Our love for God depends upon knowing his love for us

“You cannot love God if you are under the continual, secret suspicion that He is really your enemy! You cannot love God if you secretly think He condemns and hates you. This kind of slavish fear will compel you to some hypocritical obedience—such as what Pharaoh did when he let the Israelites go against His will. However, you will never truly love God if you are compelled only by fear. Your love for God must be won and drawn out by your understanding of God’s love and goodness towards you—just as John testifies in 1 John 4:18-19: ‘There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear, because fear consists of torment; The one who fears is not made perfect in love. We love Him because He first loved us. You simply cannot love God (pursue holiness/progress in sanctification—J.F.) unless you know and understand how much He loves you.” Walter Marshall, The Gospel Mystery of Sanctification, p. 31 (HT: John

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Highly Favoured!

Praise God that Christians are ‘highly favoured’ in Christ. This is an encouraging piece from John Fonville: If someone were to ask you, “Is God pleased with you?,” how would you respond? The joyful, astounding truth of the Christmas message is this: God is pleased with you! “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased,” (Lk. 2:14)! Note carefully. God the Father is pleased with you not because of you. He is pleased with you because you are united to His Son! And this is what He says about His Son, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased,” (Matt. 3:17). Through the gospel and faith, the Holy Spirit brings a sinner into union with Christ. Once a man is united to Christ, whatever God the Father says about His Son, He also says about His adopted son! God the Father has blessed us in the Beloved (i.e.,

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