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¶610.1        God’s Gracious Initiative for Salvation

In love God has graciously provided for the salvation of all humankind. God is love (I John 4:8-10). Jesus, the eternal Son of God, was sent by the Father as an expression of God’s love for the world (John 3:16). The cross shows the extent of Jesus’ love for all. The love of God is further expressed to the world through the ministry of the Holy Spirit (Romans 5:5). Only those who respond in repentance and faith can experience His grace as a redemptive reality (Romans 3:21-26).

The Christian life can be consciously experienced because it is a relationship between persons -the personal God and humans made in His likeness. Every person is confronted by this personal God, but the outcome of this confrontation is affected by how each person responds (II Corinthians 3:16-18).

God deals with all persons as free and responsible. Therefore, He not only makes His grace available awaiting our free response, but He also reveals Himself and makes known His life to all who put their trust in Him.  The redemptive relationship with Jesus Christ is experienced as an awareness of His love and fellowship.

Those who are justified by faith experience the peace of God (Romans 5:1, 2).  When His Holy Spirit comes to the heart, there is joy and freedom (Romans 14:17; II Corinthians 3:17). The Holy Spirit’s indwelling presence is the assurance of our relationship to God as His dear children (Romans 8:15-16).