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CHAPTER TWO

THE LOVE OF GOD—


THE SOURCE OF SALVATION

THE LOVE OF GOD IS


THE SOURCE OF SALVATION

1. “God so loved” (John 3:16).

Man’s condition speaks of his need for salvation. The source of salvation is the love of God. God’s
love is the source of His salvation. If God had no love, man would have no salvation.

What is God’s love? God’s love is His heart. Although God is righteous and holy in His nature, His
heart is love. God must do things according to His righteous procedure and in agreement with His holy
nature. According to God’s righteousness, sinners deserve only to be judged. According to God’s
holiness, such filthy ones are fit only to fall dead before Him. Although His righteousness condemns us
and His holiness rejects us, God’s heart loves us. He not only loves us; He “so loves” us. Because He
loves us, He gave His only begotten Son to prepare salvation for us.

2. “Because of His great love with which He loved us” (Eph. 2:4-5).

While John 3:16 says that God so loved us, Ephesians 2:4 says that the love with which God loved us
is a great love. Because of His great love, God came to save us. His great love caused Him to love not
only sinners but also those who were dead in offenses and sin. Because He loved us even when we were
dead in offenses and sins, He made us alive together with Christ and raised us up together with Him and
seated us together with Him in the heavenlies.

3. “When...the love to man of our Savior God appeared...He saved us” (Titus 3:4-5).

The love of God originated in God’s heart, but when it appeared, it became our salvation. When God’s
love is manifested to us, it saves us. God’s salvation comes out of God’s love. God’s saving hand issues
out of His loving heart. God loves us in His heart; therefore, He also saves us with His hand. His loving
heart appeared through His mighty hand to become our salvation.

THE LOVE OF GOD


ACCOMPLISHED SALVATION FOR US

1. “He gave His only begotten Son” (John 3:16).

God gave His only begotten Son to accomplish salvation for us. God’s love caused Him to give us His
Son. God did not love us without taking action on our behalf. The greatest thing God has done for us is to
accomplish salvation for us. To accomplish salvation for us, God specially gave us His only begotten Son.
This shows the greatness of God’s love toward us as well as the preciousness of the salvation that God
accomplished on our behalf. God’s great love accomplished this precious salvation for us.

2. “In this the love of God was manifested among us, that God sent His only begotten Son into
the world that we might have life and live though Him” (1 John 4:9).
Because of His love for us, God sent His Son that we might have life. The salvation that God prepared
for us is not only for us to be saved but also for us to have His life. In order that we may obtain His life,
God was willing, because it was necessary, to send His only begotten Son into the world to accomplish a
wonderful salvation for us. He was willing to do this for the simple reason that He loved us. Since God
loved us, He was willing to suffer the sending of His only begotten Son for the accomplishment of our
salvation so that we might have His life.

3. “He loved us and sent His Son as a propitiation for our sins” (1 John 4:10).

We had a problem in our relationship with God. Therefore, God sent His Son as a propitiation for our
sins in order to restore our relationship with Him. God did this because of His love. Although sin caused a
problem in our relationship with God, we had no thought of dealing with our sin in order to restore our
relationship with God. Even if we desired to restore this relationship, we would have had no ability or
way. However, God’s love caused Him to send His Son to accomplish this matter for us before we even
had such a thought.

Since our sins brought us under the requirements of God’s righteousness and holiness, God could not
receive us or abide with us peaceably. Therefore, God’s love caused Him to send His Son as a propitiation
for our sins so that He could receive us and abide with us peaceably according to the requirements of His
righteousness and holiness. God’s love fulfilled all the demands of God’s righteousness and holiness.

4. “God commends His own love to us in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us”
(Rom. 5:8).

The love of God also caused the Lord Jesus to die for us and to accomplish redemption for us. Since
God loved us, He sent the Lord Jesus to die for us and to accomplish redemption for us. Despite His love
for us, God could not forgive and save us carelessly, because He could not contradict His own
righteousness and holiness. Before He could forgive or save us, God had to send the Lord Jesus to die for
us in order to satisfy the demands of His righteousness and holiness. Because of His love toward us, God
was willing to send the Lord Jesus to die for us and to accomplish our salvation.

THE LOVE OF GOD


CAUSES US TO OBTAIN SALVATION

1. “All things are out from God, who has reconciled us to Himself through Christ...reconciling
the world to Himself...We beseech you...Be reconciled to God” (2 Cor. 5:18-20).

God’s love not only accomplished our salvation but also gave us a way to obtain salvation. How
condescending God’s love is toward us! It accomplished our salvation and devised a way for us to obtain
salvation. If God had done less than this, we would not have been saved.

Having accomplished our salvation, God entreated us to be reconciled to Himself. We were far off
from God, we had rejected and opposed Him, and we were His enemies. Nevertheless, He entreated us to
be reconciled to Him. Many who have heard the preaching of the Word testify that they met many people
who beseeched them to believe in Jesus. This demonstrates God’s love. Believers do not entreat people to
be reconciled to God out of themselves; rather, they do it because the love of God within them urges them
to do so. Many who have not yet believed in the Lord have been entreated by relatives and friends to do
so. This entreaty is a proof that God loves the unbelievers and desires that they obtain His salvation
through those who believe.
2. “He sent his slaves to call those who had been called to the wedding feast” (Matt. 22:3).

God prepared salvation as a rich feast. After it was prepared, He sent His slaves to call people to attend
the feast and enjoy His salvation. The first group of servants God sent were the apostles. Since the time of
the apostles, God has never ceased sending His slaves to call people to His feast of salvation. In the past
two centuries God sent many servants to uncivilized places in Africa, to various Pacific islands, and to
Asian countries to preach the gospel. Despite abundant hardships and dangers, these servants still went to
preach the gospel to others. I have read the stories of some of the Western missionaries who came to
China. Although they encountered every kind of difficulty in China, they still came because God’s love
urged and sent them.

