Eps 1513: god is love

The too lazy to register an account podcast

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Ernest Price

Ernest Price

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Here, I focus only on the final of these statements, noting at the outset that saying the biblical God is loving is one thing; saying that God is loving is quite another. Even more interesting, and more striking, is the fact that 1 John 4 also tells us that love is fully expressed, not only in creation, but also in the lives of His beloved human beings, of whom Gods perfect love is said to extinguish all fear of punishment, and indeed all other fears. The particular love which His one and only beloved Son, the writer of 1 John 4, and the Apostle Paul had in mind was the kind of holy love, righteous love, and merciful love that we received from God the Bible, and which we are now, to varying degrees, returning. The ultimate evidence for this comes again in 1 John 4--for it is that very Person whom Jesus calls Father, his one and only loved Son, in Greek, New Testament, who is said in this text to be loved.
For God loves the world so much that God gave Jesus, so that anyone who believes in him should not perish, but have eternal life. For I am certain that not death or life, not angels or rulers, nor things now or yet to come, nor powers, nor heights or depths, or anything else in all of creation, can ever cause us to separate ourselves from Gods love in His one Son. We are Gods people at the very moment that we acknowledge our sins, and trust that his one and only Son died for us, and rose from the dead. God loves us so much, even though we did not know God, Christ died for his disciples, and also for us.
Even when his one son knew we would be defeated, even before we were born, he gave His life as an ultimate expression of his love. God is a lover. God has made it plain that Gods love, through his one and only Son, provides the possibility of eternal life with God for those who believe. God wants us to know that Gods love is unconditional, which is why God sent His one and only Son, who died for us when we were still unlovable sinners. What God gave was no simple gift wrapped in wrapping; God sacrificed his one and only Son, so that we, who have placed our trust in his Son, do not have to spend eternity apart from him.
God created us for loving relationships with him, and he sacrificed his very own Son in order to reestablish those relationships. It is Gods longing that we should enjoy the love of God, in both this life and for all eternity. The Bible is also clear that we did not do anything to deserve Gods perfect love. Because of Gods love, God, Who is full of Mercy, made us live along with Jesus, even though we were dead because of our transgressions--it is through Grace that you are saved. It is a surprising love, for it is we who chose to reject God, but God is the one who healed the rift with his powerful personal sacrifice, all we need to do is receive his gift.
It also implies that the truthfulness of our claims about Gods love cannot be separated from the truthfulness of our claims about the human races need for Gods love. If we are to read God is loving faithfully, we must understand it to be an expression of Gods expensive self-giving, one that is apathy and border-crossing - but which is fully expressed in the transformation of those loved when they respond to the love offered, and are transformed and redeemed by it. In the New Testament, every reference to the love of God seems to occur within the context of the atonement of sins on the part of God -- Gods expensive self-giving that was required in order to bring about an atonement offered by His Son Jesus to redeem us. Clearly, then, the kind of love predicated by God in Scripture is not just human love, and it is certainly not the kind that is driven by narcissism, seeking self-fulfillment, or expressive of intense personal desires.
Gods love is unconditional; Gods love is quite unlike human love we feel toward each other, insofar as love is not emotion-based. By looking at Gods faithfulness to love through history, mankind can have confidence that God continues to act appropriately in our lives. A true Christian, someone saved through love and filled with Gods love, should live lovingly towards God and others. More than this, let us rejoice in our suffering, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not make us ashamed, for Gods love has been poured into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.