“Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God” (1 John 3:1)
Consider four truths: God’s love is –
Eternal – it is without beginning and end. ‘In love, having predestined us’ (Eph 1:4-5). ‘Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting love: therefore with loving kindness have I drawn thee’ (Jer 31:3).
Sovereign – it is without external influence. ‘Jacob have I loved, Esau have I hated’ (Rom 9:13). ‘According to the good pleasure of his will’ (Eph 1:4)
Immutable –it is without change. ‘strong as death…many waters cannot quench it’ (SS 8:6-7). ‘having loved his own which were in the world, he loved them unto the end’ (John 13:1). ‘Who shall separate us from the love of Christ?’(Rom 8:35)
Gracious – it is without condition. ‘God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son’ (Jn 3:16). God’s definite love rested on the fulfillment of one condition: the obedience of Christ unto death. The Father was satisfied with everything concerning His Son; likewise, He was satisfied with His elect.
Christ didn’t die to make God love them; rather, Christ died because God loved them. His love sent the Son; and love moved the Son to give His life. The ultimate purpose of all God did in behalf of those chosen before the foundation of the world was for “the praise of the glory of his grace” (Eph 1:6). The imputation of Christ’s righteous work resulted in the elect being forgiven from sin, redeemed from the Law’s curse, justified from condemnation, and adopted as God’s children. John said, God “bestowed” love and “called” us His “sons”. This relationship isn’t by natural birth or human decision. It came by declaration and Christ’s finished work.
---T. David Simpson