Why do I need to become a Christian? I already know God loves me.

You’re absolutely right. God loves you deeply. He loves the world (including you) so much that he gave up his own son for you:  “For God loved the world in this way: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16).

Not only did he give his son, God also pours out his gracious blessings on you and everyone else: “He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous” (Matthew 5:45).

God has love and grace for everyone. But there’s a big difference between God’s ordinary love and his covenant love. There’s a wide gap between God’s common grace and his covenant grace.

Think about it this way: My ordinary love for you might lead me to buy you lunch, but I probably won’t spring for your surf-trip to Bali. On the other hand, my covenant love for my wife will lead me to pay for a trip to Bali, Fiji, Tahiti, or anywhere else her heart desires (and my wallet can handle). I’ll do everything in my power to bless her because I’m committed to her.

My common grace toward you might lead me to keep forgiving you when you keep deliberately hurting me, but you probably won’t come over to my house every night. On the other hand, my covenant grace toward my kids will lead me to keep forgiving them and welcoming them home every night no matter what they do to hurt me. I’ll keep embracing them because I’m committed to them.

That’s the difference between God’s ordinary love and his covenant love. There are certain people God forms a covenant with: the people who’ve put their trust in Jesus. And those people receive the riches of God’s grace and blessing in a way the rest of the world doesn’t.

As Paul says in his letter to the Ephesians, “[God] chose us in him, before the foundation of the world, to be holy and blameless in love before him. He predestined us to be adopted as sons through Jesus Christ for himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace that he lavished on us in the Beloved One” (Ephesians 1:4-6).

God’s love led him to give up his son (the “Beloved One”) for you, and that’s so he could “lavish” his glorious grace on you. So the way to receive the fullness of his love is to fully receive his son as your savior and king.