Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Reveling in Revelation ~ He Who Loved Us, Loves Us Still

          The phrase, “to him who loves us”[1] has drawn me to consider the wonderful significance of the present, active tense of this picture. Jesus loves us, and always will keep on loving us in the ever-present realities of his relationship to his family. Our appreciation of this present-tense description of Jesus’ love is expanded when we look at the past-tense references that show us how he has already demonstrated his love in such a historical, eye-witness verified way.

          The thing that God is helping me with is simply to remember that the references to Jesus’ love in the past tense do not mean that his love is some distant memory of something he did a long time ago. When loved ones pass away, all we have left is the memory of how they once loved us. Not so with Jesus. All the references to the way he once showed his love to us only help us understand how he loves us still. Here is one example.

25 Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, (Ephesians 5)

          The context shows that husbands have already experienced the love of God that predestined them “for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ”.[2] They have experienced God’s rich mercy loving them with “great love”,[3] even while they “were dead in their trespasses”,[4] and proving this by making them “alive together with Christ”.[5] They already know that the love of God moved Jesus to save them by grace through faith,[6] and lovingly raised them up from their dead condition in sin[7] so that they are now positioned with Christ in the heavenly places.[8]

          Husbands have also been “rooted and grounded in love”,[9] along with the whole rest of the body of Christ. They are under the timeless prayer that seeks to give them comprehension of the breadth and length and height and depth of the love of God,[10] and seeks to lead them to “know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that they may be filled with all the fullness of God.[11]

          At the same time, husbands are already joining the church in “speaking the truth in love”,[12] building up the body of Christ in love,[13] imitating God as beloved children,[14] and walking in the kind of love Jesus expressed on the cross.[15]

          When husbands are later told to continuously love their wives every day, in a constantly maturing love,[16] and this is based on the way “Christ loved the church”, the past tense of love is simply to remind husbands of the way Jesus “gave himself up”[17] for his church at Calvary. When men experience the love of the cross of Jesus Christ,[18] they will grow in their understanding of how to “nourish and cherish” their own wives “just as Christ does the church”.[19] Note that what a husband is expected to do in the present time is based on what Jesus himself “does” at the present time.

          This lesson all began with wanting to show how the expressions of how Jesus “loved” us in the past do not contradict the phrase, “to him who loves us”.[20] Jesus will always be presently loving his disciples, his brothers, his servants, no matter what present-condition they are in,  and no matter how they are going through any present-experience of the scenes described in the Revelation. We know how he loves us now and always because of the way he demonstrated his love in the past by laying down his life unto death.[21] His resurrection from the dead now presently and constantly assures us that nothing “will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.”[22]

          Conclusion: Today, “be imitators of God, as beloved children. And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God,”[23] and praise our loving Jesus that, no matter what we see beasts, antichrists, governments, or religions doing to persecute the church, history will end with this grand finale presented at the beginning of our journey: “to Jesus be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.”[24]

© 2012 Monte Vigh ~ Box 517, Merritt, BC, Canada, V1K 1B8 ~

[1] Revelation 1:5
[2] Ephesians 1:4-5
[3] Ephesians 2:4
[4] Ephesians 2:5
[5] Ephesians 2:5
[6] Ephesians 2:5,8-9
[7] Ephesians 2:1-3,6
[8] Ephesians 2:6
[9] Ephesians 3:17
[10] Ephesians 3:18
[11] Ephesians 3:19
[12] Ephesians 4:15
[13] Ephesians 4:16
[14] Ephesians 5:1
[15] Ephesians 5:2
[16] Ephesians 2:15-16
[17] Ephesians 5:2,25
[18] Romans 5:6-8
[19] Ephesians 5:29
[20] Revelation 1:5
[21] John 15:13
[22] Romans 8:39
[23] Ephesians 5:1-2
[24] Revelation 1:6

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