God's Nature and Character

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God's Nature and Character

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John perfectly summarized Their divine character and nature when he wrote that "God is love" (1 John 4:8, 1 John 4:16).

The love of God is selfless, outflowing concern for the good of others. When He showed His glory to Moses, God revealed Himself as "the compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness, maintaining love to thousands, and forgiving wickedness, rebellion and sin" (Exodus 34:6-7, NIV).

Love is the foundation of the character and law of God. It is the basis of everything that God has revealed to mankind in the Holy Scriptures (Matthew 22:35-40). Paul called love the greatest Christian attribute (1 Corinthians 13:13). It is the first aspect of the fruit of God's Spirit that he mentions (Galatians 5:22). Love is the bond of perfection, binding everything together in perfect unity (Colossians 3:14, NIV). It is the fulfilling of God's divine law (Romans 13:10).

This amazing quality of godly love even encompasses love for one's enemies (Matthew 5:44-45; Luke 6:35).

Upon repentance, we can begin to exhibit this kind of love through the Holy Spirit. God wants us to learn to think as He thinks and do as He does.

In exercising this kind of love, we express the image of God (reflecting His character), even though we are still human. Paul encourages us to "let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus" (Philippians 2:5), who perfectly personified God's love to the point of giving His own life for us.

One of the Bible's best-known passages tells us that "God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life" (John 3:16). God not only wants to grant us the priceless gift of eternal life, but He also wants to share all things with us in His divine family (Hebrews 2:6-8; Romans 8:16-17). Time and time again the Scriptures reveal that God perfectly personifies love.