BLOG POST

by Phillip Vanwinkle
JUNE 19, 2015

Lessons from A Children's Song: Jesus Loves Me

What can we learn from such a simple song? It turns out quite a lot. In fact, so much that as I went through it, I was amazed at just what this little song actually teaches.

Jesus loves me! This I know
For the Bible tells me so
Little ones to Him belong
They are weak, but He is strong.

Notice the first phrase:

Jesus loves me!

Jesus loves me?  Yes, but anyone who does not believe in the afterlife, cannot sing this song. If the words were, Jesus loved me, then it might be possible that a person might believe that at one time a man named Jesus did indeed love me. But, since Jesus has died, He is no longer able to love me. If there is no afterlife, then this song makes no sense. For, Jesus cannot currently love me, unless Jesus is currently living.

Along those same lines, If Jesus was simply a prophet and nothing more, if Jesus is still dead and awaiting judgment as some religious bodies claim, then again, those religious bodies have no right to sing this song. For, Jesus cannot currently love me, if He is currently dead, awaiting judgment.

Also, only people who believe in a personal love can sing this song. Deism for instance teaches that a being (God) created the universe and humanity, then He simply stepped back and is relatively quiet, and uninterested in the affairs of men.

Deists therefore, cannot sing this song, because while a Deist might even believe that Jesus is God (though doubtful) the fact that He currently loves me, goes against what they believe.

So from the first phrase we learn, that the only people who have the right to sing this children’s song are those who believe in an afterlife, those who believe that Jesus is currently living, and those who believe that Jesus currently shows his love to me. He has a personal love…for me.


This I know,

The second line of this children’s song is “This I know.” This line should strike fear in the hearts of those who teach that “we can’t really know anything.” It would be inconsistent for a person to believe that we cannot truly know anything, yet teach his children to sing, “Jesus loves me this I know.”

There are religious people, some even professing to be Christian, who teach that we can’t really know anything. These people have no right then, to sing this song. Because, this line explains a simple truth, we can know certain things.

Also, true Calvinists have no business singing this song either. Calvinists, cannot really know if Christ loves them. Yes, they will say He does, but, they cannot truly know that He does.

Calvinism teaches that God before the world ever began chose some, arbitrarily to be saved, and some, arbitrarily to be lost. And there is no way of knowing who is among the elected to salvation. The only way a person can know he is among the elect, is to die and find out.

For example, I have discussed with some Calvinists about Judas; one of the Apostles of Christ. I ask the Calvinist, “Was Judas ever saved?” they respond, “No!” Their circular reasoning looks like this:

“Was Judas ever Saved?” I ask.

“No!” is the response

“Why?” I ask

“Because Judas didn’t truly believe.” Is the response

“How do you know that Judas did not truly believe?” I ask

“Because Judas was not saved” is the response.

“How do you know Judas was never saved?” I ask again

“Because he was not finally saved.” Comes the response.

“But how do you know he was never saved?” I ask again.

“Because he didn’t truly believe.” Is the reply.

“How do you know he did not truly believe?” I ask.

“Because he was not saved.”

On and on this Calvinistic circle goes. And so it is, that the only way a Calvinist can know that Jesus loves him, is to die, to find out if Jesus saved him. See, because of their idea Limited Atonement, Jesus died, only to save the elect, therefore He did not die to save the lost. He does not love those who are eternally lost.

Since a Calvinist cannot know he is saved, until after he dies, he has no right to sing “Jesus loves me, this I know…” He would have to change the words to “Jesus might love me, at least I hope…”

         

For the Bible tells me so.

The next words in this children’s song is “For the Bible tells me so.”

Well, Muslims and others cannot sing this song, for many reasons. But, one is because they believe the Bible has been corrupted.

If a person believes that the Bible cannot be trusted, then, he has no right to sing this song. For this song says “the Bible tells me so.” But, if you cannot trust the Bible, then you cannot trust the part that tells you that Jesus loves you.

Also, only people who hold to the Bible as the ONLY source for their authority have the right to sing this song.

If a person’s feelings are his authority, then his feelings might change. Today he might feel like Jesus loves him, but a week from now, after his feelings change, then he might believe Jesus does not love him. Unless the Bible is the authority, how could he know?

Again, people who put their trust in creed books, have no right to sing this song. Because, they hold their creed-book up, as their authority too. So, while today their creed book says that Jesus loves them, in a few years, when the creed book undergoes changes, who knows what the creed book might say? Maybe the creed book would conclude that Jesus does not love them, or that they cannot know whether or not Jesus loves them.

Also, this song does not say “Jesus loves me this I know, for the Holy Spirit told me so…” There are those today who believe that the Holy Spirit is presently active in speaking directly to them, nudging them, placing thoughts into their minds. Those who believe this, can never prove the Holy Spirit is doing anything, they just make the claim.

“How do you know that the Holy Spirit is telling you that Jesus loves you?” I ask.

