The Truth About God’s Love
by Jeffrey W. Hamilton
Text: Psalms 5
I. The world is filled with varying and confusing ideas about how God loves us.
A. Typically the emphasis is placed so heavily on God’s love that many think that God is incapable of a negative thought against anyone.
B. Others see God as so remote and unapproachable that we must do something to earn His notice
II. Misunderstanding about God’s love
A. God only loves us if we perfectly obey Him
1. God’s love was demonstrate to the world while we were sinners - Romans 5:6-8
2. This doesn’t mean God supports or approves the wicked - Psalms 5:4-6
3. Nor is God going accept the worship of those who remain in sin - Proverbs 15:8-9
4. But in order for an avenue to be opened for those caught in sin to return to God, God demonstrates a love for all mankind by offering a way back.
5. Yet, God remains severe to those who refuse to return - Ephesians 5:6
B. God only loves us because we deserve His love
1. Does a child deserve his parents’ love or does he receive his parents’ love because it was freely given to him?
2. In the same way, God loves us not because it is an innate part of our being but because it is a part of God’s being - I John 4:7, 19
3. Nor does God love us because of our past performance
a. We have all sinned - Romans 3:23
b. It is our sins that have gotten in the way of God’s love - Isaiah 59:1-2
C. God’s love is unconditional
1. God is love, fully represented to all mankind - I John 4:8-9
a. His love is a part of His character. It is not dependant on us.
2. We benefit from God’s goodness, even the evil - Matthew 5:45
3. God desires a relationship with all of us - II Peter 3:9
a. But whether we will have a relationship with God is dependant on our choices
b. Through our faith, God offers us grace - Ephesians 2:8
c. He requires that we repent and be baptized - Acts 2:38
d. He requires our obedience - Hebrews 5:9
4. God’s love always exists, but we must be willing to connect to His love
a. Thus, a love for an enemy will never be the same as a love of a close friend
III. What God’s love will not do
A. Accept you as you are
1. Sin divides us from God - Isaiah 59:1-2
2. God doesn’t accept sinners
a. God didn’t accept Adam and Eve in their sin
b. God didn’t accept the fall world in Noah’s time
c. God didn’t accept the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah in Abraham’s time
d. Nor will God accept those who find it comfortable to remain in sin - Romans 1:18
3. Sin doesn’t stop God’s love
a. That is, His longing for us and His desire for reconciliation
b. But sin does stop His association with us - II Corinthians 6:14-15
4. Reconciliation is conditional on our change - Luke 13:3
a. We have to walk in the light - I John 1:5-7
b. If we continue in the faith - Colossians 1:21-23
5. Thus, our treatment is conditional on our behavior - Romans 2:4-8
B. Automatically forgive you
1. Forgiveness comes from being in Christ
a. In Christ we have forgiveness - Ephesians 1:7
b. Through faith we are baptized into Christ - Galatians 3:26-27
2. Yes, God is loving, but He is also just.
C. Force you to love God and serve Him
1. Love allows a freedom of choice, even if the choice made is not what is wanted.
2. God desires our love and our service, but we have to freely make that choice - Joshua 24:15
D. Prevent you from being punished
1. God has done all that is possible. He did the hard work of offering His son. He is offering incredible incentives of eternal life with Him. He was delivered dire and firm warnings.
2. But if you reject all of that, justice requires an response - Hebrews 10:26-27
IV. What God’s love does do
A. Provide a way for you to be saved
1. God did the painful part - I Peter 1;18-19
2. There are requirements to be met, but they are all doable - Mark 16:15-16; Acts 2:37-38
3. Remaining in Christ is also doable - II Peter 1:5-11
4. If we make mistakes, there is a way to return - I John 1:9
B. Guarantees that salvation is available
1. The Spirit is given as a pledge - Ephesians 1:13-14
2. In these, God cannot lie - Titus 1:2
C. Provides incentives
1. Fellowship with our Creator - II Corinthians 5:17-19
2. Removing the debt of our past sins - Ephesians 1:7
3. Providing for the present life - Ephesians 1:3
4. Offering the greatest of futures - I Peter 1:3-5
V. God’s love is broadly reaching out to everyone, but acceptance of His love is not unconditional.
A. It doesn’t just happens. It requires effort from us who are loved by God.
B. God tells us that He wants us and offers us a way that we can be together
C. But justice still exists for those who spurn God’s offer of love.
D. Have you been born into God’s family? - John 3:3-7
Based on an article by Terry Wane Benton