We did it all for the glory of love – part 1

Yes I want that song infecting your brain.

We’ll live forever, knowing together that we did it all for the glory of love

Now there’s a line fit for the triune God!  As I’ll try to show below, it’s a pretty good summary of God’s motives in creation and redemption.  God’s life and work is an other-centred, outward-focussed, spreading goodness.  The Father, Son and Spirit do all things for the glory of love.  This is starkly different from ‘the love of glory‘ – especially where ‘glory’ is defined apart from love!

So in this post I want to show that “the glory of love” is God’s motivation in all things.  Later I’ll show why “the love of glory” is not God’s motivation according to the bible – at least not how it’s popularly framed.  Our God does not sing: “I did it all for the glory of me!”

But first, here’s just a little survey of love as the centre of God’s life and action in Scripture (notice number four!):

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God’s being is love

1 John 4:8,16

The Father loves the Son

Matthew 3:17; 17:5; Mark 12:6; John 3:35; 15:9; 17:24; Ephesians 1:6; Colossians 1:13

The Father hands everything to the Son because of love

Psalm 2:7f; Isaiah 42:1; John 3:35; 5:20

The Father glorifies the Son because He loves Him

John 17:24

The Father predestines and elects us in Christ because of love

Ephesians 1:4f; Isaiah 55:3

The Father creates out of love

Colossians 1:16

He chooses the patriarchs out of love

Deuteronomy 10:15

He makes and keeps covenant with His people because of love

Ezekiel 16:8; Isaiah 54:10

He redeems Israel out of love

Deuteronomy 7:8; Isaiah 63:9; Jeremiah 31:3; Hosea 11:1

He leads Israel because He loves her

Exodus 15:13

He plants them in the land because He loves them

Psalm 44:3

He relents from judging time and again because of love

Numbers 14:19; Ps 51:1; 106:45; Hosea 11:1-9; Jonah 4:2

He will provide future redemption from all sins because of love

Psalm 130:7f

He saves because He loves

John 3:16; Titus 3:4f

The Son is given to us because of love

John 3:16; Galatians 2:20; Ephesians 5:2,25; 1 John 4:8-10

We’re adopted because of love

Ephesians 1:5f; 1 John 3:1

We’re regenerated because of love

Ephesians 2:4f

We’re forgiven because of love

Revelation 1:5

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Part 2

Part 3

Part 4

Part 5

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Posted on by Glen in Doctrine of God, pastoral theology

About Glen

I'm a preacher in Eastbourne, married to Emma.

13 Responses to We did it all for the glory of love – part 1

  1. Heather

    Your introductory post is good.

    “God IS Love”….a favorite contemplation :)

    It is not easy thing to wrap one’s mind around the fact that love isn’t just an action that God does, or an arbitrary command He’s given. Love is the very essence of His Being, and is irrevocably connected to the “Life” we have in Christ.

    1 Corinthians 13 and 1 John give a peek at just how multifaceted and complex “Love” really is, too.

    If nothing else, it explains why those who do not love do not know God.

    Looking forward to reading more.

  2. dave

    or as the blackberryTM advert puts it

    “Love is at the root of everything good that has ever happened and will ever happen”

  3. Pingback: We did it all for the glory of love – part 2 « Christ the Truth

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  8. Celal

    Glen As i read this first installment the following thoughts / ideas came to mind : 1) you are treating the divine attribute of love above and to the exclusion of His other attributes, why are you doing this ? Just curious : are you an Annihlationist ? Does love “win”?

  9. Glen

    Hi Celal,

    Do I treat love “to the exclusion” of other attributes”?

    To be honest I don’t think Scripture pushes us to think in terms of ‘attributes’. But from eternity the Father has loved the Son in the power of the Spirit. Before God was ever Ruler, Lawgiver or Judge He was life-giving (eternally begetting) Father. In eternity God was not half blessing – half cursing. He wasn’t half loving and half hating. From eternity past He has been love. Creator, Ruler, Lawgiver, Judge have been comparatively recent additions to His CV. And His judgement is the response of love to lovelessness.

    In this sense of course love is primary (certainly primary over wrath). And in this sense of course love wins – though I certainly am no annihilationist or universalist and believe in an eternal, populated hell.

    So the reason I am highlighting the Scriptural witness of God’s “love” as motivator is simply because the basic Christian confession is that God is Trinity. Therefore the Father begetting the Son in the power of the Spirit is primal. Given this – I can’t imagine treating God’s motivation in any other way. What do you suggest as God’s motivation? And how does that gel with God-as-Trinity?

  10. Celal

    Well Glen i am basically in agreement with you. Of course, such overwhelming love requires man to reciprocate with all his heart , mind, soul, and strength. Failure to do so must be wicked beyond all other wickedness. You identify yourself as an evangelist so i am sure you must express that side of things as well in your ministry. So this series seemed to be one sided in that regard. But maybe it’s just me being unreasonable. Have a great year! God bless.

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