I can confidently write that God’s purpose for your life is that you become like Jesus. He wants to love you like he loves his Son and he wants you to love him with the same love that is part of the Trinity.
If you read no further than the above statement, you have enough information to live in awe of God’s abundant love for you.
John wrote about sin as the one thing that keeps humans from living like Jesus and living in the love I have just described.
My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous,
And he is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world (1 John 1.1-2).
God’s goal for humans is that we live in a manner that does not damage our love relationship with him.
He has provided for our failure with the atoning sacrifice of his Jesus.
“Hilasmos” is the Greek that is translated as “atoning sacrifice.”
Hebrews connects the atoning sacrifice with God’s mercy.
Referring to the ark of the covenant, Hebrews 9.5 states, “above it were the cherubim of glory overshadowing the mercy seat (hilasterion in Greek).
Here’s a beautiful picture of God’s grace. The Ten Commandments identify the sins of humans. The gold covering of the ark (the mercy seat/hilasterion) is where the atoning sacrifice (hilasmos) is placed.
Paul wrote (Romans 3.21-26) that God is both just and the One who makes just those who place their faith in Jesus.
He does this so rebellious humans may be transformed into his beloved friends.
Don’t Be Deceived
A love relationship with God is so important that we should never claim to have one when we don’t. The only person we cheat is ourselves.
Now by this we know that we have come to know him, if we obey his commandments.
Whoever says, “I have come to know him,” but does not obey his commandments is a liar, and in such a person the truth does not exist;
But whoever obeys his word, truly in this person the love of God has reached perfection. By this we know that we are in him:
Whoever says, “I abide in him,” ought to walk in the same way as he walked (1 John 2.3-6).
One of the last things Jesus told his close followers was about love and obedience.
He said, “As the Father has loved me, so I have loved you; abide in my love.
“If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in his love” (John 15.9-10).
This is God’s offer to us. We can experience the love of the greatest Being of All. As we seek to live a Jesus-kind-of-life, we will experience his love more and more.
God has made this possible through the atoning sacrifice of Jesus. Let’s take advantage of his grace and love.
Rudy Ross and I continue our study of 1 John today. Our video can be found on the Bob Spradling YouTube channel.