The Love Of God
“And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.” (Romans 5:5)
God’s love toward man is not usually thought of, in and of itself, as a gift. Yet love is the motivating factor behind every good gift He gives. “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son…” (John 3:16a), we are told. It is the great love of God that causes Him to be merciful and gracious toward us, there is no other reason. Two things are made very clear in Romans 5:6-8, man is without strength and man is ungodly.
We are totally without the strength to save ourselves, we do not have the ability to make ourselves right before God. There is nothing within our own power that enables us to deal with our own sins and save ourselves from the just judgment of God. And, lest we think for a moment that we have no sins that need to be dealt with, we are reminded that we are ungodly (v. 6) and we are sinners (v. 8).
God has looked down on the pathetic and desperate condition of man, a condition that is so completely and totally beyond our ability to rectify, and He has taken pity on us. It is not because we are good people, it is not because we are noble and honest people, it is not because we are people with potential who are worth saving. It is because God loves us. Recently, we looked at God’s reasons for saving the Children of Israel from their bondage in Egypt back in the Book of Exodus. We saw a parallel with God’s reasons for saving the person who trusts in Christ: He has heard our groaning and He knows our desperate situation.
While the context of Verses 6-8 here in Romans 5 connects the “Love of God” mentioned in Verse 5 directly with Justification by faith, for God’s love toward us is most perfectly demonstrated by the fact that Christ died for us while we were yet sinners (V. 8), we also see a reference to the experiential aspect of God’s love in the phrase “shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost.” God’s love is shed abroad (literally, poured out), not just within the pages of Scripture, but subjectively, to each and every believer, within our own spirits. The love of God is not merely a historical truth, a fact that the Christian may point to in action at the Cross, but a living reality, a present truth that flows into each of us and through each of us. God’s love is the motivating factor behind every good thing He gives to us, but it is also the motivating factor behind everything His people do in His name.
The love of God is a vibrant force that indwells the believer, it is a dynamic energy tangible to the Christian, a warmth that we may bask in, a constant that we may trust in. The Holy Spirit makes God’s love real to us, deep within our hearts, and pours this love upon us to the point that we can feel it embrace us. Though the love of others may be uncertain, fickle, capricious; the love of God abides within the heart of the child of God. One of the most precious gifts that our Heavenly Father bestows upon us is His everlasting love. It is one of the greatest things we have in Christ!
To God goes all glory. In service to Him,