The love of God in Christ provides all in Christ and never looks for anything in me. The love of God produces love in me by persuading me of His free, all-providing, all-sufficient grace in Christ. This persuasion is faith. This is love that overcomes all to have the one it loves! Oh, my soul! Never doubt the love of God in Christ! To do so is to look for cause outside of Christ, beyond Christ.
The wisdom of God instructs us: To attempt to deserve love, even from another person, by giving all that you have for it, will be viewed with utter contempt. How much more the love of God in Christ?! “Many waters cannot quench love, neither can the floods drown it: if a man would give all the substance of his house for love, it would utterly be contemned” (Song Sol. 8:7). We hold this fundamental misconception of God's love all the time: it depends in some way on what it finds in me. But how can one loved from everlasting, created without giving counsel to God, made for God’s purpose and at His pleasure, even a disobedient, sinful man, ever think to earn the love of God?
The love of God is beyond comprehension, beyond measure. Its borders are outside of time; its center is in Christ, outside of me. God Himself, in His own person, is the very definition and source of love; love is who God is in His very essence and character. “God is love” (1 John 4:8)! Therefore, His love finds reason only in Himself, makes provision only from Himself, and is everlasting as He is eternal.
God’s love is seen by what He has done. Love works: “In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him. Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins” (1 John 4:9-10). Oh doubting heart of mine! Never measure God by yourself! Never think God’s love starts, stops or changes with your fickle faith, unpredictable moods and unfaithfulness! Never think God’s love is earned or kept by you. Never think God’s love is outside of Christ. Because God is holy, His love is holy. To love a sinner, He must love that sinner in His Son. “According as He hath chosen us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame, before Him in love” (Eph. 1:4).
Fear will never turn a sinner to God. Fear has torment (1 John 4:18). Fear in the conscience produces dead works: works without faith, and works without love. Only grace produces love to God in the heart of man (Luke 7:47; 1 John 4:19; Gal. 2:20). Only grace produces love to Christ and love to His people. Grace fulfills all for the sinner in Jesus Christ. Grace brings all to the sinner. Grace brings the sinner to God. Grace gives without cause to the one deserving punishment (Rom. 5:10). Grace gives all to those whom God loved in Christ, even all things God has given to His Son (Rom. 8:32). Grace put a man at peace with God. Grace inflames the heart with a desire to see and know and love God all the more. Duty will never produce love. Fear cannot. Only grace, free and everlasting, grounded on the righteousness of Christ (Rom. 5:21), can save and keep and sanctify a sinner!