It has been stated that if you repeat some thing frequently enough, people will start to believe it even supposing it isn’t real. This virtually appears to be actual concerning many oft-repeated Christian clichés about God’s love. Consider the subsequent statements that so often reverberate within our Christian circles:
1.) God loves everyone unconditionally.
2.) God loves anybody the identical.
Three.) There isn’t always anything you can do to earn or deserve Jesus’ love.
Four.) Jesus’ love for us is not based on our performance.
5.) There is not anything you could do that might make Jesus forestall loving you.
6.) There is nothing you may do to make Jesus love you more or much less than He does proper now.
We’ve all heard those, but are these real in step with Scripture? Consider the subsequent words of Christ, spoken to His very very own disciples:
Just as the Father has cherished Me, I even have also loved you; abide in My love. If you preserve My commandments, you’ll abide in My love; just as I even have saved My Father’s commandments and abide in His love (John 15:nine-10, emphasis introduced).
Notice the conditional phrase if within the statement, “If you hold My commandments, you may abide in My love.” Jesus’ disciples are responsible to abide in His love, just as He stated, and that they do this by preserving His commandments. Only individuals who keep Jesus’ commandments abide in His love. If we don’t keep His commandments, we do not abide in His love. That manner Jesus’ love for us is conditional, and there’s no getting around that truth. (Other scriptures except this one, which we can don’t forget quickly, make the equal factor.) So the first cliché underneath attention–that God loves everyone unconditionally–is fake in keeping with Christ. Incidentally, the Greek phrase translated love in these verses of John’s Gospel is agape, that is frequently defined as “unconditional love,” a definition this is obviously now not correct in keeping with these verses.
But doesn’t Scripture claim that God loves those who don’t maintain His commandments? What about John three:sixteen: “For God so loved the sector…”? That need to imply that God additionally loves sinners, which ought to imply that His love for them isn’t always conditioned upon their obedience. How Secrets and mysteries then are we to reconcile these two obvious contradictory records of God’s love being conditional and also unconditional?
It seems to me that the best manner to reconcile them is to clearly acknowledge what all of us recognize to be real from experience–that not all love is the identical. Some love is conditional, at the same time as different love isn’t conditional. Non-conditional love is referred to as mercy, and may be known as “merciful love” or “merciful choose.” (When a person loves you, he bestows his choose on you, and also you revel in some gain due to that want.) In this newsletter, I will discuss with unconditional love as merciful love. It is a love that says, “I love you in spite of.” It loves not worthy human beings. It is the sort of love God has for those who are not submitted to Him, the unregenerate. His merciful love for them is brief, however, lasting most effective till they die. God forestalls His judgment upon all of them of their lives as He offers them years to repent. Jesus gave His existence for them, providing a manner for them to be forgiven. To that degree and in that way, it could be said that God loves them.
But there’s additionally the sort of issue as conditional love. It is known as approval, and it can be referred to as “approving favor” or “approving love” as I will seek advice from it in this article. It is a love this is earned or merited. It is a love that announces, “I love you due to the fact you deserve my favor.”
God of path by no means loves people who are not submitted to Him with an approving love. Or it is able to be said this way: God never has a love for them like a father has for his child. Rather, Scripture pronounces, “Just as a father has compassion on his kids, so the Lord has compassion on folks who fear Him” (Ps. 103:thirteen, emphasis added). God has fatherly compassion simplest on those who fear Him (which implies that they therefore obey Him). God does now not have the equal compassion on folks who do not fear Him. His love for sinners is extra corresponding to the mercy a choose has on a convicted killer who receives a life sentence in place of the death penalty.
In mild of these truths, surely God does not love all and sundry the equal, because of this that cliché #2 is also not genuine.