The Love Of GOD
-The Love of God to Us-
By "Us" We Mean HIS People. Although we read of the Love "which is in CHRIST JESUS our LORD" (Rom. 8:39), Holy Writ knows nothing of a Love of GOD outside of CHRIST. "The LORD is good to all: and His tender mercies are over all HIS works" (Ps. 145:9), so that HE provides the ravens with food. "HE is kind unto the unthankful and to the evil" (Luke 6:35), and HIS providence ministers unto the just and the unjust (Matthew 5:45). But HIS Love is reserved for HIS elect. That is unequivocally established by its characteristics, for the attributes of HIS Love are identical with HIMSELF.
Necessarily so, for "GOD is Love." In making that postulate it is but another way to say GOD'S Love is like HIMSELF, from everlasting to everlasting, immutable. Nothing is more absurd than to imagine that anyone beloved of GOD can eternally perish or shall ever experience HIS everlasting vengeance. Since the Love of GOD is "in CHRIST JESUS," it was attracted by nothing in its objects, nor can it be repelled by anything in, of, or by them. "Having Loved his own which were in the world, HE Loved them unto the end" (John 13:1). The "world" in John 3:16 is a general term used in contrast with the Jews, and the verse must be interpreted so as not to contradict Psalm 5:5; 6:7; John 3:36; Romans 9:13.
The chief design of GOD is to commend the Love of GOD in CHRIST, for HE is the sole channel through which it flows. The SON has not induced the FATHER to Love HIS people, but rather was it HIS Love for them which moved HIM to give HIS SON for them. Ralph Erskine said:GOD hath taken a marvelous way to manifest HIS Love. When HE would show HIS power, HE makes a world. When HE would display HIS wisdom, HE puts it in a frame and form that discovers its vastness.
When HE would manifest the grandeur and glory of HIS name, HE makes a heaven, and puts angels and archangels, principalities and powers therein. And when HE would manifest HIS Love, what will HE not do? GOD hath taken a great and marvelous way of manifesting it in CHRIST: HIS person, HIS blood, HIS death, HIS righteousness.
"All the promises of GOD in HIM [CHRIST] are yea, and in HIM Amen, unto the glory of GOD" (2 Cor. 1:20). As we were chosen in CHRIST (Eph. 1:4), as we were accepted in HIM (Eph. 1:6), as our life is hid in HIM (Col. 3:3), so are we beloved in HIM—"the Love of GOD which is in Christ Jesus": in HIM as our Head and Husband, which is why nothing can separate us therefrom, for that union is indissoluble.
Nothing so warms the heart of the saint as a spiritual contemplation of GOD''S Love. As he is occupied with it, HE is lifted outside of and above his wretched self. A believing apprehension fills the renewed soul with holy satisfaction, and makes HIM as happy as it is possible for one to be this side of heaven. To know and believe the Love which GOD has toward me is both an earnest and a foretaste of heaven itself. Since GOD Loves HIS people in CHRIST, it is not for any amiableness in or attraction about them: "Jacob have I Loved." Yes, the naturally unattractive, yes, despicable, Jacob—"thou worm Jacob."
Since GOD Loves HIS people in CHRIST, it is not regulated by their fruitfulness, but is the same at all times. Because HE Loves them in CHRIST, The FATHER Loves them as CHRIST. The time will come when HIS prayer will be answered, "that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast Loved them, as thou hast Loved me" (John 17:23). Only faith can grasp those marvelous things, for neither reasoning nor feelings can do so. GOD Loves us in CHRIST: What infinite delight the FATHER has as HE beholds HIS people in HIS dear SON! All our blessings flow from that precious fountain.
GOD'S Love to HIS people is not of yesterday. It did not begin with their Love to HIM. No, "we Love HIM, because HE first Loved us" (1 John 4:19). We do not first give to HIM, that HE may return to us again. Our regeneration is not the motive of HIS Love, rather HIS Love is the reason why HE renews us after HIS image. This is often made to appear in the first manifestation of it, when so far from its objects being engaged in seeking HIM, they are at their worst. "Now when I passed by thee, and looked upon thee, behold, thy time was the time of Love; and I spread my skirt over thee, and covered thy nakedness: yea, I sware unto thee, and entered into a covenant with thee, saith the LORD GOD, and thou becamest [manifestatively] mine" (Ezek. 16:8).
