To be certain to know the love of God for you
(Adapted from The love of God; studies in 1 John 4 by Martyn Lloyd-Jones)
So we have come to know and to believe the love that God has for us. God is love, and whoever abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him. 1 John 4:16
10 Tests you can apply to yourselves;
Do you know that you are entirely dependent upon the fact that Christ is the Son of God and that he died on the cross on Calvary’s hill and bore the punishment for your sins and took your guilt away? Is it all centered in him? If it is not, go no further. If Christ is not absolutely essential and central in your position you have no knowledge of the Love God has towards you. The whole argument of the New Testament is that it is there that God has manifested his love, and if I do not start there, I am ignorant of what God has done. How can I love him if I ignore that amazing manifestation and demonstration of his eternal love? That is the pre-test! From lowest to highest;
1. Do I have a loss and absence of the sense that God is against me?
For it is the natural man that always feels that God is against him. Have you lost the feeling that God is against you?
2. Do I have a loss of the craven fear of God, while a sense of awe remains?
Let us approach him with reverence and godly fear (Hebrews 12:28) Have you lost that craven fear of God, but gained a great reverence and awe of him?
3. Is there a feeling and a sense that God is for me and that God loves me?
I have lost that sense that God is against me and I begin to have a feeling and sense that God is for me, that God is kind to me, that he is concerned about me and that he truly loves me.
4. Do I have a sense of sins forgiven?
I do not understand it, but I am aware of it. I know that I have sinned; my sins are ever before me (Psalms 51:3) I remember my sins and yet the moment I pray, I know my sins are forgiven.
5. Do I have a sense of gratitude and thanksgiving to God?
No one can believe that God sent his only begotten Son into the world to die on the cross without feeling a sense of praise and of thanksgiving. Do you feel a sense of gratitude? Do you want to praise God? Do you want to thank him?
6. Do I have an increasing hatred of sin?
You know if you hate sin you are like God for God hates and abominates sin. If you have an increase in hatred of sin, it is because the love of God is in you – God is in you. No man hates sin apart from God.
7. Is there a desire to please God and live a good life because of what he has done for me?
The realization of his love should make us not only hate sin, but also desire to live a holy, godly life. Do you desire to please God more and more and live a better life, if you do it is because you love God, because our Lord said; He that has my commandments and keeps them he it is that loves me. (John 14:21)
8. Do I have a desire to know him better and to draw closer to him?
Do you want to know God better? Is it one of the greatest ambitions of your life to draw closer to him, that your relationship to him may be more intimate? If you have within you the faintest desire to know God better and are doing something about it, I say you love God
9. So I have a conscious regret that my love towards him is so poor?
If you are unhappy at the thought that you do not love God as you ought to, that is a wonderful proof that you love him. Love is never satisfied with itself, it always feels it is insufficient. The men and women who are unhappy because they do not love God more are, in a sense, the people who ought to be very happy, because their very unhappiness at their lack of love is proof that they do love.
10. Do I delight in hearing these things and in hearing about him?
Whatever your state of emotions may be if you can say quite honestly that you enjoy listening to these things and hearing about them and would sooner hear these things