Did God get saved? -or- A love that makes us beautiful

I’m probably gonna start some controversy here- but to be honest, I’m not real interested in duking it out about exactly what the atonement is. If you think you understand it, then that’s probably a good sign that you don’t. I’m learning to enjoy more and more every day the greatness and mystery of our mighty and amazing God. And I’m really glad that God is so massive and beyond me, that I can rest in him, and not have to stress defending him… I’ll let him defend me. So let’s talk about his love.

________

He died for us, while we were yet sinners.

The apostle Paul said it clearly- while we were yet sinners- he died. God sent the Christ to do this. He didn’t send him to appease his own nasty angry nature- some pagan offering of blood once and for all- no… He came that we might know the depth and width and height and richness of his amazing love for us.

He came with a love that went all the way to the death.

He said, “You’re worth it- even death can’t stop my love for you! Look at how far I’ll go!”

And death could not hold him.

And many times did Christ say, “If you’ve seen me, you’ve seen the Father.” So look at him, look at the Christ- this suffering servant- this pitiful man who submitted himself to pain and suffering- who rode an donkey into glory- who was born of a woman called a whore, a bastard son, born in controversy in a seemingly God-forsaken town. Christ, whose glory did not, and would not look like the mighty of his age, or any age, would come to show us just what the Father really looks like.

God didn’t need Christ to die in order for him to be able to  love us – God wanted to die to show us how much he loved us. That’s true- and it’s life changing.

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I heard a statement this morning from an audio book that I’m listening to. It hit me hard. The author was talking about the passage from Romans that I sited in the first line of this post, as well as chapter 5 of Ephesians. He said that the love talked of in these passages, is ‘Agape’ love.

I’ve heard agape love talked about many times, but this time it really got my attention.

This author described this love as a love that doesn’t need us to be beautiful or ‘right’ in order to love us, but instead, it’s this love that transforms, or beautifies us. This love, agape love, makes beautiful. It is given without prerequisite or requirement, and in this case, it’s the very nature of the Father. It’s why he made you, and why he longs to have you near him, and then, to spread that same love around.

_______

This post may seem simple, or odd or whatever- but that really hit me hard.

A love that makes beautiful.

My love is so often rooted in selfishness and personal gain. I receive something, so I am motivated to give back. I get something out of it.

And it’s funny, this love from God, it works in an interesting way- we get access to the Father of creation, the very founder of the universe (no matter how you think he brought that into being) and this love recreates our messed up selves from the inside out, bringing us back to our true selves. We are infused and imprinted with the very nature of the Father- partakers of his amazing Spirit, and co-workers with him. Dwell on that- dwell on it for a long time.

Then he turns us around and says, “Go and do for others what I’ve done for you. Give it away. Make the world beautiful. Just like Jesus- go show everyone what I really look like.”

There’s a lot to talk about here, but I think I’ll stop with that… a love that makes things beautiful…

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4 thoughts on “Did God get saved? -or- A love that makes us beautiful

  1. Joseph

    Hey John Bob! How goes it? 🙂

    You ever heard of Gungor? They have a song called Beautiful Things which I really like. The whole album is great in fact.

    I really enjoyed this, and enjoy your blog in general.

    Lots of great statements, I really like these two:

    “He came that we might know the depth and width and height and richness of his amazing love for us”

    “God didn’t need Christ to die in order for him to be able to love us – God wanted to die to show us how much he loved us. That’s true- and it’s life changing.”

    So very very true.

    what does this one mean though?

    “He didn’t send him to appease his own nasty angry nature- some pagan offering of blood once and for all- no”

    Is this against some sort of unbiblical notion? I’m confused by what you mean

    -Joe

    Reply
  2. John Cullimore Post author

    Joe, great question.

    “He didn’t send him to appease his own nasty angry nature- some pagan offering of blood once and for all- no”

    There’s a whole lot of people who believe in a sort of ‘substitution’ that Christ did for us- as though God was so angry with us, that now, as though in some sort of legal loop hole, Christ has paid our penalty and been the blood sacrifice once and for all to appease the angry God. And now, all that angry God sees, isn’t us, but his son.

    This goes hand in hand with the idea of ‘imputed righteousness.’ This is a righteousness that is credited to you because of Christ’s death on the cross. Again- God looks at you and sees, not you, but Christ.

    This is messed up, and a cheat. In my honest opinion, you could easily exchange ‘imputed’ for ‘fake’… I want the real thing. Christ came that we can have life abundantly, not some cheap imitation or loop hole that simply regards me as righteous. Again… I want the real thing.

    And the awesome thing is that Christ came so that we could have the real thing. He came to wrap us up in him, and really make us new. REALLY… not just ‘imputed’ but for real- our whole life changes, and bit by bit, he changes us from the inside out.

    I’m not sure if that helps, but here’s a couple of links that might.
    http://rosecreekvillage.com/shammah/archives/39
    http://rosecreekvillage.com/shammah/archives/951
    http://rosecreekvillage.com/shammah/archives/960
    http://rosecreekvillage.com/shammah/archives/91

    Those are my friend Shammah’s blog, he also has a Christian History site that is a seriously great tool. You can look there for more reference
    http://www.christian-history.org/

    Reply
  3. Shammah

    One neat thing I read was that phileo, the friend kind of love, is a feeling-based love. Agape, on the other hand, is an act of will. Therefore, it said, the Bible never commands phileo, it only commands agape. I looked it up; it’s true.

    Reply
    1. John Cullimore Post author

      That’s awesome. I love it when this sort of conjecture really is true and founded. sigh of relief.

      Bell cracks me up in that respect. He uses a lot of random info that I’m not always sure where he gets it from, but it works for what he’s saying, though not necessarily founded in total fact or exactly accurate.

      Anyway, sorry that it took so long to approve your comment. I didn’t realize that it was in there til I checked the spam. It marked you as spam. 😉

      Reply

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