SanctiFusion

Life, the Universe, and Everything, from the Outside In

God is Love, is Trinity.

with 2 comments

What do we know about God? To say “God” speaks of One Who is self-sufficient. A needy God is less
consistent than dry water or frozen fire! If God is God, then God does not need anything. One thing, that God is love. John, the “disciple whom Jesus loved,” who, we understand, clung the closest to Jesus during His earthly ministry and wrote not only the Gospel under his name, but three letters and the Revelation, is the one who passed that revelation on to us. Merciful, just, faithful, and true, all adjectives describing God’s nature, but to say, “God is love” not only describes Him, but gives us a one-word summary of His existence!

Since God is God, and so in need of nothing, and God is love, then the love that God is cannot be a need-love such as we experience as human beings, but a gift-love: A love that exists for the sake of the other, which delights in the good of the other, rather than in one’s own pleasure.

God has always been. Man is a newcomer. Unless we can prove an endless chain of other worlds, we have to deal with God being in a past eternity where we were not. God is love, and God is God. So while we can see that God is not lacking anything, that is, that He is not incomplete without the worship of a church, nation, etc., but also a gift-love must have a recipient. This rules out a lone, monistic God, or else He would be/have been frustrated in the very core of what He is.

If God is love, then either there is more than one Person involved in the Godhead, or a lone, and lonely, God was alone in the void-before-the-void for eternity before deciding to create a race to fill the void of His own lonely existence. Such a lonely, needy, individual would be more worthy of our pity than our worship! While speaking in far more general terms, the writer of Ecclesiastes speaks to this when He says, “Two are better than one, ..and a threefold cord is not quickly broken.”

A “company” of two speaks most commonly of a romantic setting, which at once is a picture of a need-love relationship, of one individual wanting to keep the other for themselves. Three, even in or own context, is more a group of each enjoying the others’ company, and enjoying the interaction between the other two. Also, any number greater would suggest parties, or factions, as the communication might be diverted to this or that part of the Whole, losing the whole concept of Unity. While it is fascinating to study the many ways the Trinity is implied, and, even spelled out, all through the Bible, simply to say, “God is love” is to say Trinity.

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Written by Robert Easter

Monday, 3 September, 2007 at 6:45

Posted in eternity, God, love, Trinity

2 Responses

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  1. Very interesting, to relate the Trinity to God being love, and to God never being lonely or alone. I have heard people claim that God created humans because He was lonely; your post addresses that point nicely, because you show that God, being a Triune God, does not ‘need’ humans or angels, since He is already a Being of Three Persons, and therefore inter-relates to Himself in a way that humans cannot understand. (Of course, humans can’t even fully comprehend a Being Who is made up of 3 Persons, because human beings are each only 1 person; therefore, to say that 1 God = 3 Persons sounds contradictory to humans.)

    God is a God of relationships, and I am seeing that more and more in many ways. He shares responsibility with His children, in many areas. And He always does the hard part, while we get the easy part.

    For example: In salvation, God chose us before the beginning of time; Jesus died for us; the Holy Spirit indwells us. All we have to do is ask Him to come in. He does the hard part, while we get the easy part.

    Another example: In witnessing, Jesus died for sin, and the Holy Spirit prepares and convicts the heart of the unbeliever. All we have to do is tell people about Him. Again, we get the easy part. But God is working with us, because He is a God of relationships.

    These are just two examples of how God does the hard part, and we do the easy part; yet God works together with us to accomplish His will. He could have given the angels the responsibility of spreading His Good News; yet, He gave it to us believers instead.

    The only contention I have with your post (and, if I’m misunderstanding your post here, please correct me) is that I would point out that the phrase “God is love” does not completely define Him. Not only that, but the fact that so many contemporary evangelists have focused solely on the idea that “God is love,” that it has become detrimental to the Gospel. It has led many unbelievers to misunderstand and to come to the (wrong) conclusion that, because “God is love,” they will be forgiven and go to Heaven, whether they believe in Jesus or not. “After all,” they conclude, “a loving God would never send me to Hell.” Because of this, many people don’t understand why they need a Savior, and others don’t even understand why Jesus had to die, or why there had to be a blood sacrifice at all. Most people don’t understand the seriousness of sin, or its consequences.

    Claiming that the phrase “God is love” completely defines God, is like saying that the phrase “Arnold Schwarzenegger is a bodybuilder” completely defines Arnold Schwarzenegger. In fact, ‘AH-nuld’ has been a very successful and famous actor for years, and he is now a governor. So to limit him to being a bodybuilder is to define him incompletely. In like manner, to limit God to being “Love” is to define Him incompletely.

    God is not only a God of love; He is also a God of justice, a God of wrath, a God of holiness, a God of Truth, etc. If He were *only* love, then there would be no Hell, and God would be like a giant teddy bear in the sky, Who accepts anybody, no matter how bad they are. In such a universe, you would see Hitler in Heaven, as well as child molesters and rapists. There would be no justice in the universe, because anybody and everybody would be accepted, no matter what they did; and there would be no punishment for wrongdoing, no matter how wicked or evil it was.

    On the other hand, you could argue that, because God is love, He necessarily hates (or, stated more correctly: “His wrath is against…”) anything which threatens that which He loves. As an example, if a father dearly loves his little child, then his anger will be against anyone who tries to hurt his child.

    God’s wrath is against sin; and, according to the Old Testament, His wrath is even against sinners. The Bible teaches that Jesus came to save us, not only from our sins, but also from the Father’s wrath. Therefore, though it is true that “God is Love,” it is also true that “Love” is not *all* that He is. Too often, we act as if God’s personality is one-dimensional.

    Jeff

    Thursday, 6 March, 2008 at 19:40

  2. Jeff, you’re entirely right. For us to say, “God is love” in 21st C. English without going any farther can be the most misleading statement in the world: The world has no clue what love is! HOWEVER, to say anything else is worse, so we need to stress the holy nature of that love. Indulgence is not love. Neither is the blinding load of internal idolatry foisted on us by Hollywood & Co. From the Biblical hesed (and, yes, often phileo, etc. and the Biblical & Patristic agape we have, and should be proclaiming wildly, a self-giving holy-love which incorporates a radically jealous, self-emptying devotion to the other’s greatest good in Truth. Truth, of course being another word the meaning of which we need to re-teach! Verses to touch on, that come to mind, are John 3:16, Php. 2:5-10, and 2 Tim. 2:11-15. Note that the second two call us to conscious, deliberate, response and imitation of His holy love as He reveals it to us, thus not only making astute grunts in the pews, but making a holy mark on our own lives, relationships and the world before us.

    Back to work! Blessings on you, my brother!

    Robert

    Thursday, 6 March, 2008 at 20:54


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