This verse states God is love. What does this really mean and what are some other descriptions of God?
1 John 4:8
NLT - 8 But anyone who does not love does not know God, for God is love.
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Certainly love is the most outstanding quality of our God Jehovah, in fact it is the only Scripture in the Bible that identifies him as the epitome of love. God is love that is applied to no other person. As an appreciative person that learns of God's qualities and the things that he has done for you and mankind we find ourselves irresistibly drawn to him with what result? Would we not want to magnify the one that we deeply admire? It's only natural doing this by both words and deeds. As our love for God grows we feel impelled to tell others about him and to the extent possible for them as humans they want to imitate him. God's word encourages us to do that saying: “Become imitators of God, as beloved children, and go on walking in love.” (Eph. 5:1, 2) To apply that counsel, we need to get to know Jehovah as he truly is. The more we learn about his attributes and qualities will impel us to imitate him and speak to others freely about him. What kind of person is Jehovah? The Bible helps us to identify many statements about the outstanding qualities of God. It's important that we take time to think and meditate about these qualities and how important they are to us. For example “God is love.” (1 John 4:8) “All his ways are justice.” (Deut. 32:4) ‘With him there is wisdom.’ (Job 12:13) He is “vigorous in power.” (Isa. 40:26) As you reflect on these attributes, what does knowing this move you to do? Would be to praise him? Certainly. God's word the Bible is the most reliable source to acquaint us with God's appealing personality, we are told that Jehovah is “a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abundant in loving-kindness and truth.” (Ex. 34:6) “You, O Jehovah, are good and ready to forgive.” (Ps. 86:5) “As regards Jehovah, his eyes are roving about through all the earth to show his strength in behalf of those whose heart is complete toward him.” (2 Chron. 16:9) “God is not partial, but in every nation the man that fears him and works righteousness is acceptable to him.” (Acts 10:34, 35) Jehovah “gives generously” and is “the happy God.” (Jas. 1:5; 1 Tim. Another attribute of God is that he is a God exacting exclusive devotion. What many people fail to realize and contemplate in their worship of God is am I worshiping God in an acceptable way according to his standards and not my own. Jehovah sees through any mere pretense of righteousness. He knows full well not only what we do but also how we feel about it and what kind of persons we are trying to be. If we truly love righteousness, he helps us. (Jer. 17:10; Prov. 15:9) Because of the kind of person Jehovah is, millions of people earth wide have gladly accepted the invitation of the Bible psalmist who wrote: “O magnify Jehovah with me, you people, and let us exalt his name together.” (Ps. 34:3) Hopefully you can someday if you are not be one of those persons.
Best description of God? Jesus Christ crucified. Those three words sum up who God is and what he has done. We see the wrath of God against sin, the justice of God in demanding a payment for transgressing his law, the love of God for sinners, the sinlessness of the Savior, the mercy of God in the suffering Servant dying in our place taking our punishment on himself and the unmerited grace extended to us as Jesus' righteousness is placed over us as a covering so we are pure as snow before the Creator.
Though it is difficult not to agree that "God is love" is the one description that stands out about God , yet I was amazed when I found out that Him being a God of mercy " and its equivalants abound far more in the Old Testament than any other description of God. A study of this has brought me to the place where I have found out that His mercy is greater and more far reaching than we could imagine. Blessed be His name. His mercy endureth to all generations.
Philosophically, God is a maximally perfect being. Whatever perfect qualities could be attached to God, are attached to God. For if God was not maximally perfect, then there could be a greater being than God, which would therefore make that other being God, and the God we thought was God not worthy of our worship. So God, therefore, is Omnipotent, Omniscient, Omnipresent, Omni-benevolent. He possesses perfect foreknowledge. He is a perfectly loving God. He is at the same time full of grace and mercy, yet also just. He is non-contingent, meaning His existence is not dependent upon anything else; indeed He is the only non-contingent being in existence. Romans 11:33-36: "Oh the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and unfathomable His ways! For who has known the mind of the Lord, or who became His counselor? Or who has first given to Him that it might be paid back to him again? For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things. To Him be the glory forever. Amen.
'God so love the world that HE gave HIS only son to save them'. This verse tells people that God loves us, God is righteous, God is wisdom who provides the perfect solution to mankind. An other good description that echo the above is in Isaiah: "Wonderful counsellor, the Almighty God, the everlasting father, the prince of peace" it sums up all. Thank you Lord for who you are!
For us, humans, to give a description of God, is almost an impossible task. As humans have limited intellect, any description we propose may come close to, but still fall short, from the truth. And so we turn to the person who knows God completely, who has wisdom to know EVERYTHING about the Creator of the Universe. Who knows God better but God himself. He describes himself in Exodus 3, "I AM WHO I AM". And if we follow this, we can describe him properly, "God is who He is."
"God Is Love." Agape [ἀγάπη, agapē], the love theme of the Bible, can only be defined by the nature of God. John affirms that "God is love" (1 John 4:8). God does not merely love; he is love. Everything that God does flows from his love. Love is His very nature, and He imparts this nature to be the sphere in which His children dwell, for "he that abideth in love abideth in God, and God abideth in him" (1John 4:16). Christianity is the only religion that sets forth the Supreme Being as Love. In heathen religions, unfortunately, He is set forth as an angry being and in constant need of appeasing.
The whole Scripture tells who God is, from the beginning to the end - in the text as well as throughout the history of the created world. Before we ask who God is, we should ask what God is, or rather, what do we mean by God. Unless this is cleared up, there is lot in the answer to who God is which is not really about who God is.
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