Summary: Forgiveness results in love for God, resulting in faith towards God, resulting in wanting to obey God, resulting in receptivity to the deeper teachings of God, resulting in unbroken fellowship with God.
Forgiveness--> Love--> Faith--> Obedience--> Teaching--> Fellowship with God
If we wrongly think we didn’t need much of God’s forgiveness we won’t love God very much. As a result our faith will be weak; we won’t want to obey Him and our knowledge of the deeper teachings of Christ will be minimal; and we will buy into many false teachings.
1 Jo 4:19 We love Him, because He first loved us.
Notice this scripture begins with “We love Him”. We Christians seldom want to focus on what that really means or how it is evidenced. We prefer to spend all our time on the various ways in which God can love us more. Unless we do love God with a strong and growing love, which is much more than just saying we do, our Christian lives become a complete sham and put our eternity with God in grave peril.
Who loves God a great deal? Such as are grateful for the enormity of their forgiveness:
Luke 7:47 (Jesus) I tell you, her sins — and they are many — have been forgiven, so she has shown me much love. But a person who is forgiven little shows only little love." NLT Didn’t we all have much to be forgiven for by God?
Isa 53:6 All we like sheep have gone astray; We have turned, every one, to his own way; And the LORD has laid on Him (Jesus) the iniquity of us all.
Rom 3:10-18 As it is written: There is none righteous, no, not one; There is none who understands; There is none who seeks after God. All have turned away from God; they have all gone wrong; no one does what is right, not even one. NKJV/TEV
Their words are full of deadly deceit; wicked lies roll off their tongues, and dangerous threats, like snake's poison, from their lips: Whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness… They have not known the path of peace: There is no fear (love) of God before their eyes. (This is how every one of us used to be).
Rom 5:8 But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. How do we each now respond to this love?
If not for Him we were dead and going to Hell – do we love Him more than anything else?
Matt 10:37 He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me.
Why? Because no relative, however close, got on a cross and died for our sins to buy us back. Do we love him more than ourselves, more than this world, more than sin, more than a job or money, more than any addiction, entertainment, sport or hobby – do we love Him?
Do we understand that our ability to trust God is directly proportional to our love for Him?
Gal 5:6 For in Jesus Christ neither circumcision avails anything, nor un-circumcision; but faith which works by love. KJV
James 2:5 Listen, my dear brothers: Has not God chosen those who are poor in the eyes of the world to be rich in faith and to inherit the kingdom he promised those who love him? NIV
Do we see that our willingness to obey God is directly proportional to our love for Him?
1 Jo 5:3 Loving God means doing what he tells us to do, and really, that isn't hard at all; TLB
In God’s word there are promises and there are commands. We Christians so often want to look exclusively at God’s promises and ignore His commands. Where then is our love for God? And without that love where will the faith come from to believe the promises?
1 Jo 5:3 For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments. And His commandments are not burdensome. NKJV
Jo 14:23-24 (Jesus)…If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word…He who does not love Me does not keep My words…
When we truly love God we obey Him, when we obey Him He manifests Himself to us and makes known to us His teachings, the deeper truths of a life spent in His presence:
John 14:21 (Jesus) He who has My commandments and keeps them, it is he who loves Me. And he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and manifest Myself to him." (V. 23) …And My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him…
John 7:17 If anyone wills to do His will, he shall know concerning the doctrine…
If I deeply love God, in gratitude for His forgiveness, and His nature of love is in me, then my new nature now only wants to please Him, by obeying Him. Consequently the deeper doctrines or teachings of God are now opened up to me; including the knowledge that God my Father lives in my spirit, with whom I have unbroken fellowship all the day long.