Doctrine of the Angelic Conflict, part 43 – The essence of God – Love. Joh 3:16; 1Jo 3:1; 2:5; 2Th 2:16; Rom 5:8; 8:39; Mic 7:20; Neh 13:26; Heb 12:6; Eph 3:17; Zep 3:17.
length: 62:53 - taught on Feb, 21 2013
6. The essence of God part 2: Attributes that constitute God and are commuted to beings.
We have studied omniscience, righteousness, and justice, and now we move on to love.
Righteousness, justice, and love all combine to form God’s integrity and each of these has been commuted in a limited way to the creature created in God’s image.
The remainder that are commuted are omnipotence and veracity or truth.
H. Love: Personal = affection and attraction to righteousness. Impersonal = unconditional, unchangeable, self-sacrificial preference in regard to the benefit of the creature.
These things have been commuted to the believer through BD and the filling ministry of God the Holy Spirit.
God doesn’t change as we do. He doesn’t fall in love or change His love because of any circumstances. Love is a part of His perfect integrity and as such it is infinite, eternal, unchangeable, perfect love.
All three members of the Trinity possess perfect love.
Understanding of God’s love can only come by revelation from the Scripture and not from any experience with human love.
Too often believers think of God in human terms and in human emotion as if He is an exceptional human.
ISA 55:8 "For My thoughts are not your thoughts,
Neither are your ways My ways," declares the Lord.
ISA 55:9 "For as the heavens are higher than the earth,
So are My ways higher than your ways,
And My thoughts than your thoughts.
ISA 55:10 "For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven,
And do not return there without watering the earth,
And making it bear and sprout,
And furnishing seed to the sower and bread to the eater;
ISA 55:11 So shall My word be which goes forth from My mouth;
It shall not return to Me empty,
Without accomplishing what I desire,
And without succeeding in the matter for which I sent it.
Could any, even the smartest humans, come up with the word of God? Was the Bible, the word of God what you expected it to be?
He is not a man that He should be as we are and lie and change His mind.
"God is not a man, that He should lie,
Nor a son of man, that He should repent;
Has He said, and will He not do it?
Or has He spoken, and will He not make it good?
The faculties that mankind possesses due to being created in the image of God and the added faculties imputed to the believer at the moment of regeneration make it possible for the born-again believer to love God with personal love, his fellow man with agape love, and a special few with both.
Without the added faculties at salvation and a lot of added doctrine our love remains human love which is weak, volatile, and emotionally charged. We possessed a form of perfect love in the Garden but after our fall and thousands of years of depravity, this human love is what it has degenerated into.
It is possible through the power of God to come to the place in our lives where we have the most fantastic happiness, tranquillity, and contentment, and at the same time to have this fantastic love for God.
All the attributes of God function as one interwoven whole as a perfect symphony of character and virtue. If God were not perfect love there would be no salvation, for righteousness and justice would have condemned all, but love found a way to satisfy the justice of God and impute righteousness to every fallen creature who through the medium of faith believed on Jesus Christ for salvation.
God is sovereign. His love is self-motivated and compatible with the divine decrees.
All the decisions of God in EP, which we term the divine decree, were motivated by love.
John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life.
Acts 2:23 this Man, delivered up by the predetermined plan and foreknowledge of God, you nailed to a cross by the hands of godless men and put Him to death.
1JO 3:1 See how great a love the Father has bestowed upon us, that we should be called children of God; and such we are. For this reason the world does not know us, because it did not know Him.
God is eternal. God’s love exists eternally. There was never a time when God was not perfect love.
His love is unsustained by Himself or any other source. In contrast, human love must be sustained by something; a person, a thought, an object. For this reason human love is very weak and often a source of more heart-ache then ecstatics.
2TH 2:16 Now may our Lord Jesus Christ Himself and God our Father, who has loved us and given us eternal comfort and good hope by grace,
“eternal comfort” = eternal encouragement from all the scriptures that reveal our future in heaven with God, which is the ultimate expression of His love.
“good hope by grace” = future expectations of divine good by means of His grace.
2TH 2:17 comfort and strengthen your hearts in every good work and word.
God’s love never had a beginning, but has always existed. Divine love has filled the universe from the beginning and will do so until the end, and in the last universe (eternity future) all creatures will love as God loves, in degrees, but perfect love none the less.
