He loves me, He loves me not

How can one be sure that God loves them? At some point in time, almost every Christian will be faced with the problem of assurance. They will question whether God loves them with their many sins. And like a teenage girl, they will pick up their Bibles and start plucking out Bible verse (as if they were a daisy) and recite “He loves me, He loves me not.”

Where these doubts come from

Indwelling sin

“Our enemy is not only upon us, as it was with Samson, but it is also in us.” John Owen

When a person gets saved, they are saved from the bondage of sin, they are however not yet saved from the presence of sin. So they live a life of constant warfare against the flesh. Sometimes they win, but sometimes they fall.

However when they fall most people then conclude that at that moment God no longer loves them since they have failed Him. They then conclude that their sins are too big for God to forgive. And then go into a state of depression.

The law

The law of God is “holy and righteous and good” (Rom. 7:12). But the law of God is also impossible for sinful men to keep perfectly. But some Christians try to measure their acceptance to God based on their progress in keeping the law of God, and thus they fall into the curse of the law (cf. Gal. 3:10-14).

Satan”™s accusation

“Satan is the tempter – he wants to abuse you. After you sin, the tempter becomes your Accuser.” shai linne

In Revelation 12:10 Satan is called the “accuser of our brothers“, this is because he “accuses them day and night before our God.” The devil will use every opportunity he gets to makes our live miserable and make us doubt God. He accuses us of our sins when we fall.

The Gospel

“When Satan tempts me to despair
And tells me of the guilt within,
Upward I look and see Him there
Who made an end of all my sin.”

Charitie L. Bancroft

So how can Christians deal with the problem of assurance?

The love of the Father and Son

The question can also rephrased thus: does God always love us? Most Christians would say yes, God always does love us, but there are times in which He love us more and other times He loves us less. So God”™s love is dependent on how good we are. But is this true?

We read in John 17:23 and 15:9 that the Father loves Christians with the same love that He has for Christ and that Christ also loves us with the same love. So since the Father cannot love Christ more or less, He cannot possibly love us any different either.

The cross

The cross is the greatest display of God”™s love. Sending His only begotten Son to die for sinful man. God showed His greatest love towards us while we were still dead in our sins (cf. Rom. 5:8), so how could we still His enemies, so how could He love us less now when we are His children (Rom. 5:10)?

Eternal security

The Lord”™s love towards us is not only unchanging, it is also everlasting (cf. Jer. 31:3). Those whom the Lord loved in the past, He loves now, and will do so in the future. God”™s love is not bound to time, as God himself is not bound to time but transcends time.

The Gospel

The gospel states: that we are fallen sinners who are deserving of God”™s wrath, we have broken God”™s holy commandments and are haters of God; but God in His love sends His Son to die for sinners, all who believe in Him can then be counted as if they have fulfilled God”™s law perfectly and be pardoned.

Our Hope

“My hope is built on nothing less
Than Jesus”™ blood and righteousness.
I dare not trust the sweetest frame,
But wholly trust in Jesus”™ Name.”

Edward Mote

In order to combat the problem of spiritual depression, we must stop trusting in ourselves and good deeds, but on Christ alone. Our performances cannot justify us because they are never enough. We must remember that even on our best days we are just undeserving fallen sinners. We must be able to sing with Augustus Toplady:

“Not the labor of my hands
Can fulfill Thy law”™s demands;
Could my zeal no respite know,
Could my tears forever flow,
All for sin could not atone;
Thou must save, and Thou alone.

Nothing in my hand I bring,
Simply to the cross I cling;
Naked, come to Thee for dress;
Helpless look to Thee for grace;
Foul, I to the fountain fly;
Wash me, Savior, or I die.”

Whenever we feel that God loves us less, we must look to the cross and turn away from our sins to Him. “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.“ 1 John 1:9

“Because the sinless Savior died
My sinful soul is counted free.
For God the just is satisfied
To look on Him and pardon me.”

Soli Deo Gloria