When we draw near to the Lord, a mysterious force pushes us to preach the gospel. God loves the
gospel; thus, if we tell the Lord that we are willing to go to the ends of the earth to preach the gospel, we
will become extremely happy. God delights in urging people by means of His love to go out to invite
others to receive His salvation.

3. “We are witnesses...so is the Holy Spirit, whom God has given” (Acts 5:32).

Because of His love, God not only sends His slaves to preach the gospel but also sends the Holy Spirit
to work in the hearts of men. Without the work of the Holy Spirit, no one would believe, and no one
would receive the Lord. The most important points of the gospel that we preach today are very difficult
for man to believe in. These points include the Lord Jesus being God and being born of a virgin, crucified
for man, resurrected from the dead and ascended to the heavens, seated in the heavenlies and dwelling in
the hearts of men, and returning one day. These seven points are the center of the gospel. They are
extremely difficult to believe in; in fact, it is impossible for someone with a practical mind who has
studied science to believe in these points. However, when we preach, the Holy Spirit works until man
believes. The more we declare that the Lord Jesus is God, the more people are delighted. The more we
speak of the Lord Jesus dying for man, the more they believe. The more we say regarding the Lord Jesus
living in the hearts of men, the more they are released. We obtain these wonderful results because of the
Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit follows our speaking, confirming the gospel and touching man’s heart until
he is compelled to believe. God gave us His Son for the accomplishment of our salvation, and He also
gave us the Spirit, who puts God’s salvation into us; the Spirit causes us to experience God’s salvation.
This is the love of God.

4. “Demonstration of the Spirit and of power” (1 Cor. 2:4; see also 1 Thes. 1:5).

God sends the Holy Spirit to witness to the gospel; He also uses power to testify to the gospel. Many
times when we preach the gospel, God’s power makes the gospel extremely powerful so that people are
compelled to believe. Those who have a stubborn heart or who strongly oppose God will never repent and
believe in order to receive salvation unless God uses His power to penetrate their hard heart and break
their stubborn will. But when God’s power operates, even the hardest and most stubborn person will
repent and believe. This also is the love of God.

5. “God bearing witness with them both by signs and wonders and by various works of power
and by distributions of the Holy Spirit” (Heb. 2:4).

In addition to the gifts of the Holy Spirit, God also uses signs, wonders, and works of power to
confirm the gospel. When His servants preach the gospel, God confirms the gospel through healings and
the casting out of demons, thus causing people to believe. This also is the result of His love. Because God
loves man, He often works signs and wonders according to man’s need in order to cause the doubting
ones to believe in the gospel and to receive salvation.

6. “The sacred writings, which are able to make you wise unto salvation” (2 Tim. 3:15).

Without the Bible we would not be clear regarding God’s salvation. The Bible shows God’s salvation
clearly so that we may have the wisdom to understand such a salvation. This is another provision of
God’s love.

Because God wants us to understand His salvation, He used more than forty people in many different
places over a period of approximately sixteen hundred years to write the complete Scriptures. He also
preserved the Bible throughout the ages by His mighty hand. In His sovereignty He brought about the
translation of the Scriptures into many different languages so that people could read and understand them.
What God’s love has prepared for man in order that man may receive His salvation is altogether complete
and absolute.

THE LOVE OF GOD


CAUSES US TO BE HIS CHILDREN

1. “Behold what manner of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of
God” (1 John 3:1).

In addition to causing us to be saved and to escape destruction, God’s love imparts the divine life into
us so that we may be His children. What wondrous love that makes base sinners the children of the
glorious God! No wonder the apostle John said, “Behold what manner of love the Father has given to us!”

THE LOVE OF GOD LEADS US IN OUR LIVING

1. “Our Father, who has loved us...comfort your hearts and establish you” (2 Thes. 2:16-17).

God not only regenerates us but also leads us day by day. When we are sad, He comforts us. When we
are weak, He establishes us. From the day we are saved, we are in His hands. Because He saves us, He
also leads us. This is His love.

2. “Whom the Lord loves He disciplines, and He scourges every son whom He receives” (Heb.
12:6).

God disciplines and scourges us because He loves us. He uses His rod to instruct us, to lead us to walk
in His way, and to cause us to partake of His holiness.

Since God loves us, He will not allow us to be loose. When we try to walk in our own way according
to our own will, He scourges, disciplines, and deals with us so that we will obey His leading and gain a
profit in life.

THE LOVE OF GOD


WORKS FOR US ETERNALLY

1. “An eternal love” (Jer. 31:3).


God’s love is eternal; He loves us with an eternal love. Therefore, God will work for us throughout
eternity; He bears an eternal responsibility for us.

Eternity surpasses time. Since God’s love is eternal, it is outside of time and will not pass away when
time passes away. Although time will end, God will still love us because His love is eternal.

2. “He loved them to the uttermost” (John 13:1).

God’s love for us will not change; He loves us to the uttermost. There is no change in Him; therefore,
the love with which He loves us will never change.

3. “Neither death nor life...will be able to separate us from the love of God” (Rom. 8:35-39).

Nothing will be able to separate us from the love of God—neither death nor life nor things present nor
things to come. Even we cannot separate ourselves from God’s love. We may forsake God’s love, but
God’s love will never forsake us. We may cease to love God, but God will always love us. God has loved
us from eternity past, and He will continue to love us into eternity future.

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