THE GREATEST LOVE STORY EVER
You may have come across this page looking for a story that somehow reflects your favorite “Love Month” event, as our title seems to imply. But more than the epitome of a perfect love story, Christ’s love for His people is beyond measure, not even comparable to any heroic quest for a “happy ending” love, but is worth far more than anything else. It is the most precious, the most satisfying, and the most beautiful love you could ever imagine.
A Bridegroom: Ever Loving and Faithful
When it comes to relationships, we usually hear from our parents or even our acquaintances that we can never really find someone who is consistently loving and faithful in this generation. I don’t know if that’s true for some, but it’s a reality. Not only has the style of courtship changed, but fornication and adultery are rampant, degrading the design God made for what should be a holy and beautiful display between two people in marriage.
Many passages in scripture, God was portrayed as a Bridegroom, loving and faithful to His bride: His people. His love never fails. It is always perfect. Even from the beginning, when Jesus had not yet come to redeem the world, God was already using the imagery of a broken marriage and relationship to communicate with His people, whom He loved.
In the Old Testament, we can observe that God initiated a relationship with the people of Israel. He set them apart for Himself (Jeremiah 2:3), to be His treasured possession (Deuteronomy 7: 6-10), established His covenant with them, and gave them many promises. With that, we know that as God’s people, they were to consecrate themselves to the Lord, serve Him, and worship Him only as God had always instructed them to do. But instead of being obedient, His people continually fell into idolatry, breaking their vows, pursuing other gods and their own selfish desires. They did not remember the Lord their God who had delivered them from the hand of all their enemies on every side. Just as Adam and Eve were cast out of the presence of God in the garden, so Israel was cast out of the presence of God many times.
However, this is not the end of this love story. Even though His people were unfaithful, God remained faithful and true. He promised that when His people returned to Him, He would be faithful to forgive them and welcome them back into His loving arms (Matthew 23:37). He even promised a day when His law would be written in the hearts of His people so they would never forget Him and would truly know Him (Jeremiah 31:31, 33-34).
As what Joel Ryan stated:
“Throughout the biblical narrative, God has pursued His people with a relentless passion and do whatever He had to do to win them back. Sin may have ruined any chance of intimacy with the Father, but God had a plan for redemption and a means to restore a broken relationship.” – Joel Ryan, Christianity.com
Wow! Isn’t it the greatest and most wonderful love ever? The one to whom we have sinned, the one who is the source of everything we have, is the one who also made the way for us to be reconciled to Him? But how could that be possible?
The Mystery of God’s Glorious Love
4 But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, 5 made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved. 6 And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, 7 in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus (Ephesians 2 4-7).
In the last sermon, we were reminded that according to the riches of God’s grace shown to us, we have redemption through Christ.
“We are by nature children of wrath which means we are destined for wrath, we are headed for God’s wrath because we deserve it; we are children or sons of disobedience according to verse 2, not only the Jews but also the Gentiles…But in verse 4 God reversed it, instead of receiving His wrath, we were made alive together with Christ and raised with Him and seated with Him and we didn’t deserve any of that, that’s Grace. Quits Sabio – (SMEC Sermon Feb. 14, 2021 – The Nature of Salvation by Grace/ Life Founded on Grace Series)
While God’s covenant relationship with Israel has been fulfilled through His Son, He established a new covenant for all who believe in Jesus Christ and surrender to His lordship. Those who believe are called the church. And only because of His immeasurable Grace and mercy, His people have received forgiveness of sins, experienced the true peace with God and the intimate relationship that was broken, has been restored in Christ.
The Fruit of His Love
8 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— 9 not by works, so that no one can boast. 10 For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do (Ephesians 2:8-10).
It is good to know about God’s love for us but it doesn’t end there. We have to examine ourselves and see if we, as Christians indeed live in His Son, Jesus Christ. By grace through faith, God has given us new lives with new desires that are to be walked in.
“God has ordained not only our salvation but also its necessary results, namely, to do good works. And if we are not doing good works, we are not giving evidence that you are in fact, saved.” Quits Sabio – (SMEC Sermon Feb.14, 2021 -The Nature of Salvation by Grace/ Life Founded on Grace Series)
Faith, as a matter of fact, is not a work but a gift from God as it is God who draws us to Himself (John 6:44) and this faith displays its fruits through our works (James 2:18). In Ephesians chapter 2 verse 10, we see that when we were made new, God has prepared our good works beforehand so that we may walk in it.
Now, faith in itself is not what saves us from God’s wrath, but it is the object of our faith that delivers us from the judgement to come. Therefore, don’t believe in your own faith but believe in Christ and in His work, because He is the Object of our Faith. Our good works are not the grounds of our salvation but it is the evidence of our saving faith. All of these are only meant for us to see God’s greatness & immeasurable grace. Our supposed response is to worship Him.
He Is Love
God has not only love. But “HE is LOVE” (1 John 4:8). Not that we have loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins (1 John 4:10); not that we have faith, but because of His immeasurable grace; not because we want to love others, but because it is the reflection of His greatness and glory.
As we mentioned at the beginning, Christ’s love for His people is immeasurable. It is incomparable, and no one can really ever describe the beauty and greatness of His love for us, not even this article or any written works. So maybe you feel like you’re experiencing the best love of your life right now, or maybe you don’t feel any love at all. But what I want you to realize is that the love the world offers you is only a fraction of what God offers us in His Son Jesus Christ. Now you may say “my life is perfect” or “I have all the love I need”, but my question is what would happen to you if they betrayed you? Or if they died an unfortunate death, where then would you stand, or who would you run to?
Finally, this is what I want you to know: God is what we need most. He is the all-satisfying God. And to have anything else without Him is to perish in the end. His love is not only celebrated during the “Love Month” but it is celebrated everyday throughout eternity. God will never betray or forsake you, but He will lead you to Himself and teach you how to satisfy your hunger for love. So I invite you to stop trusting in people to find the love you need. Instead, look to Christ and see all the joyous and satisfying love He offers. This is the greatest love of all.