out and drew us to desire and want Him and the salvation He offered, we would have absolutely no interest in Him, nor would have agreed with the Gospel preached to us.  It is only God’s grace that has opened our eyes, caused us to see, gave us a new heart that yearned after Him, and caused us to humble ourselves before Him.  This is the new birth which Christ describes as “The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit.” (Joh 3:8).  Without God’s work of grace in our hearts, the scales would still cover our spiritual eyes in blindness.  As the hymn goes, “I once . . . was blind, but now I see”.  Every man would remain in unbelief and rebellion against God and be doomed for eternity if God had not elected us to be saved. Whenever we see how unbelievers simply will not accept salvation, and would instead choose their own way and condemnation, we are really seeing the picture of ourselves if God did not choose to save us.  Oh, how we must look lovingly into His face and say, “Why did you choose me?”.  This is the gracious LORD that has saved us and delivered us from that condemnation. 

Responding with a life of holiness and service.  Today, we celebrate Christ’s resurrection.  This great God, who came in human flesh, redeemed you.  Genuine salvation is an act of grace that transforms the heart, just as when God transformed Saul into Paul.  Notice that when the Apostle Paul was saved, his immediate response to his Saviour was “Lord, what wilt thou have me to do?” (Act 9:6).  The new heart is one that desires to express gratitude and love to Christ by wanting to be and do what his Saviour desires of him.  This is because he now understands how great his debt is.  The response to this immense grace is not to continue in sin.  As Paul says to the Roman Christians, “What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound?”  Christ suffered much, even at the hands of wicked men, to live a perfectly obedient life for your salvation.  Paul tells us what we must now do “God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?” (Ro 6:1-2).  If you believe that Christ’s resurrection is worth celebrating (and it most certainly is), then you must also resolve in your life “that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.  5 For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection” (Rom 6:4-5).  We may have our struggles and moments of weakness, but every truly saved child of God will acknowledge and agree in his heart with this need to walk as a new man in Christ.  This is the only right response of a Christian – love your Lord and Savior with all your heart, and show your love by living every part of your life to glorify your Lord and Saviour.  But remember that even if we did so, as the Apostle Paul rightly points out, it is but our reasonable service, “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service” (Rom 12:1).  This is because Christ has done infinitely more for you.  So, while we may have sought salvation initially to escape the penalty of hell, the child of God now has a heart that seeks to not only to be free from the corruption of sin but to increase in his love for His Saviour.  This season is a good reminder of our great salvation.  In doing so, let us not just attend the church services (which are needful and which we ought to do), but also remember that our love for God is reflected by our life for God.  Wherein we have fallen, let us “now yield your members servants to righteousness unto holiness” (Ro 6:19). 

We may be quick to remind our children not to waste “hard-earned money”.  But let every child of God know that our salvation is purchased with an infinite price by God for us – paid with the blood of Jesus Christ, the God of creation and the whole universe.  Salvation is free to us, but it is not cheap!  We now have a life to live.  Nothing that you leave or forsake for His sake will ever be as much as what Christ left for our salvation.  It is sad to hear some having the idea that since God is omnipotent and sovereign, then He does not need us to accomplish His work and so we can neglect our duties and responsibilities to Him as His will will be accomplished anyway.  Well, let us remember that God did not need to give you salvation too, but He set His love upon you to bring you salvation.  The only right response then as His child is the response of love – to return our lives to Him.  We are saved to bear a holy witness for Him through a life of holiness and consecration.  We must now use all which He has given us to serve Him as our God.   The Good Friday and Easter Sunday remembrances must stir anew in us a love and devotion to our Lord and Savior as we recall the infinite debt of love we owe. 

Yours in our Lord’s service,