God is Love 1 Jn 4:8 CLICK TITLE FOR AUDIO
God is love [1 Jn 4:8, 4:7, 4:19]. Love is his very essence and the reason behind redemption, Jn 3:16. Christ loved the church and gave himself for it [Eph 5:25]. And once we have received Jesus we are inseparable from God’s love [Rom 8:39]. Notice these instances and conditions of His love:
Christ loved the rich young ruler but let him go when he would not do what the Lord said to do in order to inherit eternal life [Mk 10:21]. God does not love sinners in the way that they want God to love them [on their own terms, i.e., love me in my sin]. He let the rich young ruler go because he trusted his riches rather than the Lord. See how the Bible differentiates God’s love. He hates sin, Prov 6:16-19; Ps 5:5; Ps 7:11, Ps 11:5.
God loved us enough to die for us but his wrath abides on us if we reject his Son – ever since Calvary his love is conditioned upon what we do with Jesus, Jn 3:36. Furthermore, after we get saved there would be no reason to change if God loved us just the way we are. As one new convert said, “You said God loves me just the way I am; so then why must I change?” Christ’s desire is for you to be fashioned in his image. Thus, God’s love is demonstrated in chastisement [Heb 12:6; Rev 3:19].
God loves us especially:
- when we love his Son, Jn 16:27; Jn 14:21;
- when we love his words, Jn 14:23; and
- when we give cheerfully, [2 Cor 9:7 because when we give cheerfully we demonstrate what he demonstrated when he loved us sacrificially].
Because of God’s love for us we have the capacity to love others with his love – Rom 5:5, Matt 5:44, Jn 15:12-13. We are commanded to love others like he does [1 Jn 3:16] which we can only do as a product of his love to us.
When we love the world, the love of the Father is not in us [in 1 Jn 2:15] – this caveat concerning his love must be preached to this generation. And there is far too much of the love of the world manifested in modern Christianity. Our concern is that this “feeling” of love that is attributed to God is really a sensual counterfeit manufactured in the flesh. Humans certainly have the capacity to love but not nearly to the degree that God loves us or that God loves others through us.
Conclusion: Please avail yourself of God’s love by receiving Jesus Christ as your Savior and please grow in your love for God by loving his Son and his words and by cheerfully giving. Our prayer is that all men will know that you are the Lord’s disciple by the manifestation of God’s love in you.