“God is love,” the Bible tells us in 1John 4:16. This is not only a great revelation of who God is but also a great revelation of what love is. It means that love is sacred and is the very nature of God. Therefore, love has also been the greatest target of violence by the devil who is in rebellion against God.
When the Bible tells us that God is love, it means that love is eternal as God is eternal. Also, God is the Truest and Legal Judge of all moral beings because love is the foundation and essence of all morality and all moral beings are created in the image of God. They are loveless to the extent that they are also Godless. And, they are God-like to the extent that they have a life of divine love.
“he who abides in love abides in God, and God in him” (1John 4:16)
The Bible gives us a picture of God’s love:
His Love Towards Us is the Love of the Eternal Father
Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God! Therefore the world does not know us, because it did not know Him. (1John 3:1)
His Love Towards Us is the Love of the True Friend
“Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends. You are My friends if you do whatever I command you. No longer do I call you servants, for a servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all things that I heard from My Father I have made known to you.”
His Love Towards Us is the Love of A Close Brother
Hebrews 2:11 tells us that Jesus is not ashamed to call us His brothers. He is the firstborn among many brothers (Romans 8:29).
His Love Towards Us is the Love of A Caring Teacher
John 13:1 tells us about Jesus’ love for His disciples: “having loved His own who were in the world, He loved them to the end.”
His Love Towards Us is the Love of A Good Shepherd
“I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd gives His life for the sheep. But a hireling, he who is not the shepherd, one who does not own the sheep, sees the wolf coming and leaves the sheep and flees; and the wolf catches the sheep and scatters them. The hireling flees because he is a hireling and does not care about the sheep. I am the good shepherd; and I know My sheep, and am known by My own. As the Father knows Me, even so I know the Father; and I lay down My life for the sheep.” (John 10:11-15)
The Problem of Evil, referred to by theologians as Theodicy, is the problem of understanding how a good and all-powerful God could allow evil in this world. Many atheists use the argument from the Problem of Evil to try to disprove the existence of God. However, such attempts are self-defeating because the Problem of Evil only exists because the concept of Good and Evil exists, which in turn necessitates the existence of an Eternal and Absolute Ground who is Moral, Rational, Volitional, and Personal. In other words, one can only raise the issue of the Problem of Evil if one believes in the existence of God in the first place.
Evil exists at two levels:
1. Physical Evil: earthquakes, tsunamis, accidents, etc.
2. Moral Evil: murder, burglary, perjury, etc.
Moral Evil exists because moral beings exist. The only moral being in the whole of terrestrial creation is man. Animals do not have the moral faculty. We don’t have law courts and prisons for animals.
The concept of moral goodness is linked to the concept of moral justice. Moral justice requires God’s (the Personal-Rational-Moral Ground of the universe) judgment of moral beings based on their use of moral freedom. The Bible teaches us that God brings moral evil to His Court of Justice. However, since He is also a God of Love, He made a way that man should not eternally perish in his rebellion but have everlasting life. The way did not circumvent God’s Justice. The way fulfilled God’s Justice. The Way was the Sacrificial Death of the Son of God. He suffered and in His suffering lies the solution for the Problem of Evil.
As far as Physical Evil is concerned, the Bible teaches us that this world has been subject to corruption (Romans 8:20-22) and human sin has wrought great violations to the laws of nature. Such violations against nature bring their consequences.
The solution is the New Heavens and the New Earth.
Nevertheless we, according to His promise, look for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells. (2Peter 3:13)
2. God’s Grace is A Relationship In Which We Stand
God’s grace is not only a gift but also a relationship. Therefore, the Bible teaches us to continue standing in the grace of God.
“Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom also we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.” (Romans 5:1-2)
“..this is the true grace of God in which you stand.” (1Peter 5:12)
Even as God’s grace is not something that can be earned, even so God’s grace is not a thing or commodity that we can use as we want. It is a gift but it is not a gift like a box of toys or a candy. It is a relationship. Therefore, the Bible warns us against falling from the grace of God.
“I marvel that you are turning away so soon from Him who called you in the grace of Christ, to a different gospel” (Galatians 1:6)
“Of how much worse punishment, do you suppose, will he be thought worthy who has trampled the Son of God underfoot, counted the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified a common thing, and insulted the Spirit of grace?” (Hebrews 10:29)
3. God’s Grace is An Act that He Sovereignly Does
2 Corinthians 8:9 talks about the act of God’s grace:
“For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though He was rich, yet for your sakes He became poor, that you through His poverty might become rich.”
This same grace when it is fully released in our lives brings out works of his grace.
“But by the grace of God I am what I am, and His grace toward me was not in vain; but I labored more abundantly than they all, yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me.” (1Corinthians 15:10)
It is this grace of God at work in us that is visible, expressive, and practically seen.
“When he came and had seen the grace of God, he was glad, and encouraged them all that with purpose of heart they should continue with the Lord.” (Act 11:23)
We sometimes need the help of others so that the grace of God is complete in us:
“So we urged Titus, since he had earlier made a beginning, to bring also to completion this act of grace on your part.” (2Corinthians 8:6)
4. God’s Grace is A Calling that God Calls us Into
“To me, who am less than the least of all the saints, this grace was given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ” (Ephesians 3:8)
Every child of God has a calling of grace in which he is called to be faithful. One should recognize one’s calling and be good steward of God’s grace.
“As each one has received a gift, minister it to one another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.” (1Peter 4:10)
5. God’s Grace is the Excellence that Adorns the Children of God
God’s grace is the excellence of His Kingdom into which He has called us. One must therefore aim to excel in the grace of God, in virtues, traits, and attitudes that is worthy of His Excellency.
“But just as you excel in everything–in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in complete earnestness and in your love for us –see that you also excel in this grace of giving.” (2Corinthians 8:7)
When we excel in the grace of God, then our lives become a grace to others because we serve a God of Grace.
“Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers.” (Ephesians 4:29)