The Love of God

Silas

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THE ATTRIBUTES OF GOD
THE LOVE OF GOD

There are three things told us in Scripture concerning the nature of God. First, "God is spirit" (John 4:24). In the Greek there is no indefinite article, and to say "God is a spirit" is most objectionable, for it places Him in a class with others. God is "spirit" in the highest sense. Because He is "spirit" He is incorporeal, having no visible substance. Had God a tangible body, He would not be omnipresent, He would be limited to one place; because He is spirit He fills heaven and earth. Second, God is light (1 John 1:5), which is the opposite of "darkness." In Scripture "darkness" stands for sin, evil, death; and "light" for holiness, goodness, life. God is light, means that He is the sum of all excellency. Third, "God is love" (1 John 4:
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. It is not simply that God "loves," but that He is Love itself. Love is not merely one of His attributes, but His very nature. There are many today who talk about the love of God, who are total strangers to the God of love.

The Divine love is commonly regarded as a species of amiable weakness, a sort of good-natured indulgence; it is reduced to a mere sickly sentiment, patterned after human emotion. Now the truth is that on this, as on everything else, our thoughts need to be formed and regulated by what is revealed thereon in Holy Scripture. That there is urgent need for this is apparent not only from the ignorance which so generally prevails, but also from the low state of spirituality which is now so sadly evident everywhere among professing Christians. How little real love there is for God. One chief reason for this is because our hearts are so little occupied with His wondrous love for His people. The better we are acquainted with His love—its character, fulness, blessedness—the more will our hearts be drawn out in love to Him.

1. The love of God is uninfluenced. By this we mean, there was nothing whatever in the objects of His love to call it into exercise, nothing in the creature to attract or prompt it. The love which one creature has for another is because of something in them; but the love of God is free, spontaneous, uncaused. The only reason why God loves any is found in His own sovereign will: "The Lord did not set His love upon you, nor choose you because ye were more in number than any people; for ye were the fewest of all people: but because the Lord loved thee" (Deut. 7:7,
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. God has loved His people from everlasting, and therefore nothing of the creature can be the cause of what is found in God from eternity. He loves from "We love Him, because He first loved us" (1 John 4:19). God did not love us because we loved Him, but He loved us before we had a particle of love for Him. Had God loved us in return for ours, then it would not be spontaneous on His part; but because He loved us when we were loveless, it is clear that His love was uninfluenced. Himself: "according to His own purpose" (2 Tim. 1:9).



It is highly important if God is to be honored and the heart of His child established, that we should be quite clear upon this precious truth. God’s love for me, and for each of "His own," was entirely unmoved by anything in them. What was there in me to attract the heart of God? Absolutely nothing. But, to the contrary, everything to repel Him, everything calculated to make Him loathe me—sinful, depraved, a mass of corruption, with "no good thing" in me.


"What was there in me that could merit esteem,
Or give the Creator delight?
‘Twas even so, Father, I ever must sing,
Because it seemed good, in Thy sight."


2. It is eternal. This of necessity. God Himself is eternal, and God is love; therefore, as God Himself had no beginning, His love had none. Granted that such a concept far transcends the grasp of our feeble minds, nevertheless, where we cannot comprehend, we can bow in adoring worship. How clear is the testimony of Jeremiah 31:3, "I have loved thee with an everlasting love, therefore with loving-kindness have I drawn thee." How blessed to know that the great and holy God loved His people before heaven and earth were called into existence, that He had set His heart upon them from all eternity. Clear proof is this that His love is spontaneous, for He loved them endless ages before they had any being. The same precious truth is set forth in Ephesians 1:4,5, "According as He hath chosen us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him. In love having predestinated us." What praise should this evoke from each of His children! How tranquilizing for the heart: since God’s love toward me had no beginning, it can have no ending! Since it be true that "from everlasting to everlasting" He is God, and since God is "love," then it is equally true that "from everlasting to everlasting" He loves His people.

