The love of God

When we consider the love of God, we believe that we are touching a concept in which there is so much to explore.
Not only do we need to learn what this love is but we also need to un-learn about our pre-conceived ideas that we as people sometimes have.
We are living in a world that has been tainted by the teachings of evolution, we live in a world with much religious confusion and as a result many people do not have a fair and correct understanding of what God's love is.

Some believe that Gods love is so strict that a single sin makes them the dirtiest of all, they have a very narrow understanding of His love and as a result they live frightened lives, always afraid of God and always and ever living a life of fear. As a result of this they are never giving others a good picture of God and they deceive themselves and others. They rob themselves of the freedom that God intended for them to have. They rob themselves of the peace and joy that God wants His children to have.

Others believe that Gods love is so broad that it covers all, it really does not matter as to how we live, it really does not matter as to how they behave, as a result they live very sinful lives, never giving others a good picture of God and they deceive themselves and others.

Described above we have the extremes on the love of God, then off course there are views of God that are closer tot what Gods love truly is, but it is still not complete.

...that we as people need to look at God and learn to think as He does, we need to see as He does.

What we would like to emphasize is that we as people need to look at God and learn to think as He does, we need to see as He does. We live in a world of remedies, remedies for illnesses, remedies for emotional and psycological pain.
In spiritual matters there is one remedy and that is the love of God. In churches we see many Christians that are crippled, they have never understood the true measure of the love of God. They live life, yet they never live it to the fullest and that is sad, because there can be so much more. Many Christians never seem to learn to see like God does.
Old habits, old thinking patterns stand in the way.

That is why the Bible places emphizes on “the change that need to happen in our thinking”.
Passages like Rom. 12: 1- 2; 2 Cor. 10: 5 teaches us these things.

Our thoughts have been tainted by life, our own knowledge and life-experiences. The result is that we have fractures and crippled thoughts about God and life. Some Christians had abusive fathers and as a result they think that God is the same. Some Christians had liberal fathers and as a result they think that God is the same.
These things need to change. We need to see ourselves as God looks at us.
Nothing less then that and nothing more then that. How do we do that?? We need to make God our meditation day and night.

The Apostle John makes the bold and courages statement:

1Jo 4:8 He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.

So, we learn that God is love. We then ask the question, what is this love, how does it manifest itself to us and what does it mean to us.

The love of God is that part of His nature - indeed His whole nature, for “God is love” - which leads Him to express Himself in terms of endearment toward His creatures, and actively to manifest that interest and affection in acts of loving care and self-sacrifice in behalf of the objects of His love.


1. What is this love.

1Jo 3:1 Behold what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called children of God; and such we are. For this cause the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not.

God has bestowed His love on us. And we ask, how did He do that?

There are two important words in this verse that we need to consider and explore:

  • Behold and bestowed.

Behold:
G1492 eido
To perceive with the eyes

To perceive by any of the senses

To perceive, notice, discern, discover
To turn the eyes, the mind, the attention to anything

To pay attention, observe

To inspect, examine

So, in the first place the writer wants us to perceive, to pay attention to something.
In the context of the verse it is the love of God that He has bestowed on us.
So, we are to think, to meditate and to reason about that love of God.
When we do so, we will be astounded as to what God has done for us.

Bestowed:
G1325 didōmi

To give

To give something to someone 

Here we learn that the word “bestowed” means that something is given to us.
What has been given to us is the love of God whereby we have become the children of God.
He wants us to think about that, He wants us to reason and to meditate upon this concept.

There is also a phrase in this verse that is really important:

  • The manner of love.

The love that God bestowed upon us is just not any kind of love, no it was a very specific kind of love. His manner of love is so much different then what we often understand by the word love. His love was an active kind of love, love that “gave up”, love that gave up His only begotten Son. Love that cost Him His dearest and best. Love that cost Him His own Son. It was an “agape” kind of love. A love in action. A love that was speaking of sacrifice. The sacriifce of His own dear Son.

Rom 6:23 For the wages of sin is death; but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Here we have a verse where the word “gift” is used.
Here in context is it eternal life that God has granted us in Christ Jesus.
So, even though the wording is different, we are talking about the same thing as in John 3: 1.
Being the children of God has granted us the right to eternal life.
Sin gave us death, but God, through Christ gave us eternal life. That is the heart of God's gift to us. That is what the gift of God is all about.
Let us explore this love for us in more detail.

