Love. A word people often use. People often struggle to know if they are loved. They also question if God loves them.
Does God love me? Yes, God loves you. God’s benevolent (kind spirit) falls on everyone. God’s complacency love is unique and special to his own Son, and for the church – those adopted into His family.
Let’s take a look further into seeing what kind of love God has for everyone, and what kind of love God has for His Son, and those who are in Christ.
Does God Love Me?
Yes, in a general sense the God of the Universe loves all universally. He loves everyone in the fact that God displays His goodness for the whole world to see.
However, the kind of love God shows His Son and those who are in Christ is a special kind of love that the rest of the world doesn’t get to see unless they too are in Christ.
When God first created the world, he said that it was good. He said that the first humans were very good. And when sin entered the world, He still allowed those born of sin to enjoy His Creation.
It didn’t matter if those with sin did more wrong than others, all still got to be in creation experiencing God’s sun, rain, ocean, sky, and all the other magnificent parts of creation.
God could have created a horrible place for us to live and dwell in, but when He created Earth, and it was good. He gave breath in our lungs and provided means for us to live.
But before going further, we must learn more about what Biblical love is. As human beings, this might seem like a simple question, “Does God Love Me?”
To understand the love of a God who is love, and is holy and just, can be a struggle. Human words can’t begin to explain a majestic and perfect God.
This book can help you understand how God’s attributes are not separate, but work together.
We can do our best to research theologians and their interpretations of Scripture, but God is a divine Being. So it can be difficult to explain exactly what His love is.
We can only do our best from our understanding of the Bible, and take into account what others have studied in Scripture to use human words to try to express and understand a Supreme Being.
What we do know is that God has a loving disposition towards the entirety of the world.
Does God Love Everyone The Same?
God loves the world in a general sense and desires that all know Him. He hates evildoers but does not want any to perish.
God loves all but has a special love for His own Son, and the same love He has for His Son, He has for the believers of the church.
The Bible says the Lord abhors the one who causes bloodshed.
You destroy those who speak lies; the LORD abhors the bloodthirsty and deceitful man.Psalm 5:6
But even to those people, who shed innocent blood, God still gives life. He desires they too, to come to repentance not wanting any to perish.
The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead, he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.2 Peter 3:9
The season we are in right now is the Age of Grace, where anyone who repents (turns from their old way of life to trusting & having faith in God’s way for life) will be saved.
Those who are saved, become a new creation, considered a born-again believer, and follower of Jesus, now adopted into the family of God.
I would encourage you to listen to this podcast by Brooks Szewczyk with Pastor Coulter Conner.
In this podcast, they discuss what the love of God means. Brooks starts by asking Pastor Conner if he believes that a good definition of God’s love is God’s goodness and actions towards humanity by what He does.
Pastor Conner gives his own definition saying that,
Biblical love is a self-sacrificing action done for the benefit of others.Pastor Coulter Conner
Pastor Conner stated that he did a study on 1 John 4:7-10, and says that we must be careful that we are not using the world’s definition of love, but do our best to learn the Biblical perspective of love.
God used to speak to His people through prophets, but now speaks to us through His Son.
Long ago, at many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets, but in these last days, he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed the heir of all things, through whom also he created the world.
He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature, and he upholds the universe by the word of his power.
After making purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on highHebrews 1:1-3
God upholds the universe in His power.
Below we will get more into God’s love for the world, God love for His Son Jesus, and God’s love for those adopted into His family.
Three Types of Love
The three types of love God shows, that we are going to focus on today are:
- The Love of Complacency
- The Love of Benevolence
- The Love of Beneficence
Because God displays His love differently, we shouldn’t just assume that He shows the same love He shows His Son, to everyone.
So let’s dive in to see how He displays His love to others.
God’s Universal Love
God shows the love of benevolence that falls on everyone. This in a sense is a general type of love that God the Father Himself shows through having a kind spirit to the whole world.
God shows the love of beneficence (which is similar to benevolence love). Benevolent love is more of the attitude of God towards the world, and beneficent love is more of how he shows his love to the world and displays His goodness universally.
In the Bible, there is this sense that God’s love is defined in terms of God’s beneficence (which is not just His attitude towards the world, but how He displays that goodness universally).
This kind of love is not defined in terms of warm or sanguine feelings but in terms more on the line of behavior. In this context, love is more of a verb than a noun.
For example, to love our enemies would be to be doing good to them (despite your feelings, or what they might deserve).
This kind of love, God says that all believers must have towards one another.
You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven.
For he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have?
Do not even the tax collectors do the same? And if you greet only your brothers, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same?
You therefore must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.Matthew 5:43-48
God’s beneficence (good-will) is demonstrated by his beneficence (kind actions). God’s creation is given to all of humanity.
God gives the sun and gives the rain to both the just and unjust. The gift of life is given to all, no matter how good or bad one is or will be.
Both God’s benevolent and beneficent love is universal. They extend to all of humanity.
Only those who are in Christ or His Son, get to receive His love of complacency.
God’s Love Towards His Son
God shows the love of complacency (in our culture this term would mean smugness or self-satisfaction, but that is not the term we’re talking about here).
When the Bible indicates the love of complacency, it is referring to a special love that God has for His Son.
