It is a universal law that all action has both cause and consequence. Movement, whether physical, mental, moral or of some other type begins with an identifiable reason and affects something else through its occurrence. The love of God for His creation is no different in this respect from any other movement in the universe except that is cause is within God Himself. His nature is complete in itself and from His being all things were willed into existence. But the consequences of His nature occur outside of Himself, therefore, the consequences of His nature and action are evident in His creation.
When I first became aware of the immensity of God’s love and sacrifice for me I was stunned and exhilarated. Unfortunately, that was all that happened for a while. I did not want to cross that bridge that was laid down for me at such a high price. Yet, as water slowly moves around, under or through obstacles in its path, so the force of God’s justifying action moved me toward the bridge over the vast gulf separating God and man.
As we honestly confront the reality of God’s efforts on our behalf, we are drawn toward Him. Moving closer, we want to become more like Jesus and we want to serve others, just as He served us. While our imitation of Christ will always be imperfect, and while our sinful nature will always try to turn us away from the light and back toward darkness, the positive effect of God’s movement toward us will always be stronger than the propensity to sin which is in us.
In his commentary on the Gospel as presented by St. John, Rober Barclay asks of Christianity, what other force in the universe has the power to make bad men good. Maybe in the end that is what we should think of when we ask the question which led to this paper. When I think of God, I think of the One who can make bad men good..
For more on sanctification see: