The unbreakable, unchanging love of God for his children is one of the most comforting truths in Christianity. God’s love for us in Christ is a free love. This means it is not dependent upon something in us or something we have done or left undone. He knew we were ungodly sinners, yet he loved us and gave his Son to die for us (cf. Rom. 5:8). He loves his people with an everlasting love (Jer. 31:3). When we stumble and fall, his grip of love does not waver. His love for us is firm and constant. Richard Sibbes explained the comforting aspect of God’s love very well in A Heavenly Conference. Here’s an excerpt; notice how the love of the Lord is very much related to the perseverance of the saints:
Beloved, let us not lose the comfort of the constancy and immutability of Christ’s love. Let us conceive that all the sweet links of salvation are held on God’s part strong, not on ours; the firmness is on God’s part, not on ours. Election is firm on God’s part, not on ours. We choose indeed as he chooseth us, but the firmness is of his choosing; so he calleth us, we answer, but the firmness is of his action. He justifieth; we are made righteous, but the firmness is of his imputation. Will he forgive sins today, and bring us into court and damn us tomorrow? No. The firmness is of his action. We are ready to run into new debts every day, but whom he justifieth he will glorify. The whole chain so holdeth, that all the creatures in heaven and earth cannot break a link of it. Whom he calleth he will justify and glorify. Therefore never doubt of continuance, for it holds firm on God’s part, not thine.
God embraceth us in the arms of his everlasting love, not that we embraced him first. When the child falleth not, it is from the mother’s holding the child, and not from the child’s holding the mother. So it is God’s holding of us, knowing of us, embracing of us, and justifying of us that maketh the state firm, and not ours; for ours is but a reflection and result of his, which is unvariable. The sight of the sun varieth, but the sun in the firmament keepeth always his constant course. So God’s love is as the sun, invariable, and forever the same.
Covenant Presbyterian Church (OPC)
Hammond, WI, 54015