The Power Of God's Love
The love of God, unfortunately, has been abused and misrepresented ever since the time of the early church. The way that God’s love is used as a license to sin and worldliness is not a modern trend, but, at the same time, it is getting worse. Peter warned believers to be alert for spiritually ignorant and twisted ministers who pervert God’s grace, love, and justification to their own destruction (II Pet. 3:16).
With this said, the perversion of Christ’s love must never cause believers to shy away from it. Just like if the Message of the Cross is misrepresented (and it is at times), it should not cause us to have reservations about the truth of what Christ has accomplished for us at the Cross. The reality is that a revelation of Christ’s love will change the unsaved person’s life, and it will change the child of God’s life every day. There is life-changing power in God’s love!
This is why Paul’s prayer for the Ephesian believers—a prayer we can apply to ourselves—was this: “That He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might through His Spirit in the inner man; that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; and to know the love of Christ which passeth knowledge; that ye may be filled with all the fullness of God” (Eph. 3:16-19).
Paul was praying for believers who were already “rooted and grounded in love” to receive a greater revelation of Christ’s love. Such a revelation is intended that we would be “filled with all the fullness of God.” Ask God for this revelation, and believe that He will give it. Get ready to know His love like never before and to be a vessel that God can love through.
The Bible’s definition of His agape love is very simple. First, God is love (I Jn. 4:8, 16). It’s not simply a characteristic that God possesses; He is true love. Second, God’s love is Jesus and His death on the Cross. John wrote plainly, “Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins” (I Jn. 4:10). We must never separate love from Christ’s death on the Cross. Even though a dictionary type definition of agape love is limited because of its vastness, His love could be defined as, “the affection for another that unselfishly, sacrificially, unconditionally, and infinitely gives to another.” His love is beyond what we can produce ourselves. It’s supernatural, and comes only from God.
We received God’s love the moment we got saved. We believed in Christ, and the Holy Spirit poured into our hearts Christ’s supernatural love.“And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us” (Rom. 5:5).
After we get saved, we normally frustrate His love by trusting in our own works (Gal. 2:21). His love is renewed in our hearts by simply believing that God loves us personally through Christ’s death on the Cross (I Jn. 4:16). We don’t work for His love, we trust in His love.
There is saving power in God’s love. This is the best explained in John 3:16: “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.”
There is sanctifying power in God’s love. “And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him” (I Jn. 4:16). Jesus said in John 15:5, “I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.” As we abide by faith in Christ and the Cross, the Spirit will produce the character of Christ in us.
There is Christ-revealing power in God’s love. Jesus said in John 13:34-35, “A new commandment I give unto you, That you love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if you have love one to another.”
In Jesus’ new commandment, He gave the command to love one another. More importantly, He shows us the supply of His love for us, personally, that was expressed at the Cross. God pours love in us so that He can reveal His love through us.