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. (1 John 4:10 ESV)
God. God does what is important. His actions determine reality. God is unbound and not contingent on anyone or anything. God enjoys the unique position of the divine. God is entirely different, entirely other. God does not need creatures. God does not need anything, including love from others.
God gives. God does what God alone can do, and God does it so that people can know who God is. God gives His Son to reveal who God truly is, and to save people. God gives His Son, and now His Son is the only true way to know God.
The best news in all eternity is that God is love.
Love is primarily God’s action for mankind. Love is manifest in the gift of Jesus. And the focal point of Jesus is His death and resurrection for the forgiveness of our sins. This is love. This is God. This is Gospel.
We all long to be loved. We all long to love. And that desire is fulfilled in the action of God for His creatures. Everyone’s need for love is met in the one who is God’s love for all mankind. Jesus’ death and resurrection is love — the love of God for you.
Thus, we learn to love. We learn to love completely and selflessly. We learn to love knowing that true love is not something needing completion. We love freely, for we have been loved undeservedly and unreservedly. The cross and the empty tomb stands as God’s love.
When contemplating my favorite Bible verse, 1 John 4:7–12 always comes to mind, along with many other passages (especially Galatians 2:20; Philippians 1:21; 1 John 3:1–3). The more I read and study God’s Word, the more I hear it proclaimed in worship, the more I’m convinced that Scripture is not about me at all, but about God’s action in Jesus Christ. And so is life. My life is not about me. And for this, I rejoice and give thanks (there’s another good passage – 1 Thessalonians 5:16–23). Eyes on Jesus (Hebrews 12:2).
This is love: God for us. Let us so love one another. God is love. And His love is Jesus. And this love in Jesus is life.
Dr. Kevin Armbrust
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