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The Journal of Biblical Accuracy

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• God loves you

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God loves you

In the first issue of this journal we saw that the Bible is the book that God gave to
learn about Him. To learn for someone the best way to go is to arrange a meeting with
him where you will examine him, through a kind of discussion, provided of course that
the answers that you will get will be honest. Similarly, to learn about God the only way
to go is to read His personal "interview": the Bible.
In this "interview", one of the things that God mentions very frequently is to trust
Him. For example Proverbs 3:5-6 tell us:

Proverbs 3:5-6
"TRUST IN THE LORD WITH ALL YOUR HEART and lean not on your own
understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will direct your paths"
(NIV - KJV)

In this verse God calls us not to trust Him (i.e. to put our confidence in Him) just a
bit, but to trust Him with all our heart i.e. to trust Him a hundred percent. However, I
believe that most of us will agree that to trust someone or to have a good relationship
with someone you need to know him well. The better that you know someone the better
the relationship that you have with him and the easier to trust him.
In the above passage God calls us to trust Him with all our heart. However, how is
this possible if we do not know Him? And how can we know Him? There is only one
valid way: to go to the Bible, where God reveals Himself.
So today we will go to the Bible and what will endeavour to find out is what
motivates God. I believe that this will give us a better understanding of the character of
God and it will help us to trust Him more, since we will know Him better. So let’s start
with I John 4:8 :
I John 4:8
"...God is LOVE"
(NIV)

These three words are probably enough to give answers to many questions that we
may have regarding God and, at the same time, they are able to overthrow all the
opinions that we may have heard about God. These three words tell us that God is
LOVE. God is not someone that causes all the bad things that happen in the world . He is
not someone whose job is to kill and to make sick people (if someone destroyed your
property or caused other calamities would you say that he loves you? However, that's
what many people believe about God.). In contrast, God is LOVE. However, love is
something that is manifested in actions. If I say "I love you, I love you" and behind your
back I do nasty things is there any love in me? No. The love has to be manifested in
actions. The same is true for other things by which one can be motivated. If one is
motivated by fear this will be manifested in his actions which will be fearful, without
boldness etc. If one is motivated by hate this will also be manifested in his actions:
wickedness, deceitfulness etc. God is also motivated by something and this is LOVE.
However, it remains to see how God manifested His love in actions. To see that we must
go to His Word to see some of His actions.

1. God loves us - He gave His one and only Son for us

To start seeing the actions of God, that were done as a result of His love for us,
let’s go to I John 4:9. There it says:

I John 4:9
"This is how God showed his love among us..."
(NIV)
As it was said above, love has to be manifested in actions. Here the Word of God
tells us that indeed God loves us and that His love was shown. So let’s continue to see
how it was shown:

I John 4:9
"This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the
world that we might live through him."
(NIV)

God showed His love by sending His one and only Son, Jesus Christ, into the
world that we might live through him. Also let’s see a passage in the gospel of John:

John 3:16
"For God so loved the world that he gave........"
(NIV)

Love is manifested in actions and here again the Word of God is ready to tell us
what God GAVE as a result of His love for us. So let’s continue in the same passage:

John 3:16-17
"For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son that whoever believes
in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world
to condemn the world, but the world through him might be saved."
(NIV-KJV)

We should not pass these words quickly, but we must take time to understand the
significance of what is said by them. So, according to what we read, God loved us and
for this reason He have His one and only Son to die for us, so that by believing in Him
to have eternal life. Now, let’s suppose that you had one child. Would you give him to
die for any purpose? The most probable is that you wouldn’t. However, God decided to
give His one and only Son for me and you. If He hadn't done that, then me and you still
couldn’t be saved. It is because HE decided to give His one and only Son that this was
made possible. The question is why He decided to do that. What was His motive? What
do the above verses tell us? It was LOVE. God is love, and because of His love for us He
gave His one and only Son. That was His action by which He proved His love. God paid
for me and you with a price that is impossible to be valued. Why? Because HE LOVED
US. Everyone is motivated by something. God is motivated by LOVE and here is the
proof of His love. He paid very very expensive for us. However, it is not only that He
loved us and for this reason He paid that very high price. For you may love someone and
do something for him because he is very kind and good to you. But it didn’t happen that
way with God. Let’s see:

