God Is Love!
Rev. Angus Stewart
"God is love"—this is the
ringing and heart-warming affirmation of holy Scripture (I John 4:8,
God is love because God
is Triune, subsisting in three eternally distinct Persons: the Father,
the Son and the Holy Spirit. God did not start to love with the creation
of men and angels. He has always loved for He is love in
Himself eternally. In the Godhead, the Father and the Son love each
other fervently in the Holy Spirit, the divine and personal bond between
the first two Persons of the Trinity. The Son is eternally cherished "in
the bosom of the Father," as His "only begotten Son" who bears "the
express image" of His Father (John 1:18; Heb. 1:3). What joy and
security the Father and the Son have in their loving communion and
Since this love is
love, it is characterised by all the divine perfections. God's love is
not limited, temporal, changeable, unholy or weak. God's love is an
infinite, eternal, unchangeable, holy and all-powerful love—to echo
Westminster Shorter Catechism 4.
Colossians 3:14 describes
love as "the bond of perfectness." This bond is absolutely perfect in
the Trinity, for the two who love each other, the Father and the Son,
are infinitely pure and beautiful, and the personal bond of love they
have for each other is the wholly divine Spirit. What a perfect union
consisting of covenant love and delightful fellowship!
But how does Jehovah love
His chosen people who have fallen into iniquity and misery in Adam? How
can a perfect bond of love exist between sinful and very imperfect
humans and the thrice holy God who is possessed of all perfections?
The answer is that the
Most High loves us in Christ alone. Only in Christ are we elected,
redeemed, regenerated, called, justified, adopted, sanctified, preserved
and glorified. Only in Christ can, and does, God love us with that
perfect bond of divine love. In Christ we even share (in a creaturely
way) in the eternal and blessed love of the holy Trinity! No wonder the
apostle exclaims that nothing is "able to separate us from the love of
God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord" (Rom. 8:39)! This is the
absolutely indestructible and unbreakable love of the almighty and
gracious God for His covenant people, sealed in the blood of Jesus.
This is the wonder of the
cross of Christ, for "having loved his own which were in the world, he
loved them unto the end" (John 13:1)! Right through His life and death,
and our lives and deaths, and through the endless ages of the world to
come, the Son of God loves us unto the end!
Believing the Father's
particular and powerful love—supremely demonstrated at Calvary—the child
of God turns from his sins in repentance and lives out of gratitude to
his Creator and Redeemer for so great salvation. He loves the Triune God
revealed in His Word, he loves the Lord's people and he loves his
neighbour for Christ's sake. For remember, "He that loveth not knoweth
not God; for God is love" (I John 4:8).