What the Cross Says about God's Love (2 of 6) by Jonathan McLeod
This content is part of a series.What the Cross Says about God's Love (2 of 6)
Series: The Cross: What It Says About God
For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. For one will scarcely die for a righteous person—-though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die—-but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
GOD IS LOVE
If someone were to ask you, “"What is love?”", how would you define it? The English word “"love”" has many different meanings. (For example, “"love”" can mean “"a score of zero in tennis.”") When I was a kid, I occasionally watched the TV show Pee Wee’'s Playhouse. On the show, if someone said, “"I love that book,”" Pee Wee Herman would reply, “"If you love it so much, why don’'t you marry it?”" But, of course, love for a book and love for a person are two very different kinds of love. Love for a book means enthusiasm. But love for a person is something much deeper. (If I say, “"I love cheesecake,”" Marsha doesn’'t get jealous.)
Love is the GIVING of oneself for the benefit of others.
When the NT refers to God’'s love, it uses the Greek word agape. Agape love is the highest form of love. In his first epistle, the apostle John twice states that “"God is love [agape]”" (1 John 4:8, 16). “"John is not saying that God is only love (he has numerous other attributes), nor that love is God (a statement for which there is no scriptural support). ‘'God is love’' means that God continually gives of himself to others and seeks their benefit.”"
In his book The Cross of Christ, John Stott writes, “"Just as human beings disclose their character in their actions, so God showed himself to us in the death of his Son.”" The cross reveals the love of God. If you want to know what love really is, don’'t go to a dictionary; go to the cross.
THE REVELATION OF GOD’'S LOVE
In Romans 5:6-8, the apostle Paul writes, “"For while we were still weak, at the right ti ...
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