Not only are its objects often at their worst when GOD'S Love is first revealed to them, but actually doing their worst, as in the case of Saul of Tarsus. Not only is GOD'S Love antecedent to ours, but also it was borne in HIS heart toward us long before we were delivered from the power of darkness and translated into the Kingdom of HIS dear SON. It began not in time, but bears the date of eternity. "I have Loved thee with an everlasting Love" (Jer. 31:3).
"Herein is Love, not that we Loved GOD, but that HE Loved us, and sent HIS SON to be the propitiation for our sins" (1 John 4:10). It is clear from those words that GOD Loved HIS people while they were in a state of nature, destitute of all grace, without a particle of love towards HIM or faith in HIM; yes, while they were HIS enemies (Rom. 5:8, 10). Clearly that lays me under a thousand times greater obligation to Love, serve, and glorify HIM than had HE Loved me for the first time when my heart was won. All the acts of GOD to HIS people in time are the expressions of the Love HE bore them from eternity. It is because GOD Loves us in CHRIST, and has done so from everlasting, that the gifts of HIS Love are irrevocable. They are the bestowal of "the FATHER of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning."
The Love of GOD indeed makes a change in us when it is "shed abroad in our hearts," but it makes none in HIM. HE sometimes varies the dispensations of His providence toward us, but that is not because His affection has altered. Even when HE chastens us, it is in Love (Heb. 12:6), since HE has our good in view.
Let us look more closely at some of the operations of GOD'S Love. First, in election. "We are bound to give thanks always to GOD for you, brethren beloved of the LORD, because GOD hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the SPIRIT [HIS quickening] and belief of the truth" (2 Thess. 2:13). There is an infallible connection between GOD'S Love and HIS selection of those who were to be saved.
That election is the consequence of HIS Love is clear again from Deuteronomy: "The Lord did not  set HIS Love upon you, nor  choose you, because ye were more in number than any people" (Deut. 7:7). So again in Ephesians: "In Love: having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by JESUS CHRIST to HIMSELF, according to the good pleasure of HIS will" (Eph. 1:4-5).Second, in redeeming. As we have seen from 1 John 4:10, out of HIS Sovereign Love GOD made provision for CHRIST to render satisfaction for their sins, though prior to their conversion HE was angry with them in respect to HIS violated Law. And "how shall HE not with him also freely give us all things?" (Rom. 8:32)—another clear proof that HIS SON was not "delivered up" to the cross for all mankind. For HE gives them neither the HOLY SPIRIT, a new nature, nor repentance and faith.
Third, effectual calling. From the enthroned SAVIOR the FATHER sends forth the HOLY SPIRIT (Acts 2:33). Having Loved HIS elect with an everlasting Love, with Loving kindness HE draws them (Jer. 41:3), quickens into newness of life, calls them out of darkness into HIS marvelous light, makes them HIS children. "Behold, what manner of Love the FATHER hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of GOD" (1 John 3:1). If filiation does not issue from GOD'S Love as a sure effect, to what purpose are those words?
Fourth, healing of backslidings: "I will heal their backsliding, I will Love them freely" (Hos. 14:4), without reluctance or hesitation. "Many waters cannot quench Love, neither can the floods drown it" (Song 8:7). Such is GOD'S Love to HIS people—invincible, unquenchable. Not only is there no possibility of its expiring, but also the black waters of backslidings cannot extinguish it, nor the floods of unbelief put it out.
Nothing is more irresistible than death in the natural world, nothing so invincible as the Love of GOD in the realm of grace.
Goodwin remarked:What difficulties does the Love of GOD overcome! For GOD to overcome HIS own heart! Do you think it was nothing for HIM to put HIS SON to death? . . . When HE came to call us, had HE no difficulties which Love overcame? We were dead in trespasses and sins, yet from the great love wherewith HE Loved us, He quickened us in the grave of our corruption: "lo, he stinketh"—even then did GOD come and conquer us. After our calling, how sadly do we provoke GOD! Such temptations that if it were possible the elect should be deceived. It is so with all Christians. No righteous man but he is "scarcely saved" (1 Pet. 4:18), and yet saved he is, because the Love of GOD is invincible: it overcomes all difficulties.
