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When the German theologian Karl Barth visited the Untied States many years ago, a student at a seminary supposedly asked him, “Dr. Barth, what is the single most important truth you have learned as a theologian?”  Barth replied, “The most important thing I have learned is this: ‘Jesus loves me this I know, for the Bible tells me so.’”

There is much confusion about the love of God in popular culture.  But it was the compassionate love of God for mankind (He pitied us in our miserably sinful condition) that compelled Him to devise the eternal plan of redemption by sending His Son to be the propitiation for men’s sins.  That love is further illustrated by the obedience of Christ to go to the cross in fulfillment of the plan that was devised in eternity. As Romans 5 says so clearly:

“But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:8; NASB)

 Many have thought carefully and deeply about the love of God.  What follow are some reflections of men who have “said it better than me:”

“His care and concern and affection for us are not dependent upon His moods or our good behavior or our response to His overtures.  Rather, it flows out to us in a clear, pure, powerful stream that has its source and strength His own great heart of love.  It is constant and unconditional….God our Father is not some distant deity who stands apart and aloof from the trials of men….Rather, because He did identify Himself completely with us through the birth, life, and death of His Son our Saviour, He is touched with the feelings of our infirmities (Heb. 2:16-18).  He looks upon us in compassion and deep concern.” [W. Phillip Keller, A Layman Looks at the Lord’s Prayer.]

“The saints love to God is the fruit of God’s love to them; it is the gift of that love. God gives them a spirit of love for Him because He loved them from eternity. His love is the foundation of their regeneration and the whole of their redemption.” [Jonathan Edwards, Religious Affections.]

“The love of God is an expression of all that He is.  His love transcends the petty and the fickle.  His is a love that will not let us go, a love that fulfills its commitment.  God does not divorce His bride.  His love is as He is, from everlasting to everlasting, absolutely secure.” [R. C. Sproul, One Holy Passion.]

“Every single thing that happens to [a Christian] expresses God’s love to him, and comes to him for the furthering of God’s purpose for him.  Thus, so far as he is concerned, God is love to him — holy, omnipotent love — at every moment and in every event of every day’s life.” [J. I. Packer, Knowing God.]

“The love of God is one of the greatest realities of the universe, a pillar upon which the hope of the world rests.  But it is a personal, intimate thing, too.  God does not love populations.  He loves people.  He loves not masses, but men.  He loves us all with a mighty love that has no beginning and can have no end.” [A. W. Tozer, “Knowing God in Justice, Love, and Holiness.”]

“God loves us for ourselves.  He values our love more than He values galaxies of new created worlds.  He remembers our frame and knows that we are dust.…We please Him most, not by frantically trying to make ourselves good, but by throwing ourselves into His arms with all our imperfections and believing that He understands everything — and loves us still.” [A. W. Tozer, Whatever Happened to Worship?]

“God in His love always wills what is best for us.  In His wisdom He always knows what is best, and in His sovereignty He has the power to bring it about.” [Jerry Bridges, Trusting God.]