The Love Of God
When the Apostle John describes God, he says, "God is love". Now that is not all that God is, he is also gracious, just, holy, wise, and almighty. But all these attributes are consistent with this glorious truth --"God is love". When you and I think about the love of God, we must remind ourselves that God is not a man. His love is not like ours. The love of God is that special affection that he has for his people. It does not arise from anything outside of himself; and it does not change. God's love implies his absolute purpose and will to deliver, bless; and save his people. And that loving purpose of God is never more wonderfully and completely revealed than in the sacrifice of his Son in our stead. In this text, John tells us four things which characterize the love of God.
1. God loves sovereignly. -- "Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us." There is nothing which compels God to love any of his sinful creatures. But, in his infinite goodness, God says, "Jacob have I loved". Our God is infinite and immutable, and so is his love. He loves whom he will, because he will; and he loves them eternally.
2. God loves sinners -- "He loved us." I preach fully, without reservation; unlimited love, unbounded mercy to the vilest of men, We have nothing in us worthy of consideration. We deserve the utmost terror of God's wrath. Who can express the fulness and magnitude of those words -- "He loved us!"
3. God loves sacrificially -- "He sent his Son." Do not ever think that Christ died at Calvary in order to win God' s love for us. No: Christ died in our place at Calvary because God loved us; and he resolved to have us!"
4. God loves savingly -- Brethren, God loved us before the world began. But in order for us to be reconciled to God, justice had to be satisfied. Therefore, our loving Father gave his Son to be the satisfying "propitiation for our sins". Through his substitutionary death, all the sins of God's people were washed away.