The Love of God and Maturity

Rom 5:1-5 –  Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: 2) By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. 3) And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; 4) And patience, experience; and experience, hope: 5) And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.  This access by faith into his grace is really an  introduction or initiation into faith.

Apostle Paul said that we are to work out our salvation with fear and trembling.(Philp 2:12)  There is a processing of our faith that is extremely critical to the putting off of the mortal and corruptible and the putting on of the immortal and the incorruptible.(1 Cor 15:49-53; Eph 4:11-24)  As we have received our initiation of faith and first love, this love is given to prevail through tribulation with patience (perseverance; long-suffering) which produces experience or proven character.  2 Cor. 5:14 – For the love of Christ constrains us; because we thus judge, that if one died for all, then were all dead: Constrain means to hold together, compress or afflict.  Whose character are we taking on? The character of Jesus Christ.  2 Cor 4:10-12 – Always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body. 11) For we which live are always delivered unto death for Jesus’ sake, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our mortal flesh. 12) So then death worketh in us, but life in you.

Gal 5:6 – For in Jesus Christ neither circumcision availeth anything, nor uncircumcision; but faith which worketh by love.  Circumcision was a sign of Gods covenant with the Jews under the old covenant and was directed and maintained under the law.  It signified that they were Jews and God’s very own people.   It was an outward sign in the flesh that could not produce the righteousness of God in the hearts of His people, of which God was seeking.  This brought the affliction and chastening of God over and over again.  Rom 2:28-29 – For he is not a Jew, which is one outwardly; neither is that circumcision, which is outward in the flesh: 29) But he is a Jew, which is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter; whose praise is not of men, but of God.  Just because we belong to a certain denomination, church, have a family tree full of great ministers, have great knowledge of scripture and profess to be a Christian does not make us one.  Christians are devoted followers of Jesus Christ who willing lay down their lives for God, one another and for a lost and dying world around them for the extension of His kingdom on earth.  The purpose of the Son of God was manifest “in us” to destroy the works of the devil. (1 John 3:8) 1 Tim 1:5 – Now the end of the commandment is charity out of a pure heart, and of a good conscience, and of faith unfeigned.  The word end means, the end to which all things relate, the aim, or the purpose.  God initiates our faith in His love and finishes it in His love.

With this processing of maturity comes hope.  What is our hope?  1 John 3:2-3 – Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is. 3) And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure.  Through all this tribulation,  perseverance, suffering and affliction of the flesh He continues to faithfully pour in His love which is shed abroad in our hearts through the Holy Spirit.  1 Cor 15:53-58 – For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.  54) So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have 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 thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? 56) The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law. 57) But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. 58) Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.

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