|Volume 22 Number 11 November 2020||
The Difference between
God’s Love and God’s Salvation
Years ago, I taught that there was nothing that could ever separate you from the love of God except yourself. I would look at passages like Romans 8:35ff and show that there was no external thing that could pry you away from God but then turn around and show that Christians absolutely could fall from grace (Galatians 5:4). The problem is that though Christians can fall from grace, as a number of other passages clearly demonstrate (like virtually the entire book of Hebrews), God never stops loving us. The whole point of Romans 5 and Ephesians 2 demonstrates this perfectly. God’s love is magnified in that while we were dead in sin, He (through Jesus Christ) still loved us enough to come and die for us. It is important to note this distinction because while we can never be removed from God’s love (no matter how hard we try), we can be removed from His salvation — they are not the same thing. Both are never-ending, but God loves us unconditionally while His salvation is conditional on us being in Christ (Ephesians 1:3) and continuing to walk in the light (1 John 1:7; Acts 8:22).
Russel G. Bell
The word “law” is used many times in the New Testament, and understanding its meaning or to what it refers is essential to understanding God’s will — the Bible. When one reads the word “law” in the New Testament, equate it with the Old Testament or the Old Law, and it will help you get the meaning. For example, Paul wrote in Romans 7:4, “Wherefore, my brethren, ye also were made dead to the law [Old Testament] through the body of Christ; that ye should be joined to another, even to him who was raised from the dead, that we might bring forth fruit unto God.”
Again in verse 6 of the same chapter, the apostle penned, “But now we have been discharged from the law [Old Testament], having died to that wherein we were held; so that we serve in newness of the spirit, and not in oldness of the letter.”
Again in Galatians 5:4 Paul wrote, “Ye are severed from Christ, ye who would be justified by the law [Old Testament], ye are fallen away from grace.” Paul made it very clear in these three passages that one must leave the Old Testament Law and follow the New Testament Law; otherwise a person will be severed from Christ. We were freed from the Old Testament Law so we could be joined to the New Testament Law. We must keep the more perfect law — the New Testament of Jesus Christ.