In a recent lesson at Sjolander Road Fellowship, brother Allen Dunn presented a very powerful lesson using the text of I Corinthians Chapter 13, the famous Love Chapter in the Bible. Generally speaking, we look at the description of Love which is given there and marvel at the awesome forbearance which the description conveys to our minds. We perceive these powerful words as Paul’s challenge to us individually to rise to the level of compassion thus described. The word picture is seen at once as inspired and yet daunting. It is not unlike Jesus admonition to love our enemies, a nice idea but not too practical in our world of never ending conflict.
However, as Allen so well noted, I Corinthians 13 can and should be seen in a very different way, not as our personal challenge but as a wonderful description of God’s true nature. In every passage of this chapter it is quite reasonable to substitute the God who is defined as Love in place of the actual word love. If God is Love then Love and God are synonymous. Using that equality, we obtain the following list of attributes for God:
God is patient
God is kind
God does not boasts; he is not proud
God is not rude, neither is he self-seeking.
God is not easily angered, nor does he keep a record of wrongs
God does not rejoice in evil but instead in the truth
God always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres
God never fails
Significantly, a God of this description cannot be in the business of preparing for a future judgment day. A God defined in this way cannot be the author of some hit and miss plan of redemption that only is effective for a few fortunate souls. A God like this is no arbitrary, capricious, violent being. How different is our vision of the Creator when we see him without the distortion of misguided theology. The God of unconditional love is a God anyone can embrace without reservation, without coercion, without instruction. He is the God we always hoped for in our heart of hearts. Thankfully he existed long before our hearts and the Bible told us so.