Archive for the ‘Gods Love for God’ Category

Gods Love for God 10

June 10, 2012

One has to see at least four things in order to behold the glorious truth of God’s love for God. First, one has to understand some basic things concerning the Trinity. Second, one must understand that the Father loves and shines His glory in and through the Son and the Son loves the Father. According to Hebrews 1:3, the Son is the very shining forth of the glory of God. Third, that Jesus Christ is very God of very God even when clothed in human flesh, which is to say that the second Person of the Trinity was united to a human body in such a way that the human body manifested the glory of God as the Spirit worked in the humanity of Christ. Four, the Holy Spirit is at the very least the power behind all acts of love. A fifth part could be added and that is all the evidence from Scripture that God does all for Himself, His name’s sake, and His own glory. When the fifth part is seen in light of the nature of the Trinity, it is inescapable that God loves Himself and does all things out of that love for Himself. So the four things are necessary to see this great truth, but the fifth adds luster and more weight to the case.

In setting out some of the basic truths of the Trinity it should be noted that there have been books written on this subject so only the basics can be set out in this setting. The most basic truth of the Trinity is that there is only one God who exists in three Persons. To put it differently, the way that the one God exists is in three Persons or the three Persons exist as one God. God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit are one in nature. They all have one nature and share in that nature and are all one in that nature. Therefore, if it can be shown from Scripture that the Father loves the Son and that the Son loves the Father, it will then be easily seen that God loves Himself.

Deuteronomy 6:4 “Hear, O Israel! The LORD is our God, the LORD is one!

1 Corinthians 8:6 yet for us there is but one God, the Father, from whom are all things and we exist for Him; and one Lord, Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we exist through Him.

Ephesians 4:5 one Lord, one faith, one baptism, 6 one God and Father of all who is over all and through all and in all.

1 Timothy 2:5 For there is one God, and one mediator also between God and men, the man Christ Jesus,

The Scriptures are so very clear that there is only one God. The worship of any other idea or concept or idol is nothing less than idolatry and is a violation of the First Command which is the command not to have any other gods before Him (in His presence). In reality there is no other real God, but the hearts of human beings are idol factories in that they constantly find things to love, worship, and trust rather than God. Throughout the history of the nation of Israel what got them into trouble over and over again was their propensity to worship other gods. It is not just that the doctrine of the Trinity sets out that there is one God, but that this teaching demands all from human beings. For example, the famous saying from Deuteronomy 6:4 is just before the giving of the Ten Commandments and is given as a reason the people should keep them. It is because God is one God and it is because He is who He is and how He is that the commandments are what they are and that is also why people should keep them. Indeed the New Testament gives other reasons for why the Law was given, but for the moment we are to take the text in its context.

The passage from I Corinthians 8:6 also teaches us that there is only one God, but it expands that teaching into who Christ is, though this is not the place for going into that. For the moment, however, notice that the fact that there is only one God is not a piece of bare information that is to fit into the brain alone. It is because there is one God that all things are from Him (including ourselves) and we exist for Him. It is impossible to escape the basic teaching of Scripture that there is one God, and yet that fact makes a huge moral demand on us. Because of that we owe all allegiance to Him and we are commanded to love Him with all of our being. Regardless of how this one God exists, our all is demanded by Him. Notice in the text below the concept that there is one God, but it then moves to the fact that all are then commanded to love Him with the heart and the whole being.

Mark 12:29 Jesus answered, “The foremost is, ‘HEAR, O ISRAEL! THE LORD OUR GOD IS ONE LORD; 30 AND YOU SHALL LOVE THE LORD YOUR GOD WITH ALL YOUR HEART, AND WITH ALL YOUR SOUL, AND WITH ALL YOUR MIND, AND WITH ALL YOUR STRENGTH.’ 31 “The second is this, ‘YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.”

