God Is Love
This article examines the Biblical doctrine that God is Love." This is one of the greatest statements of Biblical truth found in Bible. Robertson’s Word Pictures provides the following comment on the epistle of I John Chapter 4, verse 8 which provides us this aspect of God: “John does not say that love is God, but only that God is love. The two terms are not interchangeable.” To say that ‘Love is God’ puts the concept of God, the highest of all concepts, subservient to another concept, in this case — love. Yes, God is love, but He does not define love, because He is love. In Mere Christianity, C.S. Lewis stated the following:
“All sorts of people are fond of repeating the Christian statement that ‘God is love’. But they seem not to notice the words ‘God is love’ have no real meaning unless God contains two Persons. Love is something that one person has for another person. If God was a single person, then before the world was made, He was not love. Of course, what these people mean when they say God is love is often something quite different: they really mean ‘Love is God’. They really mean that our feelings of love, however and whenever they arise, and whatever results they produce, are to be treated with great respect. Perhaps they are: but that is something quite different from what Christians mean by the statement ‘God is Love’. They believe that the living, dynamic activity of love has been going on in God forever and has created everything else.
And that, by the way, is the perhaps the most important difference between Christianity and all other religions: that God is not a static thing—not even a person—but a dynamic, pulsating activity, a life, almost a kind of drama. Almost, if you will not think me irreverent, a kind of dance.”
The ‘dance’ of love in the Bible is between God and all of mankind. The grand and tremendous greatness of God’s love is demonstrated by perhaps the most famous scripture of all:
"For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”
John 3:16 (NIV)
Would you allow your only and innocent son to suffer a cruel and horrible death? Would you allow his death so that he might redeem those who were guilty and deserved that very death sentence? Would you allow this redemption for a group of people that had consistently disobeyed you even though you forgave them time after time? Would you be able to stand by while he cried out to you as he was dying?
You and I probably would not of course, but God would. In fact, that’s the exact thing He did; why? Because He is Love; and because He is love, He defines love as Himself.
As C.S. Lewis pointed out, love is something between at least two persons. In the case of God, it is love between God and an infinite number of people. It is the whole human race; God loves all who have ever lived, are now living, and all who will ever live. Not all people love God but the Bible says He first loves us (I John 4:19) and offers His free gift of love to whosoever will accept it (John 3:16).
This is the whole theme of the Bible from cover to cover: that God loves us not because of who we are, but because of who He is — He is Love! The Bible expounds on this truth in these Scriptures:
But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
Romans 5:8 (NIV)
Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.
1 John 4:10 (KJV)
Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.
John 15:13 (KJV)
This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers.
1 John 3:16 (NIV)
So what are we to do with God's love? He has already demonstrated His love toward us. Our decision of what to do with God's gift of love is the greatest decision we will ever make in our lives and will affect us not just for this life but for all eternity, for all time, for this life and the next.
First, you should accept Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior if you have not already done so. Secondly, you should lay down your life for your fellow Christians.
Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself.
Matthew 22:37-39 (NIV)
So how do we love God? Well after we've become a Christian, we love God by obeying his commands, which are not burdensome. When you love somebody you will never want to disappoint them with your disobedience.
In the case of loving God, the reason we should love him back is so clear it is obvious. Because God is love He offers us eternal life, a gift we can not pay him for and do not deserve no matter what we do or who we are because we have all sinned (Romans 3:23).
Yes, God is love, and he demonstrates His love for us by His loving kindness, mercy, grace, generosity, and forgiveness because He is love. We should love God back by obeying Him. This is exactly what the Bible tells us we should do.
This is love for God: to obey his commands. And his commands are not burdensome, for everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith.
1 John 5:3-4 (NIV)
God is Love -- Love Him Back By Obeying Him!
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