Last post we offered a definition of love. Love is the eternal bond of unity and affection between Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. God is love—united in harmony forever. We saw that this means we must measure, and define, anything we want to call human “love” by this ultimate definition of what love is. We continue…
How do we get love?
If all this is true, how do we get love? The Bible’s storyline gives us our answer. This love that God is—this love that overflowed into the creation of our world and humanity as God’s special image-bearers, this love is the love we’re cut off from right now. Our sins, our turning our back on God who is love, our trusting things opposed to him to fulfill us—all this has separated us from this true, supreme love. But because God is love, and because he loves us, his love is still overflowing to us.
Remember that verse we looked at earlier from John’s letter? “In this,” John wrote, “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.”13 Or, as he says in the next sentence, “In this is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his son to be the propitiation for our sins.” That word “propitiation” means that Jesus took our sin, and paid the price of bearing God’s wrath in our place.
So we see that not only did Jesus reveal to us how God is love, but he also revealed how God loves us. He loves us by giving Jesus in our place to die and rise again for us.
Or you could say it like this: the Father loved us, and wasn’t satisfied with all humanity being separated from him for eternity through their sin and guilt, so he gave the Son to come take care of that separation. The Son loved us by coming and being “God with us,” and by dying the death we deserved and bearing the wrath of God we should have had to bear.
Or you could say it in a sentence: God loves us by overcoming the barrier between us and his love, so that we could enjoy him, the God who is love, forever. He wants us in the circle of his love. Always.
You might be thinking, “great, but that happened two thousand years ago. What does that do for me now? I need God’s love today!” That’s where the final piece of the puzzle comes in. After Jesus rose from the dead he sent the special carrier of God’s love to his followers—into their very beings! This was none other than the Holy Spirit himself. The God who is love moves into those who trust Christ. He comes in the person of his Spirit, and brings all his eternal, cosmic, personal love into the center of who they are.
The apostle Paul says it like this: “God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.” (Romans 5:5) This is the way to begin to experience the awesome love God has for us. Then, we love him back by knowing and enjoying this love, and
sending it back his way in total affection. (You could call this, “worship.”)
Which means that when we want to learn how to truly love each other, we have to start here. We say, “If I have now found the real love, wouldn’t the only loving thing be to help others find it too?”
And that’s the right thought! Real love is to help others connect with this eternal love. What else would love be, except to do the highest good for someone else? And what else could be the highest good for everyone, except to be livingly, eternally connected to their eternally loving God?
Can we say it now?
Anything that does not connect us to His love…is not love.
Let that digest slowly in you if you’ve never thought about it before.
There are so many arguments today about love. Aren’t there?
In the Bible, Christians possess a truth that offers a solid, eternal way forward: love connects people to the only true God, the only God who is love—the God revealed in the Bible. Jesus is the ultimate picture of him.
And what the Bible calls sin, well, those are the things God identifies as what cuts people off from him, distracts from him, or drives people in another direction. To help people down a road that will lead to separation from the ultimate love, cannot, in the end, be called loving.
Right?[If you want to download the entire booklet to read, without waiting for the posts, you can get it here.]