Tuesday, November 15, 2005

NBB Theology: God - Part IV

I left off with a start on God's "moral" attributes: His goodness, mercy, grace, and benevolence. These aren't all of God's attributes, of course, as there are additional moral attributes (justice, holiness, love and truth) as well as non-moral attributes. Today I'll be moving along in the discussion to God's love.

The phrase "God is love" is almost a cliche, but it about the most perfectly accurate cliche around. God is not just loving, nor does He just love. He actually is love; His character defines what love really is (hint: not a fluffy emotion promoted by teen pop songs and susceptible to the whims that make divorce lawyers rich.)

Unlike many of the pagan gods, who are ambivalent about humanity, or the gods of ancient Rome and Greece, God is the God of love. His love is not choosy either, granted to some but withheld from others. God's love for the whole world is the initiation of the Gospel itself: For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son,[a] that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life (John 3:16).

There is a myth, though, that God is only shown as a God of love in the New Testament. As we saw before God is immutable, so the loving God of the NT is also the loving God of the OT. He loved the rebellious Israelites. God turned curses into blessings out of love. God's love was unique in the OT, in fact, in contrast to the gods worshipped by other nations - He loved His people to the point of patience instead of wrath.

The OT God of "wrath" is also the OT God of love. God is love, and I'm grateful for that. In the next post, we'll move on to another attribute. I haven't decided whether it'll be truth or something in the holiness/justice realm. Guess we'll find out together how I'm inspired.

Until then,

God bless!

No comments: