Gods Love for God 6

Acts 4:27 “For truly in this city there were gathered together against Your holy servant Jesus, whom You anointed, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, along with the Gentiles and the peoples of Israel, 28 to do whatever Your hand and Your purpose predestined to occur.

The passage just above is truly a remarkable passage of Holy Writ that teaches us that Herod, Pontius Pilate, and then both the Gentiles and the peoples of Israel simply did God’s purpose. In other words, the criminal acts of all the people there God had purposed and predestined to happen. The crucifixion of Jesus has been called the greatest criminal act in history and certainly it was a horrible crime, but this event was according to the purpose of God. As Job 42:2 says, “I know that You can do all things, And that no purpose of Yours can be thwarted.” As Job endured much suffering that he knew was by the hand of God and not by accident, so we can know that things did not spiral out of control with God watching helplessly as Christ was crucified. Instead of that, this was His plan and His purpose which He brought to pass by His own hand.

Isaiah 46:10 Declaring the end from the beginning, And from ancient times things which have not been done, Saying, ‘My purpose will be established, And I will accomplish all My good pleasure’;

Isaiah teaches a great truth that the purpose of God is connected with His good pleasure. What God in reality purposes that will be accomplished because it is the pleasure of God to do so. Well, it could be and is argued, how could God have any pleasure in the sufferings and death of His Son? Whether we understand it or not, we must bow to the Word of God when this is declared. Read the words of Isaiah 53:10 carefully and see if your heart rises in rebellion at this: “But the LORD was pleased To crush Him, putting Him to grief; If He would render Himself as a guilt offering, He will see His offspring, He will prolong His days, And the good pleasure of the LORD will prosper in His hand.” The LORD was pleased to crush the Messiah. He was pleased to put Him to sufferings and grief. But how are we to understand this?

We can only understand this if we look to the character of God as triune and with His pleasure being focused in manifesting His own glory out of love for Himself. Ephesians 1:11, in the context of the eternal plan of salvation and of the grace in obtaining this, says that “we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to His purpose who works all things after the counsel of His will.” It cannot be denied that Scripture teaches that God works all things in accordance with the counsel of His will and according to His good pleasure. Notice how the context of Ephesians 1:11 sets out the character of God.

5 He predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the kind intention of His will [lit., good pleasure of His will] 6 to the praise of the glory of His grace, which He freely bestowed on us in the Beloved. 12 to the end that we who were the first to hope in Christ would be to the praise of His glory. 13 In Him, you also, after listening to the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation– having also believed, you were sealed in Him with the Holy Spirit of promise, 14 who is given as a pledge of our inheritance, with a view to the redemption of God’s own possession, to the praise of His glory.

What this passage demands is a God that is absolutely sovereign who works all things in accordance with His pleasure and has pleasure in all He does. When Scripture tells us that God predestines and does so according to His good pleasure, we can ask the simple question of what does God have pleasure in. Does God have pleasure in the sinner and so save the sinner or is God’s pleasure in Himself as triune and that is the reason that He saves sinners? Does God behold His Son with pleasure or does He behold His enemies with pleasure? Scripture is quite clear and testifies that God beholds His Son with pleasure. God has pleasure in sinners by manifesting His glory in and through His Son by them.

God’s love for God is seen by the Father’s eternal plan of purposing to save sinners by His Son as well as by the cross of Jesus Christ where His wrath was satisfied on His Son. We can see that God’s love for Himself as triune and the manifesting of His own glory is so great that He was pleased in His own glory even as the Son of God in human flesh was on the cross suffering divine wrath. This love has an infinite source and an infinite object because it is God’s love for God. Human beings must understand that they can only share in this love by grace alone as that alone is fitting for a God who loves Himself and His glory. The only true love in the universe has as its origin and source the triune God, and so for a human being to truly love that human being must be loved of God. The only way to be truly loved of God is to be in Christ and so share in the love of God for God. If we reflect on this but a moment, we can see the order of the Greatest Commandment and the Second Greatest Commandment reflected in this as well as the connection between the two. The triune God must be truly loved for the true origin and source of love to be present in the heart of the one loving. There is no love for other humans apart from a true love of God because God must be the source and origin of all true love, but He must also be the object of all true love as He can only truly love Himself as the true object of His own love.

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