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Why Christians Love (11 of 14)
1 John 4:7-21
I. Because God is the essence of love
As God is Spirit, light, and consuming fire, so he is love. Love is inherent in all He is and does. Even His judgment and wrath is perfectly harmonized with his love.
Many try to put the love of God and God's justice in tension with each other. There is a problem with the way people place these in opposition. They are not opposed at all; they work together in biblical teaching. Thus, justice is a loving justice and love is a just love. What I am saying is, that love is not fully understood unless we see it as including justice.
Society would want to define love as granting whatever desire, a person might have. Doing that is not biblical or Godly love. There are two difficulties that come with love being a granting of desires.
1) Granting someone's whim is not love.
2) Love is not an emotional reaction.
Justice is love distributed. Justice means that love must always be shown. Love in the biblical sense, then, is not merely to indulge someone near at hand. Rather, it inherently involves justice as well. This means there will be a concern for the ultimate welfare of all mankind, a passion to do what is right, and enforcement of appropriate consequences for wrong action.
Actually, love and justice have worked together in God's dealing with man. God's justice requires that there be payment of the penalty for sin. God's love, however, desires man to be restored to fellowship with Him. The offer of Jesus Christ as the substitutionary atonement for sin means that both the justice and love of God have been maintained. And there really is not tension between the two. There is a tension only if one's view of love requires that God forgive sin without payment being made. But that is to think of God as different from what he really is. Moreover, the offer of Christ as atonement shows a greater love on God's part that would simply indu ...
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