Now, looking ahead just a bit we can see from these passages that there is one God and what this one God demands. However, there is a lot implied and a lot hidden in these passages. These commands are meant to drive us to a Savior who is the one God, yet we need to know more. We also know from I John that the only way we can truly love God is if He puts that in us. This teaches us that we must have the Holy Spirit who can work the fruit love in our souls. We also don’t have it explicitly set before us the reason why this command is given and we are not told that this command is given as a reflection of who God is. The standard for holiness in both Testaments is to be holy as He is holy. So in this standard of holiness given to human beings (Great Commands) we are given something of how God is toward Himself. God lives in perfect love and human beings are commanded to love Him in a way that reflects His love for Himself and His own glory.

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Gods Love for God 9

June 2, 2012

In short, one has to see at least four things in order to behold the glorious truths of God’s love for God. First, one has to understand some basic things concerning the Trinity. Second, one must understand that the Father shines His glory in and through the Son. In fact, according to Hebrews 1:3, the Son is the very shining forth of the glory of God. Third, the Holy Spirit is at the very least the power behind all acts of love. Four, that Jesus Christ is very God of very God even when clothed in human flesh, which is to say that the second Person of the Trinity was united to a human body in such a way that the human body manifested the glory of God as the Spirit worked in the humanity of Christ.

In several places in the New Testament we have specific verses teaching us that the Father loved the Son and that the Son loved the Father. If we look at that with eyes to see in accordance with the paragraph just above, we see the love of God for God as triune in all of those places. This is a major way of seeing or interpreting the Bible and in all places where God is spoken of. In other words, a bare reading of the text is not always the most accurate way to see things. Instead we should see the text in the light of the triune God. Another way to put this would be to say that a bare theological reading is not the best way to read the text either. It is the glory of God that needs to be seen if the text is going to communicate to our souls what is really there.

Ephesians 1:4 just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we would be holy and blameless before Him. In love 5 He predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the kind intention of His will, 6 to the praise of the glory of His grace, which He freely bestowed on us in the Beloved.

We can apply the doctrine of the Trinity to this passage as seen from the four things in the first paragraph above. The Father chose “us” in the Son before the foundation of the world for the purpose that the ones He chose would be holy and blameless before Himself. We can see here some of the divine workings and intents of God in saving sinners. While there is some disagreement on whether the two words “in love” go with what goes before it or what goes after it, in reality it makes little difference since both readings have the elect before God in Christ by love. So we have the Father choosing and choosing in the Son. But He chooses in a way that it is by love (the fruit of the Holy Spirit is love) and according to His good pleasure (literal reading of “kind intention of His will”).

The Father did these things to the praise of the glory of His grace, and of course all of that grace is only found in Christ. This text surely brings to mind Hebrews 1:3 (above in the first paragraph) and John 1:14-18. The Word took flesh and in that flesh the glory of God was tabernacled. That very tabernacled glory was seen as it traveled around shining forth grace and truth. It was a glory that was full of grace and truth. In fact, in Christ glory and truth came into our reality in a way and intensity it had not been before. The Father loves the Son and as such shines forth His glory in and through the Son and so all grace is in the Son. The where the Father loves the Son and the Son loves the Father, the Spirit as love is there.

What can we see about God in this text? We see the love of the Father shining forth in the Son because the Father elected a people in love who would be before Him in the Son in love. We can see the love of the Son for the Father in that He is willing to be united to a sinful people and be given to them and for them so that they can be blameless to the glory of the Father. The Father had to have had a holy reason to choose sinners and not just for the sinners but it had to have been out of love for Himself as triune. So the fact that He would choose to save sinners in and by the Son before the foundation of the world shows that He is committed to His own glory in the Trinity above all. That shows the very idea of love within the Trinity.

All that the Father does in saving sinners is by grace alone, but all of that grace is in Christ and is by Christ. All that the Father does in saving sinners is also by love and according to His good pleasure. There is no love apart from the Spirit who communes in love with the Father and the Son and has the fruit of love. The Spirit is also said to be breathed forth by the Father and the Son. From all eternity, then, the fact that the Father elected some to be saved in Christ shows that the Father loves the Son and the Son loves the Father and so the Spirit is flowing between them. It also shows that the eternally triune God loves Himself as triune and does all out of that love.

Gods Love for God 8

May 25, 2012

Micah 5:2 “But as for you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, Too little to be among the clans of Judah, From you One will go forth for Me to be ruler in Israel. His goings forth are from long ago, From the days of eternity.”

