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Chapter 11 - The Love of God
Most are familiar with the biblical declaration of Godís love for humanity;
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. - John 3:16
However, we should not limit consideration of Godís love to this declaration because it tends to make us see the love of God as a static singular event. Just as truth is a dynamic, flowing, and pervasive extension of God, so is love.
Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him. - John 14:23
Consider the love to abide (live) within us. We continuously disappoint, frustrate and quench the work that God would have within us, yet he still patiently endures our successive failures so that we might eventually turn more to him and away from ourselves.
It is perhaps when we consider the love of God, that we can more clearly see the difference between the popular idea of 'love' (as a feeling) with the biblical idea of love as a choice.
Paul expresses in a prayer for the Ephesians that they be 'rooted and grounded in love'.
That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God. - Ephesians 3:17
Paul refers to a love that we can 'know' yet passeth 'knowledge'. The Greek word 'ginosko' translated as 'know' has an element of experience that is not fully present in the English. However, it is intriguing that we shall experience that which passes beyond experience.
A picture we can derive from this prayer of Paul for the Ephesians, and by extention for us, is that the Christian life starts with trusting in Jesus (faith) which allows Christ to live (dwell) in our hearts with a result that we are established (rooted and grounded) in love such that we are more and more able to know the love of Christ which allows us to be filled with the fullness of God.
As Christians we are vessels of Godís love. We have God living in us and his love can be seen through us.
Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God. He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love. In 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. Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another. No man hath seen God at any time. If we love one another, God dwelleth in us, and his love is perfected in us. - 1 John 4:7-12
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