October 25, 2017
The love of God is not a fluffy, feel good kind of love, but rather a love that is unfailing, eternal and deeper than we can comprehend.
This book delves into this kind of love. The kind that only comes from God.
R.C. Sproul says here of God's eternal love:
"...the love of God must be understood as an eternal love. Just as He is from everlasting to everlasting, so His love is from everlasting to everlasting. His is not a fickle love that waxes hot and cold over time. His love has a constancy about it that transcends all human forms of love. Just as human beings often fall in love, they also fall out of love. This is not the case with God."
Each chapter in this book, deals with a different aspect of God's love. Here are the chapter headings:
1. God Is Love
2. Eternal Love
3.The Loyal Love of God
4. The Loving-Kindness of God
5. The Electing Love of God
6. Love and Hate in God
7. The Threefold Love of God
8. Agape Love
9. The Greatest of These...
Conclusion: Of The Father's Love Begotten
As you can see from the chapter titles there are some very interesting topics on the love of God. I felt this book was very informative and gave me some new things to think about.
One of those things was in chapter 4, where he speaks of how the bride of Christ can never be separated from Him:
"What our enemies can never do, specifically, is separate us from the love of Christ. A 'separation' is a kind of division. We see it often as a trial step in troubled marriages on the way to divorce. Separation precedes the divorce and is often the harbinger of it. But in the marriage of Christ and His bride, there is neither divorce nor separation.
The 'love of Christ' of which Paul spoke is not our love for Him but His love for us. Paul pointed to the risen and ascended Lord, who sits at the right hand of God and functions as our intercessor, our great High Priest. It is from His love and His care that we can not be separated."
"For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come,
nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord." Romans 8:38-39
And here in chapter 5 something to think about on grace:
"Grace, by definition, is something that God is not required to grant. He owes a fallen world no mercy. If we cried out for justice at His hands, we could all receive that just condemnation we deserve. Justice is what we deserve. Grace is always and ever undeserved. If we deserved it, it would not be grace."
Grace is such a huge thing, something so unfathomable, I am so thankful for it and the love God shows us through it.
"For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast." Ephesians 2:8-9
And in chapter 9 on loving, when we are hated:
"To bear slander, insults, and harsh criticism, requires an extraordinary measure of love. We are quick to lash out and retaliate in kind against those who abuse us. Our suffering threshold is low. We must look to Christ Himself as the perfect model of long-suffering in the face of such abuse."
When the high priest tried to trick Jesus into admitting guilt... "Jesus kept silent" Matt. 26:63
What kind of love stood silent as He was abused, beaten and about to be murdered? Christ is not only our example, but the One we turn to for help when we can not love the way He does. Oh, how we need Him!
There is a lot of talk about the 'doctrine of election and predestination' in this book which was new to me. The doctrine of election can be a touchy subject for some, but because the words 'election' and 'predestination' are biblical, they can't be ignored. I found it all very interesting and fascinating, as I was not raised with a Calvinist background.
I appreciated the authors intro to chapter 5 on the subject:
"We recognize that the idea of predestination, or divine election, is wrapped in controversy and is perilous to discuss. It brings us near to some of the deepest mysteries of God and touches on issues that provoke not only consternation (anxiety) but also often rage.
The idea of predestination was not conceived by Augustine, Martin Luther or John Calvin. Though the doctrine of election figured prominently in the thought of these three giants of church history, it did not originate with them. The idea of predestination is rooted in the Bible. This is why all churches historically have found it necessary to formulate some doctrine of predestination in an effort to be biblical in their theology. The issue is not whether the Bible teaches the doctrine of predestination. The issue is which doctrine of predestination it teaches."
If you are curious about these teachings, you may find this aspect of the book interesting.
Overall, I found this book enlightening, as well as extremely overwhelming.
God's love is so much deeper and richer than we really know.
I'll never think of the words 'God's love' in the same way.
Buy it HERE on Amazon