When I was asked the question,” what is the proof that God loves the church” I thought to myself, hey, cool, that should be easy to answer. Then I thought about how significantly great God’s love is for us in general. It’s a considerable task to simply describe God’s love. God’s love is far greater than what we could even fantom. Nevertheless, we can find in His word how monumental His love for us is.
God’s love for us is steadfast and it never ceases. It will not stop, it can’t stop. God has invested way too much (i.e., Christ Jesus) in us for that to even happen. “Lam 3:22 ESV The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases; his mercies never come to an end.” There is nothing that we could do that will make Him love us any more than what He does right now. And there isn’t anything that we can do that could cause Him to love us any less. Now that last part about “his mercies never come to an end” is another indicator of His love for us. No matter how bad we mess up and how much He has to correct us; He still has mercies on us. The things that we do before a Holy God well deserves greater punishment. “When we are afflicted by the rod of his wrath, but it is of the lord’s mercies that we are not consumed”.
Hence the word “consumed”. God’s Church is like Moses’ bush, burning but not consumed. Whatever missed steps the Church has made, no matter the hardships the church has ever encountered and yet to meet with, it will have a being in the world to the end of time. It is persecuted of men, but not forsaken of God, and though it is cast down, it is not destroyed (2Co_4:9), corrected, but never consumed, refined in the fire like silver, but not consumed as dross. All because He loves us so much.
Here’s another big deal that proves God loves the church. It’s because the church is the Bride of Christ. I probably should have said that first. Anyway, Ephesians 5:25-33 breaks down how a wife is to be loved in the same way Christ loves the Church.
Ephesians 5:25 is the sacrificial investment I mentioned earlier. This was an uncaused love. It wasn’t because we were obedient, good looking, intelligent, or rich. His love was expressed without condition. Man did nothing to make God love us this much.
God’s love is unreasonable but not irrational, given the truth that God is love. Throughout the Old Testament, if God would have responded to us reasonably and reacted the way we do, He would have left us or consumed us.
Would it be reasonable for someone to ask you to ransom your innocent and only child, to an evil, vile, and sadistic entity, for a bunch of liars, adulterers, murderers, thieves, and idolaters, whom have been taken hostage? Who would surrender the innocent? Romans 5:6-8 breaks this down to a level of understanding, and opens the question of” what would it take for you to die for another human being?” Very few would give their life not even for a good man. But God demonstrated His own love toward us while we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (v8)
There are three centers of God love,
- God so Loved the world— John 3:16 is the assurance of God’s love for the world. John had absorbed so much of the spirit of Christ Spirit because of the deep thought of the mystery of Christ, his eyes were opened by the Spirit to see God’s love for everyone in the entire world. This is the universality of God’s love.
- Christ Loves the church— Luke 15:11-32, Eph 5:25
From the story of the prodigal, we can see why the Church gets this extra special kind of love. The father never stopped loving his son. Even while the son was far away on his rebellious rant running with harlots, the father still had a deep longing for his return, everyday that son was gone. But only when that prodigal came home could the father’s pent-up love be poured out on the son. The Church is the part of the world that has come home from the filth. Coming home to the covering of the blood of Christ is where love can finally show itself, in the ring and in the shoes and in the robe.
- God’s Love for the Individual – Gal 2:20
Galatians 2:20 ESV I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.
In the second center of love, “Christ loved the Church” Ephesians 5:25 is also referenced. In verse 25 the example of how a husband should love His wife is compared to how Christ love the Church. Christ died for the church. The price that was paid was extremely too high and the mission is too important for God to ever give up on the Church.
Don J. Rhone
“Bridging Purpose and Solutions to Life”
Pastor Don Rhone Sr.
Founder of Bridge of the Bay Community Church, Riverview Fl.
Pastor Don and his wife Aleta are New Orleans natives and have ministry for 30
years. They have ministered in the Tampa Bay/Riverview area for over 20 years.
The Rhones are due to activate “Bridging Solutions and Purpose to Life” online
outreach ministry pointing people back to church. Pastor/teacher isn’t just a
position, but it’s their passion and call.