Introduction to God’s love
Everyone proclaims love, but who shows it? We live in a world where such words are cheap, but God has shown His love at significant cost. He loves us not because we are useful to His purposes, but because He loves us. He is overjoyed when in response to His love, we show that same kind of love to others of His children.
God’s love sent Jesus, the Source of Love
It is hard to see the love of the Father, who being Spirit cannot show us His love in ways that we can readily see. What He has given us is Jesus. Let us look at Jesus speaking of the Father sending Him, God’s Son. John 3.
Read : John 3:16-19 16 “For God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. 17 God sent his Son into the world not to judge the world, but to save the world through him. 18 “There is no judgment against anyone who believes in him. But anyone who does not believe in him has already been judged for not believing in God’s one and only Son. 19 And the judgment is based on this fact: God’s light came into the world, but people loved the darkness more than the light, for their actions were evil.
- What is the purpose God has in giving His Son, Jesus to the world?
- How is this giving of His only Son a demonstration of Love?
- What responses are possible to Jesus, and what are the consequences?
Nothing Separates from God’s love
God’s love for us is not like our love for others. His love is unquenchable. Nothing can remove it from us, so we are secure in that love!
Read Romans 8: 35-39 Can anything ever separate us from Christ’s love? Does it mean he no longer loves us if we have trouble or calamity, or are persecuted, or hungry, or destitute, or in danger, or threatened with death?36 (As the Scriptures say, “For your sake we are killed every day; we are being slaughtered like sheep.”) 37 No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loved us. 38 And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons,* neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. 39 No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.
- What situations could suggest that God does not love us?
- What does the Bible say cannot separate us from God’s love?
- How confident can you be in God’s love?
God’s Love is Unconditional
Unconditional love for those with whom we have no relational bond is beyond what we are naturally capable of. God the source of love enables us to show His love. John continues in his letter to encourage us in sharing this love of God.
Read 1 John 4:7-10: 7 Dear friends, let us continue to love one another, for love comes from God. Anyone who loves is a child of God and knows God.8 But anyone who does not love does not know God, for God is love. 9 God showed how much he loved us by sending his one and only Son into the world so that we might have eternal life through him.10 This is real love—not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as a sacrifice to take away our sins.
- What motivation for love is given here?
- What is the outcome of living out God’s love through our lives?
- What is real love?
- How is it seen in your life?
John now shows us that love and fear don’t mix. Love drives out fear, fear drives out love. This fact has wide reaching implications as we see in 1 John 4:17-21.
Read: 1 John 4:17-21 17 And as we live in God, our love grows more perfect. So we will not be afraid on the Day of Judgment, but we can face him with confidence because we live like Jesus here in this world. 18 Such love has no fear, because perfect love expels all fear. If we are afraid, it is for fear of punishment, and this shows that we have not fully experienced his perfect love.19 We love each other* because he loved us first. 20 If someone says, “I love God,” but hates a Christian Brother or sister,* that person is a liar; for if we don’t love people we can see, how can we love God, whom we cannot see? 21 And he has given us this command: Those who love God must also love their Christian brothers and sisters.*
- How do love and fear relate to one another?
- Why would the experience of God’s love free us from fear of God’s judgment?
- Why would the experience of God’s love keep us from hating other believers?
- What is the motivation for love of people in this text?
Additional Resources about God’s Unconditional Love:
Read: Ephesians 1:4-5 (Amplified) 4 Even as [in His love] He chose us [actually picked us out for Himself as His own] in Christ before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy (consecrated and set apart for Him) and blameless in His sight, even above reproach, before Him in love. 5 For He foreordained us (destined us, planned in love for us) to be adopted (revealed) as His own children through Jesus Christ, in accordance with the purpose of His will [ because it pleased Him and was His kind intent.
Also read: Ephesians 2:10 (Amplified)10 For we are God’s [own] handiwork (His workmanship), recreated in Christ Jesus, [born anew] that we may do those good works which God predestined (planned beforehand) for us [taking paths which He prepared ahead of time], that we should walk in them [living the good life which He prearranged and made ready for us to live].