“God’s LOVE:  The Motive for Providing Salvation”

John 3:14-16, Romans 5:6-8, 1 John 4:4-8, 11-16

Dr. Gary M. Barker

Published in the Paso Robles Press 2/24/20

The Bible clearly declares that God possesses the eternal attribute of LOVE (1 John 4:8, 16).  This attribute motivates God to do what is the very best for people.  God is able to do the very best for people because He is both omniscient (all knowing) and omnipotent (all powerful).  What is the greatest act God could do for sinful mankind as a display of His Love?  The answer to this question is God could provide salvation or deliverance from sin’s penalty of condemnation.  This is precisely what Jesus said to Nicodemus in John 3:14-16: “And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up:  that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.  FOR GOD SO LOVED the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.”  God’s gift of His Son would deliver sinners from perishing by dying for them as a substitutionary sacrifice.  Jesus would be the Lamb of God that would take away sin’s penalty and condemnation (John 1:29, 36).  Deliverance from perishing and going to hell would be received by believing in Jesus, resulting in receiving everlasting life and forgiveness (Acts 4:12, 13:38, 26:15-18).   Jesus told Nicodemus that it was the Love of God for mankind that motivated God to provide salvation.

This is what the apostle Paul declared in Romans 5:6-8.  God manifested His love for sinners by allowing Christ to die for them.  Sinful man doesn’t have the ability to save himself because of his ungodliness, so God sent His Son to pay sin’s penalty as a substitute.  In both Romans 5:6 and 8, the Bible states that Christ died for ungodly sinners: “Christ died for us” (5:6,8).  The Greek preposition translated “for” literally means in place of or in behalf of as a substitute.  God’s love provided the substitutionary death of His Son as a means for saving sinners.  This is the reason that Salvation is provided as a gift that cannot be earned (Ephesians 2:8-9, Romans 6:23).

The apostle of Love, John, also declared in1 John 4:8-10 exactly what the apostle Paul declared.  John wrote that God’s love was manifested by sending His Son to provide eternal life thru the death of His Son as a “propitiation” for our sins” (4:10).  “Propitiation” means to satisfy God’s wrathful and righteous punishment of sin.  Christ’s death for sin satisfied God’s righteous punishment and condemnation of sin.  This is how God provided deliverance and salvation.  A believer will never be condemned because he has believed Jesus was condemned in his place. This was Jesus’ promise to Nicodemus in John 3:17-18. God’s greatest manifestation of LOVE for mankind is the crucifixion of Christ on Calvary’s CROSS.  Have you believed in what Jesus in Love has done for you?