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Defending the Faith

These Daily Reflections supply the messages from Grace Church as daily video clips from the most recent sermons. Each day's clip will last about 10 minutes and if you watch them all, you will have reviewed morning and evening sermons from the previous Sunday.

Ministry Reflection - June 24, 2012

God Is Love: 1 John 4:8

The first thing we’ll look at is His love. His love is that attribute that adorns all the others – that makes them all beautiful. One thing you need to understand about God is that His attributes aren’t parts of Him – each of them describes His whole being: John doesn’t say that God loves, but God is love. The thing that’s unique about this attribute is that all of His other moral excellencies flow from this one: His righteousness, or love for what is right, His justice, or love for what is just, His faithfulness, or His love in following through on His commitments. And all the rest. His love also adorns all His natural attributes. His limitless strength, His all comprehensive knowledge, The fact that He always has been and always will be, That He doesn’t depend on anyone or anything for anything, That He is everywhere at once. The fact that His whole Being is saturated with love makes Him infinitely lovely. And so what is this love? It really boils down to holiness. If He didn’t have this, all of His power and knowledge would make Him infinitely dangerous, but not lovely. Edwards writes, “Strength and knowledge don’t render any being lovely, without holiness; but more hateful: though they render them more lovely, when joined with holiness.” Lions and gorillas are very powerful creatures. So are the devil and his angels. But why wouldn’t you want to be in the same room with them? Because of their natures – they aren’t holy, they aren’t loving. If God wasn’t holy, you certainly wouldn’t want to be in the same room with Him. What is holiness? Again, Edwards writes that it is the “excellency and beauty of God’s nature whereby his heart is disposed and delights in everything that is morally good and excellent.” It’s also His infinite hatred of sin because that is the opposite of what He loves. His holiness is His love and the reason why you can love Him. The last thing you could love is a god that delighted in evil. You would never be able to trust what He said. You would never know if He was waiting to stab you in the back. An evil god might bring you to heaven, but then cast you into hell for no other reason than He wanted to. You could only love a good God, a loving God, a holy God. One who will be faithful to do the right thing forever without changing. One who would do what is best for you at all times. One who would never go back on His Word. One who could never do anything wrong. This doesn’t exhaust
what it means that God is love, but it is a beginning. We’ll start here and begin to work our way through all the expressions of His love, to see just how lovely He is. But begin thinking about what you’ve seen – would you change this attribute of God? Would you have Him to be something else? Can you love this God? Do you love Him? If so, you have His grace in your hearts.  

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