An application is hardly necessary for such a theme. Let GOD'S Love daily engage your mind by devout meditations on it so that the affections of your heart may be drawn out to HIM. When cast down in spirit, or in sore straits, plead His Love in prayer, assured that it cannot deny anything good for you. Make GOD'S wondrous Love to you the incentive of your obedience to HIM—gratitude requires nothing less. -Taken From The Attributes Of GOD By AW Pink-
Deuteronomy 4:37- And because HE Loved your fathers and chose their offspring after them and brought you out of Egypt with HIS Own Presence, by HIS Great Power.
Deuteronomy 7:7-8- It was not because you were more in number than any other people that the LORD set HIS Love on you and chose you, for you were the fewest of all peoples, but it is because the LORD Loves you and is keeping the oath that HE swore to your fathers, that the LORD has brought you out with a Mighty Hand and redeemed you from the house of slavery, from the hand of Pharaoh king of Egypt.
Deuteronomy 7:13- HE will Love you, bless you, and multiply you. HE will also bless the fruit of your womb and the fruit of your ground, your grain and your wine and your oil, the increase of your herds and the young of your flock, in the land that he swore to your fathers to give you.
Deuteronomy 10:14-15- Behold, to the LORD your GOD belong heaven and the heaven of heavens, the earth with all that is in it. Yet the LORD set HIS heart in Love on your fathers and chose their offspring after them, you above all peoples, as you are this day.
Deuteronomy 10:18- HE executes Justice for the fatherless and the widow, and Loves the sojourner, giving him food and clothing.
Deuteronomy 23:5- But the LORD your GOD would not listen to Balaam; instead the LORD your GOD turned the curse into a blessing for you, because the LORD your GOD Loved you.
Deuteronomy 33:3- Yes, HE Loved HIS people,all HIS holy ones were in HIS Hand; so they followed in your steps, receiving direction from you.
2 Samuel 12:24- Then David comforted his wife, Bathsheba, and went in to her and lay with her, and she bore a son, and he called his name Solomon. And the LORD Loved him.
Job 7:17- What is man, that YOU make so much of him, and that YOU set YOUR Heart on him.
Psalm 25:10- All the paths of the LORD are steadfast Love and faithfulness, for those who keep HIS covenant and HIS testimonies.
Psalm 33:5- HE Loves Righteousness and Justice; the earth is full of the steadfast Love of the LORD.
Psalm 36:7- How precious is YOUR steadfast Love, O God! The children of mankind take refuge in the shadow of YOUR wings.
Psalm 42:8- By day the LORD commands HIS Steadfast Love, and at night HIS song is with me, a prayer to the GOD of my life.
Psalm 47:4- HE chose our heritage for us, the pride of Jacob whom HE Loves. Selah
Psalm 69:16- Answer me, O LORD, for YOUR Steadfast Love is Good; according to YOUR Abundant Mercy, turn to me.
Psalm 86:5- For YOU, O LORD, are Good and Forgiving, abounding in steadfast Love to all who call upon YOU.
Jeremiah 9:23- I AM The LORD who practices steadfast Love.
Lamentations 3:22- The steadfast Love of The LORD never ceases, HIS Mercies never come to an end.
Hosea 11:1- When Israel was a child, I Loved him, and out of Egypt I called MY son.
Malachi 1:2- "I have Loved you," says The LORD. But you say, "How have YOU Loved us?" "Is not Esau Jacob's brother?" declares the LORD. "Yet I have Loved Jacob.
2 Corinthians 13:11;14- Finally, brothers, rejoice. Aim for restoration, comfort one another, agree with one another, live in peace; and The GOD of Love and peace will be with you. The Grace of the LORD JESUS CHRIST and The Love of GOD and the fellowship of the HOLY SPIRIT be with you all.
1 John 3:1- See what kind of Love the FATHER has given to us, that we should be called children of GOD; and so we are. The reason why the world does not know us is that it did not know HIM.
1 John 4:11,12- Beloved, if GOD so Loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen GOD; if we love one another, GOD abides in us and HIS Love is perfected in us.
1 John 4:16;19- So we have come to know and to believe the Love that GOD has for us. GOD Is Love, and whoever abides in Love abides in GOD, and GOD abides in HIM. We Love because HE first Loved us.
Jude 21- Keep yourselves in The Love of GOD, waiting for the mercy of our LORD JESUS CHRIST that leads to eternal life.
