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Study Resources :: Text Commentaries :: Don Stewart :: The Personal Attributes of God

Don Stewart :: What Special Aspects Are There to God's Love?

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What Special Aspects Are There to God’s Love? (Whom Does God Have a Special Love For?)

The Personal Attributes of God – Question 7

While God has a general love for the people of the world the Bible also teaches that there are special aspects to His love. Indeed, as we search the Scriptures we find that there is a special love between God and the nation of Israel, between the Lord and the New Testament church, and there is a special love between the three members of the Holy Trinity. We can make the following observations about this special love of God.

1. God Has a Special Love for the Nation Israel

God has had a unique love for the nation of Israel. Moses wrote about the special love of God in delivering the children of Israel from Egypt.

But it was because the Lord loved you and kept the oath he swore to your forefathers that he brought you out with a mighty hand and redeemed you from the land of slavery, from the power of Pharaoh king of Egypt. (Deuteronomy 7:8 NIV)

Israel was God’s chosen people. Consequently, He had a special love for them.

In Zephaniah, we read about God’s love for His people. We are told that when believers obey Him, God actually sings!

“For the LORD your God has arrived to live among you. He is a mighty savior. He will rejoice over you with great gladness. With his love, he will calm all your fears. He will exult over you by singing a happy song.” (Zephaniah 3:17 NLT)

Like Israel of old, all of us should desire that the Lord will be singing about us!

Isaiah the prophet praised the Lord for His special love for the nation of Israel, His chosen people. He wrote,

“Sing for joy, O heavens, and exult, O earth; break forth, O mountains, into singing! For the Lord has comforted his people, and will have compassion on his suffering ones.” (Isaiah 49:13 NRSV)

Israel was given a special place in God’s program. God’s love is expressed in the covenant that He made with this nation.

2. God Has a Special Love to New Testament Believers

During the Old Testament period, the Lord was uniquely working through one nation, Israel. This is no longer the case. Now that the Messiah, Jesus Christ, has come into the world, God’s work is now being done through the New Testament church. As was true with Israel during the previous age, God now shows His special love for those who have believed in His Son. Indeed, the church is today the special object of God’s love.

Indeed, we find that Jesus spoke of this love when He addressed His disciples. The Gospel of John records Him saying,

“...for the Father himself loves you dearly because you love me and believe that I came from God.” (John 16:27 NLT)

God the Father has a special love for those who are members of the New Testament church, the true believers in Jesus Christ.

The Apostle Paul likewise declared the great love that God has for those who are His. To the Ephesians, he wrote,

But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us... (Ephesians 2:4 NASB)

This special love is shown by His continual mercy to those of us who have trusted Him. The God of the Bible, who is rich in mercy, shows this mercy to those who are His.

God Shows His Love through Discipline

The love of God is also shown through discipline. When a believer falls into sin the God of the Bible shows His love by disciplining them. The writer to the Hebrews noted this when he wrote the following.

“For the Lord disciplines the one he loves, and chastises every son whom he receives.” (Hebrews 12:6 ESV)

Only God’s children are disciplined in this manner. God does not discipline those who are not His. Judgment awaits them.

3. There Has Been a Special Love between God the Father and God the Son

The Bible also speaks of a special love between the first two the members of the Trinity; God the Father and God the Son. God wants the same type of love among His people as is demonstrated between the Father and the Son. Jesus said,

And I have declared to them Your name, and will declare it, that the love with which You loved Me may be in them, and I in them (John 17:26 NKJV).

What a wonderful truth! The love that exists between God the Father and God the Son can be experienced to some degree in the life of the believer.

This sums up the special love which the Bible says that God has for Israel, the New Testament church, as well as the unique love that is expressed between the member of the Holy Trinity; particularly between God the Father and God the Son.

Summary – Question 7
What Special Aspects Are There to God’s Love? (Whom Does God Have a Special Love For?)

While the God of the Bible loves the entire world, we also find that there is a special love which He has exhibited. Indeed, there are three objects of this special love. First, He has a special love toward the nation Israel. We also find a special love toward the believers which make up the New Testament church. Finally, the Bible speaks of a special love between God the Father and God the Son. We can make the following observations.

The Bible says that God showed a special love for the nation of Israel. It was through this nation which God showed Himself in a unique way to the world. Scripture says that God has loved this people with an everlasting love. On the pages of the Old Testament we continually see God’s love for this nation. Even when they had turned their back on Him, He still loved them.

Once Christ Jesus, the promised Messiah, was rejected by the nation, God began a new work. From that time until today, God’s work is being accomplished by the New Testament church, the genuine believers in Jesus. Scripture also says there is a special love God now has for those of us who believe in Christ.

Among other things, God demonstrates His love for believer by disciplining us when we sin. While this does not seem pleasant at the time, it is for our own good. The Lord is always seeking the highest good for those who love Him. His love for us is special.

There has been, and continues to be, a special love between God the Father and God the Son. The Bible says that they love each other and have loved each other for all eternity. Thus, before the world was created there was love and communication among the members of the Trinity. Consequently, we can truly say that God is love.

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