Here’s a lie that kills assurance:
“Jesus loves me, but the Father is against me.”
“When God would have destroyed you for your sin, Jesus stepped in and cried, ‘No!’”
“Jesus stood between you and the Father’s wrath to save you.”
What do you think about those statements?
They are so close to truth, but they miss something. They make it seem like God the Father is against us, and God the Son is for us. They make it seem like your salvation is not a result of the Father and Son working together, but the Father and Son in opposition to one another. The Father’s intent is to damn but Jesus’ intent is to save.
God’s wrath is against sinners? Yes. Is it true that Jesus entered his creation to take upon himself the wrath of God so it would not fall on his children? Yes.
But let’s reflect on how the Bible actually teaches us that this happens. Look at Romans 3:23-25 “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith.” Who put Christ forward? God the Father.
Why? Look at Romans 5:8 “But God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Listen, don’t miss the logic here. It doesn’t say that Christ died for us while we were sinners, and then God loved us. It’s the opposite: God loved us, and that’s why Christ died for us.
Who saw us in our suffering and was moved with compassion? Who loved us so deeply he would buy us for himself with the blood of his own Son? It’s the Father.
Sinclair Ferguson in his fantastic book The Whole Christ, writes, “The subtle danger here should be obvious: if we speak of the cross of Christ as the cause of the love of the Father, we imply that behind the cross and apart from it he may not actually love us at all…”
He went on a few pages later, and this paragraph stopped in me my tracks: “If this is the atmosphere in which we [understand the gospel], a suspicion of the Father may linger long and prove to be a serious hindrance in the course of the Christian life. While often dormant in our souls, from time to time the thought will erupt that perhaps the Father himself, in himself, does not love us as the Son does. Such a disposition leads to a spirit of suspicion, and even of bondage, not one of freedom and joy.”
Are you suspicious of the Father’s love for you? Do you, at times, think that the Father does not love you like Jesus does? Dismiss the lie. The Father loves you, and the fountains of salvation spring from his great heart of compassion. Rest in his care!