Class Notes: 8/8/2010
God's Holliness is the strength behind his Integrity Love
In our continuing study of the doctrine of love, last time we started a discussion of God's love as a model for the believer's virtue love.
We saw that the divine attribute of love is always linked to God's holiness that is composed of his justice and righteousness, and never functions apart from it. Divine love can never be divorced from God's perfect standard.
Because of this, all divine government and all of God's administration to His creatures is related directly to His justice. The justice of God has absolute authority over all creatures.
This means that in the garden of Eden, God set up a perfect system of justice. God's mandate was not to eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. This means that Divine justice was the issue in the garden.
Spiritual death was the result of rejection of divine integrity. If God's love had been functioning without regard to his holiness, there would have been no tree of the knowledge of good and evil.
Because of God's infinite perfection and the very nature of all His attributes, justice functions with total impartiality regardless of whether it involves blessing or cursing.
2Chr 19:7; "Respect the Lord; make careful decisions, for the Lord our God will have no part in unrighteousness, or partiality, or taking a bribe." This principle is also stated in Rom 2:11.
God used His integrity to judge Christ on the cross, there was no partiality. The sins of all mankind were judged in TLJC on the cross. Therefore everyone deals with God's justice, his integrity and his impersonal love.
His personal love is directed only toward believers in TLJC because believers have His divine righteousness and therefore have capacity to be objects of his personal love.
Job 4:17-21; says a man cannot be just unless he has an equivalent righteousness with God's divine righteousness.
This righteousness is imputed to anyone who believer's in TLJC. 2Cor 5:21;
This imputation of divine righteousness to believers is the function of the justice of God, not His love. The doctrine of Imputation explains this justification.
Psa 19:9; states that "The judgments of God are always righteous."
Ps 89:14 says God's integrity is the foundation of His throne. So God's dealing with us is, from our viewpoint, grace and doctrine, but from God's viewpoint, it is His integrity.
God's attribute of love as it is directed toward all mankind therefore becomes the pattern for the believer's function in impersonal love.
God is infinite and eternal. All the attributes of God must function together without contradiction.
Being eternal means God's love is eternal. Being perfect means God's love is perfect. Being immutable means God's love is unchangeable. It cannot be corrupted or changed because of failure. Being holy, God's love is righteous and just.
Since God always has been love and always will be love, He never falls in love. God's love is in not subject to subjectivity or corruption.
Because God is immutable, His love does not increase or diminish. Therefore, no form of human failure or vacillation can change God's love.
God's love exists with or without an object since it's an integral part of His essence. God's perfect and eternal love has always existed without any creature object. God doesn't ever fall in love. God's love is totally stable. It does not fluctuate, discriminate, respond to creature merit, or react to creature failure.
This means God's love is not sustained by attraction, by rapport, by any worthiness in man. Man in his natural state is spiritually dead, and his morality, human good and self-righteousness does not impress God and is not the way of salvation.
God's love is virtuous, since it cannot be divorced from His integrity or any other attribute. This means that being holy, God's love is perfectly righteous and just.
Being virtuous, God's love is devoid of sin, human good, altruism, or evil; it is free from hypocrisy or flattery or any form of patronization.
In summary, God is love. God is perfect so His love is perfect. God is infinite so His love is infinite. God is eternal so His love is eternal. God is honorable so His love is honorable.
God has three categories of infinite, eternal and immutable virtue-love.
He has Divine Personal Love. God has personal love that can only have as its object perfect righteousness. So God the Father has personal love for God the Son and God the Holy Spirit.
He has Divine Spiritual Self-Esteem. God the Father loves His own perfect virtue, and therefore has perfect spiritual self-esteem; this is also true of God the Son and God the Holy Spirit.
He has Divine Impersonal Love. This is directed toward objects that have no merit including mankind in spiritual death. God selects man by providing human life, and simultaneously imputes Adam's original sin to the genetically formed old sin nature at birth. So we are born physically alive, but spiritually dead to God.
Regardless of this, God has an impersonal love that provides the basis for the solution to the problem of spiritual death. He sent God the Son to the world to provide salvation.
John 3:16; God "loved the world" that is spiritually dead. So God's impersonal love is directed toward unworthy creatures who have no holiness, virtue, or integrity.
When man became spiritually dead, there was no way God who is perfect could personally love him in spiritual death, but He could impersonally love mankind from the virtue of his perfect spiritual self-esteem.
Since God does not change He has impersonal love toward all creatures. Because all three Members of the Godhead have perfect virtue, integrity and are immutable, we have this perfect, stabilized structure of love.
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