Keeping Ourselves in God’s Love
Even though God is perfectly able to “keep you from stumbling” and cause you to persevere in the faith (Jude 24), He still calls you to play an active role in keeping going in the Christian life—that is, to keep yourself in His love.
Pursuing God’s love ought to be a constant in our lives. This is why the Bible has so much to say about it! There is no coasting in the walk of faith; our faith won’t be strengthened on its own. What does it look like, then, to keep ourselves in God’s love?
First, Scripture teaches us that to preserve our love for God, we must remain in constant hatred of all sin (see Proverbs 8:13; Psalm 97:10; Romans 12:9). Start to play with sin, encourage it, or allow yourself to be excited by it and your love for God will inevitably decay.
Second, we can foster our love for God by delighting in the ordinances He gave the church. Jesus instituted Communion, for instance, as a means of Him meeting with us in a particular way, showing Himself to us that we might know His love and love Him too. It is impossible for us to keep ourselves in a healthy relationship with God while disengaging ourselves from the means of grace that He established.
Third, we need to remember that keeping ourselves in God’s love is not only an individual pursuit but also a corporate endeavor. We come to Christ individually, but we do not live in Him solitarily. Like living stones, we are being built up into a spiritual house in order that we might be a holy priesthood of believers (1 Peter 2:5). Cultivating deep and honest friendships with others who love God helps us love God. Relationships are seldom neutral. If we desire to grow in our faith, we must seek the company of godly friends.
Growing in our faith demands action and accountability—but it also requires patience as we wait “for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ that leads to eternal life.” We are meant to pursue a growing relationship with our heavenly Father, turning from sin and enjoying His gifts alongside others who have a new nature and are indwelt with the Holy Spirit, as we eagerly await the redemption of our bodies and the perfect completion of God’s purposes (Romans 8:23).
So, “work out your own salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you” (Philippians 2:12-13). We do not work for our salvation, but we do work it out, in all areas of our life. What sin must you fight? In what way must you pursue deep Christian friendship? Keep yourself in the love of God.
12Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life.
That You May Know
13I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God that you may know that you have eternal life. 14And this is the confidence that we have toward him, that if we ask anything according to his will he hears us. 15And if we know that he hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests that we have asked of him.
16If anyone sees his brother committing a sin not leading to death, he shall ask, and God1 will give him life—to those who commit sins that do not lead to death. There is sin that leads to death; I do not say that one should pray for that. 17All wrongdoing is sin, but there is sin that does not lead to death.
18We know that everyone who has been born of God does not keep on sinning, but he who was born of God protects him, and the evil one does not touch him.
19We know that we are from God, and the whole world lies in the power of the evil one.
20And we know that the Son of God has come and has given us understanding, so that we may know him who is true; and we are in him who is true, in his Son Jesus Christ. He is the true God and eternal life. 21Little children, keep yourselves from idols.
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