The roots of the meaning of the word complacency from the Oxford English Dictionary is:
the fact or state of being pleased with a thing or person; tranquil pleasure or satisfaction in something or someone.
The word of complacency is used in a crucial manner in the language of historic, orthodox theology.
Many use this word when referring to how God loves his Son, and those like Him (Dr. R.C. Sproul, Jonathan Edwards, George Marden, John Milton, Richard Baxter, and J. Mason are just a few Theologian Scholars who use this English Word to describe God’s love for His Son & those like Him).
J. Mason says,
God can take no real complacency in any but those that are like himJ. Mason
Here are some verses that talk about God and the Son being as One, and His love for Him.
I and the Father are one.John 10:30
In this verse below, it is saying that Jesus is the image of God.
He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities – all things were created through him and for him.Colossians 1:15
Here are some verses which talk about the love the Father has for His Son, Jesus.
For the Father loves the Son and shows him all that he himself is doing. And greater works than these will he show him, so that you may marvel.John 5:20
The Father loves the Son and has given all things into his hand.John 3:35
Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands, and that he had come from God and was going back to God,John 13:3
God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit are as One. When God’s Son, Jesus became flesh, we got to see some of the interaction between the Father and the Son.
When Jesus was on the cross, God turned His face away from His Son, and Jesus cried out saying,
My God, My God, why hast thou forsaken me?”Matthew 27:46
Jesus also prayed to God this prayer.
And Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.” And they cast lots to divide his garments.Luke 23:34
Before being taken in to die on the cross, Jesus had a conversation with God the Father.
And prayed, saying, “My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as you will.”Matthew 26:39
We can see Jesus’ relationship with the Father here. Jesus asked if at all possible, let me not die this way. But then Jesus said do whatever you will. He had conversations with God the Father but always ended with as you will.
When Jesus was talking about Himself to those he was speaking to, He said that whatever my Father does, I do also.
So Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of his own accord, but only what he sees the Father doing. For whatever the Father does, that the Son does likewise.John 5:`19
God has this unbelievable love towards His Son, and as we have learned from Scipture, the same love He shows His Son, He shows to those who are adopted into God’s family.
God’s Love Towards Those Who Are In Christ
God shows the same love, the love of complacency – which He shows His Son, to those who are followers of Him. When God looks at His Son, He is well pleased.
When God looks at his Son, he enjoys, admires, cherishes, prizes, and relishes what he sees.
And when God looks at us, those who are covered by Jesus’ blood, God sees wholeness.
Not because we are selves are whole, but because Christ covered us. Now, we are seen as righteous in God’s eyes because of what Jesus has done.
For those who are in Christ, take on the blood of Jesus being seen as clean and whole in the eyes of the Lord.
God says blessed are those whose deeds are forgiven and sins are covered.
Blessed are those whose lawless deeds are forgiven, and whose sins are coveredRomans 4:7
We have redemption through His blood.
In him, we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace,Ephesians 1:7
Jesus became sin for us.
For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.2 Corinthians 5:21
For those who have been redeemed by the blood of Jesus, we become children of God, who is His righteous children through His Son.
We are adopted and chosen to be children of God according to God’s will.
He predestined us for adoption to himself as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will.Ephesians 1:5
This is saving love, that God has given us.
See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are. The reason why the world does not know us is that it did not know him. Beloved, we are God’s children now, and what we will be has not yet appeared; but we know that when he appears we shall be like him, because we shall see him as he is.1 John 3:1-2
And the same love God shows His Son, He shows us, His other children who are members of the household of God.
Read more about how to accept Jesus as your Lord and savior here.
How Can You Be in Christ?
The Bible says all those who did receive him, and believed on His name, He gave the right to become children of God.
But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.John 1:12-13
Ask God for faith in Him, and understanding as to what it means to be accepted into His family, apart of the same love God has for His Son.
God says repent. Turn to Jesus, and away from your sins.
Repent therefore, and turn again, that your sins may be blotted outActs 3:19
Jesus is the only way to get to the Father.
Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.John 14:6
Jesus is the only one who brings salvation.
And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.”Acts 14:12
God showed saving love towards us, to have His Son, Jesus take our place of punishment on the cross for us. Believe that He is enough, that it is in nothing in you that can save you, only Jesus.
But God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.Romans 5:8
There is no greater love than someone who lays his life for another.
Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends.John 15:3
While we are sinners, Christ died for us and now we are no longer strangers, but citizens and of God’s own house.
So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God,Ephesians 2:19
Assurance Of Salvation
When we are in Christ, we are a new creation. The old is gone, and the new has come.
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.2 Corinthians 5:17
We are able to understand what true love is and experience the personal love of the Father displayed to us in our own lives. God’s love becomes real to us.
We are then also able to love because Christ love has first been demonstrated in us.
We love because he first loved us.
When you are a child of God, God will place a desire in you to know Him.
Maybe you don’t feel like you have all the answers right now, and may have moments of uncertainty. But don’t let doubts of lies of the enemy hinder your walk with God.
The Bible says to work out your questions and concerns with fear and trembling. Seek the Lord who is your maker, and His love will be poured down on you.
If you have the desire (God has placed that in you) and He will show you who He is, and the same love He shows His Son, He will show to you.