I John 4:8 says: “He who does not love does not know God for God is love.” God created us with a desire to love and to be loved. This desire however has been buried under the false views of denying the existence of God. Many fallaciously believe that by eliminating God we are freer to love. Back in the 1960’s most of the music of that day was about love. It was the Beatles who said All You Need is Love. Love is expressed by what was called love-ins which was nothing more than dope-smoking orgies. Was this love? Not at all.
Most of us were taught in our biology classes in high school that mankind is just the product of primordial slime that produced life only through time plus chance. Evolution teaches the survival of the fittest which has no purpose but one species dominating another. This is supposed to give us identity and meaning. In eliminating God instead of given us a higher view of ourselves, we have lowered our value, our status and our dignity.
In our materialistic world, where do we find love? In Romans 1 Paul says in verse 25 that we have “worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator…” We try to find our purpose through our environment or animal rights or using other people for our own ends.
Nancy Pearcey in her book Finding Truth said: “All sorts of people are fond of repeating the Christian statements that ‘God is love,’ writes C. S. Lewis, ‘but they seem not to notice that the words ‘God is love’ have no real meaning unless God contains at least two persons. Love is something that one person has for another person. If God was a single person, then before the world was made he was not love.’ (Or if he had the capacity for love, he had no way to exercise it. To fulfill his nature he would need to create a world—in which case, he would be dependent on creation).”
Only a God of love is purely personal so the Trinity is crucial for understanding a fully personal concept of God who loves Himself. Because the Trinity, God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, love one another can we truly understand what love is. In His high priestly prayer in John 17:22-23 Jesus prayed: “In the glory which You gave Me I have given them, that they may be one just as We are one: I and them, and You and Me; that they may be made perfect in one, and that the world may know that You have sent Me, and have loved them as You have loved Me.”
Both Judaism and Islam teach the unitarian oneness of God. Therefore, they know nothing of His love for Himself and thus do not have a true biblical understanding of how to love one another. Only a God of love is fully personal.
In Islam for example Allah made the world and you must accept the way it interacts with you, even if it should kill you. You are allowed no questions, no doubt, no individual responsibility. Negation of self is your salvation. Therefore its spirituality is completely impersonal not based on a love of God with all your heart, mind and soul.
Though with Judaism we share a common heritage in the Old Testament, we differ in our belief in God. They, like Islam, deny the Trinity and thus have no concept of the personal relationship with God nor do they understand the love of God.
I hope from this you can understand how important it is for us to believe in the Triune God and know that the source of our love does not come from chance or religion but from God Himself. So as John said “Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.” (I John 4:11)
See you Sunday.