Is All You Really Need, Love?

Posted On February 10, 2021

Written by Prof. Anthony Salangsang, assistant professor of biblical and theological studies at Reformation Bible College

All you need is love, but do you know real and true love? What is love? In 1 John 4:8, John writes, “Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love.” What is God’s love? God’s love is His perfect self-knowledge and superabundant self-giving towards those in His constant care according to His goodness. Since there is no greater revelation of God’s love than in the glory of Christ, God’s love will be explained by the person and work of Christ.

Why does God love? God loves His people out of the essence of His being. He is good. In Psalm 136:1, the psalmist sings, “Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good, for His steadfast love endures forever.” God loves because He is love. The person and work of Christ reveal the essence of His love. This is Paul’s prayer in Ephesians 3:17–19, “so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith—that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may have the strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.” God loves His people from Himself. The Christian may know true and real love by knowing Christ, in whom God perfectly articulates His eternal love. God’s love can be further explained by how He loves in the work of Christ.

How does God love His people? God loves His people by redeeming them through the work of Christ. In 1 John 4:9–10, John writes, “In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world so that we might live through him. In this is love, not that we have loved God but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins.” Christ’s redemption manifests God’s love by showing God’s goodness toward His people through His unfailing mercy, fulfilling His promise to forgive their sins and save them from deserved wrath. His love is unconditional because the triune God freely redeemed us through His grace, not on the basis of any condition or meritorious work we contributed. Christ laid down His life so that we might live through Him. This is how God loves through His self-giving in redemption.

God’s love is revealed, found, and received through Christ. Whenever, wherever, and however you look for love, look no further than the love of Christ by faith.

Prof. Anthony Salangsang is assistant professor of biblical and theological studies at Reformation Bible College.