Saturday, September 6, 2008

The love of God

"God is love" (1 Jn. 4:8)

I came across this quote by J. I. Packer in his classic work, Knowing God. It's absolutely stunning to consider the depth of God's love for us.
God was happy without humans before they were made; he would have continued happy had he simply destroyed them after they had sinned; but as it is he has set his love upon particular sinners, and this means that, by his own free voluntary choice, he will not know perfect and unmixed happiness again till he has brought every one of them to heaven. He has in effect resolved that henceforth for all eternity his happiness shall be conditional upon ours.
Thus God saves, not only for his glory, but also for his gladness. This goes far to explain why it is that there is joy (God’s own joy) in the presence of the angels when a sinner repents (Lk 15:10), and why there will be “exceeding joy” when God sets us faultless at the last day in his own holy presence (Jude 24 KJV). The thought passes understanding and almost beggars belief, but there is no doubt that, according to Scripture, such is the love of God.

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