Monday, April 28, 2008
God is Love - I John 5.8
It is one of the simplest and most familiar phrases in the Bible. It has also been, for some reason, one of the most difficult for me to make any sense of. God is loving. Okay, I get that. But God is Love sounds like an invitation to worship at the altar of eroticism. I think I finally made some progress in my understanding when I started from the other direction. Man is not Love. But man can be loving. Man cannot be love, he can only do loving things. ("This is love, that we follow His commandments." II John 1.6) Man's love is therefore, ephemeral and transitory, because as soon as he ceases to act in love, his love vanishes. Only God's love is eternal, because the part of God we reflect in loving actions, resides as a Thing in God Himself. A man can preach the Word of God. In some sense he becomes the Word to other men. But if he stops preaching, he is no longer the Word to other men because the Word does not (this side of Heaven) reside in him as an eternal essence. He can bring God's salvation to other men. But he himself is not that salvation.