Creation started with Father wanting children to love. God created Adam. God fellowshipped with Adam, walking with him in the garden. Adam made a choice against love. “Maybe God is holding out on me in some way. Let me take some control, eat the fruit and know more.” God put boundaries in place but didn’t close His heart. He offered restoration instead.
Restoration didn’t start with the cross. It started with the vision of a loving Father. God so loved the world…He gave His only begotten son.. He said He would not leave us as orphans but that He would come to us. (Jn.14:18)
As we receive that love, we are brought into God’s family of love.
- His disciples are known by their love for each other.
- The great commandment is loving God and others.
- Love fulfills the law.
- Faith works by love.
- To know God is to love. He who doesn’t love does not yet know Him.
(Jn.13:35, Matt.22:36-40, Gal.5:6, 1 Jn.4:7, 8)
What Would A Church Look Like Based On This Vision?
What if salvation was presented more as an invitation to receive love rather than fulfilling some need of fulfilling God’s justice? Even repentance. What if it was seen more for how we’ve resisted love and how that hurts God, ourselves, and others, rather than escaping the hell of God’s wrath?
Then as a new believer is brought into the family of God the primary goal of discipleship would be to gently help him become comfortable with love. The older believers would pour love in again and again through inclusion, regular invitations to fellowship, hugs, affirming words, patient help to the person to overcome challenges he faces. They would have the understanding that it’s only love that matures us.
Evangelism would become very natural if this was the pattern. As the new believer has this experience of love, acceptance, and inclusion, as he has his deepest heart’s needs met, then he, too, would desire to go and invite others into the love feast he has partaken of.
Could you imagine such a world where the Body of Christ operated like this?