“Do we, then, nullify the law by this faith? Not at all! Rather, we uphold the law.” (Romans 3:31, NIV2)
Many twist the gospel of Good News by laying bondage principles on the shoulders of their members. “You can’t be saved if you wear a ring!” “You can’t be saved if you wear pants!” Where did these “rules” come from?
Truly there is no salvation by works. “It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.” (Galatians 5:1, NIV2).
It was never about us, but about Him (Our loving God) whose main attribute is perfect, everlasting, genuine love, and we are urged to be imitators of the Most High. This is confirmed by Jesus Himself: “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.” (John 13:34, NIV2)
It was also confirmed on the sermon of the mount. Love goes way beyond the written code! How slow are we to absorb this crucial part of Christianity!
Some early reformers, although not perfect, understood the principle of divine love. Take, for example, the city of Geneva in Switzerland. In the 16th century it was renowned all over Europe as being a city of refuge for persecuted believers who found asylum here. John Bale was one of these, and he wrote the following about this amazing 16th century city of refuge:
“Geneva seemeth to me to be the wonderful miracle of the whole world: so many from all countries come thither, as it were a sanctuary, not to gather riches but to live in poverty …Is it not wonderful that Spaniards, Italians, Scots, Englishmen, Frenchmen, Germans, disagreeing in manners, speech and apparel, sheep and wolves, bulls and bears, being coupled with the only yoke of Christ, should live so lovingly and friendly, and that monks, laymen and nuns, disagreeing both in life and sect, should dwell together, like a spiritual and Christian congregation.”
After finding such love among Christians in Geneva, many refugees left Switzerland to return to their birth countries, with the sole purpose of bringing the Good News they experienced to those of their homelands. And this, even though they had experienced persecution in their home countries!
Love can’t be tamed, and it certainly can’t be hidden. We either are filled with the love of Christ Himself, or we are not. It’s our decision whether we want to experience God fully in our lives, or not.
Love is truly the source of any inner revival.
(To access the entire “Radical Grace From the Book of Romans” devotional series, please click here.)v