Wednesday, July 1, 2009

The Distinctiveness of God's Love

Here is a quote from D.A. Carson that I read last night at The Well. Carson is talking about the "love" found in Chapter 13 of 1 Corinthians, a passage that is being used a lot right now in the midst of wedding season.

“If I must say in few words what is distinctive about God’s love for us, it is that it is self-originating. When a young man reveals his heart with a passionate declaration, “I love you!” at least in part he means that he finds the woman he loves lovely. At least some of his love is elicited by the object of that love. But God loves what is unlovely. If as John 3:16 tells us, God loves the world, it is not because the world is so lovely God cannot help himself: judging by John’s use of the term world, God loves the world only because of what he is. And derivatively, that is how Christians learn to love: they learn to love with love that is, like God’s, self-originating. Of course, unlike God’s love, ours is not absolutely self-originating; but it is self-originating in the sense that God’s grace so transforms the believer that his or her responses of love emerge out of the matrix of Christian character, and are correspondingly less dependent on the loveliness of the object.” (D.A. Carson, “Showing The Spirit”, pg. 65)

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