The One Word that Describes God
The Bible gives us the one word the describes the Lord: “God is love” (1 John 4:8). Love is the per-eminent attribute of His nature with respect to His creatures. His nature never changes (James 1:17). Love is the controlling power in His holy government. Without it He would not be “God.” Love has been His ultimate quality in the past and will continue to be in the future.
The fact that God is love is of infinite worth in comprehending the plan of salvation. Only Love would give freedom of choice to His creatures and run the risk of experiencing the pain that sin has brought to the Godhead. When sin entered our world, only Love could had the patience and the will to come up with a plan. This love would help the universe understand the basic facts in the great controversy between good and evil. And thus make sure that sin will not rise again.
God is merciful to repentant sinners, but He cannot afford to weaken His government by failing to uphold its righteousness. Justice is a necessary result of His true love, for “a God all mercy is a God unjust.” Without justice there could be no mercy. And even when the Lord must punish man for his sins, He does it in love, for his own good—not in wrath.
Like the surgeon, the Lord may use the cutting blade of pain to bring about the healing of the soul’s sickness that has resulted from sin (Hebrews 12:5–11; Revelation 3:19). Although we read in the Scriptures that God delights in mercy (Micah 7:18), we never read that He delights in bringing His judgments upon His children.
In the warfare against sin, God, being love, can use only truth and love. Whereas Satan uses every deceitful plan and lie to cause suffering and death. God came up with the plan that would allow the innocent Son of God to save the human race from the guilt and power of sin by His earthly life, death, and resurrection, and then to become the Father of a new converted race (1 John 4: 9).
The Bible tells us, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life” (John 3:16). “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends” (John 15:13). Through accepting this gift of love, believers may be “called the sons of God” (1 John 3:1). While God’s love embraces all humanity, it directly benefits only those who receive it (John 1:12).
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In His service,