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A Brief Theology of God’s Love
The most profound truth of the Bible is that “God is love” (1 John 4:8, 16). This is the most fundamental thing to be said about God, for it encompasses everything else that can be said about God. Peter Kreft explains this passage it this way:
Love is God’s essence. Nowhere else does Scripture express God’s essence in this way. Scripture says God is just and merciful, but it does not say that God is justice itself or mercy itself. It does say that God is love, not just a lover. Love is God’s very essence. Everything else is a manifestation of this essence to us, a relationship between this essence and us. This is the absolute; everything else is relative to it.
As Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, God eternally exists as perfect love. Each divine person within the godhead ascribes ultimate worth to the others. In doing this God is not being conceited but simply accurate. For as the one eternal uncreated reality, the triune community is the ultimate value, if you will, from which all created things derive value.
While we cannot clearly conceive of what the fellowship of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit looked like prior to creation, we can discern its basic nature from the way God reveals himself to us in the person of Jesus Christ. In Christ, and throughout the New Testament, we learn that the fellowship of the three divine persons consists in mutual submission.
The triune fellowship is Christ-like. The Father, Son, and Holy Spirit ascribe ultimate worth to one another without any competition. Their eternal life together consists in the divine joy of expressing the absolute value each has for the other.
The essence of this triune love is revealed in God’s love for humanity. The eternal, other-oriented love of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit is revealed outside of God, as it were, in his love for humanity. God’s own inherent worth is expressed in the worth he ascribes to humanity, and it is truly breathtaking.
God expresses unsurpassable love for us and ascribes unsurpassable worth to us by sacrificing the One who has unsurpassable value on our behalf! And this unfathomable expression of love to us displayed the perfect love that the three divine persons have for one another.
God is toward us as he eternally is within himself: God is love.
—Adapted from Repenting of Religion, pages 25-26
Image by Hannes Wolf via Unsplash
The Most Beautiful Truth
Jesus was God incarnate. Yet he continually referred to, and prayed to, God the Father as someone who was distinct from himself. He also continually referred to, and claimed to be empowered by, God the Holy Spirit as someone distinct from himself. And yet Jesus, along with all Jews of his time, believed there is…
A Lesson in Otherness
Long, long ago, a third grade teacher taught her class a lesson they will never forget. You won’t forget it either. This video is nearly 15 minutes long, but it’s so worth your time. Let’s love one another.
Podcast: What Does it Mean for Jesus to Mediate for God if Jesus IS God?
Greg discusses what it means for each member of the Trinity to have different roles. http://traffic.libsyn.com/askgregboyd/Episode_0159.mp3
When God Abandoned God
On the cross, Jesus’ cried out, “Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?” – which means, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? (Mt. 27:46). These are arguably the most shocking, beautiful, and profoundly revelatory words found in Scripture. The cry reveals that on Calvary, the all-holy Son of God experienced God-forsakenness as he bore the…
Hearing and Responding to God: Part 5
We hope you’ve enjoyed this series on hearing and responding to God. In this last video on the topic, Greg discusses the significance of the fact that God IS love, and how our communion with him is the product of God’s eternal loving nature. You can watch the earlier installments here, here, here, and here. ***Bonus: Greg experiences a…
It’s All About the Crucified Christ
The world was created by Christ and for Christ (Col 1:16). At the center of God’s purpose for creation is his plan to unite himself to us in Christ, reveal himself to us through Christ, and share his life with us by incorporating us into Christ. We don’t know what this might have looked like…