Summary: Our hope for healing and wholeness is found in the love of God demonstrated in the eternal fellowship of the Trinity. Also Jn. 1:1-4, 14:13-21; Rom. 8:18-39
Hope, Love and the Trinity
(Praise & Healing Service Message, 2/20/05)
There are 2 “In the beginnings” in Scripture. (Gen. 1 and John 1)
Why did God create the world and us? Did He have a need? He needed an outlet for His love? Some suggest that. But it almost implies a lack.
The other “in the beginning” goes back beyond creation and shows there was no lack on God’s part.
From eternity there has been a divine fellowship of love between the Trinity: Father, Son and Holy Spirit. There was no lack. But there was an overflow of love. It was out of this overflow that creation came. And it is out of that same overflow of love that God is at work among us now in Christ. (Cf. John Eldridge, Epic)
1 John 4:16b-19
God is love. Scripture doesn’t say, “God is power”; it describes his power and other attributes, but says, “God IS love.” It is the core of His self-revelation; of who He is. And He wants us to become like Him; and He is at work in us to make us like Christ.
Jesus lived to give glory to the Father, and answers our prayers in His name in order to bring glory to the Father. It reflects the love relationship the Father and the Son have.
Jesus promises to his disciples His very presence through the coming Holy Spirit, “another Counselor” (like Jesus himself has been to them, but living in and with each one individually and forever). “He will be in you” is ultimately spoken to us – you and I, and all who have received Christ as Savior and Lord.
Through the indwelling Holy Spirit, the fellowship of the Trinity is expanded to include all Christians in one great fellowship of love (v. 20-21).
And the proper response to this incredible love is obedience to the Father. Perfect love drives out fear (1 John 4:18), because fear has to do with judgment. In Christ, we don’t have to fear God’s judgment, but we make it our aim to please the Father. As with all love relationships, thinking of letting down our beloved and making them displeased with us pains us. We certainly must respect the creator God and King of the universe at all times and never take Him for granted. But we also must always keep in mind that the King is our Dad!
We do not win God’s favor by our obedience, much less earn our salvation by obedience. But we do grow in Christlikeness, and effectiveness, and bring glory and pleasure to the Father by our obedience.
And his commands are not burdensome. Christ said, “Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light” (Matthew 11:29-30).
Back to creation again. Suffering is real, it isn’t in our heads, etc. It is part of a sin-filled world that is awaiting the full transformation that is coming at Christ’s return. God will only have holiness and perfection in eternity.
That is our great hope. It is future (and it is certain!) But we must wait.
Paul in v. 18 had the long-range perspective we all need. The promised glory of the future will make all the suffering of the past and present worthwhile. While sin is in this world, not all things will be right. All who were ever healed of their physical afflictions in the times past still all had to die. But there in Christ’s presence, they received ultimate and complete healing for eternity.
And God doesn’t leave us here on our own in our weakness. When we don’t even know what to pray for (anyone ever feel that way?) the Holy Spirit intercedes for us. Scripture also says Jesus lives to intercede for us, too. With both Son and Spirit interceding for us do you think those prayers for us just might get answered? Give a big AMEN!!!
That’s God’s family love in action.
God is at work in all things for us – even bad things. (v. 28)
He called us into His family in Christ. You are Christ’s own brother or sister!!! (v. 29)
He set us right with himself and is in the process of making us like the glorious Savior Himself. (v. 30)
Be very clear. God is for us! (v. 31 ff.)
There is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus! (v. 34, and Rom 8:1). Condemnation comes from the evil one and from other people, not from God.
Nothing can ever separate us from God’s love in Christ (v. 35-39). Paul covers every possibility in these verses and makes it as comprehensive as he can. NOTHING can separate us from God’s love. We are part of His forever family. He will take care of us.