2 Chronicles 20:21- And when he had taken counsel with the people, he appointed those who were to sing to the LORD and praise him in holy attire, as they went before the army, and say, "Give thanks to the LORD, for HIS Steadfast Love endures forever."
Jeremiah 31:3- The LORD appeared to him from far away. I have Loved you with an Everlasting Love; therefore I have continued MY Faithfulness to you.
-Better Than Life-
Psalm 63:3- Because YOUR Steadfast Love is better than life, my lips will praise YOU.
-For The Wicked-
Romans 5:8- But GOD shows HIS Love for us in that while we were still sinners, CHRIST died for us.
Ephesians 2:4-7- But GOD, being rich in Mercy, because of the Great Love with which HE Loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with CHRIST--by Grace you have been saved, and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in CHRIST JESUS, so that in the coming ages HE might show the immeasurable riches of HIS Grace in kindness toward us in CHRIST JESUS.
-For The Righteous-
Psalm 103:13- As a father shows compassion to his children, so the LORD shows compassion to those who fear HIM.
Psalm 146:8- The LORD opens the eyes of the blind. The LORD lifts up those who are bowed down; The LORD Loves the righteous.
Proverbs 15:9- The way of the wicked is an abomination to the LORD, but HE Loves him who pursues righteousness.
John 14:21,23- Whoever has my commandments and keeps them, he it is who Loves me. And he who Loves ME will be Loved by MY FATHER, and I will Love him and manifest myself to him." JESUS answered him, "If anyone Loves ME, he will keep my word, and MY FATHER will Love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him.
John 16:27- For the FATHER HIMSELF Loves you, because you have Loved ME and have believed that I came from GOD.
John 17:10,23,26- All MINE are YOURS, and YOURS are MINE, and I am glorified in them. I in them and YOU in ME, that they may become perfectly one, so that the world may know that YOU sent ME and Loved them even as YOU Loved ME. FATHER, I desire that they also, whom YOU have given ME, may be with ME where I am, to see MY glory that you have given ME because YOU Loved ME before the foundation of the world.
Romans 1:7- To all those in Rome who are Loved by GOD and called to be saints: Grace to you and peace from GOD our FATHER and The LORD JESUS CHRIST.
Romans 9:13- As it is written, "Jacob I Loved, but Esau I hated."
Romans 11:28- As regards the Gospel, they are enemies for your sake. But as regards election, they are beloved for the sake of their forefathers.
2 Thessalonians 2:16-17- Now may our LORD JESUS CHRIST HIMSELF, and GOD our FATHER, who Loved us and gave us eternal comfort and good hope through Grace, comfort your hearts and establish them in every good work and word.
-For The Cheerful Giver-
2 Corinthians 9:7- Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for GOD Loves a cheerful giver.
Exodus 19:4-6- You yourselves have seen what I did to the Egyptians, and how I bore you on eagles' wings and brought you to MYSELF. Now therefore, if you will indeed obey MY voice and keep MY covenant, you shall be MY treasured possession among all peoples, for all the earth is mine; and you shall be to ME a kingdom of priests and a holy nation. These are the words that you shall speak to the people of Israel."
Leviticus 20:24,26- But I have said to you, 'You shall inherit their land, and I will give it to you to possess, a land flowing with milk and honey.' I am the LORD your GOD, who has separated you from the peoples. You shall be holy to me, for I the LORD am holy and have separated you from the peoples, that you should be mine.
Deuteronomy 32:9-12- But the LORD's portion is HIS people, Jacob HIS allotted heritage. "HE found him in a desert land, and in the howling waste of the wilderness; he encircled him, HE cared for him, HE kept him as the apple of HIS eye. Like an eagle that stirs up its nest, that flutters over its young, spreading out its wings, catching them, bearing them on its pinions, the LORD alone guided him, no foreign god was with him.
2 Samuel 7:23,24- And who is like YOUR people Israel, the one nation on earth whom GOD went to redeem to be HIS people, making HIMSELF a name and doing for them great and awesome things by driving out before YOUR people, whom YOU redeemed for YOURSELF from Egypt, a nation and its gods? And YOU established for YOURSELF YOUR people Israel to be YOUR people forever. And YOU, O LORD, became their GOD.
Psalm 48:9,14- We have thought on YOUR steadfast Love, O GOD, in the midst of YOUR temple. That this is GOD our GOD forever and ever. HE will guide us forever.
