The Berean Expositor
Volume 46 - Page 8 of 249
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Herein is Love
p. 100
The origin of true love lies beyond humanity. Sinful man is incapable in himself of
producing such love, for it springs from a source outside of himself--"God is love". But
thanks be to Him this love has been lavished upon man in the Person and work of the
Lord Jesus Christ, and man may now, through the acceptance of Him, responded to and
give back, something of that same love "shed abroad in our hearts".
Love, as a response, can only ever be that which is produced in man, "We love,
because He first loved us" (I John 4: 19 R.V.). It requires His initiative to trigger off any
spark of true love in ourselves, and this is surely the right order in an understanding of its
real meaning; He initiates, we respond. True love in us is the fire kindled by the love of
God. 100: S. Lewis wrote:
"Our role must always be that of patient to agent, female to male, mirror to light, echo
to voice. Our highest victory must be response, not initiative. To experience the love of
God in a true, and not an illusory form, is therefore to experience it as our surrender to
His demand, our conformity to His desire" (The Problem of Pain).
But for all this it must never be imagined that our love is to be negative or passive,
for we are called upon to "Walk in love" (positive action), and the example of Christ
before us (Eph. 5: 1, 2). God may have given His Son (John 3: 16), even sent His Son
(I John 4: 10), but in the final analysis, "Christ loved . . . . . and gave up Himself for us;
this being the evidence not only of His obedience (Phil. 2: 8) but of His oneness with the
Father (John 10: 11, 30).
In a very much smaller measure our response to the love of God should partake of the
same nature; not response from a feeling of duty (although we most certainly owe Him
all), but that which is drawn from us as a result of our appreciation of His love, and our
unity with Him.
The true nature of the love of God may be seen pictured in the beautiful story of
Abraham and Isaac:
"Abraham took the wood of the burnt offering, and laid it upon Isaac his son; and he
took the fire in his hand, and a knife; and they went both of them together" (Gen. 22: 6).
The love manifested here involved tremendous cost to both father and son; any love
we seek to manifest (whilst it can never hope to approach that shown in the Father and
Son) must reflect the same image. If it cost God much, will it not also involve the same
in us?