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Old is Gold – Evangelical Student (1965) – L.O.V.E

oldMan was created to love God and obey Him and in consequence, to love one another. But this purpose was frustrated by the entrance of sin! Instead of love, hatred and fear came in and boasting and murder became the norm!. But God in His mercy that endureth for ever, had His plan for retrieving lost humanity. He loved and in His love, He gave Himself up, even when despised and hated. The old story of God’s love is being proclaimed even unto the uttermost parts of the earth so that whosoever will, may come and be a partaker of this love.

He wants man, the erring and rebellious man, to see what a God of love can do! The story of Jesus is the most amazing drama of love that has ever been enacted on this world of ours. Man was parading his wickedness and hatred in wars and revolutions, murder and sensuousness; but on the cross of Calvary the world saw another sight. He was hated, yet He loved. All friends forsook and misunderstood Him, yet He loved. He was mocked, slighted and spat upon as a contemptible ‘worm’, yet He loved. In His death agony on the Cross, He loved, for He prayed, “Father, forgive them for they know not what they do”. And now God wants you and me to look on at this great sight; —a love that did not let Him go! and so, now—a love that will not let me go! Look at this love and as I look, this stony heart of mine is broken! I am melted by the warmth of that love that died in my stead!

All earthly desire for pomp and power fly before this sight : Can I be one that follows in His train? Thousands and thousands have followed this lead. Thieves, drunkards, murderers, good men and wicked men, have all found peace and rest in this love. In place of the struggles, jealousy and conflict for temporal things they have had the love, joy and peace in their experience and they could share these with those around them too!

But the Devil, the Archenemy of humanity, has always counterfeits to cheat poor man. When God shows man that his heart is sinful and needs regeneration, the devil comes forth with the soothing lullaby that all is well, your heart is good, and so enjoy all your heart’s desires and find satisfaction. Love is circumscribed to be merely sentimental or the sensual attraction between the sexes and in this, the modern fiction and the cinema play a great role. These, by their descriptions, insinuations, and suggestions are rousing the sensuous elements in man’s nature, all the while giving him a pleasure and comfort that this is “Love”. Often the realisation of the mistake comes too late!

In contrast to this is the love which God had planned to be implanted in human hearts responding to His great love. Is this merely an emotion? Yes, but much more! It is an emotion that keeps you subject to God and a discipline that eschews everything contrary to the will of God, and makes you follow in the paths of holiness and purity. John Hoad has recently made the following interesting remarks on love. “The word love is like the plain metal of a coin. Its value is determined by the image we stamp upon it; sentimental or sacrificial, cheap or costly, according to the life in which it is minted…The coinage of human love becomes debased, and the coins have to be reminded. For this we need the cross, for the Master dye of love was cast at Calvary. Only when the image and inscription of Jesus the Saviour is imprinted upon our human currency does “love” get at last its true best worth”. Galatians chapter five and verse twenty two refers to “love” as the fruit of the Spirit. The fruit is presented in all its diverse expressions; or love may be pictured as the whole bunch and the following enumerated characters, individual fruits. As the late Dr. A. T. Pierson has suggested

Love is the fruit,
Joy is love exulting,
Peace is love is repose,
Longsuffering is love on trial,
Gentleness is love is Society,
Goodness is love in action,
Faith is love in endurance,
Meekness is love at school, and
Temperance is love in discipline.

What a bunch of fruits and all this, to be had in our lives and experience! Again in the letter to the Colossians, Chap. 3 vs. 12-14 we read of love as the quality that is the bond of perfection, as a quality that perfects all the other qualities of a child of God. When speaking of the gifts of the Spirit in the 1st letter to the Corinthians chaps. 12 and 13, Paul selects three as prime, Faith, Hope and Love – of those ‘love’ is shown as the greatest and central. For, what is faith but trust in the love that has manifested itself in Jesus; and hope, the expectation of Love that is coming! Chap. 13 is a sublime lyric on love and it is followed by an exhortation to follow after “love”.

Notice that love is a gift of the Spirit: nature does not endow us with this supreme quality. 1). It is a gift of God who is LOVE. (1 John
4:8). This gift is not to go under a bushel (Mark 4:21) nor fostered by burying in the ground (Mark 25:IB) nor to be blatantly declared an empty words like the Pharisee  (Luke 18:11) but it is to be practised and cultivated that we may live the Christian life in this dark world.

In the 15th chap. of the gospel of John, Jesus Christ has given the absolutely necessary conditions on which alone the cultivation of
this fruit is possible. These are:

1). Union with Christ. Without that there can be no fruits:

2) Purging by the Father – that is the discipline at which we are not to worry and fret but trust and submit.

3) Abiding in Christ – not by striving but abiding in Him in dependence, obedience and absolute surrender.

This is God’s purpose for us—that we bear much fruit and thus glorify Him. John 15:9. Again turning to the second Epistle of Peter we see something of the process or step procedures of the cultivation of the fruit in a believer’s life in chapter 1, verses 5-7. . . giving
all diligence, add to your faith, virtue and to virtue, knowledge and to knowledge, temperance and to temperance, patience and to patience, godliness and to godliness, brotherly kindness, and to brotherly kindness, love (charity) Presenting these as steps of ladder beginning with Faith and growing and increasing in grace till it is perfected in love, may be helpful to picture the process of
the fruit bearing.

And Peter indeed was most fit to write of these steps for, as we read in the gospels, he had to be learning these lessons step by step, some of them in great agony and bitterness. Yet he learnt it, for the teacher was the great Guru the Lord Jesus Christ himself : and
here, he is giving the way in which the Lord led him on.

If we consider the qualities of the Redeemed given in the Galatian letter and in the Colossian letter referred to in the foregoing and
think of the character and life that is envisaged there, we see the realization of God’s programme for the reclamation of fallen  humanity. Is it a restoration of Adamic nature before the fall? Yes, but  much more than that. These are the qualities that were combined in no human being other than the Lord Jesus Christ himself. Here we see a delineation of the character of God in man! The Holy Spirit patterns and perfects the believer who has yielded to Him, in such a way that he comes to be more and more like his Lord leading to the finale “…when he shall appear we shall be like him” I John 3:2.

Article from Evangelical Student (1965) L.O.V.E

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