“Now the serpent was more subtle than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden? And the woman said unto the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden: But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die. And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die: For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.” (Gen. 3:1-5)
Do God’s commands that limit and restrict man’s will, abilities and enjoyment of pleasures demonstrate that He is a cruel, manipulative and controlling God? This very thought was the foundation laid for the fall of man. Such an idea plants a seed of doubt into the mind of man that, when germinated begins questioning God’s love, and ends denying He exists. Thus, the foundation upon which Satan has built his house is — God is unloving.
The theme of the Bible is the Christ, and yet the Christ is the manifestation of God’s love for man (Jn. 3:16). Following the fall of man (Gen. 3:1-7) God immediately announces the defeat of man’s adversary by the Christ — “the seed of woman” (Gen. 3:15). With rapid speed the scene changes to a world that has rejected the love of God and declined to near total depravity (Gen. 6:1-5). Having both executed justice and extended mercy (Gen. 6-9), God next introduces us to the family of Abraham, the family through which He will bring the Christ into the world (Gen. 12-28). The remainder of the Old Testament provides the history of this family becoming a nation, first walking in the love of God then denying His love for the most abominable perversions. The writings of the Old Testament prophets provide a picture of God dealing with Israel in both His love and mercy, but also His holiness and justice as He prepares to bring His Christ into the world through them.
“But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law” (Gal. 4:4). This passage could easily have been the opening of the New Testament text. The gospel accounts of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John are the inspired record of the Lord’s Christ (Lk. 2:26). Remembering His covenant, God prepared a body to bring the Christ into the world (Heb. 10:1-10). Jesus of Nazareth is the Christ of God (Lk. 9:20). Yet, Jesus Christ is the Son of God (Mt. 3:17; Lk. 9:35; 2 Pt. 2:17). The depth of this monumental truth not only destroys the foundation of the adversary (that God is unloving) but serves as the very foundation upon which saving faith is established!
Jesus Christ the Son of God was Deity in the flesh (Jn 1:1, 14, 8:56-58; 17:5; Phil. 2:6; Heb. 1:1-3). Deity took on flesh (i.e. God became man) in the person of Jesus that He (Deity in the flesh) might die as a sacrifice for the sins of man (Jn. 1:29; 12:32; 2 Cor. 5:15-16; Phil. 2:8; 1 Tim. 2:6; Heb. 2:9). The charge that God is unloving is at once seen to be false when one fully understands that Deity, who created man, took on flesh for the express purpose of dying in man’s place (1 Pt. 3:18). By His death, Jesus provided a means by which sinful man might be forgiven, redeemed, justified, sanctified, and reconciled back to God (Jn. 3:16; 15:13; 1 Pt. 1:18-19; Mt. 20:28; Mk. 10:45; Eph. 5:16; Rom. 5:6, 8).
Satan, the adversary of man is a liar (Jn.8:44; Rev. 12:9). God’s commands that limit and restrict man from “pleasures” of this world (cf. Heb. 11:25) do not reveal an unloving God. In fact, just the opposite is true. An unloving God would never warn man of sin’s consequences. But God, who is love (1 Jn. 4:16), not only warns man but has provided a way of escaping the penalty of sin. That escape is the sacrifice of His only begotten Son, the full measure of His love for you!
– Ronnie Scherffius