THE LOVE OF GOD
HIS LOVE IN US AND FROM US
© Carlos Padilla, October 2004
The biggest love story ever told, and the most passionate is the one we find in the Bible: the love story between God and his wife, our soul.
But the man who is not born again, from the heavens, which means from the Spirit, doesn’t comprehend the love of God. Therefore our aim must be to equip ourselves in order to love with love from God, by using the tools provided by God in His word, so we may love with love from the Spirit, not only our neighbour but our spiritual Husband, our Lord.
THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN GOD’S LOVE AND MAN’S LOVE
The basic difference between God’s love and man’s love is that God loves the enemies, all humanity, He loves naturally, and doesn’t expect compensation, which means that He doesn’t need to be loved before, because the power of His love is larger than all the feelings we know, and His goodness guides us to repentance. God knows the result of loving the enemies, He saw it in the cross, He knows the result in our souls for eternity. The battle for us has been and still is worth for His children. A good father fights for his children in the world, how wouldn’t our Father fight for us for eternity?
God’s love for us is so strong that He gave His Begotten Son, delivering Him in the cross to die on our behalf, for our sin or error motivated by our natural enmity against God, this means that we want God to be as each of us conceives Him rather than doing His word: … And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever… 1 John 2:17. That will is that we receive His Son as our Saviour, for He is the one that baptizes with the Holy Spirit. This is for us that have heard Him in this body, but also those who didn’t hear the Gospel but have a heart open to God, will encounter Him in the resurrection. God loves us and will discipline us, if necessary as He did with Job.
Man’s love instead is basically focused on two things, first in his animal instinct, including maternity, and secondly, natural man’s love guides him to seek for the egoist pleasure of all that he has within reach, not bothering about his neighbour. Man, therefore, loves money, power, and success before others, seeks to be recognized, to be the leader, to win in competition by humiliating and beating his opponent, and to obtain this he kills and is killing today, as we see on the daily news. Man’s love thinks only in himself, it’s nature is enemy of God, it’s from the devil, doesn’t even consider His Creator.
Man’s love differentiates little from animal love, which is guided merely by the instinct of survival, at the most of his own clan, sometimes not even: Cain and Abel. If we were doing a resume of humanity, to present it to God, looking at man from outside of his world, how do we explain the atrocities made, hunger, poverty, wars, governments seeking only money and power? We cannot say that man has love, but dominating will, doesn’t have love of God.
GOD’S LOVE TO US AND FROM US
We must understand these two focuses of this love:
First, God’s love in His eternal work in us, and God’s love in our daily lives.
Secondly, our love towards our neighbour for eternity and our love to our neighbour every day …Love your enemies…, …For if ye love them which love you, what thank have ye? Luke 6:32.
For the first focusing on God’s love for us we need to read the following:
KEY TEXT: … 16For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. 17For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. John 3.
As well as what He has done for us, God loves us in such a way, that if we walk by His side on our daily journey, in our lives, if we ask Him in prayer, He will teach us, guide us and will give us signs or dreams so that we don’t fail in our projects of life. That special company of His is the one that shows us His love, and this is experimented by each of us in intimacy.
The features of God’s love are infinite, but we may foresee that God’s love proceeds from the eternal and spiritual essence of the divine nature; this provides such features that naturally we don’t perceive, but that we can begin to experience by the approach of God to us.
At the same time, God’s love goes further that the limits of our heart, sees the result of His work in the eternal dimension and is patient, doesn’t stop for anger, wrath or revenge. Definitively his eyes are focussed in the spiritual.
Therefore, Jesus Christ sets us free, not only from physical death in resurrection, but from real death, if we believe in Him, the spiritual death in the relation with God. … 18He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. 19And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. Juan 3.
All that guilt of humanity’s enmity of all times, is what Jesus Christ, in His love for us has drank in that cup that the Father gave him in the orchard of Gethsemane, and prayed to the Father being the Son: …O my Father, if this cup may not pass away from me, except I drink it, thy will be done… Matthew 26:42 and an angel came to support Him, Luck 22:43. That angel could have been the one sent to carry all of us love for Him, of all of us that have received Him, so that He could see a glimpse of the result of work that He was going to do in our souls for eternity.
