It’s a query that many believers have requested. It’s typically on the thoughts of the downcast and discouraged. “Does Jesus love me?” It might be a nagging doubt or an agonizing cry of the guts — probably fairly just like Psalm 22:1. “My God, my God, why have you ever forsaken me?” sounds very similar to, “God, do you actually love me?”
Whereas this can be a typical expertise for the Christian, we should look to the not-very-common reply. In different phrases, we’d like the biblically satisfying resolution to such deep longing.
To reach there, we start the place the Scriptures start, and never with our personal subjective expertise. We so simply look to ourselves for the reply: “Do I really feel cherished? Am I actually all that lovable? Have I obeyed Jesus sufficient that He would love me?” However all these subjective makes an attempt at consolation aren’t any consolation in any respect. Who amongst us has ever-steady feelings? Who, biblically talking, is lovable in their very own proper? Who may ever obey sufficient to be acceptable in their very own righteousness earlier than a holy God? The Scriptures are clear on these factors: nobody.
No, the answer to this elementary query isn’t in ourselves. Reasonably, it’s within the particular person and work of Jesus. When the Scriptures encourage us with the truth of Christ’s love for His individuals, they at all times look to Him and by no means to us.
“However God proves His love for us on this: Whereas we have been nonetheless sinners, Christ died for us” (Rom. 5:8, BSB). Don’t miss how that verse begins: “God proves his love for us.” How is it that we know God loves us? He despatched Christ to avoid wasting us even once we have been but His enemies. Elsewhere, the Apostle John argues the very same method: “In that is love, not that we’ve cherished God however that he cherished us and despatched his Son to be the propitiation for our sins” (1 John 4:10). Once we doubt the love of God in our lives, we should look to what Christ has objectively completed for us, in that He got here, He pursued, He sought us, He saved. In any case, this was the very purpose Christ got here into the world: to hunt and to avoid wasting His individuals (Luke 19:10).
Such a love, a love that originates totally in God and never in our personal loveliness, is on the coronary heart of biblical “unconditional love,” or agape love. God’s good love flows from Him and is totally of Him, as He locations it upon us. Whereas we’re devoid of every thing lovable, glorious, praiseworthy, or lovely, God lavishes His love upon us. He did this “so as to make identified the riches of his glory,” as Romans 9:15–23 makes clear. The love that God reveals us, now His youngsters in Christ, is totally free and gracious, flowing from Him to us, not due to us, however totally due to Him.
As soon as we will comprehend this kind of love, it’s a superb and inspiring actuality. Human love is so typically grounded within the object of our love, which is why individuals converse of “falling out and in of affection.” What makes our hearts sing sooner or later leaves us disillusioned and despairing the subsequent. We may be so fickle. Then we take our ever-changing, always-conditional love, and skim our humanness again into God. We predict He loves like we love. Could it by no means be. The unmerited love that God shows towards us is of a wholly completely different form. Hearken to how Ephesians 1 describes it: “He selected us … earlier than the inspiration of the world … in love … in line with the aim of his will, to the reward of his superb grace, with which he has blessed us within the Beloved” (Eph. 1:4–6).
He selected us in Christ. He completely loves Jesus, described right here as “the Beloved.” That’s who Christ is — the cherished one in all God. And out of Himself, He loves us simply as He loves Christ, and this from all eternity. May there be any better information?
If ever there’s a query about whether or not God loves us, the biblical resolution is to not look to ourselves, our love, or our faithfulness. As a substitute, we’re known as to take a look at the target actuality of what God has completed for us in Christ. We’re to floor our certainty and assurance of His love in who He’s and what He has completed — not in ourselves, which is ever-shifting sand.
As biblical theologian Geerhardus Vos famously mentioned, “The very best proof that He won’t ever stop to like us” is “that He by no means started.” Jesus has cherished us from all eternity. He has at all times and can at all times love His individuals — His sheep — His treasured chosen ones. As the kids’s tune so merely and profoundly places it, “Jesus loves me, this I do know, for the Bible tells me so.” Could this be all the reply to the query “Does Jesus love me?” we ever want. The reply, in Christ, is “sure.”
This text was first revealed in Tabletalk, the Bible research journal of Ligonier Ministries. Discover out extra at TabletalkMagazine.com or subscribe right now at GetTabletalk.com.
Keith A. Evans is professor of biblical counseling and director of the Biblical Counseling Institute at Reformed Presbyterian Theological Seminary in Pittsburgh.
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