Posted by: rcottrill | January 12, 2015

Since the Fullness of His Love Came In

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Words: Eliza Edmunds Hewitt (b. June 28, 1851; d. Apr. 24, 1920)
Music: Bentley DeForest Ackley (b. Sept. 27, 1872; d. Sept. 3, 1858)

Links:
Wordwise Hymns (Eliza Hewitt)
The Cyber Hymnal
Hymnary.org

Note: This 1916 gospel song is listed in the Cyber Hymnal under its opening line. In its biographical sketch of Miss Hewitt, it lists no less that 1,748 of her songs! She sometimes wrote under the pen name Lidie H. Edmunds.

You can’t travel in two opposite directions at once. There’s point when you make a 180-degree turn and start heading the opposite way. The Bible refers to the spiritual reality as being born again (Jn. 1:12-13; 3:3). There is a moment in time when the individual puts his faith in Christ, and since then he is a born again Christian.

That’s not to say, of course, that the person is zapped with instant maturity–any more than an infant born physically is suddenly all he or she can or will be. The Apostle Peter calls those who’ve put their faith in Christ “newborn babes,” who need to study the Word of God and “grow thereby” (I Pet. 1:23; 2:2). We are to “grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ” (II Pet. 5:18).

Christian growth is a process, but conversion itself, certainly from God’s perspective, is a dividing line that marks a dramatic before and since. As the Lord Jesus puts it, the person “has passed from death into life” (Jn. 5:24); “he has already passed over out of death into life” (Amplified Bible). Things that were not at all true of the individual before, are suddenly and irrevocably a reality for him.

One of these concerns the experience of the love of God. The Bible says of new converts, “The love of God has been poured out in our hearts [flooding our hearts, to the point of overflowing] by the Holy Spirit who was given to us” (Rom. 5:5). And there are two points in that verse deserving of our attention.

First, “the Holy Spirit…was given to us.” It’s the universal testimony of the New Testament epistles that the Christian is indwelt by the Spirit of God (Rom. 8:9; I Cor. 6:19; Eph. 1:12-14). One of the things the Spirit of God does within us is to produce that maturity of character that is God’s will for us (II Cor. 3:18; Gal. 5:22-23). Another is that the Spirit gives us a new and growing sense of the love of God, “since the fullness of His love came in.”

CH-1) Once my way was dark and dreary,
For my heart was full of sin,
But the sky is bright and cheery,
Since the fullness of His love came in.

I can never tell how much I love Him,
I can never tell His love for me,
For it passeth human measure,
Like a deep, unfathomed sea;
’Tis redeeming love in Christ my Saviour,
In my soul the heav’nly joys begin;
And I live for Jesus only,
Since the fullness of His love came in.

In 1956, middleweight boxing legend Rocky Graziano produced his autobiography, calling it Somebody Up There Likes Me. But what God speaks of in His Word is nothing like that vague sentiment. There is, in the heart of the believer, a new and growing awareness of the infinite love of God, a love that caused Him to send His own Son to die in our place, paying the penalty for our sins (Jn. 3:16).

“God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Rom. 5:8). And, when we trusted in the Lord Jesus as our Saviour from sin, we “received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, ‘Abba, Father [meaning approximately dearest Father!]’” (Rom. 8:15). “We love Him because He first loved us” (I Jn. 4:19).

CH-2) There is grace for all the lowly,
Grace to keep the trusting soul:
Pow’r to cleanse and make me holy,
Jesus shall my yielded life control.

That exuberant outpouring of the love of God, that new awareness that we are beloved by the Almighty, transforms our attitude toward Him, toward ourselves, and toward others as well. “If God so loved us, we also ought to love one another” (I Jn. 4:11).

CH-3) Let me spread abroad the story,
Other souls to Jesus win;
For the cross is now my glory,
Since the fullness of His love came in.

Questions:
1) What should be the result, when the Spirit of God pours the love of God into our hearts (Rom. 5:5)?

2) What other hymns about the love of God do you know and use?

Links:
Wordwise Hymns (Eliza Hewitt)
The Cyber Hymnal
Hymnary.org


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