2 Timothy 1:9 who has saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace which was granted us in Christ Jesus from all eternity,

The Messiah who was spoken of from the earliest of days was also one whose goings forth were from the days of eternity. The Gospel of Jesus Christ was not some response of God to an unforeseen crisis that He simply did not plan for, but instead the Gospel is all about the purpose and grace of God that was granted in Christ Jesus from all eternity. Now these texts of Scripture clearly point to the basic and yet glorious facts that God has planned to save sinners by grace alone according to His purpose and He purposed what He purposed from eternity past and He did so not on the basis of anything found in them. This great and glorious God granted some this glorious grace and He did that from all eternity. But again, God gave grace in Christ according to His own purpose. In other words, we have to find another reason for God to show grace than something found in the sinner. Since no one but God is from eternity and God planned and purposed this from eternity, it had to all be from Him. But why did He do this?

John 17: 1 Jesus spoke these things; and lifting up His eyes to heaven, He said, “Father, the hour has come; glorify Your Son, that the Son may glorify You, 2 even as You gave Him authority over all flesh, that to all whom You have given Him, He may give eternal life. 3 “This is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent. 4 “I glorified You on the earth, having accomplished the work which You have given Me to do. 5 “Now, Father, glorify Me together with Yourself, with the glory which I had with You before the world was. 24 “Father, I desire that they also, whom You have given Me, be with Me where I am, so that they may see My glory which You have given Me, for You loved Me before the foundation of the world. 25 “O righteous Father, although the world has not known You, yet I have known You; and these have known that You sent Me; 26 and I have made Your name known to them, and will make it known, so that the love with which You loved Me may be in them, and I in them.”

In John 17:24 we see a verse communicating something that is beyond the scope of human wisdom as it manifests the glory of God to heights which we simply cannot attain to. This is tied in with the glory that the Father and the Son had together from all eternity. The Son, having come to the planet earth and having taken human flesh, desired for those whom the Father had given Him to be with Him and to see His glory. But the reason for this escapes us at a mere first glance. The reason that the Son gives for this in His prayer is because the Father had loved the Son before the foundation of the world. But again, this is simply beyond what human wisdom would or ever conclude. Jesus prayed that the Father would give those whom He had given to the Son the privilege of beholding His glory. Okay, while that does not sound like what Americans would pray for at first, the reason (once again) is because the Father loved the Son before the foundation of the world.

What is it about this love of the Father for the Son that the Son would want others to behold His eternal glory? One of the things to keep in mind is that God is not limited as human beings are and that He is not limited in His view of things to a chronological order. He beholds all of eternity past and eternity future (at least that is what we call it) in one simply and unchanging view. When the Father beholds the Son He beholds Him with the love that He has had for Him from all eternity and will have for Him for all eternity. It is an unchanging love in which all things are held in the same eternal, simply, and simultaneous grasp. The Father loved and loves the Son with a view to those whom the Father granted the Son to be united to Him and be instruments of His glory. We must also note that all that the Son does is for the glory of the Father and out of love for the Father. The Son came to earth, took human flesh, and then purchased a people to be saved out of love for the Father.

What this shows human beings is that the love of God is far more expansive than they originally thought. This shows us that the love of God is far more complicated (in a sense) than they thought. They can also see that they are only loved because of an eternal love and eternal covenant between the Father and the Son. The Son wants those that the Father gave Him to see His glory because He loves the Father and the Father loves the Son. It is in the Gospel of Jesus Christ that this eternal and mutual love of God for Himself as triune is made clear to those with eyes to see. It is God’s love for Himself that enables sinners to love Him. It is God’s love for Himself that moves the Son to want His people to see this eternal glory. But the natural man hates these things and wants to be loved for himself and his own works, or perhaps is willing to be loved if God will give him what he wants and does not have to truly die to self and repent of self-centeredness. But the God of the Bible sets out that man can only be loved to the glory of God and on behalf of Christ. The desire of the Son to want others to see the glory of God is out of love for the Father, but also a true love in wanting the glory of the Father to be seen and loved by His people.

