Sunday, January 06, 2008

God is love

Many years ago I had invited quite a famous broadcaster to speak at the local medical society. Over lunch we got talking about religion. "I can sum up my view of God in three words," he said, "God is love."

That is many people's view of God, but they couldn't say where it come from. It actually appears in chapter 4 of the first epistle of John, verse 8. The whole verse says "Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love."

And the context is "Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us."

Taken by itself the three word answer can seem rather slushy, but in its context it reminds us of our need for a savior that was foreseen by God who made provision for our salvation even before we were aware of our need. It is a salvation that demands a response from us that we love one another, because it is only in this that God's love is made complete in us.

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