Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and
loved.… (Col. 3:12)
The Bible is clear that believers are dearly
loved by God. This is a foundational truth that all Christians need to receive
for their spiritual well-being. Love is a pre-eminent topic in God’s Word and
has application to each of our daily lives. As Christians, we are to excel in
love toward God and man, but first, we must understand the truth that God loves
us. Everything else flows from that.
Let’s test your knowledge with a little Bible
trivia quiz. What chapter in the New Testament speaks the most strongly about
love? Did you say 1 Corinthians 13? Good guess, but I want to show you a chapter
that has nearly double the references to love as that one. Ready? It’s 1 John,
Chapter 4. This is really
the love chapter.
Let me run through some truths in 1 John 4 so you
can see what the Word says about God’s love toward us.
Love comes from God. (v. 7)
God is love. (v. 8)
This is how God showed His love among us: He sent
His one and only Son into the world that we might live through Him. (v. 9)
Not that we loved God, but that He loved us. (v.
Since God so loved us, we also ought to love one
another. (v. 11)
If we love one another, God lives in us and His
love is made complete in us. (v. 12)
And so we know and rely on the love God has for
us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in him. (v. 16)
We love because He first loved us. (v. 19)
This chapter in 1 John continues to expand on the
many facets of love and clearly shows that we can only love because of God. His
loving initiative toward us opened the door for us to love also. We can only
love—because He loved us first.
The Greatest Love
We know from Jesus that “Greater love has no one
than this, that he lay down his life for his friends” (John 15:13). Jesus
demonstrated this great love by His willingness to lay down His life at Calvary
for you and me. God didn’t wait for mankind to get it together before He
suffered and died to save us from our sins. He made this sacrifice while man was
in the depth of his depravity. “But God demonstrates his own love for us in
this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Rom. 5:8). In Romans
8:32, it also says, “He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us
all—how will he not also,
along with him, graciously give us all things?”
The heart of love is sacrifice and a giving spirit. God is the originator of
love, and Jesus is His personal example.