Exactly who or what does God love?

“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. For God did not send his son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through him might be saved” (John 3:16-17, NKJV).

God’s love for the world is stated unequivocally in this much loved passage, often termed “The Golden Text of the Bible.” But what exactly does the key phrase mean? How is the word “world” to be understood?

A reader of the Bible will soon discover other passages which disapprove of loving the world, such as: “Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the father is not in him” (1 John 2:15). How can it be that God can love the world, but humans cannot? Continue reading “Exactly who or what does God love?”

Convinced of God’s power and love

The weather here in northern Alabama this past week or so has reminded me of that old saying, “Be careful what you pray for; you just might get it.” After an unusually wet spring and early summer, we had been in a dry spell for three or four weeks and were beginning to hurt for rain.

Then tropical storm Marko and hurricane Laura showed up bringing deluges over a wide area, including us. Now we continue to have fronts coming through with frequent local showers. For all of these we are very grateful.

When James wrote to encourage Christians to pray he cited Elijah as an example of the power of prayer: Continue reading “Convinced of God’s power and love”

God judges because he loves

Theologians make their fine distinctions and hard classifications. They like the old idea of taking one thing at a time. They consider God’s holiness, then move on to his love. Such an approach is probably acceptable, as far as it goes.

The various and wonderful aspects of God’s nature and personality are a single unit. Westerners like to break things down into their component units. The ancient Hebrews, however, liked to pull things together, considering them as a whole. The former group excels in analysis; the latter, in synthesis.

When it comes to the one true God, the Hebrew approach recommends itself. If God is one, his nature partakes of that oneness. Continue reading “God judges because he loves”