December  2018

 

 

God’s Love Through You

Requires Holiness

Requires Cleansing

 

 

The title of this article shows us the connection between being cleansed of our sins by God, and our being able to love others with the love of God.  We must remember that all people are capable of showing love, but there is a distinction between showing our love and showing God’s love through us. 

 

Having said that, many who will read this article will disagree with me because they always rely on the fact that all of their sins are already forgiven.  They believe they have already been cleansed and are already vessels of God’s love.  They believe this because of the following verse.

 

Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.

Romans 5:5

 

However, Romans 5:5 is not talking about the love of God flowing through us for the benefit of others.  It is referring to the love that God has poured into us for our personal benefit.  It’s His love for us that gives hope. 

 

For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.

Jeremiah 29:11

 

Those who disagree with me are not aware that there is more than just an eternal perspective to the Scriptures.  There is also a here and now aspect to the application of the truths the Bible teaches.  Let’s look at a couple of passages that address this here and now requirement concerning God’s love flowing through us to others.  We will begin with a passage from 1Thessalonians.

 

12 And may the Lord make you increase and abound in love to one another and to all, just as we do to you, 13 so that He may establish your hearts blameless in holiness [moral purity] before our God and Father at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ with all His saints.

1Thessalonians 3:12-13

 

It is the Lord who makes us increase in love and abound in love.  And He does this for a purpose,  He wants our hearts blameless in holiness.  What is holiness?  According to Strong’s Concordance, G42, holiness is 1. God’s majesty, and 2. Moral purity.  Please note Paul is addressing Christian behavior.  Therefore, in our passage from 1Thessalonians holiness refers to moral purity in the here and now.

 

Paul continues by addressing sexual behaviors that Christians should not be practicing.  He call these behaviors uncleanness as opposed to holiness, and makes the point that God did not call us to these kinds of behaviors.  He further makes the point that we should not take advantage of and defraud our brothers and sisters in the area of sexuality.

 

1Finally then, brethren, we urge and exhort in the Lord Jesus that you should abound more and more, just as you received from us how you ought to walk and to please God; for you know what commandments we gave you through the Lord Jesus. For this is the will of God, your sanctification [purification]: that you should abstain from sexual immorality; that each of you should know how to possess his own vessel in sanctification [purity] and honor, not in passion of lust, like the Gentiles who do not know God; that no one should take advantage of and defraud his brother in this matter, because the Lord is the avenger of all such, as we also forewarned you and testified. For God did not call us to uncleanness, but in holiness. Therefore he who rejects this does not reject man, but God, who has also given us His Holy Spirit.

1Thessalonians 4:1-8

 

Perhaps you noticed that it is not the will of God that you continue to participate in any form of uncleanness after you are born-again.  He says it is your sanctification.  What is sanctification?  Strong’s Concordance, G38 defines sanctification as 1. Consecration, purification, and 2. The effect of consecration: sanctification of heart and life.  Another way of describing sanctification is the process of purifying our heart and life in the here and now.

 

Therefore, since we say we are Christians we should allow God to cleanse and purify us from all sexual uncleanness still in our life.  If we have stopped participating in the sin, we have taken the first step, but we have not yet allowed God to cleanse and purify our heart and life of the problems created by the sin.  We are still suffering from those unforgiven problems.

 

Paul speaks to this in his letter to the Corinthian church.  He says to not touch what is unclean, and cleanse yourself of the sin.  In other words, stop participating in the sin even a little bit, and ask God to forgive and cleanse you of all the problems that came with the sin.  Do not assume that you were forgiven of the sin in the here and now when you received Jesus as your Savior, because it did not happen. 

 

16 … For you are the temple of the living God. As God has said: “I will dwell in them And walk among them. I will be their God, And they shall be My people.” 17 Therefore “Come out from among them And be separate, says the Lord. Do not touch what is unclean, And I will receive you.” 18 “I will be a Father to you, And you shall be My sons and daughters, Says the Lord Almighty.” 7:1 Therefore, having these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.

2 Corinthians 6:11-7:1

 

Paul adds a little more to his admonition to us Christians in Philippians 2.

