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God’s Love Vs Human Love

So we have come to know and believe the love that God has for us. God is love, and whoever abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him. (1 John 4:16 ESV)

God has many amazing attributes. We’re familiar with attributes such as him being all-knowing, all-powerful, all-present, and unchangeable. But God’s love is unique. It’s different compared to his other attributes. Scripture says God is love. His love permeates who he is and what he does. A. W. Tozer is known to have said, Nothing God does, or ever did, or will ever do, is separate from the love of God. 

God is love

Scripture tells us that God is love. This means that love is the essence of who God is and what he does. It’s hard to wrap our minds around this truth. To fully understand the statement, “God is love,” we must see our reality. According to scripture, we are sinners separated from God. 

Behold, the Lord’s hand is not shortened, that it cannot save, or his ear dull, that it cannot hear, but your iniquities have made a separation between you and your God,

and your sins have hidden his face from you so that he does not hear. (Isaiah 59:1-2 ESV)

Even on our best days, we fall short of God’s standard of perfection. When Adam and Eve disobeyed God in the Garden of Eden by eating the fruit from the tree of knowledge of good and evil, they set in motion the curse of sin for all mankind. Scripture paints a bleak picture of who we are without Christ. 

..for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God…Romans 3:23

Our sin brings a heavy penalty, but God, in his lovingkindness, provided a way for us to not only be forgiven of our sins but to be declared righteous before God. 

For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 6:23 ESV)

We’re all familiar with John 3:16, which says, 

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. 

But we must read verses 17 and 18 to understand why God sent Jesus. He had a loving plan to save us. We can be saved from our sins and the curse of death by simply believing Jesus is who he says he is and accepting that he died for our sins.

For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God. (John 3:17-18 ESV)

God’s love is selfless

God’s love is pure and selfless. It’s hard for us to love others, especially those we’re closest to, such as our family and friends. We show self-control and patience when dealing with outsiders but get irritated at our kids or spouses. We may do things for them grudgingly or expect them to act a certain way in return. When we don’t get what we want, we withdraw and act irritated. Thankfully, God isn’t like us. He doesn’t expect us to clean up our act, and then he’ll love us. His love is purer than even the best human demonstration of love. 

For one will scarcely die for a righteous person—though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die— but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us,  but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. (Romans 5:7-8 ESV)

God’s love is unconditional

Conditional love is common in today’s culture. Often, people express love based on convenience or how it makes a person feel. Thoughts such as, “I’ll love you if it makes me feel happy about myself,” are common. This type of love is conditional. You must earn the other person’s love or be rejected. 

William Bennet, the former Secretary of Education, wrote in his book, The Book Of Virtues: A Treasury of Great Moral Stories, about the time he attended a wedding where the couple’s wedding vows were based on this type of conditional love. After the wedding, Bennet sent the couple a package of paper plates as a wedding gift because he thought it reflected the couple’s commitment to one another. He thought the paper plates were sturdier than the couple’s love and would probably outlast their marriage. 

God’s love isn’t like our love. Scripture tells us that God’s love isn’t based on our goodness or ability to clean up our acts. It’s not even based on whether we’ll love him in return. 

but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. (Romans 5:8 ESV).

The lyrics of this Sovereign Grace song express God’s unconditional love for us so succinctly.

You Are Lord

Once we were separated

Divided by walls of sin

Hating and being hated

Ruled by our pride within

Then You took upon Yourself

The guilt of every heart

And though we were blind now we can see

There is no other Savior but You

And You’ve brought us together


You are Lord of every nation

You are Lord of every tribe and race

And by Your blood we’ve received salvation

So that we can sing together and worship You as one

And glorify Your name until You come


Different names and faces

Each one by Your design

Gathered from every nation

Taken from every time

To be a kingdom of Your own

To serve You without end

And to reflect Your perfect light

To all who live in darkness and pain

So the whole world might know that

God’s love is eternal

Jesus’ love for us is eternal. His birth, earthly life, and death on the cross all demonstrate his love for us. Just like he is eternal, God’s love is eternal, and according to scripture, he loved us long before we were born. 

even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love, he predestined us for adoption to himself as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, (Ephesians 1:4-5 ESV)

God’s love is sacrificial

Sacrificial love is uncommon in today’s world. We assume that love must be earned or deserved. But God isn’t like us. He loved us when we were unloveable. 

