Pastoral Chat Calendar

21 April 2019

My dear readers

We are Beloved Saints

Romans 1:7 “To all that be in Rome, beloved of God, called to be saints: Grace to you and peace from God our Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ.”

To be loved is the best experience in life for all peoples. Not to be loved at all throughout one’s life is a misery and an experience worse than death. Not to be loved is to have no true friends and no parents. The unloved fends for himself. He lives alone. He has no one to share his life with. The joys and sadness of life must be experienced alone. He has no ready help in time of trouble. He will die alone. No one will be at his funeral to send him off. What a tragic life of great misery.

Most children experience the love of parents. Many of us have friends who truly care for us. But these are parents and friends. Their kind of love is conditional love and is common. One does not have to be a Christian to experience such love. This conditional love is very limited and extremely weak. There will be a time or times when these people who love us will leave us. There will always be moments in life when we have to tread alone. The worst is the final separation called death. No one can accompany us regardless of how strong the person’s love is!

But thank God all is not lost. There is the love of God that is unconditional. It originates from God. Man does not possess such an unconditional love unless God gives it to him. The Bible calls this love “agape” love. Do you have this love?

When we were Sinners – All of us are born in sin. The sinful nature as characterised by the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes and the pride of life is found in all humanity since conception, nine months before birth. Did God love us with agape love when we were in this state of depravity? The answer is yes.

Agape love is not a love of feelings without action. This is a love that is seen by action. In this love God sent forth His only begotten Son to die for us. The Apostle Paul described it for us clearly in Romans 1:3-4 “Concerning his Son Jesus Christ our Lord, which was made of the seed of David according to the flesh; 4 And declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead.” Jesus Christ was made of the seed of David according to God's prophecy. He took on flesh and blood like us but was without sin. He was born of the virgin Mary about 2,000 years ago. He lived a perfect life, suffered and died on Calvary’s cross on sinful man’s behalf. Jesus Christ the Son of God became man to die for the sins of the world. God said that it was enough, for God raised Christ from the dead on the third day after He died. The God-man became our Substitute and took upon Him our sins and He was punished with our punishment. He died when we should have died!

This is God's agape love in action, for Jesus Christ died for totally depraved humanity that sins against God. A depraved humanity, that deserves to be sent to hell and to spend eternity in the Lake of Fire for the innumerable sins that are committed against Him, is loved by God. He does not desire to see anyone end up in hell.

The agape love of God for us began when we were all sinners!

When we become Beloved Saints – When the depraved sinner receives God’s agape love in Christ for him, he instantaneously becomes the beloved of God. This is God's promise. This is God’s grace. This happened to the Apostle Paul who was once a persecutor of the Christians until he received God’s agape love. Romans 1:5-6 “By whom we have received grace and apostleship, for obedience to the faith among all nations, for his name: 6 Among whom are ye also the called of Jesus Christ:” Verse 6 says that this offer of God’s grace (which is the agape love of God in Christ) is for all sinners and not the apostles only. God’s agape love is for the whole world.

How is it possible that a depraved sinner can suddenly become God's beloved? There is a transformation that takes place inside the sinner’s heart. The moment he confesses that Christ died for him on the cross and he receives Christ into his heart as his Lord and Saviour, the sinner is sanctified, i.e. washed by the blood of Christ. He becomes a holy person, i.e. a saint.

He is now a beloved saint!

All children of God as God’s beloved saints will never have to travel alone in this life. They will be cared for. All their needs are taken care of by God who loves them. This agape love of God is so all powerful that not even death can take this love away from the beloved saint. Romans 8:38-39 “For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, 39 Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

The beloved saint of God who breathes his final breath on his final journey in life will not be a lonely one.

Dear reader, are you a beloved saint of God?

Yours faithfully in the Saviour’s Service,
Rev Dr Quek Suan Yew, Pastor