Gods Love for God 7

May 19, 2012

Job 23:13 “But He is unique and who can turn Him? And what His soul desires, that He does.

Isaiah 14:27 “For the LORD of hosts has planned, and who can frustrate it? And as for His stretched-out hand, who can turn it back?”

Psalm 33:11 The counsel of the LORD stands forever, The plans of His heart from generation to generation.

In standing, sitting, or being prone before this great God all things are different if God does all things out of love for Himself rather than just standing by waiting for someone to need Him and call out for Him to do something. Oh how differently it is to have a God that is always responding to human problems versus a God that has planned all things out with perfect wisdom and understanding. When a human being has something terrible, even what is thought of as tragic happen, the human being should realize that this is part of an eternal plan of wisdom that is for the glory of the triune God who loves Himself and is perfectly holy in doing all to His glory out of love for Himself. In fact, He would not be holy if He did anything out of a love for something other than Himself.

We see from Job 23:13 above that God cannot be turned and what His soul desires, He simply does. From the Isaiah passage we see that the LORD plans and cannot be frustrated in carrying out His plans. From the Psalm passage we see that the counsel of the LORD stands forever, and whatever His plans are they stand from generation to generation. A God like that has higher motives and higher and greater loves than to be motivated or love anything but the greatest Being there is. Love for Himself and His own glory must be what motivates Him in all He plans and then carries out. From all eternity He has made this plans, so what can possibly be a motive other than Himself and what can be a love other than Himself? From eternity past to eternity future God is God and all He does if for His own glory and out of love for Himself.

Daniel 4:35 “All the inhabitants of the earth are accounted as nothing, But He does according to His will in the host of heaven And among the inhabitants of earth; And no one can ward off His hand Or say to Him, ‘What have You done?’

Ephesians 1:11 also we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to His purpose who works all things after the counsel of His will,

So clearly God is a God who has planned all things and has His own purposes for all things. Can anything in all creation thwart this great God through whom all things came into being and from whom all things are held into being? No, all the inhabitants of the earth put together are counted as nothing. Not just some of them or most of them, but all the inhabitants of the earth are accounted as nothing. In the context that nothing means that no one can stop God or question Him, but He simply does according to His will. When the kings of the earth take counsel against the Lord (Psa 2:2), He laughs at them and scoffs at them (Psa 2:4). No one can possibly stand against this great God of heaven and earth and thwart Him in the slightest way. Instead, God works all things after the counsel of His will. This is a truth that must strike at the hearts of all who believe in free-will or think that they can move God to pity them if they don’t have Christ.

This LORD is the self-existent and self-sufficient God who has no need and no one can move Him other than Himself. Human beings have basic needs that they must have met or they will die. God has none of those and so cannot be moved on the basis of those things. Human beings have desires that they want fulfilled and can be motivated to do things in order to obtain those. Human beings seek to be loved (in one form or another) out of self-love and so they can be moved to do many things based on that. But God needs nothing that He does not give Himself and He lives in perfect love within the Trinity. He cannot be moved by anyone or anything other than Himself. This great God who loves Himself is His own highest and greatest motive. This great God who loves Himself is also the One who has planned all things according to Himself from all eternity. All that happens can in some way be traced back to the love of God for Himself. That is glorious, that is beautiful, and that is true love.

Gods Love for God 6

May 14, 2012

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.

Gods Love for God 5

May 8, 2012

In a very real sense the motive for all created things was and is the love of God for God. There is no need that God can possibly have and there can be no greater motive than His own glory for anything to exist. While men speak of the covenants that God has made with men, and rightly so, the real covenant or agreement was made within the Trinity from all eternity. Apart from the eternal covenant within the Trinity, there could be no other covenant. This shows the utter dependence that all things and all human beings have on God each moment. This also shows the very nature of sin in that man wants to be dependent on no one but self and trust in self.

1 Corinthians 8:6 yet for us there is but one God, the Father, from whom are all things and we exist for Him; and one Lord, Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we exist through Him.

