God is love
The God of the Bible is love: "He who does not love does
not know God, for God is love. " (1 John 4:8); "And we have
known and believed the love that God has for us. God is love,
and he who abides in love abides in God, and God in him." (1
John 4:16). John does not say that God once was not love but
became love, but that He is love; because what God is,
He is eternally. He does not change: "For I am the LORD, I do
not change; Therefore you are not consumed, O sons of Jacob."
The Father loves the Son:
"Behold! My Servant whom I uphold, My Elect One in
whom My soul delights! I have put My Spirit upon Him; He
will bring forth justice to the Gentiles." (Isaiah 42:1);
"While he was still speaking, behold, a bright cloud
overshadowed them; and suddenly a voice came out of the
cloud, saying, 'This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well
pleased. Hear Him!'" (Matthew 17:5);
"As the Father loved Me, I also have loved you; abide
in My love. If you keep My commandments, you will abide
in My love, just as I have kept My Father's commandments
and abide in His love." (John 15:9-10).
And the Son loves the Father: "But that the world may know
that I love the Father, and as the Father gave Me commandment,
so I do. Arise, let us go from here." (John 14:31).
"Then His disciples remembered that it was written,
'Zeal [i.e., jealousy] for Your house has eaten Me up.'"
(John 2:17, Psalms 69:9).
"Then I said, 'Behold, I come; in the scroll of the
book it is written of me. I delight to do Your will, O my
God, and Your law is within my heart.' (Psalm 40:7-8, Hebrews
The Holy Spirit joins in this communion of love:
"Or do you think that the Scripture speaks to no purpose:
'He jealously desires the Spirit which He has made to dwell
in us'?" (James 4:5 NASB).
"Or do you think it is meaningless when the scripture
says: He has jealous longings over the spirit which he lodged
in us?" (James 4:5 Lattimore).
(This is a difficult verse to translate: "'Long unto envying'.
A difficult phrase...But even so, with God presented as a jealous
lover, does 'to pneuma' refer to the Holy Spirit as the
subject of 'epipotei' or to man's spirit as the object
of 'epipotei'?" (Robertson's Word Pictures).)
How could a uni-personal God be love, before He had
created a world filled with things to love? Love requires
a lover and a beloved. This is why the living God is love, now
and forever; because, as Jesus said, "...for You loved Me before
the foundation of the world." (John 17:24).
"Embrace the love of God, and by love embrace God...In proportion,
therefore, as we are healed from the swelling of pride, in such
proportion are we more filled with love; and with what is he
full, who is full of love, except with God? Well, but you will
say, I see love, and, as far as I am able, I gaze upon it with
my mind, and I believe the Scripture, saying, that 'God is love;
and he that dwelleth in love, dwelleth in God;' but when I see
love, I do not see in it the Trinity. Nay, but thou dost
see the Trinity if thou seest love." (Augustine, On the Trinity,
Book 8, Chapter 8).
Jesus promised that the very love with which the Father loves
the Son would come to dwell in the believer: "And I have declared
to them Your name, and will declare it, that the love with which
You loved Me may be in them, and I in them." (John 17:26).
Could this mean that the Holy Spirit who indwells our hearts
is the very love of Father and Son, arising from a perfect act
of love just as the Word is born from a perfect act of self-contemplation?
For a vigorous defense of this old idea, I've placed Jonathan
on the Trinity' in the Thrice Holy library!
The Same God
"Therefore I make known to you that no one speaking by the
Spirit of God calls Jesus accursed, and no one can say that
Jesus is Lord except by the Holy Spirit. There are diversities
of gifts, but the same Spirit. There are differences
of ministries, but the same Lord. And there are
diversities of activities, but it is the same God who
works all in all." (1 Corinthians 12:3-6).
"There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were
called in one hope of your calling; one Lord, one faith,
one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is above
all, and through all, and in you all." (Ephesians 4:5).
The LORD Bless You
Moses taught Israel a triune blessing: "Speak to Aaron and
his sons, saying, 'This is the way you shall bless the children
of Israel. Say to them: "The LORD bless you and keep
you; The LORD make His face shine upon you, And be gracious
to you; The LORD lift up His countenance upon you, And
give you peace." So they shall put My name on the children
of Israel, and I will bless them.'" (Numbers 6:23-27).
"A brief consideration of this right royal blessing
concluding Chapter 6 is in order, as it is prophetic of the
apostolic benediction under grace (II Cor. 13:15), and of the
attributes of the three Persons of the Trinity. For centuries it
has been commonly recognized that Aaron's blessing is an
allusion to the Godhead, just as the threefold Holy
of Isaiah has been (Isa. 6:13). . .
"The impressive feature of the blessing is the repetition of
the sacred name 'Lord,' or JEHOVAH, three times, expressing
the great mystery of the Godhead — three Persons, yet one
God. . .
"Jehovah the Father —
'The LORD bless thee,
and keep thee (Num. 6:24)."Jehovah the Son —
'The love of God. . .be with you
all' (II Cor. 13:14).
'The LORD make
His face shine upon thee, and be gracious unto thee' (Num.
6:25)."Jehovah the Spirit —
'The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ. . .be with you
all' (II Cor. 13:14).
life up his countenance upon thee, and give thee peace'
(Num. 6:26).(Herbert Lockyer, 'All the Messianic Prophecies of the Bible,'
pp. 318-319, )
'The communion of the Holy Spirit be with you
all' (II Cor. 13:14)."
There are several of these three-fold blessings in the
Bible, as "For the LORD is our judge, the LORD is our
lawgiver, the LORD is our king; he will save us." (Isaiah
33:22), and "O Lord, hear; O Lord, forgive; O Lord, hearken and do; defer
not, for thine own sake, O my God: for thy city and thy people are
called by thy name." (Daniel 9:19). They often go unmentioned because, by themselves,
they are very weak evidence. After all no one thinks the earth is triune,
because Jeremiah says, "O earth, earth, earth, hear the word of the
LORD." (Jeremiah 22:29). However, they are not by themselves: along
with the many clear passages ascribing full deity and distinct
personhood to Father, Son and Holy Spirit, they add their mite to the
pile of accumulating evidence.