God is not light only; He is also love. Light and love are not mere attributes of the Deity, as are righteousness and holiness; light and love are the very nature of God.
Light condemns sin, and demands judgment upon it; love seeks the salvation of the sinner, and has provided an all- sufficient sacrifice and sufferer for sin. Hence the magnificent Gospel message: “God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life” John 3:16
These words came from the lips of none other than the Only Begotten Son Himself. The cross declares God’s love in all its fullness of meaning. What it cost God to put the Son of His love in the sinner’s place none of us will ever comprehend. If the cross of Calvary fails to convince men of God’s fervent desire for their blessing, nothing else, deeds or words, will ever prove convincing.
Scripture describes man as a naturally loveless creature. Amiable qualities he may indeed possess, but love is lacking.
“Hateful and hating one another” is God’s description of the revolted human family. Titus 3:3
The whole law is summarized in the commandments to love God with all the heart, and one’s neighbour as one’s self. But where is the natural man who does either?
Christ is the true test of man’s condition in this as in everything else. He was once here tabernacling amongst us, as God manifested in flesh. Was He loved as such? Having become man He thereby became man’s neighbour; was He loved in that character either? Both as God and Man, He was hated and rejected, even unto death. What can be said for man in view of such an appalling fact?
It would be as reasonable to look for grapes on a bramble- bush, as to look for love to God in the heart of the natural man. The heart must welcome to itself God’s great love before it can move aright towards God. The response to God soon follows the reception of the love of God.
“ We have known and believed the love that God hath toward us” says the happy Apostle. He adds almost immediately: “We love Him because He first loved us.” 1 John 4:16-19
Love to God and Christ, love to the brethren, love to all men flows naturally from the heart that has been filled and warmed with the infinite love of God. What is impossible to the unregenerate man is the most natural thing conceivable to all who are born of the Holy Spirit. They are partakers, through grace, of the Divine nature.
Written: W.W. Fereday
Acknowledgment: THE GOSPEL WITNESS Number 8 © CHRISTIAN BOOK ROOM
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