555 Difficult Bible Questions Answered

436. What Is "Loving God" and What Does It Avail?

Love to God is commanded (Deu. 2:1) and is, indeed, the one great commandment (Matt. 22 -.38). It should be with all the heart, and is better than sacrifice (Deu. 6:5; Mark 12:33). It's produced by the Holy Ghost and engendered by God's love to us and by answers to prayer (Gal. 5:22; I John 4:19; Ps. 116:1). Christ gave us an example of it, and it is a characteristic of saints (John 14:31; Ps. 5:11). Those who have this love are known to God, and are preserved and delivered by him; they part alee of his mercy and all things work together for their good (I Cor. 8:3; Ps. 145:20; Ps. 91:14; Ex. 20:6; Rom. 8:28). When persevering (Jude 21), and exhorting one another (Ps. 31:23), saints will have joy, they will have a hatred of sin. In their hearts will be obedience to God, and he, besides being faithful to those who love him, will fulfill in them his promises (Ps. 5:11; I John 5 :i; Ps. 97:10; Deu. 30:20; Deu. 7:9; Deu. 13:3; Deu. 11:13; Ps. 69:36; Jas. I :i2). This love to God naturally leads to love to Christ. Here again we have a good example set by God himself and by the saints (Matt. 17:5; John 5:20; I Pet. 1:8). Such love to him should be manifested in seeking, obeying, ministering, preferring him to all others, and in taking up his cross (John 14:15; Matt. 27:55; Matt. 10:37; Matt. 10:38). It is characteristic of saints and an evidence of adoption. Those who have it are loved by both God and Christ, and enjoy communion with them (Song of Sol. 14; John 842; John 14:21, 23; John 16:27; John 14 23). Such love should be sincere, ardent, supreme, unquenchable and "unto death" (Eph. 6:24; Song of Sol. 1:7; Matt 10:37; Song of Sol. 2:5, 8:7; Acts 21:13; Rev. 12:11).