Psalms 103:17-19 ESV
“But the steadfast love of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting on those who fear him,
and his righteousness to children’s children,
to those who keep his covenant
and remember to do his commandments.
The Lord has established his throne in the heavens,
and his kingdom rules over all.”
Now, this is not just Old Testament teaching. This is New Testament and New Covenant teaching, too. For, who are those who fear the Lord? They are those who honor, respect, revere, and obey him. They are those who take God and his word seriously, and who do not ignore them, but who put the Word of God into practice in their daily lives. For they are doers of the word and not hearers only who, after they have heard the word, walk away and forget what it teaches them about how they are to live their lives.
Now, we hear a lot these days about God’s unconditional love. Well, he did love the entire world of people enough to send his only begotten Son Jesus Christ to die on a cross for our sins. And he loved us while we were still sinners. And we did nothing in ourselves to deserve his love. He gave it to us freely, which is what his grace is all about.
But then we have these Scriptures which speak of God’s love as conditional, when it is speaking of the intimate love he has for those who are truly his by genuine God-given faith in Jesus Christ. If we obey his commandments, it shows that we love Jesus/God. And we who love him are loved by God the Father and God the Son (Jesus Christ), and thus they make their home with us. And if we keep our Lord’s commandments (New Covenant), we abide in his love. But if we don’t obey him, then we don’t love him, and we do not abide in his love, and so we do not have eternal life in him.
And then we read that we know that we have come to know Jesus/God if we keep (obey) his commandments (New Covenant). So, if we claim to know Jesus Christ, but we don’t keep his commandments, then we are liars. So, we don’t know him. And if we love (prefer, long for) the world and the things in the world – the desires of the flesh and of the eyes and the pride of life – then the love of the Father is not in us. And Jesus is the source of eternal salvation to all who obey him. So there are conditions to his love when it speaks of his intimate love for his people.
So, just because God loved the whole world, and while we were yet sinners Jesus Christ died for us, this does not mean that we are in a love relationship with the Lord, and him with us, if we do not love and obey him, in practice, and if sin is still what we practice and not righteousness. We can’t just make a profession of faith in Christ, done deal. We must walk now according to the Spirit and not according to the flesh, for if we still make sin our habit (our practice), then we do not know God and we do not love him and we do not have eternal life with him.
[Matt 7:21-23; Lu 9:23-26; Jn 8:51; Jn 10:27-30; Jn 14:15-24; Jn 15:10; Rom 2:6-8; Rom 6:16; 1 Co 10:1-22; Php 2:12-13; Heb 3:1-19; Heb 4:1-13; Heb 5:9; Jas 1:21-25; 1 Pet 1:1-2; 1 Jn 2:3-6,15-17; 1 Jn 3:4-10,24; 1 Jn 5:2-3; 2 Jn 1:6]
An Original Work / February 21, 2013
Based off Luke 9:22-25
Jesus, Son of God,
Died for us on a cross.
Anyone who would come to Him
Must deny himself and follow.
He must take up his cross daily;
Die to sin and self each day.
Father, God above,
Loved us so: gave His Son.
If you want to save your old life;
Keep on sinning, follow your ways,
You will lose your life forever;
Hope of heaven gone away.
Spirit of our God
Gives us life in God’s Son.
Nonetheless, if you die to self;
Forsake your sin; follow Jesus,
You will live with God in heaven,
And forever praise His name!