3. It is sovereign. This also is self-evident. God Himself is sovereign, under obligations to none, a law unto Himself, acting always according to His own imperial pleasure. Since God be sovereign, and since He be love, it necessarily follows that His love is sovereign. Because God is God, He does as He pleases; because God is love, He loves whom He pleases. Such is His own express affirmation: "Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated" (Rom. 9:19). There was no more reason in Jacob why he should be the object of Divine love, than there was in Esau. They both had the same parents, and were born at the same time, being twins; yet God loved the one and hated the other! Why? Because it pleased Him to do so.The sovereignty of God’s love necessarily follows from the fact that it is uninfluenced by anything in the creature. Thus, to affirm that the cause of His love lies in God Himself, is only another way of saying, He loves whom He pleases. For a moment, assume the opposite. Suppose God’s love were regulated by anything else than His will, in such a case He would love by rule, and loving by rule He would be under a law of love, and then so far from being free, God would Himself be ruled by law. "In love having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to"—what? Some excellency which He foresaw in them? No; what then? "According to the good pleasure of His will" (Eph. 1:4,5).

4. It is infinite. Everything about God is infinite. His essence fills heaven and earth. His wisdom is illimitable, for He knows everything of the past, present and future. His power is unbounded, for there is nothing too hard for Him. So His love is without limit. There is a depth to it which none can fathom; there is a height to it which none can scale; there is a length and breadth to it which defies measurement, by any creature-standard. Beautifully is this intimated in Ephesians 2:4: But God, who is rich in mercy, for His great love wherewith He loved us: the word "great" there is parallel with the "God so loved" of John 3:16. It tells us that the love of God is so transcendent it cannot be estimated.
No tongue can fully express the infinitude of God’s love, or any mind comprehend it: it "passeth knowledge" Eph. 3:19). The most extensive ideas that a finite mind can frame about Divine love, are infinitely below its true nature. The heaven is not so far above the earth as the goodness of God is beyond the most raised conceptions which we are able to form of it. It is an ocean which swells higher than all the mountains of opposition in such as are the objects of it. It is a fountain from which flows all necessary good to all those who are interested in it (John Brine, 1743).
5. It is immutable. As with God Himself there is "no variableness, neither shadow of turning" (James 1:17), so His love knows neither change or diminution. The worm Jacob supplies a forceful example of this: "Jacob have I loved," declared Jehovah, and despite all his unbelief and waywardness, He never ceased to love him. John 13:1 furnishes another beautiful illustration. That very night one of the apostles would say, "Show us the Father"; another would deny Him with cursings; all of them would be scandalized by and forsake Him. Nevertheless "having loved His own which were in the world, He love them unto the end." The Divine love is subject to no vicissitudes. Divine love is "strong as death ... many waters cannot quench it" (Song of Sol. 8:6,7). Nothing can separate from it: Romans 8:35-39.
"His love no end nor measure knows,
No change can turn its course,
Eternally the same it flows
From one eternal source."


6. It is holy. God’s love is not regulated by caprice passion, or sentiment, but by principle. Just as His grace reigns not at the expense of it, but "through righteousness" (Rom. 5:21), so His love never conflicts with His holiness. "God is light" (1 John 1:5) is mentioned before "God is love" (1 John 4:
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. God’s love is no mere amiable weakness, or effeminate softness. Scripture declares, "whom the Lord loveth He chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom He receiveth" (Heb. 12:6). God will not wink at sin, even in His own people. His love is pure, unmixed with any maudlin sentimentality.


7. It is gracious. The love and favor of God are inseparable. This is clearly brought out in Romans 8:32-39. What that love is from which there can be no "separation," is easily perceived from the design and scope of the immediate context: it is that goodwill and grace of God which determined Him to give His Son for sinners. That love was the impulsive power of Christ’s incarnation: "God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son" (John 3:16). Christ died not in order to make God love us, but because He did love His people, Calvary is the supreme demonstration of Divine love. Whenever you are tempted to doubt the love of God, Christian reader, go back to Calvary.

Here then is abundant cause for trust and patience under Divine affliction. Christ was beloved of the Father, yet He was not exempted from poverty, disgrace, and persecution. He hungered and thirsted. Thus, it was not incompatible with God’s love for Christ when He permitted men to spit upon and smite Him. Then let no Christian call into question God’s love when he is brought under painful afflictions and trials. God did not enrich Christ on earth with temporal prosperity, for "He had not where to lay His head." But He did give Him the Spirit "without measure" (John 3:34). Learn then that spiritual blessings are the principal gifts of Divine love. How blessed to know that when the world hates us ,God loves us!
 