Isaiah 43:1-4- But now thus says the LORD, HE who created you, O Jacob, HE who formed you, O Israel: "Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are MINE. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you. For I am the LORD your GOD, the Holy One of Israel, your SAVIOR. I give Egypt as your ransom, Cush and Seba in exchange for you. Because you are precious in MY eyes, and honored, and I Love you, I give men in return for you, peoples in exchange for your life.
Isaiah 49:13-16- Sing for joy, O heavens, and exult, O earth; break forth, O mountains, into singing! For the LORD has comforted his people and will have compassion on his afflicted. But Zion said, "The LORD has forsaken me; my Lord has forgotten me." "Can a woman forget her nursing child, that she should have no compassion on the son of her womb? Even these may forget, yet I will not forget YOU.
Isaiah 54:5-6,10- For your MAKER is your HUSBAND, The LORD of hosts is HIS Name; and the HOLY ONE of Israel is your Redeemer, the GOD of the whole earth HE is called. For the LORD has called you like a wife deserted and grieved in spirit, like a wife of youth when she is cast off, says your GOD. For the mountains may depart and the hills be removed, but MY steadfast Love shall not depart from you, and MY covenant of peace shall not be removed," says the LORD, who has compassion on you.
Isaiah 62:4-5- You shall no more be termed Forsaken,and your land shall no more be termed Desolate, but you shall be called MY Delight Is in Her,and your land Married; for the LORD delights in you, and your land shall be married. For as a young man marries a young woman, so shall your sons marry you, and as the bridegroom rejoices over the bride, so shall your GOD rejoice over you.
Isaiah 63:7-9- I will recount the steadfast Love of the LORD, the praises of the LORD, according to all that the LORD has granted us, and the great goodness to the house of Israel that he has granted them according to his compassion, according to the abundance of HIS steadfast Love. For he said, "Surely they are my people, children who will not deal falsely." And HE became their SAVIOR. In all their affliction he was afflicted,and the angel of his presence saved them; in HIS Love and in his pity he redeemed them; HE lifted them up and carried them all the days of old.
Isaiah 66:13- As one whom his mother comforts, so I will comfort you; you shall be comforted in Jerusalem.
Jeremiah 3:14-15- Return, O faithless children, declares the LORD; for I am your master; I will take you, one from a city and two from a family, and I will bring you to Zion. "'And I will give you shepherds after my own heart, who will feed you with knowledge and understanding.
Ezekiel 16:8- "When I passed by you again and saw you, behold, you were at the age for Love, and I spread the corner of my garment over you and covered your nakedness; I made my vow to you and entered into a covenant with you, declares the LORD GOD, and you became mine.
Hosea 2:19-20-,23- And I will betroth you to ME forever. I will betroth you to ME in righteousness and in justice, in steadfast Love and in mercy. I will betroth you to ME in faithfulness. And you shall know the LORD. and I will sow her for MYSELF in the land. And I will have mercy on No Mercy, and I will say to Not MY People, 'You are MY people'; and he shall say, 'You are my GOD.'"
Zechariah 2:8- For thus said the LORD of hosts, after his glory sent me to the nations who plundered you, for he who touches you touches the apple of HIS eye.
-In Forgiveness Of Sins-
Isaiah 38:17- Behold, it was for my welfare that I had great bitterness; but in Love YOU have delivered my life from the pit of destruction, for YOU have cast all my sins behind YOUR back.
Titus 3:4-7- But when the Goodness and Loving kindness of GOD our SAVIOR appeared, HE saved us, not because of works done by us in Righteousness, but according to HIS own Mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the HOLY SPIRIT, whom he poured out on us richly through JESUS CHRIST our SAVIOR, so that being justified by HIS Grace we might become heirs according to the hope of eternal life.
-In The Gift Of HIS SON-
John 3:16- "For GOD so Loved the world, that HE gave HIS only SON, that whoever believes in HIM should not perish but have eternal life.
1 John 4:8-10- Anyone who does not Love does not know GOD, because GOD is Love. In this the Love of GOD was made manifest among us, that GOD sent HIS only SON into the world, so that we might live through HIM. In this is Love, not that we have Loved GOD but that HE Loved us and sent HIS SON to be the propitiation for our sins.
Hebrews 12:6- For the LORD disciplines the one HE Loves, and chastises every son whom HE receives."