Romans 5:6-10
"For, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly.
Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous man, though for a good man someone might
possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: while we were
still sinners, Christ died for us. Since we have now been justified by his blood, how
much more shall we be saved from God’s wrath through him. For if, when we were
God’s enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much
more, having being reconciled, shall we be saved through his life."
(NIV-KJV)

According to this passage, it wasn’t that we loved God first and then, after we
decided that we like Him, God decided to love us and for this reason to pay the price that
He paid. As the above verses say "for a good man" some would probably decide to die.
However, God didn’t give His Son when we were "good" men. On the contrary, God
demonstrates His love for us by the fact that "while we were still sinners Christ died
for us". Today, after believing in Jesus Christ, we are no more sinners. This does not
mean that we do not make mistakes or we don't sin. However, the fact that we make
mistakes does not make us sinners in nature. The reason is that Christ died for me and
you and he got our sins in himself so that by believing in him we are cleansed of any sin
and we are justified. Sinner and righteous are alternatives that are opposites to each
other. You cannot be both at the same time. The Word of God teaches us that we were
sinners and because we believed in Jesus Christ we were justified ("we have now been
justified by his blood", see also Romans 3:21-28). Nevertheless, all these didn’t happen
automatically. It took God to sacrifice His Son for me and you. It took Him to pay for me
and you very very expensive. And He didn’t pay this price when we were "good" men
and worthy for this but when we were, by our very nature, sinners, ungodly. It was then,
where the love of God for me and you was manifested. Because if it takes love to give
the most valuable thing that you have, your one and only son, it takes much more love to
do so for ungodly and sinners i.e. unworthy. However, God did that. Today we are no
more ungodly and sinners and this is not because of our works but because God paid
with the blood of His Son so that by believing in him, to be saved and righteous. And do
you know why He did that? Because He loved us. Let’s see another point on this.

Ephesians 2:1-3
"As for you, you were dead in trespasses and sins, in which you used to walk when you
followed the ways of this world, and of the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who
is now at work in those who are disobedient; among whom all of us also lived at one
time, in the cravings of our flesh, following the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and
like the rest, we were by nature objects of wrath."
(NIV-KJV)

The above passage tells us what our situation was. Added emphasis is given to the
fact that past tense is used throughout these three verses. The reason for the added
emphasis is because many people teach that today, even after you believe in Jesus Christ,
you continue to be a sinner, dead in sins. However, this is not what the Word says. The
Word says that we were (past tense) sinners. We "were dead in sins and trespasses". It is
significant to understand that point. The Word also says that we were by nature objects
of wrath. Before one believes, the description is "dead in sins and trespasses", "by nature
object of wrath". All these before believing. Now tell me, if one is dead in sins and
trespasses what is the good thing that he can do? I don’ believe that there is anything
good coming from a dead. Is there? Also see that the Word says that all of us,
irrespective of our good or bad works, we were at that stage. Now if you are dead, to live
again requires someone else to give you life. And the only one that can do that is God.
So, having seen what was the situation, let’s continue to see if there was any change to it.
Fortunately there was and verses 4 to 9 of the same chapter introduce the change, the
One Who brought the change, and the motives of bringing that change.

Ephesians 2:4-9
"But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with
Christ even when we were dead in transgressions - by grace you are saved. And God
raised us up with Christ and seated us up with him in the heavenly realms in Christ
Jesus, in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his
grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you are saved
through faith [believing] - and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God - not by
works, so that no-one can boast."
(NIV-KJV)

