(Romans 5:1-5) “Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; And patience, experience; and experience, hope: And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.”
I have looked at this passage several different ways, but now I want to look at just what is in God’s grace. Everything that is in the grace of God comes to us by faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, even “grace” itself. The grace of God includes: peace with God, the hope of the glory of God, tribulations, patience, experience, and hope that we are sure about. At the end of this process is the love of God which the Holy Spirit put in our hearts.
This is the thing I want to talk about now, the Love of God.
(1 John 4:8) “He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.”
The thing that we need to keep in our mind is that God is love. We cannot say that love is God, for God is more than love.
(John 3:33) “God is true“, (John 4:24) “God is a Spirit”, (1 Corinthians 1:9) “God is faithful”, (1 Corinthians 3:17) ” God is holy (Galatians 3:20) “God is one”, (1 Timothy 4:4) ” God is good” (1 John 1:5) “ God is light”, and (1 John 4:8) “ God is love.”
Now if we are going to understand God’s love we need to understand the Greek words for love.
There are two words in Greek for love; they are synonyms but with a difference. Agapē and phileō are the Greek words for love. The word that is used for God’s love is “agapē” most of the time. As I understand it the meaning for this word is not a feeling, but an act of the will. It is a choice when one loves with agapē love. It is the act of one’s will. It is a desire to do the best for others even to the point of giving your own life. God is agapē.
Phileō is one of man’s feelings. When one loves with phileō love it is because he feels like it. Phileō love is when one likes you and you like that person.
The grace of God is caused by God’s agapē love. It is God’s grace and was the reason Christ died for us. (Romans 5:8) “But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”
This is a real example of agapē love. (Romans 5:6) “For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly.” We are the ungodly. It was God’s agapē love which is the reason that God wants to save us. But love does not save us, it is the grace of God that saves us. There would not be grace if God did not love us. You see God needs grace to save us because we do not deserve to be saved because we are sinners.
Christ dying for us shows just how great God’s love is for us. (John 15:13) “Greater love hath no man than this that a man lay down his life for his friends.”
Christ dying for us proves that He loves us. (Jeremiah 31:3) “The LORD hath appeared of old unto me, saying, Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting love: therefore with lovingkindness have I drawn thee.” It is also proof that God’s love is everlasting. There is no other love like God’s love. The Hebrew word translated here as “lovingkindness” is most often translated as “mercy.”
I want you to see that in the grace of God there is everlasting love and mercy. Now because we are in the grace of God we do not have to worry about not living up to God’s standard for we have already been justified by faith. This truth is very important to learn if you want to feel the peace that God wants to give you.