My name is Tony L. Tate, and I believe that God is love! PERIOD! That is a new discovery for me. Though I’ve known intellectually that He is love, it took me a while (more than 20 years) to realize that it was true and that He loves ME! This I know, NOT because the bible tells me so, but, because I have experienced it for myself. However, I’ll tell you what the scripture says about Him anyway.
God is patient, God is kind. He does not envy, He does not boast, He is not proud. He does not dishonor others, He is not self-seeking, He is not easily angered, and keeps no record of wrongs. God does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. He always protects, always trust always hopes always perseveres (1Cor 13:4-7).
That was the famous love passage from 1Corinthians. The apostle John says God is Love (1 John 4:8). And if God is love then the passage from 1Corinthians is a description of who He is. And this is what I believe about the God of the universe.
I believe Jesus is the Christ, sent from God, to save us from sin, NOT from God. Sin was keeping us from being able to see who God really is. Sin was the problem. When Jesus Christ hang on the cross it was to remove sin. I do not believe he was taking our place in punishment from God. Sin is a killer of men. I believe the Son of God became a man in order to take on sin. In fact, the scripture says He became sin (2 Cor 5:21). By becoming sin and dying He destroyed sin, making it possible for the first time since the garden incident for humanity to be able to truly see who God really is.
I believe Jesus has redeemed all men and women. The problem is that not all men and women know the truth about who they really are. They don’t even know that they are in Christ. Some even live according to the life that He gives and they don’t even know it. That is a good thing. Good for them.
I do believe that Jesus Christ is the way the truth and the life. But I don’t think most people, especially Christians, know what that looks like.
People who live out of love, and live moral lives, and live to do good though they are not “Christians” do so (I believe) because it really is the most natural thing to do. And the reason is that Jesus has died and taken away the sin of the world. He has given us a new nature. We still have a choice though. We can live for ourselves or live out of the love of God that is freely given to all men through His son. Believe it or not, you have to look within your own heart to find this love (Luke 17:21).
The Father has placed us all in His Son. God’s nature is the natural nature of man. However, we can choose to live contrary to that nature. Even so, God does not give up on us when we do. He doesn’t get angry. He does not turn His love to hate because we reject Him and the nature he has given us. What kind of Father decides to hate and destroy his son because the son chooses his own way? Well God is better than any father here on earth.
He is all that Paul says about Him in the verse above. God is Love. By the way, here is something I’ve noticed in my own life – I become who and what I believe Him [God] to be.