The Love Of God
By Arthur W. Pink (1886 – 1952)
“…God is love” (1 John 4:8). It is not simply that God “loves,” but that He is Love itself. Love is not merely one of His attributes, but His very nature. The better we are acquainted with His love – its character, fullness, blessedness – the more will our hearts be drawn out in love to Him.
The love of God is uninfluenced. By this, we mean there was nothing whatever in the objects of His love to call it into exercise, to attract or prompt it. The love which one person has for another is because of something in the object, but the love of God is free, spontaneous, uncaused. “We love Him, because He first loved us” (1 John 4:19). God did not love us because we loved Him, but He loved us before we had a particle of love for Him.
God’s love is eternal. “…I have loved thee with an everlasting love...” (Jer. 31:3). What praise should this evoke from each of His children! How tranquilizing for the heart: since God’s love toward me had no beginning, it can have no ending!
God’s love is infinite. Everything about God is infinite. His wisdom is illimitable, for He knows everything of the past, present, and future. His power is unbounded, for there is nothing too hard for Him. So His love is without limit. There is a depth to it which none can fathom; there is a height to it which none can scale; there is a length and breadth to it which defies measurement, by any man’s standard. Beautifully is this intimated in Ephesians 2:4 – “But God, who is rich in mercy, for His great love wherewith He loved us.” The word great there is parallel with the “God so loved” of John 3:16. It tells us that the love of God is so transcendent it cannot be estimated. It “passeth knowledge” (Eph. 3:19).
God’s love is immutable. As with God Himself there is “no variableness, neither shadow of turning” (Jas. 1:17), so His love knows neither change nor diminution. “Many waters cannot quench love, neither can the floods drown it…” (Song 8:7). Nothing can separate from it (Rom. 8:35-39).
God’s love is holy. God’s love is not regulated by caprice, passion, or sentiment, but by principle. Just as His grace reigns not at the expense of righteousness, but “through righteousness” (Rom. 5:21), so His love never conflicts with His holiness. “God is light” (1 John 1:5) is mentioned before “God is love” (1 John 4:8). God’s love is no mere amiable weakness or effeminate softness. Scripture declares that “whom the Lord loveth He chasteneth...” (Heb. 12:6). God will not wink at sin, even in His own people. His love is pure, unmixed with any weak sentimentality.
God’s love is gracious. The love and favor of God are inseparable. “…God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son…” (John 3:16). Christ died not in order to make God love us, but because He did love His people. Calvary is the supreme demonstration of divine love. Whenever you are tempted to doubt the love of God, go back to Calvary.
– Condensed from The Attributes Of God by Arthur W. Pink, who was an English independent Baptist pastor, teacher and writer.