Acts 17:24 “The God who made the world and all things in it, since He is Lord of heaven and earth, does not dwell in temples made with hands; 25 nor is He served by human hands, as though He needed anything, since He Himself gives to all people life and breath and all things; 26 and He made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined their appointed times and the boundaries of their habitation, 27 that they would seek God, if perhaps they might grope for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us; 28 for in Him we live and move and exist, as even some of your own poets have said, ‘For we also are His children.’

In the passage above (I Corinthians 8:6) it shows the teaching of Paul concerning the utter dependence of believers on God and the reason for their existence. All things are from the Father and all things for Him, yet all things are by Christ and all exist through Him. In a sense this is a commentary on Romans 11:36 and shows that it reaches deeper than we might think: “For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things. To Him be the glory forever.” All comes from the Father through the Son and then back to Him. Believers are from the Father through the Son and the glory is to Him. That is the purpose of God in all that He has created. All things were created in order to manifest His glory and yet He desired to manifest His glory out of love for Himself as triune.

In the Acts 17 passage we see the utter dependence of all human beings on God, whether they recognize this or not. God made the world and all things in it. As we think through this, we can see that this great God is not served by human hands for several reasons. One, He has no need and so cannot be served. Two, He is the One that gives all who have life and breath their life and breath and all things. Three, He has sovereignly determined the times they would live and where they would live. Four, it is in Him that human beings live and move and exist. This is utter dependence on display for those who have eyes to see. There is nothing more helpless than a dead person, yet God alone is the One who keeps people from being dead. It is God alone who gives people their life and breath and all things, so clearly He is not dependent on them for one thing. When it is taken into consideration that all these people that He gives life and breath and all things are sinners against Him and worthy many times over of His wrath, it is clear that He must have a higher reason for keeping them alive and giving them good things. The highest reason is that He does this out of love for Himself as triune.

Human beings are taught by thr world  to love themselves and depend on themselves, but the Bible teaches us that God loves Himself and depends on Himself. There can only be one ultimate love in the universe, so it is either right for human beings to love God with all of their being or to love themselves with all of their being. A person can only depend and trust in one in the ultimate sense and so each person must either trust in God completely or in self. It is the height of arrogance and pride for a human being to trust in self when it is God who gives each human being life and breath and all things. It is the height of pride for a human being to love self over all when in fact that is to make self a God and try to make all others serve him or her and to make self a rule for self and others as well. It is out of love for Himself that God provides what He provides for people and it is a horrible sin when people take what He has given out of love for Himself and try to use it to love themselves with.

The battle over who will be Lord over each person is a battle that cannot be escaped. The lie of the devil that Eve believed was that she would be like God, knowing good and evil. That same lie has spread to all humanity and has blinded man to the great love God has for God and the Great Commandment that men are to love God with all of their beings as well. God’s love for God is the basis for all things and it must be what men depend on or they depend on self. Depending on self is to be like the devil.

Gods Love for God 4

May 4, 2012

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.

In this prayer to the Father, we know that Peter and John were present along with others. It is most likely that this prayer was from either Peter or John or both. However, when we look at this text the driving question has to do with why God’s hand (His doing) and His purpose (intent and motive) predestined (decreed) this to occur. We are told that Jesus was the Beloved Son before the cross and the resurrection in whom the Father was well pleased (Mat 3:17; 17:5;) as well as the Beloved Son after the resurrection and ascension (Col 1:13). Since the triune God is immutable and is the same yesterday, today, and forever, it is quite safe to assert that the Father has always loved the Son and the Son has always loved the Father and so it was out of the love of the triune God that the trial and crucifixion of Jesus happened.

John 17:24 “Father, I desire that they also, whom You have given Me, be with Me where I am, so that they may see My glory which You have given Me, for You loved Me before the foundation of the world. 25 “O righteous Father, although the world has not known You, yet I have known You; and these have known that You sent Me; 26 and I have made Your name known to them, and will make it known, so that the love with which You loved Me may be in them, and I in them.”

John 14:31 but so that the world may know that I love the Father, I do exactly as the Father commanded Me. Get up, let us go from here.

