God’s love: unconditional or conditional?

We all have said at one time or another that God’s love is unconditional.  We know this is stated in the Bible; however, I believe we have failed to explain what we mean when we describe God’s love as “unconditional.”  The Bible is full of conditions established by God in his relationship with his people.   One of the greater verses in the Bible in which we see both the unconditional and conditional aspect of God’s love is John 3:16 “God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that whoever believes in him will not perish, but have eternal life.

God’s love for the world (unconditional) God gave his Son for everyone in the world; every nation, race, etc.  This was God’s unconditional response.  He gave his Son for every person.

Here is the conditional aspect : So that whoever believes in him.  There is a condition for people in the world to benefit from God’s unconditional love.  They must believe in the Son.  Whoever believes in him shall not perish, but have eternal life.  Salvation is for everyone, but only those who meet God’s condition will obtain it.

God’s condition is faith in Jesus.  John 3:36

God’s unconditional love has conditions.  People must believe in Jesus for salvation.

Before people began to follow Jesus; he laid out conditions for those who wished to be his disciples. “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself, take up his cross and follow me.” Matt.16:24 You see, in order for you to have a relationship with him there are conditions you must meet.  Jesus defined the relationship he wants to have with his disciples.  “If you love me, you will remain in me; if you love me, you will obey my commands”. and so forth.

So God’s initial response in saving the world was unconditional. ( HE gave his Son for everyone).  To have a relationship with God people must meet his conditions.  People must believe in Jesus and abide by his teachings.


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