“Behold, what manner of love the Father has bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God!” 1 John 3:1
We rejoice to know that “God is love!” Love is an attribute of His holy Being, without which He would not be God. We know that God is love, because His love is revealed and made known by His deeds. Love is active. It is never dormant. Like fire, it must break out. It cannot be contained. It is known only when it is experienced — not by words, but by deeds. We know the love of God is that love that “surpasses knowledge.” Yet, God’s love is revealed and made known by these six deeds of indescribable love!
The first act of God’s love was our ELECTION in Christ (Deuteronomy 7:7-8). Election is not a hard doctrine. It is a delightful doctrine. Were it not for God’s electing love toward sinners, there would be no salvation (Ephesians 1:4; 2 Thessalonians 2:13). We would never have come to know and love Christ — had He not first loved us (John 15:16; 1 John 4:19).
The second act of God’s love was our REDEMPTION by Christ (Romans 5:8; 1 John 3:16; 4:9-10). Because He loved us, the Son of God assumed our nature, assumed our sin, assumed our guilt and died under the wrath of God as our Substitute, to put away our sins. “The Son of God loved me and gave Himself for me!”
The third act by which God reveals His love to sinners is His EFFECTUAL SAVING GRACE (Jeremiah 31:3).
Those whom the triune God loved — the Father chose to save.
Those whom the Father chose to save — the Son redeemed.
And those whom the Son redeemed — the Holy Spirit will effectually call by His irresistible grace to life and faith in Christ.
The love of God is revealed fourthly in the absolute PRESERVATION of His elect in a state of grace (John 10:28; Romans 8:39). Can you imagine one who is loved of God falling from a state of grace, perishing and suffering the wrath of God forever in Hell? Such a notion is worse than nonsense — it is utter blasphemy! The love of God is . . .
and without end!
It is free.
It is sovereign.
It is indestructible.
It is everlasting.
Fifthly, God’s love for His elect is seen in our Savior’s TENDER, PROVIDENTIAL CARE for us (John 11:35-36). Our Savior really is touched with the feeling of our infirmities. We really are the apple of His eye.
But there is one act of love that goes beyond election, redemption, effectual calling, preservation, and providential care. As great and marvelous as those things are — there is one act of God that goes beyond them all. If the climax of God’s love is our redemption by Christ — then the apex of God’s love is our ADOPTION into the family of God! (1 John 3:1-3)
By birth, we are all fallen, depraved and spiritually dead (Romans 5:12).
By our deeds, we show ourselves to be children of the devil, sinful, deceitful, and wicked (John 8:44).
By nature, we are all children of wrath (Ephesians 1:3), a people deserving the wrath of God.
But by grace, we who believe are the sons of God!
Election is the great fountain of grace.
Redemption is the greatest mystery of grace.
And adoption is the greatest privilege of grace.
“Behold, what manner of love the Father has bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God!”