In His prayer to the Father just before He went to the cross, Jesus said that the Father loved Him. Before Jesus headed off to the cross He said that He was going there so that the world may know that He loved the Father. In other words, Scripture speaks of the Father’s love for the Son and the Son’s love for the Father in direct connection to the cross. To put it plainly, the cross of Jesus Christ was decreed from all eternity for the pleasure of God and to demonstrate the love of God for Himself. Indeed the salvation of sinners was planned and carried out in this as well, but sinners could not be saved by grace alone apart from the glorious fact and that God primarily did this out of love for Himself. If the primary love the Father had in sending the Christ to the cross was for sinners, then the Father would be guilty of idolatry. If the primary love the Christ had in going to the cross was for sinners, then He would have sinned in violating the Greatest Commandment and so could not have saved anyone. It was not His love for sinners that held Him to the cross, but instead it was love for the Father.

One might argue this, however: “For God so loved the world, that He sent His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life” (John 3:16). But that is not a denial of the love that the triune God has for Himself as His primary motive. It can be true that God loved the world, but it can also be true that He had a higher love and motive in loving the world. Had God planned to love the world (Jew and Gentile) before the foundations of the world? Did God plan to love Jew and Gentile before He created the world? Again, He created the world and decreed all things that were to happen out of love for Himself and His own glory. He did not create Jew and Gentile so He could have objects of His love, but because of His perfect object of love (the Father for the Son and the Son for the Father) within the Trinity God could create in order to display His love for Himself in many ways. The triune God must have a perfectly holy reason, purpose, intent, and motive in order to love. That can only be found within Himself.

Clearly all things regarding the cross were predestined before the world began. Human beings were created in order to grant or allow some to behold the glory of Christ which was given to Him by the Father. Why did this happen? Because the Father loved the Son before the foundation of the world (see John 17:24 above). It is that love which the Father loved the Son with that the Son prays would be in His people. What we have, then, is a glimpse into the love of the triune God which is the real motivation, intent and cause of all things that were created and then all that has ever happened or will ever happen. Not only did God have to decree and predestine something for it to happen, He did so for the best of purposes. It was out of love for Himself. Since there couldn’t be a greater love, there couldn’t be a greater motivation or purpose. If we love God, we wouldn’t want it to be different.

Gods Love for God 3

May 1, 2012

When the first verse of Genesis says that “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth,” there was an eternity past that preceded those words and actions. Before the truth of Genesis 1:1 was spoken and acted, there was an eternal plan for what was to happen both in Genesis 1:1 and then for all of history and then eternity future. God did not create without a plan for all things and He did not create without any intent or motivations. God’s plan, intent, and motivations for creating anything and all things reveal what He desired to do and reveals a lot about Himself as well. That plan and His intent and motivations also reveal a lot about what He desires to do now which has a lot to do with the purpose and meaning of human life.

Revelation 4:11 “Worthy are You, our Lord and our God, to receive glory and honor and power; for You created all things, and because of Your will [pleasure, KJV] they existed, and were created.”

Psalm 135:6 Whatever the LORD pleases, He does, In heaven and in earth, in the seas and in all deeps.

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’; 11 Calling a bird of prey from the east, The man of My purpose from a far country. Truly I have spoken; truly I will bring it to pass. I have planned it, surely I will do it.

The three passages above show with great clarity that what God does He has planned and what He does He is pleased to do. According to Revelation 4:11 God is worthy to receive glory, honor, and power for He created all things and it is because of His will and pleasure that they ever existed at all. Whatever the LORD is pleased to do He does regardless of what it is that He wishes to act. This shows that God is pleased in what He does and that He can do whatever it is He is pleased to do. In the context of Psalm 115:3 we can see that it is the very definition of God to do whatever He pleases. “But our God is in the heavens; He does whatever He pleases.” The so-called gods of the heathens can do nothing, but real God can do and does what He pleases and what He pleases He can do.

The God of the Bible who is the creator and sustainer of all things is the God who has purposes and then carries them out. He is able to declare the end from the beginning because He has sovereignly ordained what is to be done and He has decreed what would be done. What God has decreed to be done will be done and in saying that He shows that His purpose will be accomplished and in that all His good pleasure will be accomplished. What God has planned, He will do it and no one can stop Him. But these statements do not in and of themselves get at the issue of why God does things. We can see that He has an eternal plan and that He carries out all His good pleasure, but that does not tell us what He has pleasure in or why He has planned what He has planned.

