Forgiveness and God’s Love

There is a notion out there that God forgives me because He loves me. There is a sense in which this is true, but there’s also a sense in which this misleads. You’ll have to be patient with me on this one, because I think I have a point, I just might not be explaining it well!

When God forgives someone, He does not do this because He is love, because He has warm fuzzies about someone. In other words, love is not the reason God can forgive.

Jesus’ death on the cross and His resurrection is the reason God can forgive.

Now, Christ’s death and resurrection is God’s great demonstration of love, this is abundantly true, but God couldn’t forgive apart from the death and resurrection of Christ.

God hates all workers of iniquity. Hate is the opposite of love. Therefore, God cannot love what God hates. In order for a sinner to be loved by God, they must have their sin removed and their old, sinful self replaced with a righteous, spiritual self.

Faith in Christ’s death, burial and resurrection, otherwise known as “The Gospel,” is the instrument by which a sinner is crucified, buried and raised with Christ. Due to our new place in Christ, we benefit from God’s love.

The cross is the center point of God’s forgiveness. To say that God forgives because God is love, makes the cross a minor point. It even seems to make sin a minor point. The shed blood of Christ is the demonstration not only of God’s love, but also of His hatred of sin.

3 thoughts on “Forgiveness and God’s Love”

  1. This is good, Jeff. It also makes me think of the (over-) emphasis that many churches (perhaps unwittingly) put on how special we are. I understand where this comes from – many people suffer from low self-esteem, feelings of low value or even worthlessness, and so God is served up as a way to make them feel better about themselves. Trouble is, any faith that is built on me feeling good about myself is going to hit the rocks sooner or later when I am forced to realise once again how bad I am. God doesn’t love is because we’re special; he loves us in spite of our badness, because it is in his nature to do so.

  2. Good point. The bottom line is that if God can eliminate sin because He is loving toward us or because we are special, there is no need of the cross. Since there is a cross of pain and blood, it must declare loudly that it’s not merely God’s love that forgives, but rather His act coming out of that love. In other words, the emotion or mindset of God’s love does not save; His act of Love worked out on the cross is what saves.

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