Introduction, the Preeminence of
"Oh Love God so rich and pure
So measureless and strong.
It shall for evermore, the saints and angels song."
Man's desperate condition in sin would have been without cure except for the Person of
God. This series will not try to provide a definitive view of God's Love, rather it is the
aim of this series to challenge the believer to Love as God Loves and to enjoy fellowship
with God and each other. The Love of God cannot be rationally reduced to human
understanding. However, God's Holy Spirit has seen to it that the disciple of Christ is
able to demonstrate It to each other and the world. We will be relying heavily on the
epistle of 1st John to provide the challenge to us all to abandon our
preconceived views of the subject of love in general and to look, in awe at the person of
God who loved us with a Love that goes beyond all understanding.
Man's Desperate Condition.
As a sinner, man is an enemy of God, 
he cannot fellowship with God, indeed he is what the theologians call "Totally
Rom 3:9-12 What shall we conclude then? Are we any better? Not at all! We have
already made the charge that Jews and Gentiles alike are all under sin.  As it
is written: "There is no one righteous, not even one;  there is no one who
understands, no one who seeks God.  All have turned away, they have together
become worthless; there is no one who does good, not even one." 
Sinful man operates within a world that is ruled by Satan. He has no way of
communicating with God - nor can he know who God is except for the fact that he can look
at creation and derive the information that there is a Creator-God. Man's desperate
condition includes the fact that he is lives under the influence of Satan and is virtually
a slave to his lusts - his cravings.
What about human virtues such as the love that a mother has for her child, her husband
- and he for her? What about the human virtue of a man giving his life for his country in
war or, for that matter, giving his life to save his children in some sort of disaster?
The Bible teaches that man is, in spite of his total depravity, a moral being. That is,
God has created man with the capacity to be a moral creature.
"For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and
unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, because that
which is known about God is evident within them; for God made it evident to
them." Romans 1:18, 19.
The Bible teaches that every man and woman who is born is the result of a condition and
a creation. First, he is conceived by sinners and was born a sinner:
Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, And in sin my mother conceived me. (Psalm
The original can be literally translated this way: "Behold in sin I caused
labor pains and by a sinner my mother conceived me. The Bible teaches that every man
and woman who is born is born as a sinner - without exception.
Man Created in the Image of God.
Secondly, man was born as the result of the creative act of God:
For Thou didst form my inward parts; Thou didst weave me in my mother's womb.  I
will give thanks to Thee, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Wonderful are Thy
works, And my soul knows it very well. (Psalm 139:13-14, NAS)
Man's biological function in the conception of man is not the end of the gestation of a
baby. No. David is teaching here that God had an active part in his gestation. God, during
David's gestation, was active in His creative work. To form his inward parts (lit.
kidneys) has a strong implication of God's ownership of David's body while he was in
embryonic form. The word used here suggests that in creating David, God not only formed
his kidneys (his inward parts) but formed them for Himself. The word "weave"
suggests strongly that we are not just biologically wired up cell with cell, but that God
is active in the intricate interweaving of our very complex bodies and souls. Yes, it is
true that we are the wonderful creation of God. There is a similar passage in Job:
"Thy hands fashioned and made me altogether, And wouldst Thou destroy me? 
'Remember now, that Thou hast made me as clay; And wouldst Thou turn me into dust
again?  'Didst Thou not pour me out like milk, And curdle me like cheese;
 Clothe me with skin and flesh, And knit me together with bones and sinews?
 'Thou hast granted me life and lovingkindness; And Thy care has preserved my
spirit." (Job 10:8-12, NAS)
This passage is rich with imagery which I would like to cover but will only point out
the similarity with Psalm 139:13-16 and this passage especially in verse 11 and add that
in addition to God's creative activity in Job's gestation but also that God continued to
act in Job's behalf after his birth - God gave him life, and lovingkindness and had
preserved his spirit. The reference to cheese making in vs 10 is not a negative
image but one that shows God's creative activity with the view of man being
"made" for His purpose - for His enjoyment. That man was made for God
reminds us all that our lives are not our own but His. We were created for His
purpose - that's the teaching of Job being "curdled" - he was
"curdled" for God - He was made for God.
Man's Sinful Condition Does Not Exclude Him from God's Redemptive Plan.
So we have two opposing "facts" about man. First, he is desperately lost in sin and
cannot escape the judgment of God.
For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and
unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness; (Romans 1:18)
"What then? are we better than they? No, in no wise: for we have before proved
both Jews and Gentiles, that they are all under sin;... For all have sinned, and come
short of the glory of God;" (Romans 3:9, 23)
On the positive side of the ledger is the fact that man is the
direct result of God's creative act and is the object of God's Redemptive Plan. This
seems to be a paradox. For more reading on this see Acts 17:22-30
below, especially verse 27.
It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from
God--that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption. (1 Cor. 1:30, NIV)
The "him" in this passage is God, the Father. Since He had a direct role in
our gestation period, it follows that even though we are desperately wicked - totally
depraved, yet, He has, in His Redemptive Plan included the salvation of man from this
horrible condition of being lost. That fact is that man is deemed an object of
God's Redemptive Plan by God Himself because of His Love and has provided a way to save
man from sin.
Man's Desperate Need Is Met by the Love of God.
But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us,
(Ephes. 2:4, NAS)
Left to his own efforts man would have forever been lost. But God because of His
great Love intervened in behalf of man and thus we have the greatest romance story of all
ages - the wooing of man to God - a return of man from sin to a life of fellowship with
God. This is the salvation of man - man saved from what? Saved from a life of
meaninglessness - of condemnation by God because of his sin and saved from a life of
slavery to his own sinful nature, living in the kingdom of Hell  - Satan's kingdom. So it is with a sense
of awe that we approach the subject of God's Love and I give this caution; beware of the
cute one-liners - do not receive the totally rational human experienced definitions of
God's Love. Be, however, drawn with spiritual curiosity into the Biblical depictions of
God's Love as showcased by Jesus Christ Himself  and His command that we love each other
even as He has loved us.
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May we now turn to the first epistle of John and investigate the Love of God.
God's Love Is Lavished on Us as His Children.
How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children
of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not
know him. 1 John 3:1, NAS
When we turn to the Lord in repentance God does several works of grace in our lives and
as a result we have been declared His children. As such now the Father is, as a loving
Father, now compelled, because of His very nature, to lavish His Love upon us. This saving
experience is called in the gospel of John the new birth. Jesus taught in the gospel of
John that every sinner must be born from above - then and only then can he see (perceive)
the kingdom of God - as opposed to being subject the kingdom of Hell. The thrilling fact
is that now we live in His kingdom - are subject to its "laws" and to its
benefits as citizens of God's kingdom - rather than Satan's.