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• “The Father Himself loves you”

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or suspicion. “If the Lord really loved me then He would have answered me that prayer or He wouldn’t have permitted the so and so thing to happen to me”, some of us think. If some personal expectations are not fulfilled then this may have quite a negative impact on the way some people see God and His love. Regardless however of the opinion people may have it is God’s opinion, as stated in the Scriptures, that is true and the only one that really matters. It is this opinion we want to study today.

1.“In this the love of God was manifested towards us”
The Word of God, the only truth, contains many passages that make clear the love God has for us. Thus, starting from I John 4:8-10 we read: “GOD IS LOVE” The very definition of God is LOVE! And moving further: “In this the love of God was manifested toward us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him. IN THIS IS LOVE, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins.” The very definition of love is God and He has showed this love in the most open and clear way: though we didn’t love Him, He loved us and gave His only begotten Son to be

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Christ, the sinless Son of God. This blood was shed for you, me and everybody on this earth. As the Lord said in another point: John 15:13 “Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one's life for his friends.” However, the Lord didn’t do only this. He didn’t lay down His life for people that were already friends with God. He went quite further than this: He did it for people “that were still sinners”. As we read in Romans 5: Romans 5:5-11 “THE LOVE OF GOD HAS BEEN POURED OUT IN OUR HEARTS BY THE HOLY SPIRIT WHO WAS GIVEN TO US. For when we were still without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. For scarcely for a righteous man will one die; yet perhaps for a good man someone would even dare to die. BUT GOD DEMONSTRATES HIS OWN LOVE TOWARD US, IN THAT WHILE WE WERE STILL SINNERS, CHRIST DIED FOR US. MUCH MORE THEN, HAVING NOW BEEN JUSTIFIED BY HIS BLOOD, WE SHALL BE SAVED FROM WRATH THROUGH HIM. For if when we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life. And not only that, but we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received the reconciliation.” It takes much love to die for a good man. Very few would do it. Imagine though how really much more love it takes to die for sinners and ungodly. And this is exactly what God 3

were by nature children of wrath, just as the others. But God, who is rich in mercy, BECAUSE OF HIS GREAT LOVE WITH WHICH HE LOVED US, EVEN WHEN WE WERE DEAD IN TRESPASSES, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.” We are saved by faith but the reason is not our worth or works but that God loved us. We are sited in the heavenly places and the reason is not our good character or value but that God loved us. We are no longer children of wrath but beloved children and the reason is that God loved us. John 3:16 “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” And as II Corinthians 5 says: II Corinthians 5:14-15, 18-21 “For the love of Christ compels us, because we judge thus: that if One died for all, then all died; and He died for all, that those who live should live no longer for themselves, but for Him who died for them and rose again…. Now all things are of God, who has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation, that is, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses to them, and has committed to us the word of reconciliation. Now then, we are ambassadors for 4

through us” is the phrase the Word uses. God loves man and pleads him to be reconciled with Him. “He made Him [the Lord Jesus Christ] who knew no sin to be sin for us that we might become the righteousness of God in Him”

2. “He who did not spare His own Son”
The passages of the Word that show God’s love do no finish with the above. Moving to Romans 8 we read: Romans 8:28-39 “And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose. For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren. Moreover whom He predestined, these He also called; whom He called, these He also justified; and whom He justified, these He also glorified. What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? HE WHO DID NOT SPARE HIS OWN SON, BUT DELIVERED HIM UP FOR US ALL, HOW SHALL HE NOT WITH HIM ALSO FREELY GIVE US ALL THINGS? Who shall bring a charge against God's elect? It is God who justifies. Who is he who condemns? It is Christ who died, and furthermore is also risen, who is even at the right hand of God, who also makes intercession for us. WHO SHALL SEPARATE US FROM THE LOVE OF CHRIST? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written: "For Your sake we are killed all day long; We are accounted as sheep for the slaughter." Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. FOR I AM PERSUADED THAT 5

Ephesians 3:16-19 “that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might through His Spirit in the inner man, that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height - to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.” The dimensions of Christ’s love for us are really measureless. HIS LOVE FOR US, FOR YOU PERSONALLY, PASSES KNOWLEDGE!

3. “Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us”
Moving on, in I John 3:1 we read: I John 3:1 “BEHOLD WHAT MANNER OF LOVE THE FATHER HAS BESTOWED ON US, THAT WE SHOULD BE CALLED CHILDREN OF GOD! We are children of God! We are of His household (Ephesians 2:19), members of His own family. If you believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and in His resurrection from the dead (Romans 10:9) then God is your Father. Really “Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God”. From dead, born again. From children of wrath, beloved children that nothing can separate from His love. Yes, now

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Hebrews 12:5-10 “My son, do not despise the chastening of the LORD, Nor be discouraged when you are rebuked by Him; FOR WHOM THE LORD LOVES HE CHASTENS, And scourges every son whom He receives." If you endure chastening, God deals with you as with sons; for what son is there whom a father does not chasten? But if you are without chastening, of which all have become partakers, then you are illegitimate and not sons. Furthermore, we have had human fathers who corrected us, and we paid them respect. Shall we not much more readily be in subjection to the Father of spirits and live? For they indeed for a few days chastened us as seemed best to them, but He for our profit, that we may be partakers of His holiness.” If we were not part of the family of God there would be no discipline from the Father. However, we do belong to His home. We are His children, His family, and as Father of this family He is responsible for our discipline. It is LOVE that motivates Him to do this, it is loved the one that endures the discipline and it is profitable for us, “that we may be partakers of his holiness”.

5. “The Father Himself loves you”
Finally, let’s go to John’s gospel to the passage from which we got the title of this article. There we read:

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We will come to him and make Our home with him.” If you believe in the Lord Jesus Christ the love of God has been poured in your heart by the holy spirit (Romans 5:5). GOD LOVES YOU, AND HE DOES SO NOW. As we saw: There is nothing, no created thing, that can separate you from His love (Romans 8:38-39). He loved you while you were still dead in sins and trespasses (Ephesians 2:4-5). He loves you with love that passes any knowledge (Ephesians 3:19). With love that went so far as to give His only begotten Son for you (e.g. John 3:16 and many other passages). With love that made you His child (I John 3:1). With love that cares and is not indifferent when you need discipline (Hebrews 12:6) God loves you with the warmest love a Father could have for His children, and He does so NOW.

Tassos Kioulachoglou.

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