God is Love
by Joey Carroll Corinth Missionary Baptist Church
If any characteristic of God is well-known, love would be it. Scripture is certainly clear on the subject. 1 John 4:8 states, “…God is love.” John, the Gospel writer, does not simply describe God’s character as loving, but describes the very essence of God’s nature as love. Without question, the greatest display of love ever shown throughout time and space was on Calvary, where God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son for sinners. And even though that love can never be measured, it is helpful to consider a few things about that great display of love.
First, it was shown toward rebels. We live in a day when many have tried to deceive and say that man is essentially good. The false teachers say that most of us have a good heart and do primarily good things, and so God loves good people and good people go to heaven. In fact, if you ask almost anyone why they think they will go to heaven, the answer will most likely be because they are a good person. But the Bible does not agree with that assessment of man. The Bible says about us all in Romans 3:10-12, “There is none righteous, not even one; there is none who understands, there is none who seeks for God; all have turned aside, together they have become useless; there is none who does good, there is not even one,” (NASB). So, there are no good people in the world. That is a humbling thought, but that reality did not stand in the way of God’s love. God sent His Son to die on behalf of a people who were not good. As Paul says in Romans 5:7, “For one will hardly die for a righteous man; though perhaps for the good man someone would dare even to die. But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us,” (NASB).
But God’s love is even more amazing than this because all of our “not good” is actually rebellion against God Himself. We have displayed an utter lack of goodness by living in a rebellious state toward God’s Word. We make ourselves the acceptable standard and live how we choose, while rebelling against how God has said we are to live. But in spite of this high-handed rebellion against God, He is the very One who gave His only Son to deliver us from our rebellious ways and the judgment that we all deserve.
Another amazing consideration of the great love of God displayed at Calvary is the infinite worth of the One who was given on our behalf, the eternal Son of God, Jesus Christ. Just like the depth of God’s love cannot be measured, so the infinite worth of Christ cannot be fathomed. The sinless Son, the only begotten Son of God, was given on behalf of the sinners. The Innocent was given for the sake of the guilty. As Paul says in 2 Corinthians 5:21, “He [God] made Him [Jesus] who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him,” (NASB). What kind of love is this! And because of the obedience of the Son of God, the Father has raised Him from the dead and seated the Son at the Father’s right hand and given Him a name that is above every name that at the name of Jesus every knee will bow and every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord (see Philippians 2:1-10). That is the only appropriate response we could ever have to a love so great.