The Love of God
Oct 12, 2020 1858
It’s a funny thing about love: you simply can’t love all by yourself.
I know that we say that so and so loves themselves. But that’s not what love is: at best the world loves is tainted by selfishness and at worst it’s narcissism.
Love must, by definition, be selfless, otherwise it’s not love. That may not be how it is in society, which sees love as a “you scratch my back and I’ll scratch yours” kind of transaction. But that is how God exemplifies and defines love in the Bible.
Because love is selfless, there must always be another involved. For those who know the teachings of the Bible, this creates an interesting conundrum.
You see, the Bible teaches the pre-existence of God, before the existence of anything else. God is by definition, the uncreated Creator, and has always existed, from eternity past. That’s actually quite challenging, and probably impossible, for us mere mortals to get out heads around. But the Bible says, referring to God, that,
Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made (John 1:3, NIV).
So this mean that from eternity past, until some point in time, as described in the Book of Genesis 1, God must have existed in a universe in which nothing else existed except himself.
The Bible also tells us not only that love is the central quality of God, but that it is so much so, that God is the very definition of love:
Your identity in Christ is rooted and grounded in love.
…God is love (1 John 4:8).
So, here is the conundrum. How could God have been love before the creation? How could God be love without an “other” to love?
The answer lies in the reality that the very first time that God is introduced “[i]n the beginning,” in Genesis 1, he is introduced as a plurality (Elohim). In Hebrew the –im ending indicates a plural). This is of fundamental importance, because it powerfully introduces the concept, reaffirmed throughout all of Scripture, that God, who is one God (Deut. 6:4), is also within himself a plurality. This refers to the Biblical teaching of the “Trinity,” or of the “Godhead,” which the latter being the word used in the Bible to refer to it (Rom 1:20; Col 2:9).
In other words, from eternity past, without himself having had a beginning, God has existed as a plurality, which consists of three perfectly united persons in one indivisible God. The Bible reveals that these are the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.
Before anything else was created, before anything else was, the three persons of the Godhead existed in a perfect circle of eternal love. Love cannot be with just one. Two allows love to exist. And three allows the existence of a community of love.
You have been brought into the family of God.
That’s why what the Bible says about how you are loved is so amazing. Here is an example,
For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39 neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord (Rom 8:38–39, NIV; See also John 17:26).
Notice carefully the astonishing and life-giving truth that this verse reveals. The love of God is in Christ Jesus our Lord. This is the eternal divine love that the Son of God has enjoyed from time before time, among the members of the Godhead. And now, because we have been saved “in Christ,” we have been caught up into that same love relationship.
“In Christ” you have a new identity. It’s not a fake identity. You are a new being, a new creation in him (2 Cor 5:17). That comes to be when you accept him as your Lord and the Saviour of your life, on the basis of his great redemptive act at Calvary. Because of it you have been brought into the family of God.
Your new identity is one that is established in the core of the Godhead, in the very bonds of love that unite and define it. It’s rooted and grounded in love. No one can every take away your new identity in Christ, because there is absolutely no-one and nothing can separate you from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus your Lord.