“The love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us. For while we were still helpless, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. For one will hardly die for a righteous man; though perhaps for the good man someone would dare even to die. But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:5-8).
Salvation ushers believers into a love relationship with God that lasts throughout eternity.
The eighteenth-century hymn writer William Cowper wrote in “There Is a Fountain”:
E’er since by faith I saw the stream
Thy flowing wounds supply,
Redeeming love has been my theme
And shall be till I die.
Perhaps the most overwhelming concept in all Christianity is that God loved us so much “that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life” (John 3:16). And more than that, God even graciously imparts His love to us—He pours it “out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us” (Rom. 5:5). Paul here reveals that in Christ we are given subjective evidence of salvation. God Himself implants that evidence deep within us. As a result, we love the One who first loved us (1 John 4:7-10).
The idea that God “poured out” His love refers to a lavish outpouring. God didn’t just squeeze out His love in little drops—He poured it out in immeasurable torrents. And that is seen in perhaps the greatest manifestation of God’s love in all eternity: when we were ungodly sinners totally incapable of bringing ourselves to God, He sent His Son to die for us who were completely unworthy of such love.
Think of how God’s love impacts your assurance. Now that you are saved, you can never be as wretched as you were before your conversion, and He loved you totally then. Because God loved you so completely, you can be secure in your salvation.
Suggestions for Prayer
Confess those times you have taken for granted God’s love for you, then meditate on Romans 5:8.
For Further Study
Read Ephesians 3:14-19. How does the Holy Spirit help us to “know the love of Christ”?
From Strength for Today by John MacArthur Copyright © 1997. Used by permission of Crossway Books, a division of Good News Publishers, Wheaton, IL 60187, www.crossway.com.