Monday, December 7, 2020

Unconditional Love

By Ron Adams

“I urge you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.” (Romans 12:1-2)
    Christians are admonished not to be conformed to this world. However, it is often difficult to be different and continue to be different from the world. We live in the world. We are surrounded by many people who are not transformed: relatives, neighbors, co-workers, people in leadership positions. Often they don’t understand or appreciate our holy calling, and their influence is great.
    While persecution of Christians is probably the most painful, it is not the most dangerous. The greatest threat to Christians is being “conformed to this world.” The major way such conformity happens is by Christians accepting the wisdom of this world.

Unconditional Love
    In an effort to have peace among men, unconditional acceptance, unconditional self-regard, unconditional self-acceptance, and unconditional love are being presented as a panacea. It sounds so non-judgmental, so loving, so caring. So much so, many who profess faith in Christ have been beguiled.
    Some think they find these concepts in Scripture, such as in Romans 5:8,“But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” And Romans 15:7, “Wherefore, accept one another, just as Christ also accepted us to the glory of God.”
    God’s love is unconditional. But does He regard man as okay in his sinful state? Does He accept us into His kingdom just the way we are?

Acceptance by God
    The love of God is boundless. He “so loved the world...that whoever...shall not perish, but have eternal life.” There is not a soul that is not loved by God. In His great love, He has provided a means of salvation to all mankind. But note, salvation is conditional: “whosoever believeth in Him.” Faith is a condition of acceptance by God. Faith in Jesus is a condition of salvation. “I said therefore to you, that you shall die in your sins; for unless you believe that I am He, you shall die in your sins.” John 8:24. Godly-living is a condition for having a part in the kingdom, “Or do you not know that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals, nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, shall inherit the kingdom of God.” 1 Corinthians 6:9-10.

    While it is good to accept ourselves for what we are, it must not be seen as an excuse for not changing for the better. “That’s just the way I am” is nothing more than a rationalization, a cop-out. God showered us with His love while we were sinners in order to free us from the guilt and practice of sin. He saves us from our sins, not in them. Repentance is a condition of salvation. 2 Peter 3:9, “The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance.”

Worldly Wisdom
    The term “unconditional love” as used by some today is nothing more than psycho-babble. The figment of the imagination. Worldly wisdom. The practical application of such a theory is a permissive attitude in amorally nonrestrictive atmosphere. The result is nothing less than all-out abandonment of accountability.
    Christians must not be taken in by such “wisdom” as “I’m okay, you’re okay...Accept me the way I am...We all have a right to be loved unconditionally.”
    May our conduct be like Paul’s, “For our proud confidence is this, the testimony of our conscience, that in holiness and godly sincerity, not in fleshly wisdom but in the grace of God, we have conducted ourselves in the world, and especially toward you.”
- Ron Adams publishes F.Y.C., a monthly publication. Bible references are from the NASB except where another translation is referenced. Back issues are archived at Be thoughtful and kind. All rights reserved. © 2020

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