KEY TEXT: …Hereby perceive we the love of God, because he laid down his life for us… 1John 3:16. Jesus Christ is our brother.
In this text we find the answer to the question that humanity has sought since our existence and that still seeks today: What is love? Love is that God has come in the flesh of Jesus Christ to give his life for us, because He loves us, to save us and give us eternal life in His Kingdom of blessing. And I ask the reader: Will you receive the Love of God, will you believe Him? Receive Jesus Christ today, if you have not done so yet.
As well as loving God in Jesus Christ; How does God’s love manifest amongst our neighbour? Let us see the answer again in 1John 3: …and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren 17But whoso hath this world’s good, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels of compassion from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him? 18My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth.
This means that our lives must be ready to carry the spiritual burdens of our brothers, to bear them and relief them and to share them, and this is done by praying, asking God through our priesthood, but also physically in the daily needs, as in the parable of the good Samaritan, and in the spiritual friendship and with brotherly kindness.
Two ways of working for our brothers: one is the material aid, the good works, but the second one is a better one, similar to what God does for us, to lay down our lives for our brethren. In the Greek text the word used for lives is “phiche”, mind-soul; to lay one’s minds-souls for the brethren takes us back to the priesthood, where a life is laid down for another’s.
In our priesthood of carrying our cross and the burdens in the yoke beside Christ, as we find the word “mind”, we can understand that this implies prayer. As we pray for others, one denies himself and dedicates his mind to pray for his neighbour, is laying down his mind to the service of God, of the brothers and the neighbour, is laying down his life.
Now, how do you lay down your life or soul for the brethren? Read about the priesthood in the Bible, use your concordance. NOTE: The translation of life instead of soul, is more complete spiritually, as it includes all our self, and that is what Jesus did, he laid down his life as of the blood, his life as of his soul; He prayed for us, he anguished, suffered in the heart, in His feelings, he carried our shame, laying down his spiritual life, because being the Holy Spirit on Earth, he spared no effort by dyeing and commanding Himself to the Father: …Into thy hands I commend my spirit …Luke 23:46 and we know what Spirit was in Him. Lastly his physical life, his body.
WHAT GOD’S LOVE PRODUCES IN MAN
Once we have received God and we know Jesus in depth, our heart turns for our neighbour and for the brothers.
And the great commandment “love the Lord your God over all things and your neighbour as yourself” that Jesus reminds us, is the same as what is the end of the Law of God, therefore the message coincides and we see the Law of Christ in the following text: …Bear ye one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Chris. Galatians 6:2.
Therefore to summarise, we have two ways to love our neighbour like God loves: one is to pray for our brothers and for the enemies of the Gospel, and another the good Works, but …greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends…John 15:13.
FOR OUR NEIGHBOUR as for our love of God for them, we will preach the Good News of the Gospel, knowing that the world hates us, like they hated Christ crucifying Him. So we can see that evangelizing is for love to our neighbour, as well as the physical aid that we may give to those in need and all of it in the name of Jesus Christ.
FOR OUR BROTHERS as we see in them no fear as there is love, “…there is no fear in love …” 1John 4:18. Sometimes we receive love of God from people who we don’t know, but being brothers, sons of the same spiritual Father, this love between brothers is fed by the Holy Spirit.
Sometimes some effort is required because of our flesh, maybe for being of a different race, age, sex or social class it may cause more of less difficulties to love the brothers, but this is only a question of spiritual growth. …We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren. He that loveth not his brother abideth in death… 1John 3:14. …By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one another…John 13:35.
The last part of this Bible study is dedicated to our beloved Lord.
