God is Love

by: Bill Bratt

Email: info@icogsfg.org

God the Father is the great Lord God Omnipotent (Revelation 19:6) with all power (Jer. 32:17) and glory (Acts 7:2). He is the creator, the lawgiver, the life-giver, the life-sustainer, the designer of all the universe, the great being who answers prayer and fulfills prophecy.

This is the great God that Jesus came to this earth to reveal to all of mankind (Matthew 11:27). Jesus loved God the Father (John 14:31). The Apostle John recorded Jesus as saying: ""I can of Myself do nothing. As I hear, I judge; and My judgment is righteous, because I do not seek My own will but the will of the Father who sent Me" (John 5:30). Jesus was sent by God the Father with a message for all mankind. That message was the Good News (Gospel) of the Kingdom of God (Mark 1:14-15). Two very important points in this Good News message is (1) Jesus came to die for all of humanity (John 3:16) and (2) Jesus is coming to this earth the second time to set up the Kingdom of God, and He will rule from Jerusalem for a thousand years. This kingdom will be based upon the laws of God and the love of God.

God is Love

Letís look at the following passage, beginning in 1 John 4:7 which is quoted by the Apostle John, who was the disciple that Jesus loved (John 13:23, 21:7): "Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. {8} He who does not love does not know God, for God is love. {9} In this the love of God was manifested toward us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him. {10} In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins. {11} Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another" (1 John 4:7-11).

Letís notice a couple of points: "love is of God" and "God is love." Verses 9 and 10 are saying that Godís love is so great that He sent His only Son into the world to be a propitiation, an atoning sacrifice, for our sins.

Now, letís quote the most popular verse in all of the Bible: "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life" (John 3:16). This verse shows us that the most profound expression of the love of God for us is the gift of His only Son to be our Savior. This love of God is an outgoing concern for all of mankind. He does not want anyone to perish, but He wants to give eternal life to all of humanity. God wants to share His eternity with us mortals, who have accepted Jesus as our savior, and He will make us immortal when we are resurrected when Jesus returns to the earth and sets up the Kingdom of God.

Abide in God Through Love

Letís continue in 1 John 4:12: "No one has seen God at any time. If we love one another, God abides in us, and His love has been perfected in us. {13} By this we know that we abide in Him, and He in us, because He has given us of His Spirit. {14} And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent the Son as Savior of the world. {15} Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God. {16} And we have known and believed the love that God has for us. God is love, and he who abides in love abides in God, and God in him" (1 John 4:12-16).

Notice that there are three evidences of how we remain and dwell in God and He in us: (1) having the presence of the Spirit (v. 13), (2) acknowledging Jesus as God's Son (verses 14, 15), and (3) abiding in love (v. 16).

The Apostle Paul related in Galatians that "love" was one of the fruits of Godís holy spirit: "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, {23} gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law" (Gal 5:22-23).

The Apostle John related that men must acknowledge Jesus as God's Son: "Jesus said to them, "If God were your Father, you would love Me, for I proceeded forth and came from God; nor have I come of Myself, but He sent Me" (John 8:42).

The Apostle Paul confirms the third evidence that we must abide in love: "And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love" (1 Cor 13:13).

Perfect Love Casts Out Fear

Letís continue in 1 John 4:17: "Love has been perfected among us in this: that we may have boldness in the day of judgment; because as He is, so are we in this world. {18} There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love. {19} We love Him because He first loved us" (1 John 4:17-19).

There is a "fear factor" with men when they realize that they are going to die, and when they die, they will be judged: "And as it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment" (Heb 9:27). If we are close to God and love Him, then the fear of death is lessened. Our faith is strengthened in God when we know that He loves us and that He will never leave us or forsake us (Heb 13:5).

The real love of God gives a Christian boldness. This perfect love will cast out all fear.

You Must Love Your Brother

The Apostle John continues in verse 20: "If someone says, "I love God," and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen, how can he love God whom he has not seen? {21} And this commandment we have from Him: that he who loves God must love his brother also."

