The relationship that God has with man is on the basis of three things: His Love for us, His Grace and His Righteousness. These three are foundational in the sense that they form the pillars upon which our relationship with God rests, and upon which we grow spiritually as well.
God’s love towards us is not based on anything that we did but flows from who God is (1 John 4:7-8). From the very beginning, while we were yet in His loins, before He even made us in His very own image, He has loved us.
In Jeremiah 31:3, the Bible says about God that “He has loved us with an everlasting love” and out of that loving-kindness “He has drawn us.” God Himself is an everlasting God, and His love to us is an everlasting love. Love is important in the equation of God because proper spiritual growth takes place in an atmosphere of love. When you look at the basis of God’s love toward us for instance, it is with the understanding that we may grow into His fullness. Ephesians 3:17-19, it says: “that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith, that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height; to know the love Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.”
Love is an important tool for effective growth. Love is the basis of all growth, whether physically or spiritually. When you take a look at two children who grow up in two different homes, let’s say a dysfunctional home and a non-dysfunctional home, you will definitely notice a sharp contrast between them easily. One would exhibit a greater degree of emotional imbalance because of the setting he or she is coming from, while the other may have a stable emotion.
Listen to Podcast: The Foundational Truth About The Relationship God Has With Man
When you see a husband and wife who genuinely love themselves, you would notice that they grow together. Any organization or ministry where love reign supreme as well enjoys tremendous growth. Apostle Paul knew the importance of love and growth in ministry, and so, he admonished people of Ephesus to walk worthy of their calling, bearing with one another in love (Ephesians 4:1-3). Psalms 133:1-3 tells us that “Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity! It is like the precious oil upon the head, running down the beard, the beard of Aaron, running down on the edge of his garment. It is like the dew of Hermon, descending upon the mountains of Zion; for there the Lord commanded the blessing – Life forevermore.”
A nation where there is no love among the people, where there is disunity, can never make the necessary progress as it ought to. When you look at the case of Nigeria for instance, you would notice that one the things that has hindered our progress over the years is disunity; among the various ethnic groups, the regions, the tribes and even politicians as well. Despite the fact that our coat of arms reads “Unity and Faith, Peace and Progress”, a cursory look at the nation today would tell you that there has been so much progress like that, and the disunity can be seen almost everywhere you turn too. So, in a nutshell; unity can only take place in an atmosphere of love, and where there is no love, there can never be unity, and there can never be growth as well.
You don’t owe any man anything. The only thing you owe anyone at all time is to love them, irrespective of who they are. Whether they are black or white, brown or chocolate, you owe everyman love. Romans 13:8-10 tells us: “Owe no one anything except to love one another, for he who loves another has fulfilled the law.” This is important because when you love people genuinely, what you are simply doing is facilitating their growth.
Grace came into the picture because the devil caused man to err from the love of God. So, because man erred, GRACE swing into action to rescue man back into the love of God. From that moment when grace into the scene, God started relating with man based on what that Grace has made available once again. Don’t forget, when man erred initially, he lost everything that God made available for him. We must never forget as well that despite what happened, God did not hate man. Never you get to that point where you think God hates you, God does not hate anyone; God loves everybody.
What God detested was the act of disobedience that had been committed by listening to the devil. What God hates is the wicked works of man’s hands, and the sin that they commit regularly, but not the man himself. So, Romans 3:23-26 made it clear what grace came to do on behalf of mankind.
“For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God set forth as a propitiation by His blood, through faith, to demonstrate His righteousness, because in His forbearance God had passed over the sins that were previously committed, to demonstrate at the present time His righteousness, that He might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.”
Someone maybe wondering right now, when did I Sin? But I was not there from the beginning? Anyway, you sinned because at the time Adam sinned, you were in his loins. Adam is the progenitor of all human race and therefore, anyone born of man, from the Adamic nature, carries the nature of sin in himself or herself. Until there is a switch over from this Adamic nature, into the nature of God; through the grace of God that has been made available in Christ, you remain a sinner. That is why the Scripture says “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”
So, what grace came to achieve in summary, was to build the relationship God has with mankind, that the devil tried to destroy from the beginning. Jesus then became the bridge through which mankind reconnected back to their creator, God the Father.
God relates with us on the basis that we have His very own nature which is righteousness. One thing that we must adequately note is that grace is a precursor to righteousness. In other words, there is no way we would have been able to attain the righteousness of God without talking about grace, which is what Christ came to do on behalf of humanity (Romans 3:22). Also, 1 Corinthians 1:30 tells us that “But of Him you are in Christ Jesus, who became for us wisdom from God – and righteousness and sanctification and redemption.”
That tells us that each time we approach God for something or anything whatsoever that Christ has made available for us through grace, we go on the basis of His righteousness that we have in Him (Hebrews 4:16). What human struggles could not attain through the practice of the law, the righteousness of God, which is of faith in Christ Jesus, came to attain it for us. That is why Acts 10:35 tells us that “But in every nation whoever fears Him and works righteousness is accepted by Him.” That tells you that whoever practices righteousness is accepted by God (1 John 3:7).
Why do we practice righteousness? It is so that we can bear the fruits of righteousness (Hebrews 12:11). Fruits is an evidence of growth. When a tree is not showing forth any fruits, that means such tree a is not growing. The righteousness of God is to that end that you can be begin to show the needed spiritual growth, through the fruits that you bear.
I pray that God will help us in Jesus name!
[Centre for New Dimension Leadership]