I have added emphasis in many points. I don’t feel well in doing so because ALL
this passage has to be in our minds and hearts with deep emphasis. Having seen in
verses 1-3 the horrible situation in which we were (dead in sins), we see here the change
in the situation. The word “BUT” that introduces the change, is there to contrast what
was said in verses 1-3 to what is going to be said now. So it tells us that it was GOD (not
me and you, but God) Who made us alive with Christ. In verses 1-3 we saw that we were
dead. Now in verses 4-5 we see that God changed this situation and made us alive. Also
we see that not only He made us alive but also He “raised us up with Christ and seated us
with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus”. See that again past tense is used. Why?
Are you seated now in heavens? No. However, from God’s point of view, after one
believes in Jesus Christ, all these are considered as a finished job. For God, you are not
seated in your chair or office reading this article, but you are seated there, in heavens. It
hasn’t been materialised yet (it will be materialised with the return of Jesus Christ).
However, because you believed in Jesus Christ, God considers all these as a finished job.
It didn’t take your works for all these wonderful things to become available. If except for
believing in Jesus Christ, you needed to have something more (some works for example)
then God would not have used past tense, since past tense signifies something that is
past, finished. It is because the only that is needed to obtain all these is to believe in Jesus
Christ that all these are considered as a finished job and therefore past tense is used. For
it says: "For by grace you are saved (present tense - you are saved NOW) through
faith (believing) .......not by works" Now you are no more a sinner (you WERE a
sinner). From God’s point of view, you ARE saved. From God’s point of view, you ARE
already seated in heavens. From God’s point of view, YOU HAVE BEEN MADE
ALIVE AND YOU HAVE BEEN RAISED UP. That’s God's viewpoint and if the
viewpoint that we have for ourselves is different, it is a good time to change our thinking
and think for ourselves as God thinks for us.
Now, having seen that we didn't deserve such treatment (we were dead in sins) the
question is why then God did all these. What was His motive? We saw it previously in
Romans 5 and we see it here again: "BECAUSE OF HIS GREAT LOVE FOR
US......EVEN WHEN WE WERE DEAD IN TRANSGRESSIONS" The reason that God
made all these wonderful things available is because He loved us. He loved us when we
were dead in sins. And His love for us is described as GREAT. God loved us with great
love, and this love was manifested in giving His one and only Son for us so that by
believing in him to be saved, seated in the heavens, righteous, raised up together with
Christ and some other things which we will probably have the opportunity to cover in
future issues. But what I want to point out here is the motive of God, the reason that He
did all these things, the reason that He paid this very very high price (the life of His one
and only Son). This reason was not my worth or your worth but the love that God had
and has for us. God loves us and He manifested His love in this great action : to give His
one and only Son so that, by just believing in him, to have access to all these wonderful
things that we saw above.
Many Christians spend most of their time wondering if God really loves them.
Let’s assume that you have (probably you may do have) a TV in your room for which
you probably paid £250, and you go holidays. Also let’s suppose that the only thing in
your room is this TV. Would you leave your home unlocked? I don't think so. Why?
Because there is a TV there, for which YOU PAID. GOD PAID for you and me not in
pounds but with the blood of His one and only Son i.e. with a very very high price. The
reason that He did that is because He loved us when we were dead in sins. Is it possible
for Him not to love us for even just a second? It is impossible and the reason is that He
paid very very expensive and He did that when we were dead in sins. God loves us 24
hours a day, and there is nothing that could decrease His love for us.
To conclude: if we wonder why God made all these wonderful things available to
us, by just believing in Jesus Christ, the answer is because HE LOVED US.

2. God loves us - He made us His children

Another field where God showed His love is described in I John 3:1-2

I John 3:1-2
"How GREAT is the LOVE the Father has given to us that we should be called the
CHILDREN OF GOD and THAT IS WHAT WE ARE. The reason that the world does
not know us is that it did not know him. Beloved NOW we are the children of God..."
(NIV-KJV)

According to this verse, God loved us so much that when we believed in Jesus
Christ, He made us His children. So if we wonder why God made us His children, the
answer is because He loved us. You see, people try to make good relations with those
that have some kind of power, and here God, Who has not just some kind of power but
ALL the power, has made freely available to people to become His children. When
someone believes in Jesus Christ he becomes a son or a daughter of God (see Galatians
3:26). But why all these? Again, because of the great love that God has for us. Also let’s
go to Romans 5:5:

Romans 5:5
"God has poured out HIS LOVE into our hearts by the HOLY SPIRIT, whom he has
given us"
(NIV)

We saw previously that when we believed we became the children of God, and we
also saw that this was made available because of the great love that God has for us. Here,
in Romans 5:5, we see the same thing. God, because of His love, gave us holy spirit. If
we want a proof that we are God’s children, this is the proof. As our earthly parents gave
us the blood that is in our bodies and this is the proof that we are their children, so God,
when we believed in Jesus Christ, gave us what He Himself is i.e. spirit. And what does
the above verse tell us that this is? It tells us that it is a token of the love that God has for
us. God loves us and another proof of His love is that when one believes in Jesus Christ,
he gets holy spirit.