We can also know from the Scriptures above that God is a God of pleasure and is not the great Stoic in the sky and is not the god of Deism who has simply started things and then backed off without a lot of care over what is going on. Instead, this God who created had a purpose in what He did and He had pleasure in what He has done. Not only that, but He had an eternal plan to carry out and in the details of life His plans are being carried out. We must keep digging and not let the laziness of our minds try to stop our souls from beholding His glory at times like this.

Why did God create all things? We can know that it was His pleasure to do so. But what does God love the most and perhaps what is the singular focus of His love? God loves Himself as triune. All that He does is out of love for Himself. All things were created through Christ and for Christ: “For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities– all things have been created through Him and for Him” (Colossians 1:16). Everything that happens is for the sake of Christ which tells us that the God of love (as triune) has in some way planned all things for the sake of Christ who carried out all things out of love for the Father. The universe declares the greatness and glory of a God who out of love for Himself as triune created all things and sovereignly planned and decreed all that would happen. In this way we can see the Father beholding His beloved Son in all that happens and the Son beholding His beloved Father in all that happens as the glory of the triune God shines forth in all that was created and all that is done. God does not just do something out of a bare will, but He does it out of love for Himself as triune. It is holy for Him to do so.

God’s Love for God 2

April 27, 2012

In searching out in admiration what it means for God to love God, we must be careful not to confuse fallen human love with what a perfectly holy love is. We must also not think of God’s love for God as being a fallen love for Himself but rather think of His love for Himself as a love within a triune being. This changes everything. So while it may have to wait to show those things, for the moment those things have to be assumed or we will arrive at some wrong conclusions and ideas. It is at just this point that so many go so far wrong. God does not save sinners because He is love and must love sinners, but instead He saves sinners because He loves Himself and therefore can save to the praise of the glory of His grace (Eph 1:5-6).

Exodus 3:14 God said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM”; and He said, “Thus you shall say to the sons of Israel, ‘I AM has sent me to you.'”

As we try to go back for a moment into eternity past (conceptually), once again we can try to think of the same God that Moses came into the presence of in a bush that burned but was not consumed. This God told Moses to go and lead His people out of Egypt, which was the most powerful nation on earth and rather enjoyed the free labor that the Israelites were giving it. Moses was told to go tell the sons of Israel that “I AM has sent me to you.” This “I AM” was and is the God who existed in and of Himself and was and is totally self-sufficient. He needed no one and nothing, so He simply commands Moses to go and lead His people out. He, God, would take care of all else.

In an analogous sense we can imagine the triune God before there was anything but Himself. He existed in and of Himself in His perfect self-sufficiency. He had not need and lived in perfect companionship and love within His triune being. Why would a God like that create when He had no need at all? It would be impossible for Him to create something that would provide Him with something He did not have already or could do something for Him that He could not do. The only rational reason that we can come up with is that this God created all things simply for His own pleasure. What is it that God would have pleasure in? He could only have a true pleasure in Himself because He alone is perfectly holy and perfectly beautiful. But part of this true pleasure in Himself is His love for Himself. The Father loves the Son and the Son loves the Father. The Father could have no higher love than for His Son and the Son for the Father. So when the Scripture speaks of the pleasure of God and the love of God, at the least they are connected at the highest level.

Revelation 4:11 “Worthy are You, our Lord and our God, to receive glory and honor and power; for You created all things, and because of Your will [pleasure, KJV] they existed, and were created.”

Romans 11:36 For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things. To Him be the glory forever.

Psalm 115:3 But our God is in the heavens; He does whatever He pleases.

Psalm 135:6 Whatever the LORD pleases, He does, In heaven and in earth, in the seas and in all deeps.

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’;

The verses above declare to us that God does as He pleases. When God does something, He does so because it pleases Him to do so. God was pleased to create so He created. It was because of His pleasure that anything ever existed and it is because of His pleasure that anything exists now. But think of The Gospel of John and Colossians 1:16 when this is thought of.

