God is love. In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him.
1 John 4:8-9 (ESV)
As we approach Christmas it may be an appropriate time to think about the love of God. This is a very deep topic that surpasses knowledge (Eph. 3:19) and it has a number of aspects and applications. We begin with the marvellous love that exists from all eternity among the three persons of the trinity.
We grasp a glance of this inter-Trinitarian love in the report of the baptism of Jesus (Mark 1:10-11). All three divine persons are mentioned. The Son, in perfect submission, takes on the job the Father has given to Him. The Spirit descends on Jesus and equips Him for the difficult way to the cross. And the Father pours out His love on the Son with very warm words, “You are my beloved Son.” Not one single person in the Trinity is self-centring. In deep love they all rotate around the other. The Spirit glorifies the Son. The Son glorifies the Father. And the Father glorifies the Son (see John 16 and 17).
These three persons enjoy a very intimate love and fellowship. They relate to each other, they pour love over each other, they take delight in each other and bring delight to each other, they serve each other, care for each other and give gifts to each other. When there was no earth, yet, and nothing at all, there already was a deep fellowship in God, one person surrounding the other with love and joy. This wonderful inter-Trinitarian love gives eternal beauty to the nature and character of God.
In all their works, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit are united and operate in complete harmony. Each person has His own role. For example, in redemption the Father planed it and sent His only Son. The Son came and purchased our redemption and the Spirit applies it. But in all their works the three divine persons are always of the same mind and completely one in purpose.
The church should reflect the beauty of the love of God in their relations among each other! We may wonder how Paul can ask the church in Corinth to be of one mind (2 Cor. 13:11 NKJV). How could he expect that 100 or more church members ever agree with one another (ESV)? The simple answer is, because the three persons of the Trinity agree with one another, we should also be of the same mind and one in purpose (Philippians 2:2 AMP)! Our fellowship should reflect the beauty of the love-relationship in God.
Philippians 2:2 (AMP) is not only an appeal to love one another. It’s also a perfect description of the inter-Trinitarian love-relationship in God:
“Fill up and complete my joy by living in harmony and being of the same mind
and one in purpose, having the same love,
being in full accord and of one harmonious mind and intention!
1 The Amplified Bible brings out the different aspects of the main words in a verse by listing them one after the other and is therefore longer. Translators should feel free to give this verse in their common Bible version.