Did you think I wrote this? lol! I hope not. If I did, I would have put my name at the bottom.
 
Did you think I wrote this? lol! I hope not. If I did, I would have put my name at the bottom.


Not at all. :)

Just want to make sure that you give credit and proper citation to avoid any confusion. Also please beware of any copyright infringements.

Also, it's been a general observation here that long blocks of c & p text without any discussion points made by the poster tend to not be very accessible for dialogue. You might consider explaining why you are posting the material.

luna
 
Did you think I wrote this? lol! I hope not. If I did, I would have put my name at the bottom.
Silas my brother, your name was at the top and you posted it...an implication that it was authored by you. Only those with the time, energy and talent were able to do the research to discover you culled it from another. This could be seen as disengenous on your part, and I am sure you wish to give credit where credit is due.

I know I have issues with not knowing where everything that has been pressed into my brain has come from and when it oozes out my fingers I don't always provide the source as it has been intermingled with other thought and then reproduced with words interspersed of my own. I can give G-d the glory in this case as this is the source for all....but should I just be using my mouse and cut and pasting from anothers work..it is appropriate to say so.

As discussed though, the better method is to use your words, and then provide the link for those that want to learn more. Otherwise it is sort of like knocking on doors and going into a sermon when the owner opens the door...and we know the displeasure you have with those folks.
 
In general, don't cut & paste blocks of other peoples stuff into here - that's copyright infringement. They have a right to their words, and to control the use of them. At least in the US, a summary of their information and *SMALL* quote is considered fair use (not sure about UK law), so that would generally be acceptable. Mass cut & paste isn't....

Besides, we want to talk to *you*, not somebody else's essay....
 
Does God love everyone? If He didn't love everyone, then how can God's love be perfect and complete and all-emcompassing?
 
God loves everyone.

InPeace,
InLove



The God of the Bible is too Holy to love everyone. Scripture is filled with places where God says He hates certian people. Psalm 5:5
, Psalm 11:5, Lev. 20:23, Hosea 9:15, etc.
 
"For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth on Him shall not perish, but have everlasting life."

John 3:16:)

InPeace,
InLove
 
lol! Considering the word "world" has some 7 different meanings in the greek, are you certain that world there means everyone? I'm sure I can show you it does not, just by the context of that scripture. I did a short comantary on that scripture sometime ago...would u like to see it?
 
Silas--

I'm sorry--perhaps I haven't. I have read a lot of commentaries about original texts and meanings lately. And I have read a lot of your posts as well. Maybe I got you mixed up with someone else. Please post it if you like. I'm out-of-pocket for a few days, as you know, so I won't be around much. But I will read it as opportunity permits.

InPeace,
InLove
 
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OK guys,

Here's my commentary on John 3. Now I must say, while I was proud of this, since it was my first without help, I feel a bit apprehensive showing you guys this. I feel it may be inadquate. I say this because after seeing A.W. Pink's commantaries, as well as some others, I feel I could have expained more. Though we all say the samethings, those guys did an excellent job, I feel, in ellaborating. So if you have any questions, please ask. I've also included my exegesis on 2Peter 3:9; which is another scripture people who opt for "free will" use to show that Christ died for "ALL" the whole "World." By the way, you guys could do these yourself. You can go to esword and download for free all the different bibles, commantaries, dictionary, Greek and Hebrew wording, etc., and practice good hermanutics to go deeper into the word of God to see how amazing He really is and to see what the scriptures are really saying. You can also check out some great A W Pink books here. If you're Christian, Im certain you'll love these links. Here's my stuff:

My Exegesis of John 3

Nicodemus came to Jesus by night (since he is afraid of what the Pharisees might say) and begins to converse with him. In verse three we have Jesus' amazing teaching of regeneration. "Unless a man is born again, he cannot even "see" the kingdom of God." Question: If an unregenerated person cannot even see the kingdom of God unless they are regenerated or born again, what does this imply? It implies that God must be the author of the faith. In verse four, we see Nicodemus' objection to what he feels is absurdity on Jesus' part, when he ask..."Can a man enter into the womb a second time and be born?" The reason why Nicodemus made this objection was due to the popular Jewish idiom at the time - namely, the phrase "born again," which was in common use among the Jews to denote a change from “Gentilism” to “Judaism” by becoming a proselyte by baptism.

The word with them meant a change from the state of a pagan to that of a Jew. But, they never used it as applicable to a Jew, because they supposed that by his birth every Jew was entitled to all the privileges of the people of God. Therefore, when Jesus used it of a Jew, when he affirmed its necessity of every man, Nicodemus supposed that there was an absurdity in the doctrine. In verse five, we see Jesus not softening his stance, but instead expounds on the doctrine of regeneration when he says, "Unless a man is born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the Kingdom of God. In the Old Testament book of Ezekiel, chapter 36 v 25-27, we see the words "water" and "spirit" in context of God speaking of being born again or regeneration.

We read that it is God who first does a work - namely, "sprinkling of water," and "changing stony hearts to hearts of flesh," and "putting His Spirit in spiritually dead men" that they may live. This is why Jesus told Nicodemus that every man, including the Jew, must be born again of water and of the Spirit, before he can even see the kingdom of God. In verse nine, Nicodemus replies, "how can these things be?" My supposition on his question is that he was astonished by Jesus' words and correction of his understanding of what it means to be born again. In the next verse, verse ten, Jesus asks..."Are you a teacher of Israel and yet don't understand these things?" Jesus then goes into teaching about what the Son of Man must do in order that those who trust in Him, may be justified before God.

In verse fourteen, Jesus likens himself to the serpent on the pole of Moses' day, for He too must be lifted up and bear within His body the sins of all the believing world. In verse sixteen, we read one of the most commonly quoted scriptures. At first glance the verse seems to state that Christ died for the whole world, that is to say, everyone without exception. However, the word "world" is used some seven or eight different ways in scripture. And, in context of verse sixteen, which is speaking about those who believes in Jesus, the word "world" is used to describe only believers only, e.g., John 6:33, John 12:47, 1Co. 4:9, 2Co. 5:19. Note: In verse eighteen, we read that those that don't believe are already condemn - past tense.

Those that don't believe are those who have not been regenerated or born again. Question: What does it imply if regeneration and the act of one's faith to believe, must first come from God's sprinkling of water, changing stony hearts to hearts of flesh, and putting His Spirit into a person whereby they may keep His commandments? It implies that those who do not believe are those who God did not perform the acts of which that they might believe (Eze. 36:25-27). In verse nineteen, we read why men are condemned - namely, they hate God and love darkness rather than light.

God is too good a God even if He only saves one person!!

Exegesis on 2Peter 3:9


The word "all" in the greek rarely means the same as all it does in english - namely, the whole and everything and/or everyone without exception. Note:

"the whole world has gone after him." Did all the world go after him? "then went all Judea and were baptized of him in Jordan." Was all Judea, or all of Jerusalem baptized in Jordan? Ye are of God, little children, and the whole world lieth in the wicked one." Does the whole world there mean everybody? The words "world" and "all" are used in some seven or eight senses in Scripture, and it is very rarely that "all" means all persons, taken individually. The words are generally used to signify that Christ has redeemed some of all sorts -- some Jews, some Gentiles, some rich, some poor, and has not restricted His redemption to either Jew or Gentiles.
 
Namaste Silas,

I more liken this to Paul's 'I die daily' constantly shedding old belief systems and old ways. The acorn only needs to die once to its seed self to become the oak. But with us humans it seems this born again process is continuous, a daily thing.

I also think the story of Jesus (the light) coming to Nicodemus in the night (darkness) is a representation of Nicodemus knowing the scripture, but not being able to relate it to the day to day world.

That is something that Jesus brought many of us (those of us who couldn't understand the breadth and glory of Judaic thought by itself) Jesus brought us an understanding that we were not able to see ourselves (even though he studied the same scripture).

Our old testament is sorely short of what Judaism is, it is piece, a small piece, even though it takes up 2/3s of our bible, what the Jews study and understand of their scriptures is many times the size of the bible. And many of them, unlike Nicodemus are not in darkness, but bathed in the light and love of G-d. While I am far from any authority on this manner, the times I spend in service or in study with Jews makes me admire their understanding of spirit and heritage all the more.
 