John 1:1 “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was in the beginning with God. 3 All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being.”
Colossians 1:16 For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities– all things have been created through Him and for Him.

In the previous two passages we see the great truths that nothing whatsoever came into being apart from Christ and whatever has come into being came into being through Him. Not only is it true that it was by Him that all things were created, but all things have been created through Him and for Him. The mountains were created because of the pleasure of the Father in and through the Son and vice versa. Human beings were created because of the pleasure of the Father in and through the Son and vice versa. All things exist to declare the glory of God which He has pleasure in and this is right and this is holy. Why did God create? He created because He loved Himself within the Trinity and because it pleased Him to manifest His glory to Himself in doing so. May all the earth bow before Him in utter reverence because all things exist at His mere pleasure and He is glorious in that.

God’s Love for God 1

April 24, 2012

Before there was anything but God, what was God like? What did God do? What did God like to do? Did God love before anything was created? If so, what did He love or to whom was His love directed? When God did create, why did He create anything at all and why did He create what He created? Why did He create the things He created the way that He did? These are questions that observation will drive us to and they are also questions that we would want to be answered if we really want to get to the root reasons and issues of all things. These are also questions that drive us to see something of who God really is and why there is meaning and what that meaning is for all of creation. In other words, we have to view the world as totally centered and focused on God Himself and all things coming from Him and for His purposes or we are lost adrift in a sea of meaninglessness.

Several years ago a philosopher (John Rawls) wrote a book on justice. He said that in order to find out what would be a just act one would have to basically go into a room and look at the issue in and of itself apart from all other interests. While that is at best questionable in terms of whether people can really do that or not, it does give us a window into something. Before God created the world and there was only God, what would move Him to create anything at all? If we take the Trinity as the basic doctrine of God, then we have Father, Son, and Holy Spirit and absolutely nothing else. This helps us to understand what it means when Scripture uses the phrase “God is love.” If Jesus Christ in His divine nature has always been the same and will always be the same, then He was love before anything or anyone was created. God existed in perfect love before there was anything or anyone other than Himself (as triune).

Some deductions from the concept that God existed in perfect love from all eternity are rather enormous. From all eternity the immutable God has existed in perfect and infinite love within the Trinity. God the Father loved the Son with a perfect, infinite, and immutable love from all eternity. God the Son loved the Father with a perfect, infinite, and immutable love from all eternity as well. It could not be anything other than this. God the Holy Spirit, as the Spirit of love, lived in a perfect communion of love with the Father and the Son. When the Father loved the Son He loved Him in and by the Spirit and when the Son loved the Father He loved Him in and by the Spirit. This would mean that it is impossible for God (as triune) to do anything that was not motivated by a perfect, infinite, and immutable love for Himself (as triune).

The ramifications from the previous paragraphs are simply beyond the ability of man to know fully, but we must press on to know Him as He was and is. The answer of why God created is rather obvious, but a few verses of Scripture will impress the absolute truth of this on minds and hearts.

Exodus 3:14 God said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM”; and He said, “Thus you shall say to the sons of Israel, ‘I AM has sent me to you.'”

Isaiah 43:13 “Even from eternity I am He, And there is none who can deliver out of My hand; I act and who can reverse it?”

Psalm 90:2 Before the mountains were born Or You gave birth to the earth and the world, Even from everlasting to everlasting, You are God.

Psalm 93:2 Your throne is established from of old; You are from everlasting.

These passages of Scripture show with great plainness that God is from eternity and that He is the I AM of the universe apart from whom nothing could exist because nothing could have being apart from Him. Whatever God was like from eternity determines the reason and purpose for all things both now and for eternity future. While these things cannot be known to their depths by finite minds, they can be known as certain and they can be admired and seen with reverence and awe. For the moment we can see that God created all things with purpose and that He created all things for His own purposes. Human beings have to learn to look beyond themselves for the real purposes and goals of life. They must learn to see that the triune God who is perfect love is the one who assigns purpose and meaning and not human beings. God is God and we should bow hearts and minds before Him.