The Love of God
“Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us that we should be called the children of God” (1 John 3:1).
When we tell people that God loves them, it doesn’t result in the same surprise as John communicated in his letter. Most people think they are pretty lovable, so the fact that God loves them is no surprise.
If a random stranger told you that the Prime Minister of England has been reading your Facebook opinions and would really enjoy sitting down with you and getting to know you, you might find that a little too farfetched to believe. But when someone tells you that the Holy God of the Universe loves you we take that as no big deal.
The world sees God like they see their Grandma. No matter what you do, she’s always proud of you and supports you. But Grandma’s love is not God’s love.
Grandma loves you because you are her Grandson. You have had a relationship since you were born. You’ve been her little precious since you can remember.
God’s relationship to man is not familial in nature. He is not mankind’s Father; he is actually its Creator.
Let’s break it down:
- God is not supposed to love you.
- If God chose to refrain from loving any of us, he would still be good. If he sent us to hell, we would be where we should be and he would be where he should be.
- Man does not deserve to be with God.
- The only way a person could think to have any fellowship with God would be if they met the standard of God’s holiness (Matt 5:48).
So the situation is clear, God is not our Grandma. He is our creator. Because men are sinners, they should be in hell (Rev 21:8, 1 Cor 6:9-10). Because God is God, he should be in heaven with the created beings who are not sinful (1 John 1:5).
So if there is nothing in us that God would be compelled to love us, why did he?
The nature of God’s love is in the Greek word for love: Agape. It is best known for being unconditional.
This is where we start to see the glory of God’s love. God’s love is great because of the distance it goes to redeem the unredeemable. Romans 5:7-8 puts it down for what it is. God’s love is great because it is unconditional. God took on flesh, lived among us, healed the sick and the cripple and the blind, performed wonders that authenticate his deity then took the penalty for our sins on the cross. He took the blame. He took the shame. He took yours and he took mine.
He didn’t do this because you deserved it. He did it because God is love (1 John 4:8-9).
God’s act of love was so effective that it cleanses anyone who trusts in his salvation to a standard of holiness that meets the requirement to be in his presence (1 Cor 6:11)… but wait, there’s more!
The relationship that was once Creator-creation, is now changed to Father-Son.
This is the reason for John’s rhetoric!
“Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us that we should be called the Children of God!”
If you have placed your faith in Christ, the reality of being God’s child is still a humbling and exciting reality.
Praise God for his love! What a rock of salvation! What a hope! Nothing in me, everything in Christ!
To him be all the glory for his indescribable love!