Many passages of scripture speak of God’s love for mankind. Jesus stated, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life” (Jn. 3:16). Paul wrote, “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Rom. 5:8). John also wrote, “In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins” (1 Jn. 4:10). What God did, in sacrificing “His only begotten Son,” was certainly a supreme act of love.
That act of love on God’s part is the basis of the gospel, His plan for man’s redemption from sin. “Moreover, brethren, I declare to you the gospel which I preached to you, which also you received and in which you stand, by which also you are saved, if you hold fast that word which I preached to you- unless you believed in vain. For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures,” (1 Cor. 15:1-4).
It is by this gospel message, truly a message of God’s love for man, that we are called to salvation. “…because God from the beginning chose you for salvation through sanctification by the Spirit and belief in the truth, to which He called you by our gospel, for the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ” (2 Thess. 2:13-14). The gospel message holds the key to our salvation. Paul wrote, “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek” (Rom. 1:16).
God gave His Son as a sacrifice for the guilt of your sins. His act of love for you calls for a loving response from you. The most effective way you can demonstrate your love for God, in response to His love for you already demonstrated in the gospel, is by obeying the gospel. You do that by dying to your life of sin as you’re buried with Christ in baptism and raised up from that watery grave reborn, forgiven, saved in Christ (Rom. 6:3-5).
God has abundantly demonstrated His love for you through the gospel message. How have you responded to His love? Have you obeyed the gospel? Read Paul’s description of the final day of judgment: “…when the Lord Jesus is revealed from Heaven with His mighty angels, in flaming fire taking vengeance on those who do not know God, and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. These shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power,” (2 Thess. 1:7-9).
God expects your obedience and holds you accountable for it. Are you ready to respond to God’s love for you by obeying the gospel?
Gary L. Hutchens