Doctrine Of God 7
Special thanks to Pastor Kent McBay of North Mesa Baptist Church. He taught most of what appears in this article and provided most of the relevant scriptures.
In this study we will study the love of God. We will consider four ways God manifests His love.
Many ministries in our time focus too much on the love of God while neglecting His holiness, justice and judgment. In Him all of those things function together perfectly. All truth about God (the whole counsel of God) needs to be taught in a balanced fashion.
Our love is often selfish. God*s love is always totally unselfish. When we love God we do nothing to improve Him. He has always been perfect and will always be. We can add nothing to Him and He has nothing to gain from us. He is all sufficient in Himself.
2 Corinthians 3:5: Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think any thing as of ourselves; but our sufficiency is of God;
He could not provide us with sufficiency if He did not have it Himself. When we love Him, we are simply returning something to Him that He first gave us.
1 John 4:19: We love him, because he first loved us.
He even loves those that hate Him. He provides a world for them to live in, food to eat, water to drink, air to breathe and abundance of other blessings. He loves all of those that He has created but there will be an end to His blessings on those who reject Him.
First. God manifests His love by bestowing temporal blessing. Temporal means something that will not last forever. We too often focus too much on those blessings and too little on His eternal blessings.
James 1:17: Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.
Matthew 5:45b: . . . he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.
Luke 6:35-36: But love ye your enemies, and do good, and lend, hoping for nothing again; and your reward shall be great, and ye shall be the children of the Highest: for he is kind unto the unthankful and to the evil. 36 Be ye therefore merciful, as your Father also is merciful.
Without the help of God ingratitude is an unbreakable habit for unbelievers and too often believers are ungrateful too.
Psalms 73:11-18: And they say, How doth God know? and is there knowledge in the most High? 12 Behold, these are the ungodly, who prosper in the world; they increase in riches. 13 Verily I have cleansed my heart in vain, and washed my hands in innocency. 14 For all the day long have I been plagued, and chastened every morning. 15 If I say, I will speak thus; behold, I should offend against the generation of thy children. 16 When I thought to know this, it was too painful for me; 17 Until I went into the sanctuary of God; then understood I their end. 18 Surely thou didst set them in slippery places: thou castedst them down into destruction.
Romans 2:4: Or despisest thou the riches of his goodness and forbearance and longsuffering; not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance?
God seeks to draw men to Himself, even those who are ungrateful.
Second. God manifests His love by His longsuffering and mercy.
2 Peter 3:9: The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.
Because He is merciful, God*s judgment is not always immediate. Men often continue in their sin because they believe that delayed judgment means there will not be judgment.
Isaiah 55:7: Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the LORD, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.
Psalms 86:15: But thou, O Lord, art a God full of compassion, and gracious, longsuffering, and plenteous in mercy and truth.
Luke 1:50: And his mercy is on them that fear him from generation to generation.
Jeremiah 31:3: The LORD hath appeared of old unto me, saying, Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting love: therefore with lovingkindness have I drawn thee.
Third. God manifested His love by sending Christ to die for us while we were terrible sinners.
Romans 5:6-8: For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. 7 For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die. 8 But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.
1 John 4:9-10: In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him. 10 Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.
Fourth. God manifests His love by loving with exceeding love those who respond to His love.
1 John 3:1: Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not. 2 Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.
1 John 2:1-2: My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous: 2 And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.
Ephesians 2:4-7: But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, 5 Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) 6 And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus: 7 That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.
John 14:23: Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him.
Galatians 6:10: As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith.