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God is love

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  • God is love

    1 John 4:8 & 16 uses the verb of being, i.e. the verb for existence “is,” to describe an attribute of God as “God is love.” Divine love is as much as any other attribute of God an expression of His divine nature or essence. God did not need creation to be divine love.

    Creation is so that the attributes of God are on display. Before the foundations of the world or before creation His divine plan is to display His divine attributes. There is no sudden emotion to rescue a drowning son. There is no motivating emotion to save the world after Adam sinned. To display divine love as one of the attributes of God is the purpose of creation and not in some need to rescue human kind.

    The divine plan to display His redemptive actions is at least one of the reason for creation. (Note: See the verses in the Appendix on Before the Foundations of the world.) Understanding that the divine plan of redemption occurs before creation illuminates the meaning of the Apostle Paul’s words in Colossians 1:13-20

    13 For He rescued us from the domain of darkness, and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son, 14 in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.
    15 He (Son) is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. 16 For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things have been created through Him and for Him. 17 He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together. 18 He is also head of the body, the church; and He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, so that He Himself will come to have first place in everything. 19 For it was the Father’s good pleasure for all the fullness to dwell in Him, 20 and through Him to reconcile all things to Himself, having made peace through the blood of His cross; through Him, I say, whether things on earth or things in heaven.

    The analogy of the ruler of the world throwing aside his royal robe to save his child drowning in mud is akin to the love of God for human creatures is not representative of what is revealed in the Bible. Yes, there are so many examples in the Bible of the love of God and of Jesus for human kind, and that for most Christians, it is this love relationship upon which they focus and declare when telling a sinner that God loves you. But it is much more than any expression of human love because divine love is not desperate, sudden, self serving, or an act of love caused by sin. Being loved by God is a divine attribute as different from human love as is divine power is from human power or as eternal is from temporal.

    "God is love" is expressed very differently by God than any analogy to human love. Our grasp is pitiful in our effort to comprehend.


    Some of the parables are sometimes thought of as being about love as with the parables of Luke 15:
    Lost Sheep
    Lost Coin
    Prodigal Son
    These parables are about the rejoicing that the divine plan of salvation is recovering what is lost.
    The parable of the Good Samaritan in Luke 10 is often framed as being about love and forgiveness. However, it is about being just and fair to even those normally not considered your neighbor.

    Before the Foundations of the world NASB

    Matthew 13:35
    This was to fulfill what was spoken through the prophet: “I will open My mouth in parables; I will utter things hidden since the foundation of the world.”

    Matthew 25:34
    “Then the King will say to those on His right, ‘Come, you who are blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.

    John 17:24
    Father, I desire that they also, whom You have given Me, be with Me where I am, so that they may see My glory which You have given Me, for You loved Me before the foundation of the world.

    Ephesians 1:4
    just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we would be holy and blameless before Him. In love

    Hebrews 4:3
    For we who have believed enter that rest, just as He has said, “As I swore in My wrath, They shall not enter My rest,” although His works were finished from the foundation of the world.

    1 Peter 1:20
    For He was foreknown before the foundation of the world, but has appeared in these last times for the sake of you

    John 3:16
    16 “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.
    Last edited by glen smith; October 13, 2017, 11:17 PM.

  • #2
    Divine grace flows directly from the atonement which emanates from His divine love.

    Love is a primary characteristic of the LORD. He created so that he could demonstrate His righteous love through the atonement as the pinnacle of His plan of redemption. If not for His love there would be no divine grace, divine forgiveness, divine atonement, divine Incarnation, or divine creation.

    If there was a God who created without divine righteous love, then the creation would be totally different. What kind of creation would it be? It could have been anything you can imagine, but there would have never been a plan of redemption - there is only a plan A with our LORD. This is how we ought to understand "God is love!"

    1 John 4:7 (NASB)
    [ God Is Love ] Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God.


    • #3
      Divine Love includes these attributes or meanings in English.

      Loyalty, Devotedness, Friendliness

      Kindness, Empathy, Sympathy, Compassion

      Sacrifice, Sharing, Charity, Giving, Generosity

      Patience, Tolerance, Civility

      To will good to another

      These attributes of divine love were manifested in the Lord Christ Jesus.
      As disciples and followers how are we doing in loving as He loves us?
      Last edited by glen smith; October 15, 2017, 03:49 PM. Reason: question at the end