The God of the Bible is too Holy to love everyone. Scripture is filled with places where God says He hates certian people. Psalm 5:5, Psalm 11:5, Lev. 20:23, Hosea 9:15, etc.

Psalms 5:5 - "The foolish shall not stand in thy sight: thou hatest all workers of iniquity."

Are we not all workers of iniquity?

"But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away." - Isaiah 64:6

Psalm 5:4-5 - "The LORD is in his holy temple, the LORD's throne is in heaven: his eyes behold, his eyelids try, the children of men. The LORD trieth the righteous: but the wicked and him that loveth violence his soul hateth."

There are two groups here, the righteous and the wicked. the wicked are those who haven't turned their heart to God, the righteous are those who have. God does not hate them without reason, for those that commit evil are those who have a mind to in the first place. God is trying the children of men, for He seeks those who are seeking Him. This is not an arbitary choosing. It is based on our willingness to love God.

Leviticus 20:22-24 - "Ye shall therefore keep all my statutes, and all my judgments, and do them: that the land, whither I bring you to dwell therein, spue you not out. And ye shall not walk in the manners of the nation, which I cast out before you: for they committed all these things, and therefore I abhorred them. But I have said unto you, Ye shall inherit their land, and I will give it unto you to possess it, a land that floweth with milk and honey: I am the LORD your God, which have separated you from other people."

God abhors the heathen nations becuase they are committing evil. But God makes provisions even in OT times for any Gentile who desire to follow the God of Israel. Look at the example of Rahab. Look at Ruth. Both are from heathen nations, yet God redeemed them.

Hosea 9:15 - "All their wickedness is in Gilgal: for there I hated them: for the wickedness of their doings I will drive them out of mine house, I will love them no more: all their princes are revolters."

Again, it is the wickness that men commit that God hates. You will notice that in this verse that God says, "I will love them no more", which is very telling, for it implies that God loved them up until that time. In other words, God's mercy had been extended as far as He could with these rebellious people. But they refused to turn from their wickness.
 
Hi wil, hey I always wanted to ask you, what does "Naamaste" mean? My comments are blue.

I more liken this to Paul's 'I die daily' constantly shedding old belief systems and old ways. The acorn only needs to die once to its seed self to become the oak. But with us humans it seems this born again process is continuous, a daily thing.

It is both true that the born again experience a process and a one time thing. Like being born the first time, you had nothing to do with it. One day you were and then you grew into who you are today. Likewise, when we are born again (not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God. John 1:13) we begin a process called "satififcation" whereby we put to death the works of the old nature (which resides in our body) by the aid of the Holy Spirit who lives within us, and we live the new life in Christ by renewing our minds. Since salvation is of the Lord and is a gift that only God alone gives to whomever He wills (John 17:2, Romans 9:17, etc.), the gift will continue on unto eternal life because we didnt choose it. Therefore, God will make sure that we become Holy by satification unto glorification, because He promised it (Ezek. 36:26-27, [SIZE=-1]Philippians 1:5-7, John 3:16, etc., etc.). [/SIZE]

I also think the story of Jesus (the light) coming to Nicodemus in the night (darkness) is a representation of Nicodemus knowing the scripture, but not being able to relate it to the day to day world.

You're thinking too hard bro. Just let the text say what they say.

That is something that Jesus brought many of us (those of us who couldn't understand the breadth and glory of Judaic thought by itself) Jesus brought us an understanding that we were not able to see ourselves (even though he studied the same scripture).

Right. All are without understanding (Romans 3..something).


Our old testament is sorely short of what Judaism is, it is piece, a small piece, even though it takes up 2/3s of our bible, what the Jews study and understand of their scriptures is many times the size of the bible. And many of them, unlike Nicodemus are not in darkness, but bathed in the light and love of G-d. While I am far from any authority on this manner, the times I spend in service or in study with Jews makes me admire their understanding of spirit and heritage all the more.

Thats great. But, continue to look to Jesus. He's the fulfillment of the Law that none of us could uphold and He's wisdom and light and God, manifested in human form.
 
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