PART TWO – WE ARE SET FREE
FREE TO LOVE
The miracle is that BECAUSE OF GOD’S MERCY, we are no longer locked into our sinful, selfish and greedy ways. When we look at Jesus, we see a man who was absolutely free – free to love and free to look beyond Himself because He was fully human.
God created Adam and Eve to be fully human, joined to Him in a love-relationship as His beloved son and daughter, living in perfect harmony with Him and with the world. They were fully human as long as they lived in harmony with God’s instructions.
When they chose to disobey God, they became less than human. They broke the unity, they declared independence, they lost their freedom and they sold themselves into slavery to sin and to Satan. The love, the joy and the peace they experienced as children of God were gone. They were guilty, ashamed and afraid and they became slaves of their emotions.
Before Jesus went to the cross, He spent His last few hours with His disciples. In those final precious hours with them He gave back to them what their forefathers had lost in the Garden of Eden.
“As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. If you obey my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have obeyed my Father commands and remain in His love.” John 15:9, 10.
I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete.” John 14:11.
“”Peace I leave with you, my peace I give you.” John 14:27a.
The Holy Spirit enables us to love God and people where, in the past, under the dominion of darkness, we could only love ourselves.
“Hope does not disappoint us because God has poured out His love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom He has given to us.” Romans 5:5.
The more we love, the more human we become; the freer we are from selfishness and greed, the more we resemble our elder brother, Jesus, who is the perfect mirror of God.
Since God is perfect and cannot sin, He cannot die. Sin brought death into the world. When we love, we become more like God and we begin to experience the real life Jesus came to give us, the abundant life, eternal life which we will enter into fully when we leave this sinful world and experience the complete the restoration that the Holy Spirit has begun in us now.
“God is love. Whoever lives in love, lives in God, and God in him. In this way, love is made complete among us so that we may have confidence on the Day of Judgment because in this world we are like Him…we love because He first loved us.”
If we love Jesus, we will value what He values and hate what He hates. “Then,” said Jesus, “you will really experience my love.”
Just as Jesus was free to love because there was no sin in Him, so we are free to love because God has forgiven and removed our sin. We are free to love because we are loved and when we love, we become more and more like Jesus.
We don’t love because we must but because we may. We are free to love BECAUSE OF GOD’S MERCY!
“Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect harmony.” Colossians 3:12-14.