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Pastoral 2013

God Manifested His Love Through His Son

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We can know God, because His great love is manifested unto us. Immediately after making the assertion that “God is love”, the Apostle John wrote, “In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him. 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 4:9-10). God’s love has sent the Son of God to bear all our sins so that we may know Him intimately.

How amazing it is that God should love vile mortals like us. Who can fully comprehend that the eternal God, who is holy, would love ungrateful rebels such as we? What a great mystery and a grand miracle that the divine love would send His only begotten Son into the world for us! If this is not love, what then is love?

John says, “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). God’s sending of His Son is so unusual and such an unprecedented expression of love that the Apostle says, “Herein is love”. God loved the world so wonderfully, so amazingly, and so incredibly that He sacrificed His only begotten Son as the ransom for the redemption of sinners. “But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8).

God’s Matchless Love Being moved by the love of God manifested through Christ, the Apostle John exclaimed, “Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God” (1 John 3:1a). John encourages us to contemplate the greatness of God’s love.

He points us to God’s love as peculiar. It is out-of-this-world kind of love. There is no act of love in this world that can ever be compared to God’s love that received us as His children, though we were once His enemies.

The apostle was so astonished at the greatness of God’s love that he wrote, “What manner of love”. The Greek words potapên agape, used by the apostle, point to both the quantity and quality of God’s love. Its length, breadth, depth and height are beyond description. How can we ever describe the love of God that allows us to call Him, “Father!” There can be no higher expression of love than His adopting of us, reckless children as we are, as His own, now and forever. There can never be any greater act of love, even from God, than that which He manifested through the sacrifice of His Son so that we may be reconciled to Him as His children.

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life” (John 3:16). He loved us, when we had no love for him.

He lovingly came to us, even when we had wandered away from Him. When we lay down in our sin, guilt, and misery, His tender love sought to redeem us. When we were undeserving, ill-deserving, polluted, and unclean, in love He stooped down to wash us from our sins with His sacred blood. While we were dead in trespasses, His love for us affixed Him on the cross to die that we might live forever through Him. He loved us, the wretched sinful mortals, that we might live in heaven, live with God, and live in eternal glory and blessedness with Him and through Him: O what love has reached us here on earth!

All those who have tasted His love, in receiving the salvation by faith in Christ, must praise Him for His eternal love. When we remember how insignificant we are as creatures, and how ungrateful, rebellious, and vile we have been as sinners, we may well be full of adoration and worship at His love which had adopted us into the holy family of God, so that we may be regarded and treated as the children of the Most High. The love of God that surpasses all finite conception will be the theme of adoring praises from multitudes that no man can number, for ever and ever.

Moreover, we should declare His love to every creature that others may also come to Him and rejoice in His love. Even in this world of animosity, bitterness, violence and suffering, we have sufficient evidence to prove that He is benevolent.

Let us always behold the cross where the love of God shines through the injustice, travesty and violence of human sin. The gruesome experiences of this earth tend to mask our perception that God is love.

The full glory and meaning of His infinite love will be fully understood only when we reach heaven. Meantime, let us hold on to the truth that God is love. Let us believe that He sincerely desires our good, and that what seems dark to us may be designed for our welfare; and amidst all the sorrows and disappointments of the present life, let us be rest assured that our interests and our destiny are in the hands of the God of love.

There is none who is infinitely perfect in love as God. O what astonishing goodness and condescension from the Almighty God towards us who believe on His Son. God is love!