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By Curtis Pugh

            Most every reader will be familiar with John 3:16 which tells of God's love for the world and how it caused Him to give His only son up to death. The disagreement comes as to the meaning of the word world since John uses it in seven different ways in his gospel. But that is not our subject in this little article.

            The Word of God to Jeremiah was this: “The LORD hath appeared of old unto me, saying, Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting love: therefore with lovingkindness have I drawn thee,” (Jeremiah 31:3). Notice that God loves with an everlasting or never-ending love. God never ceases loving those whom He loves for if He did so He would change.  And change is unknown to Him. Notice also that because God loved those of whom He spoke, He had drawn them. God's love is not static! God's love is seen in His actions. The Lord Jesus said, “No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day,” (John 6:44). So we may rightly conclude that those whom God loves He draws to Christ in a saving way, promising them a blessed resurrection.

            Not only does God draw all those whom He loves, He also chastens or child-trains them. Christ, in His message to the church of the Laodiceans, said, “As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent,” (Revelation 3:19). We may say that God does not spank the neighborhood children, but He spanks His own because He loves them. When one whom God loves receives a rebuke or a 'spanking' from the Lord, he or she knows it. To avoid severe child-training (unpleasant as it is) the child of God needs to repent: to change his direction: his way of living.

            Another passage that tells us much the same thing is Hebrews 12:6-9: “For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth. If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not? But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons. Furthermore we have had fathers of our flesh which corrected us, and we gave them reverence: shall we not much rather be in subjection unto the Father of spirits, and live?” Again we are assured that those whom God loves He chastens – 'spanks' – and deals with as His sons. We learn that God child-trains all His children and that those people who are not chastened by the Father are not true sons. Thus believers are encouraged to subject themselves unto God as a son to a Father. In this way they shall avoid severe 'spankings' from their Father.

            In these verses we learn that God in love continues to deal with those whom He loves.

Grace Bible Baptist Church
26080 Wax Road
Denham Springs, LA 70726

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