1Jo 4:8 He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.

1Jo 4:9 Herein was the love of God manifested in us, that God hath sent his only begotten Son into the world that we might live through him.

1Jo 4:10 Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.

How was the love of God manifested? He send His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him. He send His Son into the world as a propitiation for our sins.

Here we see in detail Gods gift to the world:

  • He send His only begotten Son into the world that we might live through Him.
  • His Son is the propitiation for our sins.

A few important words to consider:

  • Manifested and propitiation.

Manifested
G 5319 phaneroō

To make manifest or visible or known what has been hidden or unknown, to manifest, whether by words, or deeds, or in any other way

Here we learn that the word “manifest” means, to make something known.
So when we are to behold the love of God that God has bestowed upon us, we are to think about His manifestation of what He has given to us, namely life through His Son.

Life, eternal life, has been given to us through His Son Jesus Christ. It is a gift, it was given to us. Why then is this so remarkable we ask? It is remarkable because we have deserved something else, we have deserved death, physical and spiritual death.
We need to “behold' this. To behold means to think, to reason, to meditate, to seriously consider what this means. Until we do so we will never comprehend this love of God. This deep love of God.

Propitiation
G2434 hilasmos

1) an appeasing, propitiating

2) the means of appeasing, a propitiation

When we consider this word “propitiation” we understand that it Christ was the means to accomplish that which has been accomplished. He is the propitiation for our sin.
It was through Christ that God brought salvation to us.

So, here we have the crux of the matter. He loved the world (all the people) that He send His only begotten son.

2. Where does this love comes from?

Consider some thoughts from the book of Romans:

But now apart from the law a righteousness of God hath been manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets; even the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ unto all them that believe; for there is no distinction; for all have sinned, and fall short of the glory of God; being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus:

(Rom. 3: 21- 24)

We will consider an important word here, the word “freely” is an interesting word in this context. It tells us so much.

Freely:
G1432 dōrean

freely, undeservedly

When we explore this word we understand that it speaks of God who acted by love for a human race lost in sin. They had deserved death, yet he gave them life.
This life was given through His Son.

The love of God is uninfluenced. By this we mean, there was nothing whatever in the objects of His love to call it into exercise, nothing in the creature to attract or prompt it. The love which one creature has for another is because of something in the object, but the love of God is free, spontaneous, uncaused. The only reason why God loves any is found in His own sovereign will: "The LORD did not set His love upon you, nor choose you, because ye were more in number than any people; for ye were the fewest of all people: but because the LORD loved you" (Deut 7:7-8). God has loved His people from everlasting, and therefore nothing about the creature can be the cause of what is found in God from eternity. He loves from Himself "according to His own purpose" (2 Tim 1:9).

Here in these above two verses we see and from it we understand that God's love was brought to the nation of Israel and to the world as from His own will, His own degrees and His own purposes.

For while we were yet weak, in due season Christ died for the ungodly. For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: for peradventure for the good man some one would even dare to die.

But God commendeth his own love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.
(Rom. 5: 6- 8)

Christ died while we were yet sinners. Christ died for the ungodly. Some of us would die for a good friend, some of us would die for someone that was good and righteous. Yet, Christ died for the ungodly. That is God's love, that is God's mercy, that is God's heart, He gave of His own. He gave His own Son.

"We love Him, because He first loved us" (1 John 4:19). God did not love us because we loved Him, but He loved us before we had a particle of love for Him. Had God loved us in return for ours, then it would not be spontaneous on His part; but because He loved us when we were loveless, it is clear that His love was uninfluenced. It is highly important, if God is to be honored and the heart of His child established, that we should be quite clear upon this precious truth. God's love for me and for each of "His own" was entirely unmoved by anything in us. What was there in me to attract the heart of God? Absolutely nothing. But, to the contrary, there was everything to repel Him, everything calculated to make Him loathe me--sinful, depraved, a mass of corruption, with "no good thing" in me.

Compare also:

  • Ephesians 1: 4- 5

So the love of God came to us from His own will, He did not have to do this. He was only moved from His own love for His creation. (John 3: 16)

3. Life in His Son.

We have learned already in several places that God love came to us through His Son. We have life in the life of Christ. We live because God brought His Son into the world. That God loved us through His Son has very important things and sentiments to tell us.

And the witness is this, that God gave unto us eternal life, and this life is in his Son.

He that hath the Son hath the life; he that hath not the Son of God hath not the life.

