by J. Doughty
DOUBTLESS the last days have come when those "having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof" are characterized by self-love—lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God. But there is an antidote—a sovereign remedy against this condition: for lovers of God, in contrast to lovers of self, can be produced by the understanding and influence of divine love.
THE LOVE OF GOD.
is supreme, Romans 8: 38, 39. It is superior to all that is contrary to itself and is capable of overcoming everything that is in its way. The love of God has completely and eternally triumphed by providing the marvellous gift of eternal life, outside the whole region of sin and death in His Son, for whosoever believes.
This love, the love of God, is shed abroad in the heart of every true believer by the indwelling Spirit. A believer's joy hangs on yielding himself absolutely to the supremacy of this love, dominating every affection and subduing the soul to God under the mighty sway of His grace as it flows from this love. It is commended to us as a love peculiar to God, in that "while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us."
How wonderfully the apostle John brings the love of God before us as that which casts out ail fear and self-concern—the love of God is supremely above all that has come in through sin!
THE LOVE OF THE FATHER
is the family aspect, John 16: 27. It is presented first in relation to the Son, and by way of the Son to the heavenly family. "The Father loveth the Son, and hath given all things into his hand." In learning the Father's love, we must first consider what the Son is to the Father and the place which He has in the Father's heart.
The Father's love, the Son's love, and this family affection are all completely apart from this world; so that if anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. "Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us"—how holy, how blessed, how elevating and satisfying!
THE LOVE OF CHRIST
is the assembly aspect of divine love, Ephesians 5: 25. It is for those who form His body and His bride. It is the love of Him who is a Person in the Godhead: the second Man, the Christ, the Head. His peculiar love towards the assembly is a sacrificial love—He gave Himself!
This love is also presented as sympathetic with us in our varied circumstances, Romans 8: 34-37. It is the love of a sympathizing Priest at the right hand of God, in the place of power, interceding for us.
Next, in 2 Corinthians 5: 14, the love of Christ is a constraining love—that we may live unto Him. This enables the affianced bride to be true to Christ during His absence, in view of His return.
In Ephesians 3: 19, the surpassing love of Christ is presented to us. He gave Himself for us, and now He is patiently, perseveringly and persistently fitting the assembly for Himself. Its presentation to Himself will soon take place, when with full divine joy, the heavenly Bridegroom will take His bride to Himself, all glorious, without spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing. He will accomplish all this because of His love!
THE RESPONSE TO DIVINE LOVE
is that we love God; we love our Lord Jesus Christ, and we love one another. There is immense gain in responding to this love! All things work together for good to them that love God; and suitable behaviour flows from being practically affected by, and responsive to, divine love.
“Words of Truth” 1946