Monthly Archives: July 2012

The Love that creates an rWorld

God’s plan for the world is not an iWorld, but rather he created us for an rWorld – relational world.  The Bible points out that we’re made for relationships and we find our deepest satisfaction not when seeking self-fulfillment but when living and engaging in the full constellation of healthy human relationships that God has blessed us with – for an rWorld.

What makes the rWorld work?  What would drive it? What would be its essential ingredient? It’s love.

However, the love we’re speaking of is not the icky, syrupy, teenage kind of puff love.  To create our rWorld, we need the kind of love that comes only from God – a kind of love that characterizes God, the love that gives life, the love that builds and transforms community. And this love is grounded in the triune nature of God.

7 Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. 8 Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. (1 John 4:7-8)

‘God is love’ gives us a clue to the kind of trinitarian love we are thinking of. For ‘God is love’ does not mean that love itself is God, nor that anything done lovingly is in and of itself divine, nor that God is reduced to this concept of love.  While it is true that God is loving, that all his thoughts and actions are done in love… BUT ‘God is love’ encapsulates so much more.

‘God is love’ is a description of the very essence of God, his very nature, what’s intrinsic within himself.  God is a triune communion of persons – He is Trinity consisting of Father, Son and Spirit.  Love is intrinsic to who he is. Love is more than just attributes like grace, mercy, justice, holiness;

We see all of these attributes in how God relates to creatures, in the way God relates to us.  So for example, we see His wrath when he relates to sinners, as the expression of his holiness in response to human sin.

However, love belongs to who he is in himself in the undivided communion of the three persons of the godhead. Internally, within the Trinity: the Father always loves the Son; the Son always loves the Father;  the Father always loves the Holy Spirit; the Spirit always loves the Father; the Son always loves the Spirit; and the Spirit always loves the Son.  This reciprocal love of the three persons exists in the unbreakable union of the undivided Trinity.[1]

So going back to 1 John 4v7-8:

7 Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. 8 Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.

This love that drives the rWorld, must be grounded in God’s love. It comes from the intimate knowledge of God, from being born again of the Holy Spirit – using the apostle John’s language. The God who is love has made us in his image, and although that image is damaged by sin, we’re renewed by God’s Spirit dwelling in us and making us like his Son.

So if we’re serious about creating an rWorld, then we need to rethink the way we view ourselves – our nature and our purpose. We are relational beings, created in God’s image – to love one another in community. That’s what’s ‘natural’ for God’s children.


[1] Robert Letham, The Holy Trinity, 477.