Gods Love – Unconditional or Conditional?
One of the most discussed topics in the Bible is the love of God, but I believe it’s one of the most misunderstood when left to our own explanation. To understand God’s love, its nature, we must go to the Scriptures to see how God himself defines his love. Sometimes we talk about God’s love being unconditional, but we fail to expand or explain really what that term means. Today I would like us to spend some time looking at God’s love so we can understand better what we mean when we attach it to words such as unconditional or conditional.
God’s love is unconditional in the sense that he gave up Jesus for the whole world.
-God gave his Son for every nation under heaven, every race. Jesus was God’s gift to the world. Jesus died for every person on the planet, for the good, the bad and the ugly.
Romans 5:8 God demonstrated his own love for us in this while we were still sinners Christ died for us.
God’s initiative in saving the world was an act of love. His giving the world a chance to be saved.
God’s unconditional love demands action; it has conditions.
God’s saving love is conditional. John 3:16
For people to be saved they must meet certain conditions. This verse shows us the unconditional aspect of God’s love and the conditional part. God so love the world and he gave his only Son (unconditionally for everyone), So that whoever believes in him. (condition)
Faith (believing, trusting) in God’s Son is the condition for people to have eternal life. When people fail to meet this demand, they will be condemned.
God’s unconditional love for us demands a response from us.
John 3:36 Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for God’s wrath remains on him. Conditional (People must believe in Jesus to be saved)
Rom.5:1 Faith is the condition for people to be declared righteous before God. For the world to be at peace with God there are conditions. Justified through faith in Jesus. It is also through faith in Jesus that you gain access to God’s grace. Giving Jesus to the world is an act of grace, but to gain access to this grace faith in Jesus is necessary.
Conditions are necessary in order to have a healthy loving relationship
When God chose the nation of Israel, they entered a covenant relationship. God told them, I will be your God and you will be my people if you obey me fully. Many of the Israelites didn’t abide by God’s terms; they violated the covenant and he abandoned them to their enemies.
When Jesus began his ministry, lots of people followed him. Jesus let those people know the type of relationship he wanted to have. In other words, Jesus defined the relationship he wanted to have with his disciples. Matt.16:24 // Luke 9:23 IF anyone would come after me. He must deny himself, take up his cross and follow me.
To be in a relationship with Jesus, there are conditions we must meet.
To be in a loving relationship there must be condition for it to work.
You just don’t date the first person who says I like you, I love you. You already have expectations, there are conditions to go out with you.
Jesus already laid out what he expected of those who wanted to be his disciples.
John 14:15, 21 “If you love me you will obey my command” “Whoever has my commands and obeys them, he is the one who loves me. He who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love him and show myself to him.”
John 15:10 Remaining in Jesus’ love is to obey his commands
1 John 5:3
2 John 1:6
To love God is to keep his commandments, to walk according to his teachings. Not keeping God’s commands is the same as not to love God.
You cannot be in a relationship with God without doing what he says you must do.
God so love the world that he gave Jesus. God gave Jesus for everyone, every nation on this earth. So that whoever believes in him (Jesus) will not perish but have eternal life. Believing in Jesus is the condition for people to be saved from God’s wrath.
Faith in Jesus gets you into the right standing before God. Jesus makes people to be at peace before God; he makes people to become children of God. The relationship status changes from enemies to friends. God did his part in opening the doors so that people would know him and develop a relationship with him.
What is your part in this loving relationship? You have already believed in Jesus. Now Jesus calls you to remain in him; to demonstrate your love by keeping his commands and teachings. Love is to walk according to his commands and teachings. There are conditions for being in a relationship with God. Loving God means you and I must meet his conditions.