3. God loves us - He trains us

Another place where the love of God is manifested is in training and correction. I
believe that most of us will agree that although training and correction are not very
pleasant many times, they are done only by those that love us and, when they are done
honestly, they are proofs of the love that they have for us. Imagine a family where the
parents didn’t correct their children. How then will the children learn that what they do
sometimes is not the best? If for example a child would like to take the dangerous
medicine that is on the table, what should his parents do, if they love him? They should
tell him that this is not good for him i.e. they should correct him. The other alternative is
to leave the child to do whatever he likes, right or wrong. However, I do not believe that
many of us would call this alternative love. So another field where love can be
manifested is in correction and training and God as a loving Father manifest His love in
this field as well i.e. He corrects us, He trains us. So let’s go to Hebrews 12.

Hebrews 12:6
"the Lord DISCIPLINES those he LOVES..."
(NIV)

God trains, disciplines His children as our earthly parents disciplined us. And why
He does that? Because He does not like us? NO. If He didn’t like us then He would never
train us, He would never correct us. The parents that do not love their children they
abandon them, they do not care if what they are doing is right or wrong. But our Father
LOVES us and for this reason He corrects us, He trains us, He disciplines us1.

4. God loves us - We are not afraid of Him; We revere Him

Having seen how much love God has for us the question is how are we going to
go Him? Are we going to go to Him like going to a ...monster or to someone who is
really bad and he may harm us? If we go like this it seems that we haven’t understood or
we haven't accepted that God loves us. God does not want us to be afraid of Him. What
He wants us is to love Him, to revere Him, to respect Him like our Father Who loved us
thousands years ago and He paid by the blood of His one and only Son and Who loves us
now and for this He made us His children, He put holy spirit in us, He saved us, He
seated us in heavens etc. It is a different thing to be afraid of someone and a different
thing to revere, to respect someone. I John tell us about it:

1Of course whether one will obey or not to the correction and training that God gives and which
comes from the Bible which "is profitable for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in
righteousness" (II Timothy 3:16-17), is something that has to be decided by the one that is
corrected. God makes the correction and then we have to make a decision whether we will
follow the instructions that God gives.
I John 4:18-19
"THERE IS NO FEAR IN LOVE; BUT PERFECT LOVE DRIVES OUT FEAR ,
because fear has punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love. We love ,
because he first loved us."
(NIV-KJV)

God wants us to respect Him, not to be afraid of Him. You are afraid of someone
that may harm you and you don't know how to face him, or of someone that you don't
know his intentions and motives. On the contrary, you are not afraid but you revere, you
respect someone that loves you, and he has proved it in practice. God declares in His
Word that He loves us and He has proved it with all these actions that we saw, though
there are many others to find for yourself working the Word of God. So will we be afraid
of God? No, because this would mean that we do not love Him perfectly since "perfect
loves drives out fear” and “the one who fears is not made perfect in love". In contrast, we
revere, we respect God because He loves us and He loves us not in words (as many
others may have... "loved" us) but in actions2.

5. God loves us - Nothing can separate us from His love

Having seen some of the multiple ways by which the love of God was manifested
and having seen that it is because of this love that God has for us that we are not afraid of
Him but we love Him and we revere Him, it is now time to see that God not only loves
us now, but also that there is nothing able to separate us from His love. This means that

2In the Aramaic text of the Old Testament there are quite a few words that are translated as fear
in the King James Version (KJV) as well as in the New International Version (NIV). However,
the one that is used in over 80% of the cases is the word "yare" which means "reverence" (see
Young's Analytical Concordance to the Bible, p.338). This word is used for example in Psalms
34:9 where the NIV says: "Fear the Lord, you his saints....". Another example is Proverbs 3:7:
"Fear the Lord and shun evil". In these two cases (as well as in many others) the word fear
corresponds to the word "yare" which means to revere, reverence. Thus, these verses do not tell
us to be afraid of God. What they tell us is to revere Him, to respect Him.
God loved us, loves us and He will love us for ever. Let’s go to Romans 8: 38-39 to see
it:

Romans 8:38 - 39
"For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels [what kind of angels? evil
angels, devils], nor principalities, nor powers, nor present things, nor future things, nor
height, not depth, NOR ANY OTHER CREATED THING, SHALL BE ABLE TO
SEPARATE US FROM THE LOVE OF GOD, WHICH IS IN CHRIST JESUS OUR
LORD."
(NIV-KJV)

God loves us and THERE IS NOTHING THAT COULD POSSIBLY MAKE
HIM NOT TO LOVE US ANY MORE. It is this love that motivated Him to do all these
wonderful things when "we were still sinners". It is the same love that motivates Him
today when He deals with us, His children. And it is the same love that will motivate
Him every day, for ever.

Tassos Kioulachoglou