5 Sanctification: What Does the Lord Expect of Us? PDF Print E-mail

Prof. Johan Malan, Mossel Bay, South Africa (August 2010)

5. Perfect in love

Sanctification increases the level of God’s agape love in our lives and enables us to actively demonstrate it in our attitudes, relationships and works. Are the characteristics of God’s love evident in your life? “Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails” (1 Cor. 13:4-8).

All saved people do have a measure of God’s love in them but not all of them are filled with it. Love is the fruit of the Spirit and we are commanded to be filled with the Spirit (Eph. 5:18). What will a person do who is filled with God’s love?

  • He will have a love for God’s Word and be a devoted Bible student: “Whoever keeps His word, truly the love of God is perfected in him” (1 John 2:5).
  • He will take delight in his fellow brethren, visit them, support them, and serve the Lord together with them: “If we love one another, God abides in us, and His love has been perfected in us” (1 John 4:12).
  • He will look forward to the second coming of the Lord Jesus and be able to give account of his life before the judgement seat of Christ with boldness: “In this respect love has been made perfect among us, that we may have boldness in the day of judgement” (1 John 4:17). Christians do not appear in the final judgement before the great white throne, but will appear before the judgement seat of Christ after the rapture where their works will be tested. He who has built with wood, hay, and straw after his conversion – that is a believer who has not done things that have value for eternity – will appear before the Lord empty-handed, saved as through fire (1 Cor. 3:11-15). Through the filling of the Holy Spirit and the practical expression of God’s love we will have boldness to stand before the heavenly Judge as the fruit of the Spirit will, by the grace of God, bring rewards. Paul says, “Each one will receive his own reward according to his own labour” (1 Cor. 3:8). To successful disciples will be said: “Well done, good servant; because you were faithful in a very little, have authority over ten cities” (Luke. 19:17).

Are you filled with the love which God pours out into our hearts by the Holy Spirit? If you are not filled with God’s Spirit there will be very little evidence of His divine love in your life.