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"That Love Which Is Of God"

Chapter I


In Romans 5:8, we read, "But God commendeth His love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us." The word commend is a stronger word than as first perceived by the casual observer. It means far more than "To recommend." It means "to exhibit; to demonstrate; to prove." There are certain attributes of God which need no demonstration of special proof, as the Holy Spirit tells us in Romans chapter one. "For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold (suppress; push down or away) the truth in unrighteousness" is revealed and does not need to be proven or demon-strated further.

Also in Romans chapter one, we read about "the eternal power and Godhead" (v20) being "shewed unto them" (v19). There is therefore no need for further proof or demonstration, as they are universally and "luminously" evident, if it be granted that there is a God at all.

There are other attributes which fall into this category, but nobody asks for any special proof. For instance, God"s arm is all powerful, or He is all-wisdom. One attribute, though, upon which all of God"s works toward man rest is His love and that the Holy Spirit reveals to us needed to be proven (Romans 5:8). God"s love is NOT self-evident according to the Scriptures. It is not openly "shewed unto them," nor do "the heavens declare," nor does "the firmament sheweth," nor "day unto day uttereth," nor "night unto night sheweth" -- -- "their line is (not) gone out through all the earth and their words to the end of the world." Therefore, the Holy Spirit "moved."

The Apostle Paul reveals that "...God commendeth (proved) his love toward us , in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us." (We will talk more of this from First John 3:16 and our perception of this love proof in a later chapter).

Think for a moment of some of the many things which seem to testify against the love of God. One, for instance, is the struggle for existence that is ceaselessly warring among all creatures: man against man; beast against beast; fowl against fowl; fish against fish. To the observer, all nature seems to be a battlefield and all living beings fighting for their very existence.

Then there is the fact of man"s own experience, often so difficult to reconcile with love. The things that come to men who are God's saints, which we would never dream of letting come to our own children"s "providence," are hard to understand. It is difficult to show reason when the chair is empty and the grave is full; especially when the one gone is desperately needed. How often is it heard, "How can God love me, when He would do this to me?" God's own saints are caught up equal to the unregenerated in calamities such as fires, storm destructions, epidemics, etc. It is such things - things which seem so hard - that call for special and manifaested proof for the attribute (doctrine) that "God is Love" and Love is on the throne.

The interesting thing about God is that this proof is given in His Scriptures. The Bible is a Book of Revelation for thinking persons. It never takes the lovely summer day and says, "Behold, you are proof that God is Love." The Scriptures and their Author know prior to any beautiful day that there will be a tragic situation in any town or any country. They never turn to the money in any person"s pocket and say, "Behold, your proof that God is love," nor to a new baby and to the parents, saying, "Behold, your proof that God is love." God knows and His words know that prior to another week, month, or year, the money could be all gone or the baby resting in a coffin. The Scriptures turn to the cross of the Lord Jesus Christ and find there its unanswerable argument - "...God commendeth (proved, demonstrated) his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us." (Romans 5:8). Once we have really understood the cross and once we have wholly grasped its inward spiritual meaning, there is one thing we can never do again: we can never again doubt the love of God toward us. Whatever happens to us, whatever sorrows come, whatever trials that there are where there seems to be NO EXPLANATION, the magnificant proof of Calvary remains a beacon; a doubt defying testimony to God"s eternal love.

Two things must be said of this reason: the first being that it is a fact. When we suspect that we are hated, rarely anything will convince us differently. We need some proof strongly to the contrary to assure us that it is not so. We want some "unmistakable" deed from God for our hearts to rest in when so suspect. God knows that amidst the bitter trials which He tests us by, that the powers of Lucifer will challenge our hearts to deny that our Heavenly Father loves us and we would need proof of God"s love toward us.

We can read the promises of the prophets, and the flowing words of the poets, or the beautiful words of the Psalms and Songs, but these are words. At Calvary, Christ is not a word, but "The Word" spoken as a glorious fact; shouted down the corridors of the centuries. "...for this thing was not done in a corner." (Acts 26:26), and again, "The Lord hath made known His salvation: His righteousness hath He openly shewed in the sight of the heathen." (Psalm 98:2).

No mere words could ever prove to man what the facts of life might seem to deny, nor does God ask mankind or His saints to rest their faith on words, even inspired words. He gives us, as the argument for Love, His love, the most awe-inspiring situation in world history. "God will provide Himself...." (Genesis 22:8) to "reconciling the world unto Himself (II Corinthians 5:19), "Christ died for us." (Romans 5:8).

A second thing must be said of this reason, is that it is an abiding reason. God commendeth (proves) forever. The Apostle Paul is using here the timeless present tense (keeps on always demonstrating). There are proofs of God which serve a temporary purpose and then exit. "Prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away." (I Corinthians 13:8). One such demonstrated proof of power as mentioned being temporary was "tongues are for a sign" (1 Corinthians 14:22), which would not be necessary eternally. Now notice love in I Corinthians 13:8: Charity (love) never faileth." God proves His love forever and ever. God reasons that it will never cease luminating toward man. "Heaven and eath will pass away, but . . . God"s love will never pass away." Knowledge might widen, thought deepen, science may change, technology might alter many things, great mysteries might be opened to shock mankind, but always and unshakably will stand throughout eternity the love of God, as prove by demonstration at Calvary. Calvary will always be the focal point arguing for the love of God.

Now on to the explanation of love.