“Because, I feel like the Holy Spirit is telling me that Jesus loves me.” Is his reply.

“What if one day you feel like the Holy Spirit tells you Jesus does NOT love you?” I ask.

“He will not do that, because Jesus does love me.” He replies

“But how do you know that Jesus loves you?” I ask.

“Because the Holy Spirit is telling me that Jesus loves me.” He says

“How do you know that the Holy Spirit is telling you that Jesus loves you?” I ask again

“Because, I feel like the Holy Spirit is telling me that Jesus loves me.” He says again.

“But, what if one day you feel like the Holy Spirit tells you Jesus does NOT love you?” I reply again.

He states again, “He will not do that, because Jesus does love me.”

“But how do you know that Jesus loves you?”

“Because the Holy Spirit is telling me that Jesus loves me.”

“How do you know that the Holy Spirit is telling you that Jesus loves you?”

“Because, I feel like the Holy Spirit is telling me…

On and on this unprovable circular reasoning goes.

See, if the Holy Spirit is personally, actively, directly telling them that Jesus loves them, then He would give signs (miracles) to prove such was the case. (Mark 16:17) But since the Holy Spirit is no longer giving signs to them, then they have no way of showing that the Holy Spirit is directly telling them anything.

I say all that to say this: Unless you believe that the Bible is the completed, all sufficient guide that all the information you have about God and Jesus is found on the pages of the Bible, then you have no right to sing this song. For you cannot know that Jesus loves you. If revelation has not been complete, and is constantly being changed/upgraded, then Jesus might have loved you once, but in the most recent revelation He might have revealed that He no longer loves you. How would you know? You couldn’t.

The only way we can rest assured in knowing that Jesus loves us, is if the Bible is trustworthy, if revelation has been completed, and that the Bible is the all sufficient guide to show us that Jesus does indeed love us.


Little ones to Him belong;

The next line of this song is “Little ones to Him belong.”

We must first ask, who are the little ones? And then secondly ask, who are the ones that belong to Him?

Who are the “Little ones?” Well, in comparison to who God is, we are all little. In 1 John 2:1 John writes “My little children…”  Obviously, he was not talking about their size or their weight. He was not discussing their age. Rather, he is using this term as a term of endearment. As though he was a father to the Christians to whom he was writing.

God looks over his children and is endeared to them. Christians are his “little ones.” Christians belong to Him.

But, who are Christians? Christians are those who have done, and continue to do what God has instructed in the Bible. A child of God must be born again. (John 3:1-5) He is to believe that Jesus is the son of God (John 3:16) He is to repent of his sins (Acts 2:38) and confess Christ as the son of God (Acts 8:37).Then a penitent believer will be baptized, in order to wash his sins away (Acts 2:38, 1 Pet 3:21). It is this baptism into water, where a person is born again. (Romans 6:1-6) therefore, the “little ones” who belong to Him, are those who have taken these steps. These are the ones that Christ endears Himself to, the ones that “to Him belong.”

If you have not done these things, then you are not one of the little ones that belong to him. He has not endeared Himself to you. Therefore, until you do these things, you have no connection to this song, as far as being one of the ‘little ones to Him belong.”


They are weak but He is strong.

The last line in the first verse of this song is: They are weak but He is strong.

They, is a reference back to the endeared ones. The ones that “to Him belong.”

Those who believe that they can do everything for themselves have no business singing this song. For, this song admits, that the ones that belong to Christ, will admit that they are weak. It is not by our power, but by His, that we are able to accomplish anything in this life. (Acts 17:28)

Jesus said to Paul:   My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. That is why Paul would say: I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ's sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.(2 Cor 12:9-10)

Because his ‘little ones’ are humble enough to admit weakness in themselves, Christ is able by His strength, to be victorious through his children.

If you believe that you will determine your own course. If you believe that you may practice things by your strength (authority), without seeking Christ’s word, then this song does not fit you.

So let us summarize the truths of this first verse.

Only those who believe in an afterlife, those who believe that Jesus is currently living, and those who believe that Jesus currently shows his love personally to them may sing this song.

And, those who actually KNOW that they are saved have the right to sing this song. Only those who can rest assured in knowing that Jesus loves them, is if the Bible is trustworthy, if revelation has been completed, and that the Bible is the all sufficient guide to show us that Jesus does indeed love us. They may without being hypocritical sing this song.

Again, those who belong to Christ, by believing that Jesus is the son of God, repent of sin, confessing Christ as the Son of God, and being immersed in order to wash away his sins, have the right to sing this song. These are the “little ones” to whom the Lord endears Himself. They are the “little ones to Him belong”

And lastly, only those who humble themselves enough to admit that it is only by the power and authority of Christ that I am to live, and move and have my being, are eligible to sing this song truthfully.

If this is you. If you have met these qualifications, then friend, you can join the thousands in Christ, who can freely, and confidently sing:

Jesus loves me! This I know
For the Bible tells me so
Little ones to Him belong
They are weak, but He is strong.


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