The Love of GodPosted: August 19, 2009
John 3:16-17 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.
The love of God for mankind is unfathomable: that He would send His Son, Jesus Christ, to die so that sinful mankind could come to know Him and boast in Him. This act of love is great and surpasses any display of love throughout all of time – past, present, and future.
Man can boast in the love of God because of the act in which God displayed His love. How thought-provoking it is that man can boast in God because of the death of God. The love of God for the gospel is deeper, stronger, wider, and longer than anything on this earth. God has planned throughout all of history a way in which the nations would see just how much He loves them. This loving God sent His Son, Jesus Christ, to take form in a human body so that He could then suffer for all of mankind. This act of love separates all types of love. For there is nothing that comes close to the act of the cross, where God sent His Son to die because of His love for humankind. How much more should the believer boast in the ability to know that he is saved by the grace which God gives to His chosen because He simply loves Himself. No doubt this may sound prideful, or selfish. But it is by no means so. God is a jealous God, and no man or individual should be boasted in, or be delighted in – especially by His flock – besides the Supreme Lord. For the believer to boast in this is to look at how much God loved them and thank God alone for His doing, and think nothing of himself or what he has done. Romans 5:7-8 best portrays this act of love in stating thus: “For one will scarcely die for a righteous person – though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die – but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” God shows His love for His chosen by planning that, while we were dead sinners bound to the pit of hell, He would then give His Son so that His elect could see His love and enjoy His love in bringing sinners to know His love. Imagine that the act of the cross, and all that happened before and after that event, was predestined to take place for you. It was predestined to take place so that you, the believer, when called into God’s elect people, would only boast and find all enjoyment in God’s love for His people! The believer needs to boast in this love that he was created for. It was created for God’s people to know and fall in love with. Yes, God’s love is for the believer to fall in love with.
God’s love must be boasted about. It is good to all of creation, and even more, it is the most compassionate love that exists, or ever will exist. There is no love on this earth that a husband has for his wife, or a mother has for her children, that can compare to God’s love for His people. The love of God for His church is the deepest, most pleasurable love that exists. This should call the one who is in this covenant of grace to boast in the fact that he can be filled with eagerness and be ablaze with a passion for boasting and glorifying God because of what He has done for him. How great is God’s love for His people! That God would enter into a covenant with sinners – a covenant in which God himself would allow men to enjoy himself like non-other and a covenat that would allow man to interact in a loving relationship with their father. This covenant is both Christ and the church loving one another. How are we doing? Do we boast in the fact that God wants to show His love to His people? Do we boast in the fact that God wants to have a relationship with His people? How often it seems that the bride of Christ starts looking for other loves (sometimes perverse loves) that are mostly of the world, and not everlasting in their fulfillment to the soul. I believe that the Puritans do an excellent job in explaining this truth of the gospel – how God loves His people and wants to redeem them – but even more in how we reap this benefit. John Flavel writes:
What an ancient Friend he hath been to us; who loves us, provided for us, and continued all our happiness, before we were, yea before the world was. We reap the fruits of this covenant now, the seed whereof was sown in eternity.
Wilhemus à Brakel writes:
How blessed and what a wonder it is to have been considered and known in this covenant, to have been given by the Father to the Son, by the Son to have been written in his Book, and to have been the object of the eternal, mutual delight of the Father and the Son to save you.
We, the church, should strive to be covenant keepers of God’s promises, and should most of all boast with all our hearts in the act of His love for allowing His people to delight in His promising love. God’s love will endure forever, and will continue in His covenant and promises throughout eternity.