Understanding love is complicated. It’s not black and white, and there are many types of love too. There’s the love we get from our parents, love we get from friends, love we have for people in general, the love we have for our spouses. There is one kind of love that we aren’t always familiar with. Some of us may know this love, others may have known this love at one time, and others may have never known this love at all.
God’s love. The Bible talks about a perfect person coming down to us, in the form of a baby, born of a virgin, sent to seek and save what was lost; you and I. When God created the world, His intent was to make man rule over it and enjoy fellowship with him. Everything was perfect. There was no divide, no fear. Just perfect bliss and relationship.
Everything changed once that was broken (Adam and Eve chose to disobey God, experiencing guilt, shame, sin, and consequence). Feelings such as mistrust, selfishness, greed, doubt, and envy became a new normal. You see, when Adam and Eve were created, there was automatic trust. They experienced The love of their Father and Creator and had a wholly satisfying relationship with Him and each other. (Genesis 2-3)
A Perfect Relationship
There was no need to convince them that God was good because they knew Him. The earth self-produced. Every creature lived in harmony with one another, and there was peace and joy. There was complete trust. This was the life we were meant to live. A life with God. One with no sorrow, no pain, no remorse, no loss.
Can you imagine what that would look like? Can you imagine completely trusting in people, never experiencing pain, hurt, mistrust, and never lacking in anything? To a small degree, I can, only because God is perfect. He is sinless and has created a place for me in heaven that is just like that. A place where there is no more pain and sorrow. Complete fullness.
An Imperfect World
Once sin entered the world through Adam and Eve, they began to mistrust God’s intention, desiring to elevate God and be equals. We see this natural evolution begin to take place. Out of Jealousy, Cain kills his brother. Adam and Eve’s son kills his brother. There was no need for anything like this. God had created everything and was satisfied with everything He made. It just wasn’t good enough for Adam and Eve.
Could He have created robots? Sure. He could have made Adam and Eve so loyal that they couldn’t have failed God, but He didn’t. He was happy they chose Him because they wanted to. Because they desired to be with Him. God still cared for them and continued to walk with them and maintain their relationship. It looked different. They couldn’t live in the garden with Him.
He never left them, though. Life would be hard, and there were consequences for their actions. The earth wouldn’t self-produce anymore. Not all animals were safe to be around, and the perfect relationship they once had with God and each other would no longer be the same. Fast forward, and we still see things like selfishness, greed, deception, mistrust, fear, and confusion. The world has its good things. Nature can be beautiful. Working with our hands and toiling can be worthwhile. But, it can be scary and uncomfortable. We still make mistakes. Cast judgments and interfere in ways that hurt people and us.
God’s Perfect Love
As we see in Genesis, God never intended for us to live this life the way we live it. He wanted perfect harmony and co-existence with Him. He is holy and blameless and created us that way too. We were set apart, made in His image, to live like Him and develop His character. To know perfect love and give it.
Since God is perfect and hates sin, sin can’t be where God is. So what does He do? God knows that you and I can no longer partake in what Adam and Eve did before they sinned. We were people headed for eternity without Him. And since sin is laid out in the Bible as things like lying, adultery, idolatry, lust, hate, unforgiveness, jealousy, murder, stealing, and more, His compassion and love take over.
God had this perfect idea. He sends His Son, Jesus, to be born of a virgin. Engaged to a man, committed to him, but not married so that it couldn’t be called his son, so that a miracle could happen. We could have a chance to choose that life again. To choose God and walk in holiness and forgiveness. This time, through a mediator, Jesus, we could be saved through His sinless death on the cross, so we could have life and not death.
Do you see? When Adam and Eve fell, an angel, Satan, lived in perfect harmony with God. He had chosen God until he decided that he was more significant than Him. Once he and a third of the angels had turned on God, they were cast from heaven, and hell was created, Not for you and me. For Satan and the angels that rejected God. But that is sin. And after Adam and Eve sinned by disobeying God, that continued to happen and still does.
But our God still loves us. Knowing this, would you want to continue living in fear and shame? When we can live in the confidence of God’s love for us, knowing He has provided a way out. It’s not easy. We’ll still make mistakes. We’ll hurt ourselves and others, but because of God’s perfect sacrifice, sending blameless, innocent Jesus, an untainted gift, we can be forgiven and accepted.
No one can ever repay a mistake or wrong they have committed. We could never fix what we have done, but God knew that. He sent Jesus to be the atoning sacrifice, the solution. Someone who knew no sin died for you and me to have life, forgiveness, and peace. This life isn’t easy. But the life to come, for those who accept God as Lord and Savior, and strive to obey and follow God, putting their selfishness aside and putting Him first, will live with God in heaven. And it will be wonderful.
“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.” (John 3:16)