God’s love; Experiencing love
“God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit
who has been given to us.” (Romans 5:5)
How do you feel God’s love? (My Facebook post 17/06/2013)
We know God loves us, but do you feel it? My kids know I love them but when I hug them they experience that knowledge tangibly.
Romans 5:6 says; “God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.”
Don’t you love the chosen adjective here? God’s love has been “poured” into our hearts, gushed into, spilled over into are the other potential translations… The measure here is abundance not measured. God abundantly gives us an experience of his love by the Holy Spirit.
No wonder Paul encourages us to be continually filled with the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 5:18) as this results in us knowing God loves me this I know for through the Holy Spirit I feel it so…
Jane Hampton (Facebook comment on my post 17/06/2013) That’s my prayer for those I love who are battling with His reality – that He would pour His love into their hearts by His Holy Spirit so they know His love and presence. But I don’t know how?
Oh, how I want answers to this pastoral question. Now I know no Greek, but I am equipped with some resources to delve into the Greek and I am confident that Scripture is true, and therefore true for all people.
On reflection I felt drawn to the verb “poured” and it’s tenses and discovered that this verb is in the perfect, passive, indicative, 3rd person! Feels like I have dipped my foot into a pool that’s way too deep for me…
But having read up on this my summary is that this verb “poured” used to describe God’s action towards us concerning His love this is what I have discovered;
It’s happened already! God’s love was poured into our hearts. The perfect tense describes a completed action, that occurred in the past but which produced a state of being or a result that exists in the present.
It’s not up to us! The verb poured is also in the passive and third person tenses. What this means is that God is the active person, we are being acted upon; we are those who are receiving this love that is poured out by God. We don’t have to work for it, do anything for it.
It is real! Finally the verb is also in the indicative tense which means that – according to the writer what is being described as happening is real, it is not just a feeling, it is actual not just possible.
Putting it all together now… In what way has God’s love been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us? Verse 6 gives us the answer – Jesus’ dying for us on the cross is how God’s love has been perfectly poured out by Him for us in a real way so that we really receive the actual love of God.
What must we do? How do we feel this love? Firstly let’s acknowledge that the word study here reveals that we can’t strive to have God’s love poured into our hearts! It is His action that’s being described, an action, an event that has already happened, which is real (not just a feeling) and is not up to us at all.
So what can we do? I believe that we are to meditate on the finished work of Christ on the cross which is the demonstration of God’s love for us. We know God loves us, because the Holy Spirit tells us that God died for us in our place because He loved us enough to give Himself for us so that we could be with Him forever. The cross is the epicenter of God’s love and when we feel His love tangibly now today, what we are feeling are the ongoing shockwaves of that real event that is at the centre of all history and the one on which we should centre our lives as well.