What the Bible says about God is love
8 Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.
8 Conversely, whoever does not love does not "know" God at all, for God in his very nature is love. To the statements, then, that God is light (1:5) and God is righteous (2:29), John adds the supreme statement "God is love " (4:8, 16). Love here is not to be understood as one of God's many activities; rather, every activity of his is loving activity. Since this is true of God, our failure to love can only mean that we have no true knowledge of God, we have not really been born of him, and we do not have his nature.
16 And so we know and rely on the love God has for us.
God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them.
16 The same combination of knowing and believing is found in Peter's confession of Jesus in Jn 6:69, except that there the order of "believe" and "know" is reversed. The fact is that faith may lead to knowledge and knowledge may lead to faith. Here knowledge of God's love necessarily precedes the ability to "rely" on that love. The sequence of thought is this: First, we must know and rely on the fact that God loves us. Second, we come to realize through relying on his love (or having faith in his Son—the meaning is the same) that in his very nature God is love. Third, we discover that to live in God means to live in love. The fellowship we have with the Father and with the Son (1:3) is perceived as nothing other than a fellowship of love.
16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
The Case for Faith: John 3:16
What’s the Meaning of Life?
“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” —John 3:16
Christianity’s greatest contribution to humankind is the sharing of the good news summarized in John 3:16. This central message of the Bible portrays Jesus and our redemption through his blood. Finally, once and for all, he dealt with the issues of our guilt, our loneliness and our alienation from God. Through his atoning death and resurrection, he opened up heaven for everyone who follows him.
With this truth, Christianity provides a revelation as to the meaning of life and the existence of universal morality. Without that revelation, it’s very difficult to have any sense of life’s meaning. You end up like Albert Camus, who said in the opening paragraph of The Myth of Sisyphus, “Why should I or anyone not commit suicide?” In short, Christianity explains why not. Because of God’s profound love for us, we are able to relate to him and others in a healthy and deeply meaningful way.
—Adapted from interview with Dr. John D. Woodbridge
Read more from Case for Christ Study Bible