Love is Not God
- May 02, 2018
- Taber Cheo
“Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love” – 1John 4:8
Love is not God. But God is love. Since the beginning He has defined and exemplified what love truly is. Yet if we construct our own definition that does not look like the very person of God, it becomes the exact opposite of who He is and we do not love at all. “Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends” (John 15:13). When Jesus laid down His life on the cross, He made it possible for His righteousness to be fulfilled in us; by believing in His finished work and in the power of His Holy Spirit (Romans 8:4). This is the same love we’re called to exemplify while bringing the gospel of His righteousness to the world. Yet if our definition of love does not align with His righteousness, we do not love and we do not know God.
Considering how many have responded to things like homosexuality and gender identity, the common definition of love seems to mean the acceptance of a neighbor’s lifestyle regardless of whats said as right or wrong. From awarding Bruce Jenner as “woman of the year” in 2015 to legalizing gay marriage, our culture continues their climb for peace while creating a counterfeit definition of love. But we are not of this world. If by encouraging anyone into a lifestyle that is unnatural or what is not true, we encourage them to believe in a lie as well as to remain in their immorality. This is not who God is. Jesus did not die for people to identify themselves with what they are not. He did not die for people to continue in what He did not intend.
“Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you . But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of God” – 1 Corinthians 6:9-11
Not one of us were without sin. We were all born into it. Yet by giving our lives to Jesus, He not only washes us clean from all unrighteousness (1John 1:9), But He literally transformed our mind that we may fully become what consists of His kingdom (Romans 12:2). The scripture above is a clear distinction of what God’s children have no part in. Specifically mentioning homosexuality as a practice that will not inherit His kingdom, classifies it as sin. Homosexuality is a practice that God will never approve of; nor does it have any involvement with the children of God. If then we decide to encourage others into what God does not approve, we lie and the truth is not in us.
The same goes for gender identity. If a man says he’s a woman (or vice versa) when he is actually a man, then he becomes a liar as well. How much more of a lie would it be to encourage others to identify with a gender that they are not? Good luck preaching the gospel. With that said, grace and forgiveness is readily available to anyone practicing in such things if they choose to repent and walk in the intimate relationship with God.
“Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into Him who is the head, into Christ” (Ephesians 4:15). There are many who have sought to love and encourage in a way that does not harm or abuse anyone. Amen. Yet by no means should we allow our caution to lead us into withholding the truth from anyone either. But as God intended, truth should never go without love, and love should never go without truth.
“Better is open rebuke than hidden love” (Proverbs 27:5). Be encouraged today. When correction is needed, it is given for the sake of others to walk in the reality of their identity. “instruct the wise and they will be wiser still; teach a righteous man, and he will increase in learning” (Proverbs 9:9). If it is withheld, no love is given at all. But if we so pursue love, no truth is withheld from anyone. “Faithful are the wounds of a friend” (Proverbs 27:6). Rebuke can have a sting at times. This is because of conviction. But if we acknowledge that correction is for our benefit towards maturity, we can only be encouraged towards the godliness we were made for. Praise God for His fruit of self-control (Galatians 5:22,23)!
“Brothers, if anyone is caught in any transgression, you who are spiritual should restore him in the spirit of gentleness.” (Galatians 6:1). While giving correction, by no means should we do so without the compassion of God. For the God who saved you from the law of sin and death has the same intention for the one you’re correcting. “For judgment is without mercy to the one who has shown no mercy. Mercy triumphs over judgment” (James 2:13). It is the heart of God that we should build one another up to the full unity and stature of Christ with a sound mind (Ephesians 4:13).
We have all witnessed a misrepresentation of love in one way or another. However that may have been, it is not love that defines God. It is God who defines love. There is no other way to truly become love unless it starts with Him. “He who did not spare His own Son but gave Him up for us all, how will He not also with Him graciously give us all things” (Romans 8:32). This is the love of God that is far greater than the love this world can offer. He is the love that casts out all fear. We cannot know Him unless we fully give our lives to Him.