Unconditional Love

What is unconditional love?

In humans, it doesn't exist. At least not the kind of unconditional love that God gives.

The Bible teaches that God chose us for salvation. Before the foundation of the world, before we even existed. And later while we were sinners. In other words, He chose us before we chose Him. (Romans 5:8)

So before we even wanted Him or had a chance to clean up our act and stop sinning (as if we could ever stop sinning on our own!), God loved us.

He chose to love us, not because we were lovable. Just because! God can do that because He is sovereign. To be sovereign means He can do whatever He wants, because He rules.

But why does God love us? To show His glory. To show that He can take a worthless sinner like me and change him and use him. God has a lot of ways to display His glory. This is one of them. And He showed His love for us by sending Jesus to die for us. (Ephesians 1:9-12)

Tell me, would you send your only son (or other loved one, for that matter) to die for someone you knew was a horrible person? A person who had no idea what you were doing for them and wouldn't appreciate it even if they did?

This kind of love is totally unconditional. It matters absolutely nothing to God how good we are when He decides to love us. Our goodness plays no part in His decision. We can't do anything to change His mind. He chose to love us and to save us, and there is nothing we can do to add or subtract from that. His love is going to be the same forever. God decides, and that's that.

And yet, we are also told in the Bible to believe in order to be saved. It says that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. (Romans 10:9) Even before that in the Old Testament, it says to choose for ourselves this day whom we will serve. (Joshua 24:15)

So, if we have to choose to love Him, isn't that a condition in itself?

It depends on how you look at it.

Not only does God choose to love us, He also gives us the ability to love Him back. In other words, our faith in Him is actually a gift from Him. (Ephesians 2:8) Even our faith is not from us!

So then, is it really our choice to make? Why would God tell us to make a choice that He has already decided that we will make anyway?

My dear friend, that is one of the many mysteries of God that man has been trying to solve for centuries. Theologians have a word for it: antinomy. The dictionary defines an antinomy as a contradiction between two statements, both apparently obtained by correct reasoning.

In other words, two correct ideas that in human reasoning contradict each other, but work together perfectly in God's mind. And, after all, who knows God's mind better than God Himself?

The bottom line: we have no idea where God's sovereignty ends and man's responsibility begins in this matter. All we can do is accept by faith what the Bible says.

But, for the believer, what a wonderful and liberating thing it is to know that we can't change God's decision to love us! He loves us the same at our worst or at our best.
There's nothing we can do to make Him love us more, and there's nothing we can do to make Him love us less. It's unconditional!

In those times we are on the spiritual mountaintop and feeling we are closest to Him and living our lives fully devoted to Him, He loves us just as much as when we are in the deepest valley letting Him down and repenting for our disobedience and grieving in our spirit. Amazing!

Our feelings really don't change anything. God's unconditional love is the same reality no matter where we're at today.

That is, if we really belong to Him.

This is not an excuse to sin, because all sin has negative consequences for us. But it is a reason to return to Him when we do. (1 John 2:1) And to praise Him for giving us the ability to do so!

His unconditional love awaits. Run to it.

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