Hopefully by now, you have a much better understanding of what the Bible is talking about, when it uses the word love. It’s not talking about having affection for something, like we would like a pizza, a chair or a football club. It’s not talking about ‘falling in love’ and show eros for something we find attractive and although sometimes brotherly love (that of true friendship) is mentioned, mostly in the New Testament we see the Agape love of God.
Love is on of the communicable attributes of God (meaning something that we can understand. Wayne Grudem describes God’s love as ‘God’s love means that God eternally gives of himself to others.’ This definition is fitting with what we seen yesterday of agape, a self-sacrificial or a self-giving love for the benefit of others. This attribute of God shoes that it is part of his nature to give of himself in order to bring about blessing or good to others.
John tells us that “God is Love” (1 John 4:8). We see proof of this evening before the creation of the world among the members of the Trinity. ‘Father, I want those you have given me to be with me where I am, and to see my glory, the glory you have given me because you loved me before the creation of the world’ (John 17:24). This indicates that there was love and a giving honour from the Father to the Son from all eternity and this continues as we read in John 3:35 ‘The Father loves the Son and has placed everything in his hands.’
This is a reciprocal love, for Jesus says ‘but the world must learn that I love the Father and that I do exactly what my Father has commanded me.’ (John 14:31). This eternal relationship of love between Father, Son and Holy Spirit makes heaven a world of love and joy between each person of the trinity, because each person seeks to bring joy and love to the other two.
We find a clear also expression of this attribute in God’s relationship to mankind and this we be our theme tomorrow.