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How we know God loves us

Updated: May 24

Description: Would we admire humanity if we were God, or cut our losses and start over? Can we trust in God’s love just because he hasn’t replaced us?

How we know God loves us

Creation and purpose

On this side of heaven, understanding the mind of God is beyond us (Isaiah 55:8-9 tells us why). But we do know a few things. Among them, that God created humanity in his own image (Genesis 1:27).


This, in itself, signifies a special relationship and purpose. Being made in God's image means we carry intrinsic value and purpose designed by God himself. This purpose involves stewardship of creation (Genesis 1:28) and living in communion with God and others. The very act of creation in his image is a profound statement of God's love and care for us.


God overflows with love

As John points out, God is love (1 John 4:8, 16). The Holy Trinity of God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit overflows with love in the supreme loving relationship – and if anything overflows, it has to overflow into something.


A human analogy might take a couple who fall in love. All they want – perhaps all they see – is each other. Each wants to make the other happy. If they were cast away together somewhere, it really wouldn’t matter because they’d still have each other. Over time, they may want to develop a marvellous extra way of expressing their love for each other. They may want a child – someone in their own image; someone to nurture and see grow to maturity.


That child – just like all children – will sometimes be disobedient. The child will do things it shouldn’t and make mistakes. It may even become rebellious and go right off the rails.


No loving parent would respond to such disobedience, mistakes, or even rebellion by getting rid of the child. They would try to guide and protect. They would forgive even if forgiveness wasn’t deserved. Against all odds, they would stand by their child – and we are all children of God. This parental love reflects the unconditional love God has for us.


God is holy – sin corrupts

Another thing we know about God is that he is holy. It’s worth pausing to reflect on what this means. As ever, there are many interpretations of holiness. It can mean separate in the sense of being set apart, and God’s absolute purity certainly sets him apart from us humans. He is untainted by sin (evil) and perfect – and perfectly wise – in every way, all the time.


Unfortunately, however hard we try, we fall well short of being holy, no matter how the word is interpreted. Sin is our problem, and it’s sin that separates us from God. He cannot allow a sinner into heaven – his holy domain – as to do so would go against his absolute purity and every loving principle he holds dear.


Yet God is forgiving. Jesus’ parables, such as the Prodigal Son (Luke 15:11-32) and the Lost Sheep (Luke 15:3-7), illustrate God’s relentless love and desire for reconciliation with humanity. These stories highlight God’s joy when a sinner repents and returns to him, underscoring the value he places on each individual.


Free will and the Holy Spirit

Yet God could have overcome (or avoided) the problem of sin. He need not have given the gift of free will that allows us to make our own choices (Deuteronomy 30:19-20). This gift proves God desires a genuine relationship with us, one that is chosen rather than forced. The existence of free will shows God values us as individuals. He wants each of us to choose to love and follow him.


The Holy Spirit coming to believers (John 14:16-17) is another indication of God’s desire for an ongoing, personal relationship. The Holy Spirit guides, comforts, and empowers us, showing that God is invested in our daily lives and spiritual growth. God wants us to develop the strength to resist sin and embrace holiness, and this comes from belief in Jesus.


Covenant relationships

Of course, at any time, God could simply have wiped us out and started over with more promising candidates, but he hasn’t done this. Quite the opposite. The Bible reminds us of the endless chances he gave his chosen (but rebellious) people to turn back to him and be faithful.


Throughout history, God established covenants with humanity (e.g., Noah in Genesis 9, Abraham in Genesis 12, and Moses in Exodus 19). These covenants demonstrate God’s commitment to maintain a relationship with humans despite their flaws. They are a powerful testament to God’s unyielding desire to be connected with us.


This great desire makes us important to God. He doesn’t want a single one of us to miss out on eternal life in all its fullness. Sadly, sin continues to raise its ugly face.


Despite God’s immeasurable patience, and the countless generations since the Bible was written, we’ve proved time and again we can’t live together in peace, honour, and justice – not even with family members and neighbours. We still have wars, famine, plague, poverty, and persecution. Making it worse is the reality that, to a very large extent, these dreadful things are the results of our own bad choices.


Without the salvation graciously offered in Jesus, we would have to pay the penalty for all the sins arising from our bad choices. This would mean the non-negotiable separation from our Holy God, i.e., the irrecoverable loss of our inheritance of eternal peace and true joy. In short, sin’s penalty is death (Romans 6:23).


Thank God for Jesus!

God proved his love and how important we are to him by coming to earth himself as Jesus, the Son – the perfect human. Only as a human could he pay the penalty for human sin. Belief in Jesus, in who he is, and in his once-for-all sacrifice, saves us from death. Only through him are we made righteous in God’s sight; our sins forgiven and forgotten.


This unearned righteousness opens the door to God’s promise of eternal life with him (John 3:16, Revelation 21:3-4) and confirms God’s ultimate desire for an unending relationship. It’s a promise that assures believers their connection with God transcends earthly life, further demonstrating how much he loves and wants us to be with him forever.


Conclusion: How we know God loves us

From creation to covenant, from Jesus’ teachings to the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, and the promise of eternal life, God continually shows his love for us. His actions throughout history reflect a love that is patient, forgiving, and steadfast, proving that we are indeed important to him.


We know God loves us because he created us in his own image, established covenants with us, gave us free will, sent the Holy Spirit to guide us, and ultimately, sacrificed Jesus for our salvation. We are God’s children, the chosen incarnation of his eternal and overflowing love.



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