HOW TO SHOW GOD OR LOVE OF GOD FOR HIM
In first place we must show the Lord that by accepting the Gospel, receiving his Son Jesus Christ, accepting his work in the cross for remission of our sins and for resurrection, we come to receive “repentance” a change of mind, by being born again and praying to receive the Holy Spirit in which Jesus Christ baptizes.
And in second place, to study the Bible with the aim of coming to know Him well, and to know the human kind and to come to love them with their errors, so we may come to know ourselves. That He may provide us for preaching the Gospel, making us His disciples, not only believers, to fulfill His commandments.
…As the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you: continue ye in my love. 10If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father’s commandments, and abide in his love. John 15:9.
Finally, laying down our lives for Jesus Christ, by carrying His yoke and sharing the daily burden of birth and maintenance of the children of God in the World, until His coming. Our priesthood and our warm love, as did Ab´i-shag the Shu´nam-mite serving her lord, king David in his old age.
But there are two more things with which we can show God our Godly love:
The first one is that our Lord, when He was still on Earth, commanded His disciples to break the bread and to drink the wine in His memory; Holy Supper. In it we announce in the heavens, in the dimension where the Lord is, to the angels and powers, that Jesus Christ has been received by us, that we give thanks to God for having that bread who is Christ, and that by eating it, we eat His essence and recognize us part of His body, and that wine which represents His blood, which cleaned us from our enmity essence towards God, from sin or error, our dressing before the throne of the Glory, by which we have entrance to the eternal kingdom of Jesus Christ.
Have Holy Supper, my beloved brothers, best if done with intimate brothers, whom you know well, not in big congregations. Jesus Christ had it with his 11 disciples. Have it often, and if you have no brothers, have it on you own if necessary, do not loose your bond with Jesus Christ, show your love to the Lord.
The second one is praise, because in it we shed our hearts before God, and we show our happiness and our love, having come to know Him and share with Him in our lives, and be set free by Him from evil, becoming our Saviour and protector. To finish with praise read Psalms 33 and 34 in your Bible. …Sing unto him a new song…Psalm 33:3. Revelation 14:3 and 14:7, Revelation 15:3 and 4.
14 Because he hath set his love upon me, therefore will I deliver him: I will set him on high, because he hath known my name.
12 Hatred stirreth up strifes: but love covereth all sins.
3 The LORD hath appeared of old unto me, saying, Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting love: therefore with loving kindness have I drawn thee.
12… And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold. 13But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.
12This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you. 13Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. 14Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you. 15Henceforth I call you not servants; for the servant knoweth not what his lord doeth: but I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of my Father I have made known unto you. 16Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you. 17These things I command you, that ye love one another.
26And I have declared unto them thy name, and will declare it: that the love wherewith thou hast loved me may be in them, and I in them.
35Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? 36As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. 37Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. 38For I am per-suaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, 39Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
1 CORINTHIANS 13
1Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not love, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal. 2And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not love, I am nothing. 3And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not love, it profiteth me nothing. 4Love suffereth long, and is kind; love envieth not; love vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, 5Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil; 6Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth; 7Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things. 8Love never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away… …13And now abideth faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.
4But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, 5Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) 6And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus: 7That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus. 8For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: 9Not of works, lest any man should boast. 10For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.
19And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God.
2With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love; 3Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. 4There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling; 5One Lord, one faith, one baptism, 6One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all… …15But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ: 16From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love.
14 And above all these things put on love, which is the bond of perfectness.
1 PETER 4
8And above all things have fervent love among yourselves: for love shall cover the multitude of sins.
1 JOHN 4
7Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God. 8He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love. 9In 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. 10Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. 11Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another. 12No man hath seen God at any time. If we love one another, God dwelleth in us, and his love is perfected in us. 13Hereby know we that we dwell in him, and he in us, because he hath given us of his Spirit. 14And we have seen and do testify that the Father sent the Son to be the Saviour of the world. 15Whosoever shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God dwelleth in him, and he in God. 16And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him. 17Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as he is, so are we in this world. 18There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love. 19We love him, because he first loved us. 20If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen? 21And this commandment have we from him, That he who loveth God love his brother also. Amen.