 

14 Do all things without complaining and disputing, 15 that you may become blameless and harmless, children of God without fault in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world, 16 holding fast the word of life, so that I may rejoice in the day of Christ that I have not run in vain or labored in vain.

Philippians 2:14-16

 

Paul says to do all the things God asks you to do without complaining and trying to justify yourself.  You cannot justify sinning with God.  Yes, God understands why you are doing what you are doing, but He will never approve of what you are doing.  He is not a respecter of any person, not even you.  You don’t get a free pass to continue sinning.  It is your choice to continue sinning, not His.  You will still suffer the consequences and wage or penalty for your continued sinning.  If you choose to complain and dispute with God about your behavior instead of changing it, you won’t become a child of God without fault.  You’ll never be a bright light for God.

 

Therefore, make it a goal to be cleansed and purified by your God in your here and now life. Ask Him to make you a child of His that is without fault.  It can be done, but it requires that you cooperate with your God.  The best part is that because of the cleansing you will establish your heart in holiness.  You will remove all the barriers in your heart that prevented you from loving others with the love of God.  You will increase in using His love for others.

 

12 And may the Lord make you increase and abound in love to one another and to all, just as we do to you, 13 so that He may establish your hearts blameless in holiness [moral purity] before our God and Father at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ with all His saints.

1Thessalonians 3:12-13

 

Let’s focus on this increase of God’s love through you for others.  Why is this increase so important?  Let’s look at an example.  Have you ever been asked to witness to others?  Most of us have, but not everyone will follow through and actually do the work.  Why is this?  Is it fear that you will be rejected?  Sure it is. The fear is a barrier that prevents you from showing the love of God through you to others.  So, how do you get to the point where you can share God’s love for others?  How do you remove the problems in yourself that are preventing the flow of God’s love through you?  2Timothy 2:19-21 speaks directly to this.

 

19 Nevertheless the solid foundation of God stands, having this seal: “The Lord knows those who are His,” and, “Let everyone who names the name of Christ depart from iniquity.” 20 But in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and silver, but also of wood and clay, some for honor and some for dishonor. 21 Therefore if anyone cleanses himself from the latter, he will be a vessel for honor, sanctified and useful for the Master, prepared for every good work.

2Timothy 2:19-21

 

These verses, in short, tell us that each of us Christians should depart from iniquity or the wrong conditions in our life.  And, that anyone who chooses to cleanse himself from the dishonor, the iniquity or wrong conditions in his life will become a vessel useful and prepared for every good work for our Lord.

 

Our example is that of being fearful of rejection if we witness our belief in Jesus Christ.  So, according to the verses from 2 Timothy, we must first choose to cooperate with God in the removal of the fear, our dishonor, from our heart.  Determining to be brave and fight the fear is not God’s answer to our problem.  Jesus shed His blood as payment for our redemption from all sin, from every problem we have

 

All unrighteousness is sin

1John 5:17

 

Anything in your life that is not right according to God’s standards, whether behavior or condition, is considered to be sin. So, any problem you have, which includes the fear in our example, is a sin and is therefore confessable to God.

 

If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

1John 1:9

 

1John 1:9 says that when we choose to confess our problem of fear to God, that He is faithful to forgive us, and cleanse us of the fear and all the problems the fear has created in our life.  Then we can ask God to give us boldness to do His work.  In other words, the barriers preventing us from witnessing our love for Jesus Christ will no longer exist in us.  We will begin to experience a freedom that we didn’t know we could have.  And, according to 2 Timothy 2:21 we will have become prepared for every good work that fear would have prevented us from doing for the Lord.

 

Sure, there will still be people that will reject you.  God never said that working for Him will be a bed of roses without thorns.  However, when you are cleansed of the problems in your heart, you are prepared to do God’s work, and the sting of rejection will not cause you to shy away from doing His work anymore.  You will be able to show people God’s love anyway.  And, you will be more focused on the victories for God that are at hand.

 

So, being cleansed by God results in becoming holy in your living, which results in God increasing the flow of His love for others through you.  May you be abundantly blessed as you diligently apply God’s cleansing to your own life.    

 

 

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