I recently heard someone say “God believes in us”.
Where is THAT in the Bible?
The only text they quoted to support this was “For God so loved the world that He gave…”.
Basically they were saying that it was not just the motivation of love that Jesus endured the cross, but Jesus also believed in us, or had believed that we would receive the salvation He offered.
Now this is not a matter of difference of opinion or different interpretations. Hello… John 3:16 is “milk”, how can you get more basic than that? By adding to that verse something that isn’t there, no matter how cool it sounds, it still sours the milk. If the milk is sour, guarantee that the meat will be rancid.
Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. – 1 John 4:10
Why is it not sufficient that love was the motivation that Jesus went to the cross?
Taking into consideration the whole counsel of God and His nature, my understanding is that since God is love and expresses love perfectly, that Jesus went to the cross solely because of His love for us and would have done so even if nobody would repent and receive His completed payment for our sins.
This contrary doctrine contradicts not only John 3:16 but also Ephesians 2:4-5 and other verses…
But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved),
Now why is “God believes in us” bad? Basically, instead of God being the only one who gets the glory for our salvation, we can get a share in it by doing something that God believes we will do. This is very appealing as it tickles our ears and appeals to our prideful flesh.
Unfortunately, some folks mistake having their flesh tickled for the “witness of the spirit”. Regardless of how we feel, we still need to test all things against scripture and prove all things, holding fast to that which is true.
Of course the responses then become “well this is God doing something new”, or “this is new revelation”, or “Jesus told me this”.
God reveals His nature in the Bible as being of order and not confusion. He does not contradict Himself, and neither should anything revealed to us by Him.
If I’m wrong on any point, I want someone to show me in scripture where I’m wrong. By two to three witnesses is something established (Deut 19:15) and it should not contradict any other scripture in context. If shown this, I quickly repent and conform to what the Word says. I want to get it right and be sure of what I teach my kids.
This verse reveals a very good reason to be sure of what you teach:
But whoso shall offend [lead astray] one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea.
This “God believes in us” line of thought is likely because of the contrary doctrine that God needs to use faith to do things… This is a popular contrary doctrine because if God needed faith, and we can use faith, then that puts us in the place of being a god (Gen 3:5), appealing to the pride of life (1John 2:16)
Of course, being that God is All-powerful and All-knowing, and that He knows the end from the beginning (Isa 46:12), He accomplishes His will by His own power as Creator.
We have no power in and of ourselves, and that is where faith comes in. The only way we can participate in things spiritually is through the power of the Holy Spirit, and we put our trust (faith) in God’s Word that He will accomplish everything He has said. The power is not in faith, or to say, we don’t put our faith in faith. Faith is only effective when we put our trust in something that is truly powerful. The power is in God, and our trust needs to be in God and His Word.