Many people in today’s society use the scripture “God is love” as a license to do whatever they desire, either because they misunderstand God or they misunderstand love. God cannot be understood by subtracting moral authority from His unconditional love (“Because God is love He cannot judge me, and will therefore be ok with what I choose to do”). Love cannot be understood by adding moral authority to a serotonin-filled experience (“If it feels right/good, then it is right/good”). To do so would denigrate God, reduce Love to mere pleasure, and perform a moral lobotomy on one’s self all at the same time.
God is more than a Supreme Being with awesome power. Love is more than the vehicle (or excuse) through which to fulfill one’s hedonistic desires. Love is the quiddity of God. It is the WHY He does what He does. HOW He performs this WHY is expressed through actively identifying with us, the objects of His love, so that we might receive both justification and sanctification. Creating, judging, forgiving, etc., are just loving ways He manifests His personality to and in us. (1 Jn. 4:16) “God is love” is not an ontological premise. It is the conclusion.