God Doesn’t Love You Because You’re Lovable

“We must remind ourselves that God loves us, not because we are lovable, but because we are in Christ, and the love which the Father has for him flows over to us because we are in him.” – Jerry Bridges, Who am I?

God doesn’t love us because we are lovable.

In fact, in and of ourselves we are very much unlovable.  But Mark, you ask, aren’t I good enough, smart enough and doggone it don’t people like me? Yes people may like you.  Yes, you may be smart enough.  But you’re not loveable enough to merit God’s blazing holy love that burns up all impurities in its presence.

The Bible gives us pretty rough assessment of our “lovableness”.

…as it is written:
“None is righteous, no, not one;
no one understands;
no one seeks for God.
All have turned aside; together they have become worthless;
no one does good,
not even one.”
“Their throat is an open grave;
they use their tongues to deceive.”
“The venom of asps is under their lips.”
“Their mouth is full of curses and bitterness.”
“Their feet are swift to shed blood;
in their paths are ruin and misery,
and the way of peace they have not known.”
“There is no fear of God before their eyes.”
(Romans 3:10-18)

Observe how lovable we are: we’re unrighteous, have no interest in or understanding of God.  We’re worthless. Our throats are open graves – what a lovely stench! And the the venom of asps under our lips makes us doubly attractive to God, as well as our mouths full of curses and bitterness.

Can you imagine a husband saying to his wife, “I love you honey.  Your mouth reminds me of an open grave. And your lips  are like the venom dripping from a Gaboon Viper.”  Somehow I don’t think that wife would feel particularly lovable.

Though our sin renders us repellent to God, when he saves us he not only washes our sins away, but he plunges us into Christ. We become so organically and intimately one with Christ that when God looks on Jesus he sees us, and when he looks on us he sees Jesus. When God loves Jesus, he loves us in him and when God loves us he loves his Son in us.

The Father doesn’t love believers because we are lovable, but because Jesus is infinitely lovable and God has made us one with Jesus. And because we are one with him, when the Father pours out his love on  his Son, that love washes over us as well.

Let this truth fill you with joy today.  No matter what kinds of trials you’re facing, remember the Father loves you with the love he has for his own Son.  And nothing can separate you from that love.  Ever.

Comments

  1. Rich Steele says

    This is hard to grasp. I am so prone to think, on my own judgement and the judgement of others, that I am worthless junk. I know there is nothing in me to make me loveable to God. But does he like me? Does it give him pleasure to have me with him? Or is he just putting up with me being at the party for Jesus sake? I heard Steve Farrar ask a roomful of men if God loved them. Everyone raised their hands. Then he asked, "How many of you think God likes you?" Only a few raised their hands. I am sorry. I am confused about all this. I am like Martin Luther's man who as soon as he falls off the horse on one side gets back on and falls off on the other side.

    • Billie says

      Hi Rich! You bring up some good questions. I don't know you, so I don't know if you have any children. If you are, do you delight in your children? Do you love their little quirks and personality traits? I am, and I do. I know God is a much better parent that I can ever dream to be…would he delight in us (his adopted children) any less than we delight in our own? Or would he simply tolerate us for Christ's sake? Zephaniah 3:17 says:

      The Lord your God is in your midst,
      a mighty one who will save;
      he will rejoice over you with gladness;
      he will quiet you by his love;
      he will exult over you with loud singing.

      Does that sound like it gives him pleasure to have you as one of His children? I think it does. =) We are not worthless junk. We sin, yes, but Christ would not have died for us, if we didn't have value to him. I hope this encourages you a little.

    • Mark Altrogge says

      Hey Rich,

      Thanks for adding your honest comments here – I want to assure you that God not only loves you but he likes you. I think Billies comments are excellent and the scripture that she referred to as one I was thinking of referring to as well. God rejoices over us, exalts over us, delights in us, loves us, and yes even likes us! The reason is because he delights in and rejoices in and exults in his own Son. And believers are in that Son!

  2. Dan Truitt says

    Just this morning in my devotional I was struggling with this truth and not liking the clear biblical fact that there is nothing in me to make me lovable to God. I am grateful that even that loathsome sin was atoned for by the Lord Jesus and that the Father loves me still because of Jesus, as you have so clearly reminded me of today. Many thanks.

    • Mark Altrogge says

      Thanks for adding your comments, Dan! Thanks for your humility in mentioning you struggled with it – I think lots of people do and I have myself at times. This glorious truth is something we must remind ourselves of all the time.

  3. arwen says

    To some extent I appreciate the sentiment, but I can't agree with that quote as a standalone statement. God made us and set His affection upon us before we were in Christ. If He did not already love us, He would not have formulated the plan of crushing His beloved Son to make a way for us to be reconciled! We cannot be acceptable to God apart from Christ, but God IS love; and it seems to me that His love for us cannot be merely the RESULT of Jesus' work on our behalf, but is the only reason FOR it!

    • MarkAltrogge says

      Hey Arwen, thanks for your comments! Thanks for reminding us that God set his love upon us long-ago – he definitely loves sinners and loved us before we loved him. God loves us because he IS love!

  4. says

    Great stuff Mark! Much needed encouragement this morning! The love that God has for us is overly abundant not because of anything we have done but solely because of our union with Christ. That is an astounding thing! Im so glad that Jesus is my covering and my righteousness. (2 Cor 5:21) What an amazing God we serve!

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