Too many times our teaching and discussion regarding the love of God ends with His rescue, deliverance, and salvation or His current care and provision. But in one of the most incredible gifts of the New Covenant, we are not only the recipients of God’s love, but the possessors as well. We are not only lavished by God’s love, but actually indwelt by His love through the Holy Spirit. You have, operating inside you, some measure of the love of God.
The New Testament teaches that you have a supernatural power to love; a capacity, ability, and desire to love as God loves. You possess this by virtue of your new relationship with God as His child. “See how great a love the Father has bestowed upon us, that we should be called children of God; and such we are” (I Jn 3:1). “Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God; and every one who loves is born of God and knows God. The one who does not love does not know God, for God is love” (I Jn 4:7-8).
The practice of love is an outward demonstration of an inward change; our adoption into God’s family. By virtue of being “born of God”, we now have a family resemblance to God Himself in how we love. Does this moral resemblance to God somehow make us His equal? May it never be! Resemblance does not mean equal.
Our daughter and son-in-law, Annie and Matthew Dorin, just had a baby boy a few weeks ago. Even as an infant, Micaiah looks like his father. So if a visitor were to pick up baby Micaiah and exclaim, “My, you have another Matthew in the house,” they would not be declaring that Micaiah and Matthew are equals. They would only be pointing out the resemblance. No one expects Micaiah to bench press 200 pounds or walk to the train station in five minutes like his father, but they do have a distinct family resemblance.
Likewise, because you are God’s child, you have a moral resemblance to God in your capacity, ability, and desire to love. But I can guess what you are thinking, because I am thinking it as well. If this disposition to love is so supernatural, why isn’t its practice more evident in our own lives as well as our community of believers? Just as we can hide a physical resemblance by how we wear our hair, clothes, or make-up, we can hide our moral resemblance through sin. But this is a lengthy topic which we will have to take up further down the road.