“God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit that has been given to us.” -Romans 5.5
For a load of other English translations: https://biblehub.com/romans/5-5.htm
To see the Greek via an interlinear with translation: https://biblehub.com/interlinear/romans/5-5.htm
From time to time I consider the reality and in my view, sad plight of those who discard, disagree or otherwise refuse faith in the Lord (Father, Son, Spirit) by claiming spirituality, metaphysics are simply non-existent. That is, they carry on with zero concept that God exists and if not from raw data cannot be proved, that it’s a wash to believe any of it.
Few will say so, some will give reason (literally “reason”, pure logic) as to a major “why” of blowing off anything in the realm of spiritual faith and of course this particular matter boils down to THEIR sense of reason and logic. When one is one’s own true god there is no room for another.
No wonder Paul gets tossed as he states and in part quotes from scripture “let God be found true, though every man [person] be found a liar, as it is written, “THAT THOU MIGHTEST BE JUSTIFIED IN THY WORDS, AND MIGHTEST PREVAIL WHEN THOU ART JUDGED.” -Romans 3.4
Note the caps that (NASB) denote a quote from the Old Testament.
The point is that people lie to themselves, to others and to God. Seeking to do away with a God Who judges in utter perfect judgment to Whom all of us will give account, I cannot but follow the logic of many wanting to do away with Him deeming their/our own “superior” judgment.
I know too much about myself, human nature, local, national and world history to believe in human judgment as perfect regarding humanity’s incredible record of flaws and indeed inhumane brutality.
Ok, so something that may be judged as flighty and useless as God’s love poured into our hearts (“What, that muscle pumping blood in my body??!”) by the… the… Holy SPIRIT -when one has decided the evidence in their own life and that of many others including professing Christians they’ve known well and the obvious horrors often perpetrated (note that word) BY people claiming to follow Jesus? Well, why would I believe in spiritual anything?
Only I would not be alive today but for His intervention, His love poured out into my heart/life from the very night He began to reveal Himself to me on many- MANY levels far beyond my ability to imagine and simply make it all up. My addictions were my multiple gods then, answering only to their King and Ruler: me.
I suggest human deity is the ultimate make-believe, the king of all myths, the thing many hold as ultimate truth and reality and I further believe this is core to escaping the dread of a perfect Judge with Whom all of us will ultimately face as per many, many scriptures throughout the Bible.
So of course various forms of textual criticism came into play (“Has GOD SAID” noted early in Genesis, no?) and certainly not all such critique is wrong, bad or mere folly. Sure. I’m ok with some of it. Some.
Yet like those among we followers of Jesus who hold as absolute truth our own personal convictions/doctrines/preferences in interpreting the Book and transmit such to others, does not the very same come from atheists and agnostics regularly? “THIS is where I stand and you aren’t going to move me.” So we have the “evangelists” of unbelief and their disciples just as we have false prophets among the Jews of the First Testament and professing Christians of the New… and throughout history it goes.
“Nothing new under the sun” comes to mind.
What OF this “love shed abroad in our hearts through the Holy Ghost”?
It is a truth, an ongoing experience, a “not every moment feeling or deep persuasion” yet over fifty years of interaction with Him something I cannot deny in my life! It is that sense of intimacy with someOne OTHER than myself, Whom I cannot see but yes, sense, feel, recognize the fingerprints of, am fully convinced for a long list of reasons but in particular, by faith.
What atheist or agnostic is not dealing with, interacting in faith regarding what they believe and if convinced of, do not seek to live out in their life?
It doesn’t take a genius to recognize faith in one’s self is not faith in God.
There are several types of love- but the love of God poured out in our hearts by the Spirit which is given us is not something less, but something more and in the end the real love I sought and found in the most unexpected ways from my first moment of believing in Jesus and believing it was the risen Christ speaking to my innermost self- to this very moment of writing over 50 years since. It was a shock that I then believed. It has been my daily experience to interact with Him every day since.
When a living, live interaction with The Other happens over a lifetime it’s rather illogical, unintelligent and downright foolish to construct a reality that. isn’t. real.
The reality of God has plenty of hallmarks. So does the love of God. I will conclude by saying it seems to me THE way we each may experience THAT love, HIS LOVE… is by His Spirit. His love is beyond human love. In fact there is a truth that it is beyond our ability to comprehend in our own finite mind.
Spirit-to-spirit, God’s genuine love for you, me, us? Yes. It’s beyond mere human love and is transmitted differently as well.
As always, thanks for stopping by! -Glenn