What is love? In order to define it from a post-modern philosophical perspective it is just a certain way the chemicals in your brain respond to specific stimuli. It is nothing more than the firing of a synapse. From a purely naturalistic perspective that is all you get. We all know that there is more to love than a chemical process. It is the driving force of society. From the Christian Worldview there is a much more satisfying answer. Christian Thinker Francis Schaeffer says in his book, The God Who is There,
“The validity and meaning of love rests upon the reality that love exists between the Father and the Son in the Trinity”
That is right. Love existed in a very real way before there was one molecule to the universe. It existed perfectly and completely within the Godhead. Not only that, but just hours before His arrest in the Garden of Gethsemane, Jesus prayed that that love would be known and understood through what He was about to do in order to bring people into a right relationship with that God. Just before He went to the Cross He prayed these words;
John 17:20-23 “I do not pray for these alone, but also for those who will believe in Me through their word; 21 that they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me. 22 And the glory which You gave Me I have given them, that they may be one just as We are one: 23 I in them, and You in Me; that they may be made perfect in one, and that the world may know that You have sent Me, and have loved them as You have loved Me.
That love, expressed through the cross (for those who are not worthy of it!) was extended beyond the members of the Trinity. It came to a fallen race of rebellious men. It was demonstrated by the willingness of One of the members of the Godhead who willingly suffered, absorbing the wrath of God, the penalty for sin, for the benefit of those rebels.
Romans 5:6-8 For when we were still without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. 7 For scarcely for a righteous man will one die; yet perhaps for a good man someone would even dare to die. 8 But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
Because of this, the very same love that the Father has for the Son is offered to all who will repent and believe in what the Son has done. God’s love is extended through the sacrifice of His Son. To reject the Son is to reject the very love of God. To receive that Love of God through the Son is to go from being an alien and an enemy to being a member of the Household of God.
Ephesians 2:11-19 Therefore remember that you, once Gentiles in the flesh–who are called Uncircumcision by what is called the Circumcision made in the flesh by hands– 12 that at that time you were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world. 13 But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. 14 For He Himself is our peace, who has made both one, and has broken down the middle wall of separation, 15 having abolished in His flesh the enmity, that is, the law of commandments contained in ordinances, so as to create in Himself one new man from the two, thus making peace, 16 and that He might reconcile them both to God in one body through the cross, thereby putting to death the enmity. 17 And He came and preached peace to you who were afar off and to those who were near. 18 For through Him we both have access by one Spirit to the Father. 19 Now, therefore, you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God,
We will be studying this love for several weeks on Wednesday nights. I encourage you to join us or at least listen in here or on the church website. We can never explore this subject too much.
The past two Wednesdays we been in this study. You can listen to audio of the studies by clicking on the links below.
What Manner of Love? – 1 John 3:1-3
The Love With Which You Have Loved Me – John 17:20-26