Because God is eternal, He gives His divine love whether there is an occasion or not.
In other words, God can’t shut it off. He is love and He can do nothing to compromise that.
We are so finite and limited that when some blessing comes our way we say to ourselves, “God loves me.” However, do we say the same in adversity? We should since His love is always there.
This idea is almost beyond our grasp, it is so phenomenal. God does not have to have an object for His love to exist, although we as creatures do. We may say that God is three and has always had an object, but we can also say that God is one and there was His love before there was any object. Either way, God is love, and so His love is self-existing. Since love is a system of thinking, capacity for love is not related to an object and does not require an object. When an object does appear, capacity for love is ready for the relationship and will express itself in integrity and honor.
God is +R and +J. God’s love does not supersede His holiness. Hence, perfect love demanded the Cross.
Love could not overlook or ignore or forgive sin. God’s +R and +J had to be satisfied by either complete condemnation or substitutionary condemnation. Love chose the substitute Christ so that the creature could be saved. Therefore the principle is a cornerstone of Christianity - condemnation must precede salvation.
ROM 5:8 But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.
God is immutable and unchangeable. His divine love never increases or decreases - ever!
Divine love is unchangeable. It cannot be corrupted, frustrated, changed, or compromised by man’s failures, flaws, sins, human good, evil, or any other function of the sin nature. God has always had maximum love. Because God is immutable, His love cannot vacillate or change. This means that God’s love does not increase or decrease, improve or decline. Spiritual growth or reversionism does not change God’s infinite love towards the believer. Divine love remains the same and is always consistent with the other divine attributes. We do not earn or deserve the love of God; this is legalism. God’s love is never disappointed, frustrated, or distracted.
MIC 7:18 Who is a God like Thee, who pardons iniquity
And passes over the rebellious act of the remnant of His possession? He does not retain His anger forever,
Because He delights in unchanging love.
MIC 7:19 He will again have compassion on us;
He will tread our iniquities under foot.
Yes, Thou wilt cast all their sins
Into the depths of the sea.
MIC 7:20 Thou wilt give truth to Jacob
And unchanging love to Abraham,
Which Thou didst swear to our forefathers
From the days of old.
God is omniscient. Divine love is always functioning in a rational manner and devoid of emotional content, which is irrationality.
Human love is irrational. It can shower a person with gifts and romantic, expensive dinners or it can murder. (ex: ER couples)
NEH 13:23 In those days I also saw that the Jews had married women from Ashdod, Ammon, and Moab.
NEH 13:24 As for their children, half spoke in the language of Ashdod, and none of them was able to speak the language of Judah, but the language of his own people.
NEH 13:25 So I contended with them and cursed them and struck some of them and pulled out their hair, and made them swear by God, "You shall not give your daughters to their sons, nor take of their daughters for your sons or for yourselves.
NEH 13:26 Did not Solomon king of Israel sin regarding these things? Yet among the many nations there was no king like him, and he was loved by his God, and God made him king over all Israel; nevertheless the foreign women caused even him to sin.
NEH 13:27 Do we then hear about you that you have committed all this great evil by acting unfaithfully against our God by marrying foreign women?"
NEH 13:28 Even one of the sons of Joiada, the son of Eliashib the high priest, was a son-in-law of Sanballat the Horonite, so I drove him away from me.
NEH 13:29 Remember them, O my God, because they have defiled the priesthood and the covenant of the priesthood and the Levites.
Divine knowledge and omniscience does not cancel or change God’s love. God knows every thought that every person ever had throughout history. Many of the thoughts about God are not kind, but that doesn’t change God at all. God’s love doesn’t stop and turn away because someone insults or blasphemes Him. You don’t have the power or ability to change God’s love, because His love is perfect. Because God foreknew human failure, He did not cancel His love for those who fail. God does not condone sin, but He doesn’t stop loving the sinner. God does not condone legalism or human good, but he doesn’t stop loving the legalist and the self-righteous jackass who is full of his own self-importance. God has never cancelled His love for His creatures, even though His creatures have other ideas about Him.
The sins of the believer become a family matter for administration of divine parental discipline, HEB 12:6, and therefore based on love.
For those whom the Lord loves He disciplines,
And He scourges every son whom He receives.
'Those whom I love [phileo = those who possess His +R], I reprove and discipline; be zealous therefore, and repent.