God is invisible. We canít see Him, but we can see our fellow man. We must practice the love of God by loving our neighbor (James 2:8) and the stranger (Deut. 10:19). One way to practice the love of God is to forgive others: "For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. {15} "But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses" (Mat 6:14-15).

Forgiving is a part of Godís character. Letís notice how God totally forgives: "As far as the east is from the west, So far has He removed our transgressions from us" (Psalms 103:12).

Keep the Ten Commandments

Letís continue with the Apostle John in chapter 5, verse 1: "Whoever believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God, and everyone who loves Him who begot also loves him who is begotten of Him. {2} By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and keep His commandments. {3} For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments. And His commandments are not burdensome. " (1 John 5:1-3).

The Apostle John points out in this passage that we must keep the commandments to have the "love of God"!

The Ten commandments reflects Godís mind and His holy character. The Apostle Paul said that "the law is holy, and the commandment holy and just and good" (Rom 7:12).

God is holy and He wants us to be holy.

The Apostle Peter says that we are to be holy as God is holy: "as obedient children, not conforming yourselves to the former lusts, as in your ignorance; {15} but as He who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, {16} because it is written, "Be holy, for I am holy"" (1 Pet 1:14-16).

Notice the word "conduct". Your conduct is your actions and your behavior. God wants you to conduct your life in accordance with His Ten Commandments. Godís commandments shows you how to have a right and proper relationship with God and your neighbor.

Love Your Neighbor

Letís notice how the Apostle Paul says to love your neighbor: "Owe no one anything except to love one another, for he who loves another has fulfilled the law. {9} For the commandments, "You shall not commit adultery," "You shall not murder," "You shall not steal," "You shall not bear false witness," "You shall not covet," and if there is any other commandment, are all summed up in this saying, namely, "You shall love your neighbor as yourself." {10} Love does no harm to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfillment of the law" (Rom 13:8-10).

How did the Apostle James say to love your neighbor? "If you really fulfill the royal law according to the Scripture, "You shall love your neighbor as yourself," you do well" (James 2:8).

How do we love our neighbor? By keeping the commandments.

God Exercises Loving-Kindness

Letís notice three things that God exercises and delights in: "Thus says the LORD: "Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom, Let not the mighty man glory in his might, Nor let the rich man glory in his riches; {24} But let him who glories glory in this, That he understands and knows Me, That I am the LORD, exercising lovingkindness, judgment, and righteousness in the earth. For in these I delight," says the LORD" (Jer 9:23-24).

The quality of loving-kindness implies that God is an affectionate person. The quality of judgment implies that God is wise and firm in His decisions. Righteousness implies that God has standards and He can be depended upon. He is constant and does not change (Hebrews 13:8).

Letís focus in on the quality of loving-kindness. Loving-kindness is the kind of kindness that God exercises to those that He loves and really cares for, in comparison to the kind of kindness that would be expressed to a stranger.

The Example of David

King David saw Bathsheba bathing one night and had her brought into the palace. He slept with her and she got pregnant. David brought her husband, Uriah, home from the battle thinking that Uriah would sleep with Bathsheba and would think that the child was his, but Uriah was an honorable man and did not lay with his wife. David then sent Uriah to the front of the lines of battle and he was killed.

Davidís sin made him a liar, a murderer and an adulterer.

Letís notice the first verse of Davidís prayer of repentance in Psalms 51: "Have mercy upon me, O God, According to Your lovingkindness; According to the multitude of Your tender mercies, Blot out my transgressions" (Psalms 51:1).

David was a man after Godís own heart (Acts 13:22) and He pleaded with God to exercise His lovingkindness and mercy to forgive him.

God did forgive David, just as He will exercise His lovingkindness to us when we repent of our sins. This is the love of God in action.

We Must Exercise Love

We must follow Godís example by exercising love. The Apostle Paul tells us in 1 Corinthians 13 how we should apply love: "Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; {5} does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; {6} does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; {7} bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. {8} Love never fails" (1 Cor 13:4-8).

Paulís theme is that if we donít have love, then we are nothing (1 Cor 13:2). 

In Conclusion:

Share the love of God with your family, friends and co-workers. 
Remember, God is love, and His love never fails!