Scripture teaches that the scope of Christ’s love is for His own, and that all those who are Christ’s are all those who belong to the Father (John 17:2,9,10). Is not the love of God the Father and the love of the Lord Jesus Christ and the love of the Holy Spirit of God for the same people? Is there a difference of will, purpose, grace, work or love within the Godhead, who are one (1 John 5:7)? This is the reason Jesus’ statement in John 10:30 carries so much weight, because His sheep, His love, His purpose in laying down His life, His preserving, keeping love is the same as His Father’s. God’s love is particular, it is definite, and it is eternal and unchanging.
God is love. His love for His own can no more change than He can (Mal. 3:6; James 1:17; Heb. 6:17;13:8). God’s love for His own is everlasting as He is everlasting (Jer. 31:3). God’s love for His own is equally intense, ardent and determined for all eternity. Just as God never had a beginning, so His love is as old as He is. Just as God is everlasting, so His love is as enduring as His being, His mind.
What impact would the love of God the Father, the love of Christ the Son of God and the love of the Holy Spirit have on me if His love for me depended on something in me? If He only loved me if I first loved Him, or if His love to me faded when my love for Him faded, what kind of love would that be? I need a love that is eternal, unchanging, does not depend on me, but finds its foundation and spring in the eternal, unchanging heart of God Himself: Father, Son and Holy Spirit. If God’s love depended on my repentance, my faith, my faithfulness, my prayers, what hope would I have of ever possessing or knowing the love of God?! (1 John 4:19). The amazing thing about God’s love is that He never looks for any reason in me as the cause for His love! His love is free! He says, “I will love them freely” (Hosea 14:4)! That is the lesson of the book of Hosea: the love and grace of God to His chosen, redeemed people! God’s love is seen throughout scripture to be towards His people in spite of their wilful ignorance, unbelief, rebellion, spiritual adultery, etc. (Rom. 5:6-11). God’s love is the foundational reason why He gave Christ up to the hands of murderers, and it is the reason Christ laid down His life for those the Father gave Him (John 10:11,15; Eph. 5:25; Gal. 2:20; John 13:1). And it is the reason why God the Father by His Holy Spirit draws His people irresistibly to His Son and to Himself in Him (John 6:44-45; 14:13; Jer. 31:3; Eph. 2:1-5).
Are you a believer in the Lord Jesus Christ? Are you born again? Did Christ die for you? Did God choose you in Christ from everlasting? Why? What moved God to do these for me, a dead dog sinner?! If we trace it all back to the beginning, and go back as far as we can, and then go to the very foundation of it all, we will find this written, “I have loved thee with an everlasting love...” But that is not all. Mark that next word well “...therefore, with lovingkindness have I drawn thee” (Jer. 31:3)! Lovingkindness is God’s eternal, immutable love in Christ. Why were God’s people chosen in Christ before the foundation of the world? “that we should be holy and without blame before him in love” (Eph. 1:4). Why did Christ pour out His heart’s blood for His people so given to Him by the Father? Because He loved them: “...Unto Him who loved us, and washed us from our sins in His own blood” (Rev. 1:5). Why did the Spirit of God command life to those the Father loved, whom He gave to Christ and for whom Christ died? It was “for His great love wherewith He loved us; Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved)” (Eph. 2:1-5; 2 Cor. 3:6; John 6:63). Why will God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit conform me to the image of His dear Son? Because the triune God loved me (Rom. 8:29-30; Heb. 7:25; 2 Cor. 3:18)!
How do I know that God loves me? I know it because He gave up His Son to die for me when I was ungodly, unrighteous and His open enemy (Rom. 5:6-11; 1 John 3:16; 4:9-10,19; Gal. 4:5; John 11:52; Heb. 2:10). How do I know that Christ loved me and gave Himself for me? It know it because the Spirit of God has brought me to Him, has left me with no other hope but that He Himself took my sin, bore my sin, made atonement for my sin, put away my sin, cleansed me from my sin, and He did all these by His own blood and righteousness. Christ and Him crucified is all my standing, all my confidence, all my reliance and trust, and He is all my hope before God (John 3:14-15). I have but one plea: it is the plea of my Advocate: That Jesus lived and died for me (John 17:1-2; 23-24; Rom. 8:34-39; 1 John 2:1). I am persuaded that nothing can separate me from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus my Lord. Not my love to Him! Oh, no! Lots of things can separate me from my love to Him! But nothing can separate me from His love to me! If God so gave His Son; if Christ so gave Himself; if the Spirit of God has so made Christ all my confidence and hope, then I have God’s word on it, God loved me from everlasting (John 5:24;6:37-40). The reason I know the love of God is mine is because I know that I would never come, would never trust, would never love the Lord Jesus Christ unless He first loved me, redeemed me, gave me life, and gave me this faith that lives by Him (Gal. 2:20).
If you are a sinner, if you have no hope in yourself, if you are deserving of God's wrath and have no way to put yourself or keep yourself in the love of God, then you take your greatest comfort and find your greatest joy in the eternal, immutable love of God in Christ Jesus the Lord (Rom. 8:29-30, 35, 37, 39; 1 John 3:1; John 11:52; Heb. 2:10)!