Urban Leadership Collective: An “Other-Worldly” Love – God’s Adoption of Us (part 1)
illustration by hype-ography.com
Leonce Crump II is the pastor at Renovation Church in Atlanta Georgia.
In 1 John chapter 3 verse 1, the apostle John writes, “see what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are.”
This phrase, what kind of love, literally translates “unearthly, foreign, other-worldly.” This love the Father gives us is so unparalleled, and John so astonished that he wonders aloud “where did this come from?”
So how great a Father is God? How wonderful the nature, character, and goodness of the Father of Lights? How otherworldly this love? Not only did He willingly give Jesus as a sacrifice to rescue us from sin, hell, and death; and not only did He sacrifice Jesus as a wrath-consuming propitiation, turning His wrath to favor and saving us; not only did He place Jesus as an Advocate between Him and us, pleading our case before the righteous Judge, God went far beyond that. Far beyond kindness and clemency to His rebellious creation and invited us into His family.
Please don’t take this lightly, because God could have not saved us at all. He could have left us in our rebellion, and brokenness. Even still He could have saved us, pardoned us from sin, given us an Advocate in Jesus, and then cast us aside, out of His presence, rescued from eternal death, but distant from Him. He could have denied access to Him, maintained an element of disconnected rule, rather than intimate love, and even of that we are not deserving; but God, rich in mercy and full of grace, went far beyond even that, far beyond simply saving.
I like how John Piper puts it, he says, “Nothing in us, or in the nature of the world required that God would go beyond all redeeming, forgiving, rescuing, healing love to this extreme—namely, to an adopting love; a love that will not settle for a truce, or a formal gratitude…but will press all the way in to make you a child of God.”
In Ephesians 1:3-5 the apostle Paul writes “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world…and in love he predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will…”
Reading this we know those who are followers of Jesus are blessed by God the Father with His salvific blessing in Christ and the inheritance we receive in Him by the power of the Spirit…but why? Why would God give so wonderfully of Himself?
You can follow Leonce on Twitter @CrumpII.