“This is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.” –1 John 4:10
The most loving person who has ever walked the earth is Jesus Christ. The most loving act the world has ever seen is Jesus’ death on the cross in place of sinners, reconciling them into loving relationship with God. Indeed, Romans 5:8 gloriously declares, “God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Jesus, who is declared repeatedly to be the Son of God,8 did this work of salvation in love.
For those who turn from sin and trust in Jesus, the Bible declares that we are now adopted into the family of God; God is our Father and we are sons of God.9 While the language that both men and women are sons of God may seem curious to modern ears, it was a reflection of God’s deep love to those who first heard it. Paul was saying that believers are like sons who have full legal standing in the family with all the inherent blessings of that status, as was the case in ancient culture.
Similarly, Christians are blessed to have God as their Father, the church as their family, fellow Christians as their brothers and sisters, God’s provision as their sustenance, and God’s full inheritance for their eternity. Furthermore, as sons, God’s people have a duty to obey God the Father by following the humble example of love set by God the Son by the power of God the Spirit.
In sum, God the Father through God the Son by God the Spirit has made it possible for sinners not only to enter into the loving relational community of the church but, incredibly, to live in the very life of the Trinity. Jesus prays that believers of all times “may all be one, just as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me.”10 According to Jesus, the incredibly important big idea is that we share in the life of the Trinity itself and the very love of God.
Is there anyone in your life that could really benefit from your love right now?
8 Rom. 1:3; 4, cf. Gal. 4:4; John 1:1–14, 5:18–25, 10:30–38.
9 Rom. 8:14: Gal. 3:26; Heb. 12:7.
10 John 17:21.