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Thursday
Oct152009

Theological Term of the Week

love
That perfection of God whereby he gives of himself to his creatures; the goodness of God exercised toward his rational creatures.

  • From scripture:

    Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love. In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him. 10 In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.  (1 John 4:8-10 ESV)

  • From The Attributes of God, (The Love of God) by A. W. Pink:
  • [God’s love] is gracious. The love and favor of God are inseparable. This is clearly brought out in Romans 8:32-39. What that love is from which there can be no “separation,” is easily perceived from the design and scope of the immediate context: it is that goodwill and grace of God which determined Him to give His Son for sinners. That love was the impulsive power of Christ’s incarnation: “God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son” (John 3:16). Christ died not in order to make God love us, but because He did love His people, Calvary is the supreme demonstration of Divine love. Whenever you are tempted to doubt the love of God, Christian reader, go back to Calvary.

     

    Here then is abundant cause for trust and patience under Divine affliction. Christ was beloved of the Father, yet He was not exempted from poverty, disgrace, and persecution. He hungered and thirsted. Thus, it was not incompatible with God’s love for Christ when He permitted men to spit upon and smite Him. Then let no Christian call into question God’s love when he is brought under painful afflictions and trials. God did not enrich Christ on earth with temporal prosperity, for “He had not where to lay His head.” But He did give Him the Spirit “without measure” (John 3:34). Learn then that spiritual blessings are the principal gifts of Divine love. How blessed to know that when the world hates us, God loves us!

  • From Knowing God by J. I. Packer:
    God’s love to sinners was expressed by the gift of his Son to be their Savior. The measure of love is how much it gives, and the measure of the love of God is the gift of his only Son to become human, and to die for sins, and so to become the one mediator who can bring us to God.

    No wonder Paul speaks of God’s love as great and as passing knowledge! (See Eph 2:4; 3:19) Was there ever such costly munificence? Paul argues that this supreme gift is itself the guarantee of every other. “He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? (Rom 8:32) The New Testament writers constantly point to the cross of Christ as the crowning proof of the reality and boundlessness of God’s love.

Learn more:

  1. Don Stewart: Is God Love?
  2. Sam Storms: The Love of God
  3. Dr. Ray Pritchard: Sense and Nonsense about God’s Love
  4. Richard L. Strauss: God Is Love
  5. D. A. Carson: The Difficult Doctrine of the Love of God (pdf of the whole book)
  6. D. A. Carson: On Distorting the Love of God (mp3)
  7. Jerry Bridges: The Love of God (mp3)
  8. My own post: God’s Love

Related terms:

 

Filed under God’s Nature and His Work

 

Do you have a a theological term you’d like to see featured here as a Theological Term of the Week? If you email it to me, I’ll seriously consider using it.

I’m also interested in any suggestions you have for tweaking my definitions or for additional (or better) articles or sermons/lectures for linking. I’ll give you credit and a link back to your blog if I use your suggestion.

Clicking on the Theological Term graphic at the top of this post will take you to a list of all the previous theological terms organized in alphabetical order or by topic.

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Reader Comments (1)

Rebecca, thanks for including another one of my sermons. Blessings to you always, Ray Pritchard

October 16, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterRay Pritchard

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