But God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

(Romans 5:8 ESV)

He loved us so much that he lovingly created a way for us to have a relationship with him. God didn’t focus on what he would get from us but on what he could give us.

  • Forgiveness for our sins
  • Christ’s righteousness 
  • Eternal life
  • A relationship with God the Father
  • Help from the Holy Spirit

God’s love is free

Unlike our love, God’s love is freely given. There aren’t any conditions or requirements to earn his love. He doesn’t require anything from us; except to believe. The Amplified Bible expresses Ephesians 2:8-9 extremely well. 

For it is by grace [God’s remarkable compassion and favor drawing you to Christ] that you have been saved [actually delivered from judgment and given eternal life] through faith. And this [salvation] is not of yourselves [not through your own effort], but it is the [undeserved, gracious] gift of God; not as a result of [your] works [nor your attempts to keep the Law], so that no one will [be able to] boast or take credit in any way [for his salvation].

God’s love endures

Give thanks to the God of heaven, for his steadfast love endures forever.

(Psalm 136:26 ESV)

Durable means to remain in existence. God’s love is time-tested. It’s long-lasting and persevering. His love for us isn’t dependent on whether we perform well. We’re reassured that he is always there for us. Even in our difficulties, he promises to be there for us, to help us, and to love us. We may not feel his love, but we can trust him. 

God’s love is all-encompassing

God’s all-encompassing love isn’t on and off. It’s a preserving kind of love. His love could be defined as durable, long-suffering, and long-lasting. He doesn’t grow tired or weary enough to stop loving us. The chorus of the song,  Heart of God, by Zack Williams, depicts God and Christ’s attitude toward us. It says, 

No, He’s not sittin’ there shakin’ His head

Writin’ you off, leavin’ you lost

He’s not sittin’ there shakin’ His head

Wishin’ He’d never went to that cross

He’s not sittin’ there shakin’ His head

Writin’ you off, leavin’ you lost

He’s not sittin’ there shakin’ His head

He went to that cross, He went to that cross

God promises to love us even when we feel disappointed or ashamed by what we’ve done. He is merciful and patient with us. When we sin, we know we can go to him and confess our sins, and he will forgive us. 

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us and cleanse us from all unrighteousness. (1 John 1:9 ESV)

God’s love is personal

Unlike us, God has the ability to be involved in the lives of every person he’s created. God’s so detailed in his care for us that scripture tells us he knows how many hairs we have on our heads. Now that’s personal. 

Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? And not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father. But even the hairs on your head are all numbered. Fear not, therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows. (Matthew 10: 29-31 ESV)

And hope does not put us to shame because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.( Romans 5:5  ESV)

God’s love is personal because he knows everything about us, even the number of hairs on our heads. Our knowledge and understanding of God’s love grow as we read his word, the Bible. We learn about God and about ourselves from scripture. We can also grow in our understanding of God’s love through fellowship with other believers and attending a Bible-believing church where we hear Biblical teachings about God


God’s love means everything in his being; all he does is love. This knowledge is wonderful but, at the same time, a difficult concept for us to get our heads around. It’s especially difficult to understand God’s love when we’re going through hard trials. As believers, we go through things that make us wonder if God really loves us. We may feel like he’s abandoned us, but this is impossible because of who God is. His love is enduring, unconditional, and free. God’s love is best demonstrated by sending his Son, Jesus, to die on the cross for our sins even while we were still sinners, hating him and living for ourselves. 

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