Right with God
1Since we have been made right with God by our faith, we have peace with
God. This happened through our Lord Jesus Christ, 2who has brought us into that
blessing of God’s grace that we now enjoy. And we are happy because of the
hope we have of sharing God’s glory. 3We also have joy with our troubles,
because we know that these troubles produce patience. 4And patience produces
character, and character produces hope. 5And this hope will never disappoint us,
because God has poured out his love to fill our hearts. He gave us his love
through the Holy Spirit, whom God has given to us.
6When we were unable to help ourselves, at the moment of our need, Christ
died for us, although we were living against God. 7Very few people will die to
save the life of someone else. Although perhaps for a good person someone
might possibly die. 8But God shows his great love for us in this way: Christ died
for us while we were still sinners.
9So through Christ we will surely be saved from God’s anger, because we
have been made right with God by the blood of Christ’s death. 10While we were
God’s enemies, he made friends with us through the death of his Son. Surely,
now that we are his friends, he will save us through his Son’s life. 11And not only
that, but now we are also very happy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ.
Through him we are now God’s friends again.
Adam and Christ Compared
12Sin came into the world because of what one man did, and with sin came
death. This is why everyone must die—because everyone sinned. 13Sin was in the
world before the law of Moses, but sin is not counted against us as breaking a
command when there is no law. 14But from the time of Adam to the time of
Moses, everyone had to die, even those who had not sinned by breaking a
command, as Adam had.
Adam was like the One who was coming in the future. 15But God’s free gift is
not like Adam’s sin. Many people died because of the sin of that one man. But
the grace from God was much greater; many people received God’s gift of life by
the grace of the one man, Jesus Christ. 16After Adam sinned once, he was judged
guilty. But the gift of God is different. God’s free gift came after many sins, and
it makes people right with God. 17One man sinned, and so death ruled all people
because of that one man. But now those people who accept God’s full grace and
the great gift of being made right with him will surely have true life and rule
through the one man, Jesus Christ.
18So as one sin of Adam brought the punishment of death to all people, one
good act that Christ did makes all people right with God. And that brings true life
for all. 19One man disobeyed God, and many became sinners. In the same way,
one man obeyed God, and many will be made right. 20The law came to make sin
worse. But when sin grew worse, God’s grace increased. 21Sin once used death to
rule us, but God gave people more of his grace so that grace could rule by
making people right with him. And this brings life forever through Jesus Christ
The Holy Bible, New Century Version
Paul described the experience of salvation for Christians. He outlined the magnitude of God's love revealed in Jesus Christ.
God proved his love by giving his Son to die on the cross on our behalf while we were still sinners. Christians now have peace with God because they have been forgiven. They rejoice because they are assured of their salvation.
Notwithstanding all that has already been preached and published about God's love, it must be examined here. It is the first and foremost of the fruits of God's Spirit. It is much, much more than merely "one of the fruits." In reality it is the very basic, essential life of the living Christ which expresses itself in all the nine fruits enumerated both in Galatians 5:22, 23 and 1 Corinthians 13:1-7.
The love of God is the very life of God....
It must be emphasized here that I have the love of God only to the extent that I have God Himself. God does not dispense the fruits of His Spirit apart from Himself!
The more I have Christ the more I have His love.
The more I have God the more I have His goodness....
To begin with it is imperative to point out here that the "love of God" referred to so freely, especially in the New Testament, is selflessness: It is self-giving. It is self-sharing. It is self-sacrificing.
It is self-losing. It is self-abandonment. It is self-serving others.
This kind of love found its supreme and most sublime expression in the life and death of our Lord Jesus Christ. He was the visible expression to our humanity of the invisible God. He was the love of God demonstrated indelibly in the perfect doing and perfect dying of deity.
His transcendent life revealed the true nature of God. There simply was no greater means by which He could manifest His own character.
The love of God was shown to be one with the life of God. In no way could the one be separated from the other. They are one and the same. (From A Gardener Looks at the Fruits of the Spirit by Phillip Keller)
When God's love impacts our lives, it completely changes us so that selfishness turns to generosity. How would you describe your life before and after becoming a Christian? What major changes have you experienced since becoming a Christian? Write your story down and read it when you feel discouraged.
Love-Exodus 15:13; Numbers 14:18; Deuteronomy 7:12; Psalm 33:5; Isaiah 63:9; Joel 2:13; Matthew 5:43-48; John 13:34; Romans 13:10; 1 Corinthians 13.