Is God’s Love Enough?

“For God loved the world so much that He gave His one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life.” (John 3:16 NLT)

PLEASE NOTE: I am not and will not suggest in this post or any other that God is inadequate in any way to meet our every need, but there are contingencies. What does that mean?

It means that while God loves every person who has ever lived, is living, or ever will live, not every one of those persons will be in heaven when they die. Why not? Because eternal life is contingent upon a person’s belief in Jesus – “so that everyone who believed in Him will not perish…”

Why is that so important to understand? There seems to be, especially in America, a very lax view of sin, largely, I believe, due to our misunderstanding of the relationships between God’s love and His justice; His law and His grace; His expectation of us and our personal desires.

Belief, as used in the verse above, is far more than an intellectual assent. It means “to commit one’s trust; to place confidence in; to entrust to His fidelity.” In short, it’s a commitment of everything we are or ever hope to be to the will and purpose of God through our faith in Jesus His Son.

What are the practical implications of not understanding this? If my lack of motivation to turn away from my sin is based on my mistaken understanding that because God loves me, He’ll overlook my sin and not allow me to go to hell, I’m not going to see any reason to develop godly disciplines. I won’t have any motivation to read God’s Word, pray, or even attend church. I won’t feel compelled to walk in holiness or seek God’s forgiveness when I sin. My relationships won’t be centered on my need to have fellowship with likeminded believers, or I won’t have any desire to share Christ with those who are lost in my spheres of influence.

Photo by Craig Adderley on

Salvation and sanctification are parallel tracks that lead us to Christlikeness. Salvation is what God does when we repent (turn from) our sin, seek His forgiveness and cleansing, and place our full trust for eternal life (that begins the moment we meet Jesus) in Christ alone.

Sanctification is the work of God’s Spirit who, by His powerful presence working in and through us, sets us apart for sacred use. God’s Spirit will lead us into truth, enable us to understand and apply that truth to our life, then give us the strength, motivation, and courage to actually live out our life in Christ daily in ways that will impact the lives of those in our spheres of influence.

God’s love is given to us to enable us to find forgiveness and a new life of freedom FROM sin, not to give us a license to continue to walk IN sin. In Romans 6:6-7 Paul writes: “We know that our old sinful selves were crucified with Christ so that sin might lose its power in our lives. We are no longer slaves to sin. For when we died with Christ we were set free from the power of sin.”

God’s love is an ever-present reality in our lives whether we’re walking with the Lord or not. God IS love, so His love for us is never in question. The issue isn’t “does God love me?” The issue is, “will His love alone rescue me from an eternity of torment?”  And the clear answer from Scripture is “No! Not unless and until we respond to the gift of Jesus’ sacrifice, given to us because of His limitless love.”

God’s love will not force us to yield our allegiance to Him anymore than I could have forced my wife to marry me just because I loved her. She had to receive my love and choose to love me in return. A relationship with God is dependent upon two mutually agreeable wills to allow that relationship to work. Without that, God’s love for us alone is not enough to make us right with Him.

Blessings, Ed 😊

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