It is important that we avoid a common mistake when considering the statement “God is love.” This common error we must avoid when considering the Love of God is the error of ‘MAKING ALL ATTRIBUTES OF GOD LOOK INFERIOR TO THE LOVE OF GOD’! We cannot make the mistake of subordinating all of God’s attributes to His love. There is MORE to know about God than our ‘mind definition’ of love. For example, He is all-knowing, He is infinite, He is eternal, and He is JUST. And John can even write “God is light” (1 John 1:5).
Jesus could look at a suffering and sinful woman, and call her in the most comforting word: ‘DAUGHTER’! (Mark 5:34) And in the next sweep, look at a bunch of Pharisees and say: ‘WOE unto you, HYPOCRITES’! (Matt. 23:13) God is known to ‘raise people up’ and Jesus demonstrated this by using this phrase to the sick and fearful often: ‘ARISE’! (Mark 5:41, Matt. 17:7) And in the next sweep, when attacked by a bunch of ignorant soldiers, He could make them all FALL DOWN just at the sound of His voice! (John 18:2,6)
God is GOOD….must never be interpreted as God cannot PUNISH!
‘…when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven with His mighty angels in blazing fire. He will INFLICT VENGEANCE on those who do not know God and do not obey the gospel…’ (2Thess 1:7-8 BSB)
God is LOVE must never be rendered to mean He does not JUDGE.
‘…God alone, who gave the law, is the Judge. He alone has the POWER to save or to destroy…’ (James 4:12 NLT)
God cannot TEMPT with evil…must never be interpreted as God cannot TEST you with situations!
‘…Jesus said this to TEST him, because he himself knew what he was going to do….’ (John 6:6 ISV)
Yes, God will never TEMPT you in order to make you worse…but God reserves the right to TEST you in order to make you better. When you relegate the ‘wrath of God’ as being FIGURATIVE….you have arrogantly relegated the ‘Love of God’ as being figurative!
‘…Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience…’ (Eph. 5:6)
You don’t need MY forgiveness…if I have no ability to display wrath over you. Hence, if the wrath of God is ‘figurative’ …then the FORGIVENESS and justification of God we received is figurative too. This error must be avoided.
‘…God made you alive with Christ, for He forgave ALL our sins….’ (Col 2:13 NLT)
THIS FORGIVENESS IS AS LITERAL AS HIS SON DYING FOR US! Any time we discuss His love, we must remember that God “may display one attribute or another at a given time, [but] no quality is independent of or preeminent over any of the others. Whenever God displays His discipline, He is still love. When He shows His love, He does not abandon His holiness.”
In conclusion: this common mistake about the statement “God is Love” must be avoided. Avoid making all attributes of God look inferior to the Love of God. When we properly avoid these mistakes, then we will be amazed at the abounding love God displays on the “world” (John 3:16)… and much more, the SUPER abounding love He demonstrates on those who have accepted His Son as their Saviour. (Eph 1:6-7)
Remember: It is better we always go to the ULTIMATE authority on both God and love. The Bible MUST be our guide. Be resolute on Bible integrity. And the Lord will reward you.