Is God's love really unconditional?

According to the Bible, God's love is unconditional toward humanity. God created humanity for His divine purposes. In the Garden of Eden, the first humans—Adam and Eve—disobeyed God's one command and committed the first sin, breaking their unity and fellowship with Him. God judged humanity for this sin, but did not end His love for them. He continued to care for Adam and Eve and their descendants.

Despite various judgments throughout history such as at the Garden of Eden, through the Flood during Noah's time, judgments during the times of the Judges, and upon Israel in removing them from their land to Babylon, God continued to show His unconditional love to His people. A large part of God's unconditional love included the prediction and sending of the Messiah, Jesus Christ, as the One who would come as a sacrifice for sins and offer eternal life with God.

This plan included a perfect virgin birth (Isaiah 7:14; Luke 2:1-20), God taking on human form (John 1:14), a sinless life (Hebrews 4:15), a sacrifice upon the cross, and the resurrection from the dead. John 3:16 states that those who believe in the Son of God will have eternal life. This is not based on any condition of works. Instead, it is based on grace through faith in Jesus Christ (Ephesians 2:8-9).

Jesus Himself taught that the sacrifice of Himself on the cross was the greatest love He could show for humanity: "Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends" (John 15:13). Ephesians 2:4-5 adds, "But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved."

In contrast, if any conditions had been placed upon humanity before God would show His love, then no one would be worthy to receive His love. Every person has sinned and made himself or herself unworthy in God's sight (Romans 3:23). It is only because of God's grace that we receive His unconditional love that has been revealed most powerfully through the life and sacrifice of Jesus Christ.

First John 4:9-10 states, "In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him. In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins." God's unconditional love to us is what allows us to love others. He alone is able to redeem us and change our hearts to show love as He has loved us. As 1 John 4:19 teaches, "We love because he first loved us."

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