Posted by: dhkrause | April 28, 2019

No Greater Love

1 Peter 3_18 (2)

There is no greater love than that revealed by the gospel of Jesus Christ.  He suffered and died for us, “the just for the unjust,”  so that by believing in Him we can have eternal life abiding in His love and glory.

1 Peter 3:18 (NKJV)
For Christ also suffered once for sins, the just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive by the Spirit.

In John 10, Jesus describes himself as the good shepherd who voluntarily lays down his life for the sheep, predicting both his crucifixion and his resurrection:

John 10 (NKJV)
11 “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd gives His life for the sheep. … 15 As the Father knows Me, even so I know the Father; and I lay down My life for the sheep. … 17 “Therefore My Father loves Me, because I lay down My life that I may take it again. 18 No one takes it from Me, but I lay it down of Myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This command I have received from My Father.”

John 15_13 (2)

Jesus declared in John 15:13, “Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends.”  He calls us friends if we walk in His love.

John 15 (NKJV)
Love and Joy Perfected
“As the Father loved Me, I also have loved you; abide in My love. 10 If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love, just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love.

11 “These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full. 12 This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. 13 Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends. 14 You are My friends if you do whatever I command you. … 16 You did not choose Me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit, and that your fruit should remain, that whatever you ask the Father in My name He may give you. 17 These things I command you, that you love one another.

In John 3, Jesus describes the greatest gift of God’s love, that we receive by faith.  Receiving this supreme gift by faith, we are inspired with thankful hearts to live for Him who died for us.

John 3 (NKJV)
13 No one has ascended to heaven but He who came down from heaven, that is, the Son of Man who is in heaven. 14 And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up, 15 that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life. 16 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. 17 For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.

John 3_16 thank you (1)

A card available from International Bible House (www.ibhgospel.com) describes this amazing gift of God’s love, and our rightful response:

“Thank You” expresses warm gratitude when someone has done something for us. Do you know the glorious thing that God has done for you?

Despite the fact that we have turned from God and gone our own way, He loved us enough to send His Son, Jesus Christ, to die for us.

Why was that even necessary?  Our rebellion (our sins) against God had separated us from Him and we were helpless to do anything to change that. But God’s wonderful gift of forgiveness is possible because Christ paid the penalty for our sins. All who believe in Him will have their sins forgiven and everlasting life.

Have you trusted Jesus Christ as your personal Saviour?  Why not take the step to thank God for what He has done?  It will make all the difference in your life.

But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory
Through our Lord Jesus Christ. 1 Corinthians 15:57 (NKJV)

Romans 12 describes our reasonable response to God’s gift of eternal life through Jesus Christ:

Romans 12 (NKJV)
I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.

Romans 12_2 (2)

Paul describes a yet greater transformation in 1 Corinthians 15: “But now Christ is risen from the dead, and has become the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. … For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.”

1 Corinthians 15 (NKJV)
20 But now Christ is risen from the dead, and has become the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. 21 For since by man came death, by Man also came the resurrection of the dead. 22 For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ all shall be made alive.

51 Behold, I tell you a mystery: We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed— 52 in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. 53 For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. 54 So when this corruptible has put on incorruption, and this mortal has put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written: “Death is swallowed up in victory.”

55 “O Death, where is your sting?
O Hades, where is your victory?”

56 The sting of death is sin, and the strength of sin is the law.
57 But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

Hebrews 12_2

Hebrews 12:2 declares that Jesus “for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross.”  Hebrews 2:10-11 reveals that part of that joy was “in bringing many sons to glory”… “He is not ashamed to call them brethren.” 

Hebrews 12 (NKJV)
The Race of Faith
Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

Hebrews 2 (NKJV)
Bringing Many Sons to Glory
10 For it was fitting for Him, for whom are all things and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons to glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings. 11 For both He who sanctifies and those who are being sanctified are all of one, for which reason He is not ashamed to call them brethren.

There is no greater love than that which Jesus describes in His prayer for believers in John 17:22-23:

And the glory which You gave Me I have given them, that they may be one just as We are one: I in them, and You in Me; that they may be made perfect in one, and that the world may know that You have sent Me, and have loved them as You have loved Me.

David Krause, dhkrause@neteze.com, 4/28/2019, https://compellinglove.net/

Photo credits:
(1) https://www.christianityeveryday.com/index.php/bible-verse-photo-1-peter-318/
(2) http://deborahhbateman.com/daily-bible-reading-greater-love-john-1513/john-15-13/
(3) http://ibhgospel.com/shop/message-cards/thank-you/
(4) http://www.middletownbiblechurch.org/romans/romans12.htm
(5) https://heartpathjournal.net/2015/10/29/you-are-his-joy/


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