Rom 5:3 And not only so, but we also rejoice in our tribulations: knowing that tribulation worketh stedfastness;
Rom 5:4 and stedfastness, approvedness; and approvedness, hope:
Rom 5:5 and hope putteth not to shame; because the love of God hath been shed abroad in our hearts through the Holy Spirit which was given unto us.
(American Standard version)
As Christians we have been given God's love in our hearts. We have the testimony of God's love for us. It is poured out in our hearts, it has filled us, it will invigorate us with all it's powers and faculties.
This love is the spring off all our actions, it is the motive of our obedience, the principle which with we love Him.
1Jo 3:1 Behold what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called children of God; and suchwe are. For this cause the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not.
The Father has bestowed a great and awesome measure of love upon us. This He has done by giving us the change and opportunity to become His children and then to be filled with the hope of eternal salvation.
This love has been poured out in our hearts, because He found reason within Himself.
Rom 3:24 being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus:
There is a word in this verse that asks to be explored and it is the word "freely".
This word freely means that God found reason within Himself to love us and to open the fountain of grace that has been opened.
God did not have to do this, yet He did it, He did this freely. In John 3: 16 it tells us that "God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son" to a world lost in sin.
It was Gods love that caused Him to do this for us, He did not have too, yet He did it. We all deserve to die, (Rom. 6: 23) yet He provided a way of escape.
God's love and grace are the gifts of God to mankind.
When mankind becomes obedient to the gospel-plan of salvation he is added to the church.
This adding is done by God (Acts 2: 47)
No one adds but God alone. When the penitient believer is baptized for the remission of sin, this person is added to the church.
This love will consume that which is unholy, it will refine us, it is the love that is so different from the world.
Is is the love that causes us to love Him with all that we are, it causes us to have His kingdom and righteousness in our lives in the first place. It causes us to give Him our all. It is the love that causes us to love our enemies and those that treat us unfairly.
It is this love that causes us to overcome evil with good, He is our great example, He loves the unloveable and the unthankful and so do we.
Nothing can seperate us from this love.
So much of scripture tells us that nothing can seperate us from the love of Christ.
Paul wrote about it in the 8th chapter of Romans.
Rom 8:35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or anguish, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?
Rom 8:36 Even as it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; We were accounted as sheep for the slaughter.
Rom 8:37 Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.
Rom 8:38 For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers,
Rom 8:39 nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
What a blessed state it is that Christians are in.
We are slaughtered every-day, yet in all these things nothing can seperate us from His love.
Joh 10:27 My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me:
Joh 10:28 and I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, and no one shall snatch them out of my hand.
Joh 10:29 My Father, who hath given themunto me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father's hand
In no uncertain terms the apostle John tells us, by inspiration of the Holy Spirit, that nothing can snatch us out of the Fathers hand. His loving hand is always over us.
His loving hands are watching our lives, He protects us as He has protected the lives of David, of Esther, of Mordechai and many others. Their lives are a testimony to that fact. He was there for them every step of the way and so He does for us. The Old Testament gives us great insight into the lives of the children of God and it is a testimony to His wonderful love and care for His own.
This love made perfect in our lives.
1Jo 4:16 And we know and have believed the love which God hath in us. God is love; and he that abideth in love abideth in God, and God abideth in him.
1 Jo 4:17 Herein is love made perfect with us, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment; because as he is, even so are we in this world.
1Jo 4:18 There is no fear in love: but perfect love casteth out fear, because fear hath punishment; and he that feareth is not made perfect in love.
When we look at this love that God has shed abroad in our hearts, we observe that when this love is made perfect in our lives it leads to boldness in the day of judgement and to boldness in our lives as Christians.
This love that has been shed abroad in our hearts elevates us to knowing that He is our Father, that He cares for us, that He has forgiven us, that we are adopted into His family.
It leads us to triumph.
When this love is in our hearts we have no fear. There is just boldness. That is what this love will do in our hearts.
Christians need to stand in this new identity.
This is foremost and crucial. If we can live in this new identity and stand in it, we will be victorious.
When Christians take on their new identity to the fullest, we will enjoy a life to the fullest.
This new identity comes by faith. Faith is the primairy principle in our life with God, all that we do we do by faith, even our thinking.
So, if we in our thinking are led by the principle of faith then we will be victorious.
That is why the scriptures puts emphasis on the concept of keeping our eyes focused on Jesus. (Hebr. 12: 1- 2)
These verses help us to understand that keeping our eyes on Him will bring us the victory, as it did in the life of Christ. He kept His eyes on the goal and so we need to do the same.
Paul tells us here that love was shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Spirit. The HS is God's agent to do so in the lives of those that are obedient to His gospel.
2Co 1:21 Now he that establisheth us with you in Christ, and anointed us, is God;
2Co 1:22 who also sealed us, and gave usthe earnest of the Spirit in our hearts.
Here, in the above verse, we read that God anointed us, He sealed us and He gave us the earnest of the Spirit in our hearts.
This word and practice finds its background in the Old Testament where the priest were anointed to be in His service.
When people or items were anointed they were dedicated and put aside for holy service.
And that is what Christians are, they are put aside for special service unto God.
The concept of sealing has do to with purchasing, we are purchased by God, with the blood of Christ and we are not our own anymore. Now the Spirit works and lives in us and we are to be holy.
Paul wrote in Gal. 2: 20 that he had died and that Christ was alive in Him by faith.
1Pe 2:9 But ye are a elect race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God's own possession, that ye may show forth the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvellous light:
This verse tells us that we are His possession, and that is what is meant by anointed and being sealed. We are His.
The meaning of the word "earnest".
1) an earnest
1a) money which in purchases is given as a pledge or downpayment that the full amount will subsequently be paid
So, God has given us the Spirit in our hearts as a down-payment.
It is the guarantee that we are His children and that we will have an inheritance.
When we buy a TV and pay a down-payment, it is a guarantee that when we can come later and pick up the TV. It is ours, and so it is with God and our inheritance. The Spirit has been given to us, it is Gods guarantee for our inheritance.
Rom 8:15 For ye received not the spirit of bondage again unto fear; but ye received the spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.
Rom 8:16 The Spirit himself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are children of God:
We have received a spirit of adoption. In that spirit we can say: "Abba Father".
This is the work of God in our hearts when we live in obedience with His will.
It is God who sheds abroad His love in our hearts. It becomes our power to live and dedicate our lives to Him. God has done so by His Spirit.
All these things are ours when we live by faith.