The Love of God
06 April 2014
As Christians we have a tendency to look at God as if He were made in our image; as if He were like us. That is why we need to study God as He has revealed Himself to us in His word. And we can know Him because Jeremiah 9:23, 24 says – “Thus says the LORD: "Let not the wise man boast in his wisdom, let not the mighty man boast in his might, let not the rich man boast in his riches, but let him who boasts boast in this, that he understands and knows me, that I am the LORD”.
1 John 4:7,8 states – “Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God. Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love.”
The attribute of God being considered here is His love. It's an interesting verse because if God is love, then ‘Love’ did not begin with the creation of the universe. Rather, love predates the universe because God predates the universe and He is love.
TWO WRONG IDEAS OF GOD’S LOVE
• God is love therefore love is God. The first part is true, but not the second part. Because all love is not from God. The idea that ‘Love’ is a synonym for God, is a false idea.
• God’s love somehow cancels out His holiness and as a consequence, everyone's going to heaven. After all, the logic seems to be – How could a loving God send people to hell? But that line of reasoning is faulty because it misrepresents God’s love as some sort of benevolent softness when it isn’t. Truth is, despite being love Himself, God does not love everything. He cares about right and wrong and hates sin.
WHAT CAN WE SAY ABOUT GOD’S LOVE?
• God’s love is undeserved. This speaks of God’s love in negative terms.
As humans we think we deserve God’s love. Romans 5:6-8 tells us why. God’s love is not dependent on anything in us because there is nothing in us that is worth being loved by God. But His love is greater than our sin and despite our sin.
• God’s love is sacrificial. The wonder of the cross is that God died; not for His friends but for His enemies. For those who hated Him.
APPLYING THIS TO OURSELVES
• If God’ love is sacrificial why don’t we love Him back the same way? It is inconceivable to think that we could know the depth of God’s love for us and sit back in smug contentment.
• If God loves us so much, shouldn’t we love each other in the same way? Loving others is evidence that we are God’s children. This is a supernatural kind of love that is a gift of the Spirit. In other words, absence of this love indicates absence of the Spirit; and thus absence of salvation.
Therefore, true love not only comes from God but also leads back to Him.