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WHAT IS GOD LIKE?

Copyright Rosemary Bardsley 2007

#11 THE GOD WHO LOVES

When the Bible says that 'God is love' [1 John 4:16], this does not mean that God is what we think love is, and when we read that God loves us, this does not mean that God is doing what we call loving. Our human experience of love is limited to kind of love we have received from other humans, whose love is conditional and changing.

To understand God as love, and to understand the kind of love that God has towards us, we must look at what he has done to demonstrate that love to us.

He demonstrated his love towards us in this: that while we were still ungodly, while we were still his enemies, while we were sinners, while we were still powerless to do anything for him, or make any move towards him, he sent his Son, Jesus Christ, to take the full and complete penalty for our sins, and through that action, to reconcile us to himself forever [Romans 5:6-10].

'This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins' [1 John 4:10]. He loved us so much that he gave his only Son so that those who believe in him could escape the judgment and have eternal life [John 3:16-18].

This perfect love of God, which provides the forgiveness of our sin and our reconciliation with God, banishes the fear of God's punishment [1 John 4:18]. Never again do we have to fear God. Never again do we have to fear his rejection and his judgment. By his great love he has set us free from that fear so that we can now, every day, every moment, stand in his presence and rejoice in him [Romans 5:11] and we can now, every day, every moment, stand in his presence and  love him [1 John 4:19].

Knowing this, assured of this: that he is the God who loves.