His Robe or Mine?

Add to brotherly kindness charity, or divine love. God’s plan has never changed. He will bring man back to the place where the uninhibited, divine love of God will flow through him. This will surpass the experience of Adam when he came forth from the hand of God. It was this that Jesus prayed for in His last prayer for His disciples before he went to Gethsemane, “ . . . that the love wherewith thou has loved Me may be in them, and I in them.” John 17:26. Imagine, if you can, divine love flowing through human channels.

The goal of sanctification is to systematically produce this love in man. It is not accomplished by  trying to be loving but by dying to self and to the hindering factors that inhibit, or prevent, God from doing His work in our lives.

All the way up this ladder the process has been the same. The last step is to taste of the greatest power in heaven or upon earth—that of divine love. The hindering factor is Satan’s counterfeit of God’s love—human emotion. There will be human emotion in response to divine love but it is a response, not the love itself.

“The church is God’s appointed agency for the salvation of men. It was organised for service, and its mission is to carry the gospel to the world . . . The church is the repository of the riches of the grace of Christ; and through the church will eventually be made manifest, even to ‘the principalities and powers in heavenly places,’ (Ephesians 3:10) the final and full display of the love of God.” [1]

If this is to happen in these closing days of earth’s history, we had better know what this love is and how it can be revealed through human beings.

Divine love is a principle that governs heaven and the entire universe, with the exception of this earth. It is a principle of action, a principle of life. Divine love is like a two way street: it flows from God in both directions so that we are without excuse—first, in His being willing to take time to patiently deal with the rebel angel Lucifer, instead of meeting out justice when it was due. This kindness was primarily to enable His created beings to understand what divine love really is—to give them an opportunity to use their will (the power of choice) intelligently. In the final decision about one-third of the angels of heaven decided against God.

The mental agony of God in sustaining such a loss, and the subsequent confusion in the minds of loyal angels and beings on other planets, caused Him to put into effect His marvellous plan of redemption. God’s love is more fully revealed when we understand that “From the beginning God and Christ knew of the apostasy of Satan, and of the fall of man through the deceptive power of the apostate.” [2] While God did not plan these emergencies, He foresaw them and then devised a plan to use them to implant His love forever in the hearts of His created beings.

So comprehensive is His plan of redemption that He actually built it around the incarnation. Jesus Christ, the Son of God, became man so that the human family and all of God’s creation would have a perfect pattern to guide them forever as this divine love would flow back to God. This is the second great demonstration of His love.

While this plan provides a legal basis for man’s salvation, it also provides the example for every Christian to follow, which enables God’s love to flow through them. Jesus said, “For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me.” John 6:38. Paul said, “I am crucified with Christ; nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.” Galatians 2:20. “ . . . they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts. “ Galatians 5:24.

There is no other plan that will enable the uninhibited love of God to flow through human beings. In order for the human vessel to be a clear channel, self must be crucified. Any trace elements of self, willingly left, will mar the image and prevent the church from giving to the universe “the final and full display of the love of God.”

Sanctification will have accomplished its work in our lives when we can honestly say in every experience in life, “Not my will but Thine be done.” This is, indeed, love unlimited.

Notes 

[1] The Acts of the Apostles, p. 9

[2] Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 22