5.2.1 Love for God

Man's love for God and his neighbour is rooted in God. Love is the nature of the Creator and therefore eternal: divine love has existed before all created things and will never end. All things are of Him, through Him, and to Him (Romans 11: 36).

Out of the love that God directs toward mankind, believers develop the desire to reciprocate this love (1 John 4: 19). Just as faith is man's response to God's revelation, so man's love is the response to God for the love he has received.

Ecclesiasticus 1: 14 states: "To fear the Lord [in other translations: "To love the Lord"] is the beginning of wisdom." Those who love God will have the longing to enter into fellowship with Him. The fact that the love of God has been poured out by the Holy Spirit into the hearts of those who are reborn is of special help in this effort (Romans 5: 5). This love for God is strengthened through the worthy partaking of Holy Communion. In this way it can grow within reborn believers and permeate them increasingly.

Those who love God will pursue love (1 Corinthians 14: 1). To love God is a commandment that applies to a person's entire being, and requires complete dedication: "And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength" (Mark 12: 30). Fulfilling this commandment gives content and purpose to life.

Love for God is to mould an individual's nature and define his conduct.

SUMMARY

God's commandments are an expression of His love. Their purpose is to help human beings live in accordance with God's will and in harmonious relationships with one another. (5.2)

The recognition of God's love in His commandments leads human beings to fulfil them out of love toward Him and not out of fear of punishment. (5.2)

See also