Welcome to Deeper Waters dear readers. It’s good to have you come back here. I know the blog has a lot of regular readers and that’s really such a great encouragement. I ask for your prayers again as I continue the path of Christlikeness and being the man that I ought to be. It’s a process, but really, I’m enjoying the challenge and seeing what I have to overcome just makes it more fun. I also ask for your prayers for my finances, which I did get a little surprise today on so that’s helped. I finally ask for your prayers concerning a certain situation in my own life. I can’t say more, but I do long for your partnering with me in prayer. For now, let’s go to the text. 1 John 4:8 is our passage tonight.
8Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.
Years ago, my Dad told me about hearing a Christian radio station called GIL. He only heard what it stood for one time. He asked me what I thought GIL stood for and I said “God is love.” That was it. This seems to be a common passage people know, but sometimes for the wrong reasons.
There’s a song I also once heard on a Christian station saying “God is love and love is God.” It doesn’t work that way. God is love, but the passage is written in a way in Greek indicating that the nature of God is that he is love. It is not reversible such that the nature of love is God. It’s what we see in John 1:14 and we don’t want to say that the nature of flesh is Jesus.
To do such is to make love an idol. You have love and you have God, and you can go no further. That’s not biblical. The highest good is God whose nature is love. However, it does not mean that anytime there is love for anything that means the person has God. One can only love because God loves, but having love is not a sign of having God.
This verse however has also been used by Augustine and others to show the Trinity. Love is relational and for God to be love, God must be relational in himself. The only way that this can happen is if God is multi-personal in some way. Hence, the doctrine of the Trinity.
When we had some Jehovah’s Witnesses over here one time, they asked us what our favorite attribute of God is. My roommate finally said love. They asked us how we defined love. I realized my chance to leave an opening for the Trinity. So, I thought quickly and said “Love is the singular reaching beyond itself into the relational.” They loved it so much they asked me to repeat it. I smiled and did so and thought “And when the time comes later, that request will trap you.”
God did not need to create to love. He already had that love within himself. There’s a tradition that the ancient celtics had an idea of God in a dance of love for all eternity and mankind is created that they might join in the dance already going on. The love creates not out of need, but out of abundance. The love of the Trinity is offered to all of us to join in.
Join in! Dance!