(1 John 5: 11- 12)

The fact that God gave us life has two important elements:

  • God the Father lost the Son.
  • The Son lost the Father.

Have this mind in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:

who existing in the form of God, counted not the being on an equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, taking the form of a servant, being made in the likeness of men;
and being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, becoming obedient even unto death, yea, the death of the cross.

(Phill. 2: 5- 8)

We learn from this text:

  • Christ existed in the form of God.
  • Christ emptied Himself.
  • He took the form of a servant.
  • Became obedient to death, even the death on the cross.

What we learn here is that both the Father and the Son lost when they brought redemption to a world lost in sin.
While these verses to some degree are hard to understand, we do understand that Christ became a servant.
The one that has made the world (Joh. 1: 1; Coll. 15- 17; Hebr. 1: 3) lowered Himself to become a servant. He became a man (Hebr. 2: 14, 15).
In that process the Father lost and the Son lost. Yet the Father did this because He was moved by love. The Son did this because He was moved by doing the will of the Father (Hebr. 10: 7)

Joh 17:5 And now, Father, glorify thou me with thine own self with the glory which I had with thee before the world was.

So, we learn that the love of God the Father cost Him, He was not moved just by a feeling of emotion, no it cost the Father His Son. There were consequences invloved. His love was a love in action. There was a glory that they both shared before the world was that was given up when Christ became a servant.

The Father lost a Son and the Son lost a Father when God showed His love to the world.
His love for the world cost Him a dear part of Himself. But being moved by love, He did it and Christ submitted. (Hebr. 5: 8- 9)

for by grace have ye been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not of works, that no man should glory.
(Ephesians 2: 8- 9)

What did Christ give?

Christ gave His life that we might live.

Isaiah 53: 1- 12

God the Father gave, Christ submitted and we became winners through it all.

When we consider this chapter we see:

Verse 1- 3

  • The description of the Christ.
  • He was a man who was not esteemed.

Verse 4- 9

  • These verses describe the suffering Christ.
  • Suffering on our behalf.

Verse 10- 12

  • These verses describe how the Father was pleased to have Christ being the sacrifice.

4. A Biblical picture of the love of God.

Luke 15: 11- 32

Here in this text we see the love of God in action.
We observe:

  • A son who has taken the inheritance and sold it.
  • He comes to himself when he thinks of home.
  • He returns home, determined to become a servant.

We observe:

  • A Fathers deep love for his child.
  • A Father who has everything in place for his son to come home.
  • Nothing is witheld to celebrate his homecoming.

Isaiah 1: 18- 20

Isa 1:18 Come now, and let us reason together, saith Jehovah: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.

Isa 1:19 If ye be willing and obedient, ye shall eat the good of the land:

Isa 1:20 but if ye refuse and rebel, ye shall be devoured with the sword; for the mouth of Jehovah hath spoken it.

Here we are talking about Gods people that had wandered off.
When we look at the fifth chapter we observe:

  • Israel is compared to a vineyard.
  • All had been done to the vineyard to be able to make it bear much fruit.
  • Grapes should have been found, instead wild grapes. (Isaiah 5)

Psalm 51

This Psalm describes David after committing his sin with Batsheba and his murder of her husband.

Psa 51:6 Behold, thou desirest truth in the inward parts; And in the hidden part thou wilt make me to know wisdom.

Psa 51:7 Purify me with hyssop, and I shall be clean: Wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.

Psa 51:8 Make me to hear joy and gladness, That the bones which thou hast broken may rejoice.

Psa 51:17 The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: A broken and contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise.

This is what God is looking for in mankind.
A spirit that is broken.

Jesus spoke the following words in Matthew.

Mat 5:3 Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Brokenness is the fundamental principle when it comes to our relationship with God.

  • Compare Luke 18: 9- 14

5. What can seperate us from His love in Christ?

Joh 10:28 and I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, and no one shall snatch them out of my hand.

Joh 10:29 My Father, who hath given them unto me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father's hand.

A couple of important words.

  • Never
G3364 ou mē

never, certainly not, not at all, by no means

No one will ever be able to snatch us out of the Fathers hand.

Romans 8: 28- 30.

These verses tell us that God has a golden chain for them that are His.

  • The ones that are His are described as the ones who love God.
  • For them there is a golden chain that links together, being called, being justified and being glorified.

Then verse 31- 39, these verses tell us that nothing can seperate us from His love.

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