Any discussion about love in the body of Christ, the church, must begin with God Himself, the author of love. Love is not only the invention of God, but it is the very essence of God. Love isn’t something God does; it is who He is. “God is love” is a prevalent theme (I Jn 4:7 e.g.) throughout His revelation. And this love, at the center of who God is, is the driver in His relationship with us.
“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only Begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life” (Jn 3:16). “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us” (Rom 5:8). “Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down His life for His friends” (Jn 15:13). “But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ” (Eph 2:4-5). “Grace to you and peace…from Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the first-born of the dead, and the ruler of the kings of the earth. To Him who loves us, and released us from our sins by His blood” (Rev 1:4-5).
God’s love has rescued us. And that rescue is firm. “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? Just as it is written, ‘For thy sake we are being put to death all day long; we were considered as sheep to be slaughtered.’ But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Rom 8:35-39).