Monday, July 22, 2013

the whole object

. . . and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge. Ephesians 3:19

“In one sense the whole object of being a Christian is that you may know the love of Jesus Christ, his personal love to you; that he may tell you in unmistakable language that he loves you, that he has given himself for you, that he has loved you with ‘an everlasting love.’ He does this through the Holy Spirit; he ‘seals’ all his statements to you through the Spirit. . . . You believe it because it is in the Word; but there is more than that; he will tell you this directly as a great secret. The Spirit gives manifestations of the Son of God to his own, to his beloved, to those for whom he has gladly died and given himself.”

D. M. Lloyd-Jones, Romans: An Exposition of Chapters 7.1-8.4 (Edinburgh, 1973), page 61.

Real Christianity is, by nature, a supernatural experience. It comes from beyond all this world and is dependent upon nothing in this world. We believe it and know it and sink our teeth into it not primarily through our own brilliant lines of reasoning but primarily through illumination given by God himself. This is humbling, but also reassuring. Our ways of knowing can be invalidated. But the love of Christ is self-authenticating. It is a discussable experience. But it surpasses our knowledge as ultimately unexplainable. The living Christ comes to us and speaks to our deepest beings of his love. He creates an undeniable awareness within us that we are not alone, we are not accused, but he is with us and for us and always will be. This is the good news of the gospel internalized with divine power. And, as Lloyd-Jones proposed, it is the whole object of being a Christian.

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