The Love of God
The New Testament describes the love of God as the active motive arranging salvation and sanctification for lost people.( Ephesians 1, Romans 5) It also presents the love of God as the spiritual substance of Christian maturity ( Peter 1). Likewise Paul’s longing in his prayer for the believers at Ephesus was that they might be grounded in the love of God and filled with the love of God - “to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you might be filled with all the fullness of God ( Ephesians 3:19).
This is not cheap love, not indiscriminate love, not crazy love, not bland or blind love. This is relational love from an all knowing , intelligent God, who in spite of the unworthiness of the one loved, HE cared enough to give His own Son as a sacrifice. He connects with the individual, as a father is connected to a child. He reconciles to Himself and His ways those who believe in His son.
Ephesians 6.24 speaks of “sincere love”. In contrast to the many perversions of love mentioned in Ephesians, God’s love is in keeping with His character – not only personal and intelligent, but also pure and wise(all the time). It is not mixed with sinister motive nor dark objectives. God’s love is not corrupted by time or age. Best of all it is not corrupted by the object loved.
This love divine is not like the pension – it is there if one applies for it and then comes from some bottomless government bucket to be used or abused without gratitude to the giver. NO. I fear that the dumbing down of God and His love, has corrupted the true reality of ‘Agape’ love. Unquenchable love from a holy , personal God is much more meaningful and precious than the abstract love of a smothering god who does not bother with holiness or judgement.
“God showed His great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were yet sinners.” (Romans 5.8)
Didn’t God love us as we were born? Didn’t He love us as wandering prodigals? Why then this “Christ dying for us”? Was there a problem? This letter to the Romans describes the real problem of rebellious humanity (chapters 1,2,3) and God’s method of triumphing over it in Christ. This active love of God reaches a lofty climax in chapter 8.39 “ nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord”.
How different to fickle human love. This is not blind love that cannot see evil. Rather this is God’s active love that rescues, redeems, reconciles and finally glorifies all who believe in God’ beloved Son. And so it is that we can love, because He first loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins. God’s love can be perfected in us.( and John would add, let us love not in word but in deed)
Psalm 2 , written so long ago, captures in poetic language, the call of God to “kiss the Son...............blessed are all they that put their trust in Him” and the psalms then speak so much about the loving kindness of God.
One could fill many pages , referring to many, many Bible references, but I encourage you the reader to look up the many references to ‘love’ in God’s word and gain a balanced, fuller understanding of God’s love. One of the most important questions to settle in our day of corrupted meanings is – ‘what is love?’ is it a feeling, a motive or what? Maybe you could email to me your definition!