Friday, May 30, 2014

How he loves us!

"God's loving is an end in itself.  All the purposes that are willed and achieved in him are contained and explained in this end, and therefore in this loving in itself and as such.  For this loving is itself the blessing that it communicates to the loved, and it is its own ground as against the loved.  Certainly in loving us God wills his own glory and our salvation.  But he does not love us because he wills this.  He wills it for the sake of his love."

-CD II/1, p 279

If you start your definition of God with Father, Son, and Holy Spirit - not with a series of attributes...

If you allow your understanding of God to be shaped by the story of redemption, of Israel and the church and the world - not by philosophical speculation...

If you see God truly and fully revealed in Jesus Christ - not a God lurking in the shadows...

That is when you begin to see that loving is not something God does as a means to end, whether that end is the display of his glory or the salvation of his people.  Love is the definition of who God is, because for all eternity the Father has loved the Son and the Son has loved the Father in the unity of the Holy Spirit.  The overflow of God's love to the world is simply God, being God.  It is his free love, it is grace, because there did not need to be anything outside of God to love at all, and given the fallen and rebellious state of what there is nothing is owed to the creation by God.  But when he loves it is nevertheless his nature.  This is who God is.

His love is first of all his eternal self-giving within the Godhead, and second of all his giving of himself in time in Jesus Christ.  He gives himself to us because he first of all gives himself to himself.  It is the love of God into which we are invited, in the unity of that same Holy Spirit who is in himself the love of Father for Son and Son for Father.

Behold, what manner of love..!

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