Jesus relationship with his Father in the Spirit opens to us the God who is a fullness of joyful love. We see that God is not a still and static essence. He is rather a dynamic communion of joyful love and life. Gazing at this triune love, we see that without us and without the world God would not experience any lack of love within himself.
However, the love that God is within himself overflows towards us with dynamism and delight and desire. And the love overflows towards us seeking fellowship with us. God does not have to move towards us in this way. There is nothing lacking in God that means he really must add to his own communion. No! The circle of Triune love is a FULNESS of shared life. So God doesn’t have to move towards us seeking fellowship with us in order to be fulfilled. On the contrary, rather than lacking anything, the fellowship of Father and Son in the Spirit is so full that it simply overflows seeking to include us within the fellowship.
Dynamic, and relational movement belongs to the very being of the God who is love. He is an infinite fountain of self-giving love that moves towards us from the inner depths of who the Triune God is. And his desire is always to take us up into the inner relations of God’s own life and love. In union with Jesus by the Spirit we are gathered up to dwell with God and in God. In this, we do not become divine, but rather more authentically human in union with Jesus, the true human.
Jesus, the dearly loved Son, was always turned towards his Father in love. He delighted in his Father. He obeyed his Father freely from love. He always honoured the Father because he loved his Father more than his own life. In all these ways, Jesus related to his Father in the Spirit so that he overflowed with joy in the Father. As we look at Jesus we also see the Father turned towards his Son in delight. Jesus is the beloved Son in whom the Father is always well pleased. And the Father was continually present to Jesus with delight in the Spirit.
So when we look at Jesus the first thing we see is that God is a fellowship of self-giving love. In this fellowship, the three are continually sharing in each other’s delights and desires, in each other’s loves and longings, in each other’s pleasures and pursuits. They are dynamically one in the sharing of life and love. C.S Lewis called this “The Great Dance”.
Apart from Jesus, we know nothing of the Triune God in the eternal realms. But what we see in Jesus during his earthly life unveils who God is eternally. God is a fellowship of mutual joy and love and life and energy and joy. He is not a still and static essence; he is a joyful fellowship sharing a fullness of life and love. In himself, apart from us, God IS love and he is love in dynamic and personal fellowship. It is this God, who now calls us to walk in love as we live in him and he lives in us.
The God who is love calls us to walk in love. Are we called to walk in love because we now have the ability to love? Where does our love come from? Left to ourselves, we do not love. However, in spite of our natural lack of love we are met by Jesus in the Spirit and that encounter changes everything.
In the Presence of Jesus, we are aware that we have failed to love God and others. Indeed, we are those who are always hostile to God wanting nothing to do with him. Nevertheless, as we meet Jesus, we are aware that he is the one who loved us and gave himself for us. And in that same encounter, the love of God is poured into our hearts by the Spirit freely given. So we now know that we are deeply loved and called to walk in love as the Spirit of love works the love of God within us.
We must continually remind ourselves that God does not love us because we love. Rather, we love because he loves us. For the Son of God who loved me and gave himself for me continually loves me and goes on giving himself to me. I no longer live, but he lives in me to live his own life of love in and through me. And so, in him and with him and through him we are enabled to walk in love.
God has demonstrated his love for us in that while we were yet sinners Christ died for us. And this same God moves towards us personally uniting us to Jesus by his Spirit. That means our life in union with Jesus begins with God’s love. We are not united to Jesus because of something in us that makes it happen. Nothing at all precedes God’s love for us. We live in Jesus and he lives in us simply because of God’s free love. And now, within this union, we know that we are deeply loved. With John, we say, “See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!”
As those who are loved, we are called to walk in love. That means living a life of love for the God who has loved us and for others. Recognising, that we are only enabled to love as the Father’s Son lives in and through us by his Spirit. We may feel we are called to much more than love? However, the God who is love shows us there is nothing higher or better than love for God and for others. Love is simply the greatest thing in the entire world. Paul says love is “the most excellent way”. Indeed, unlike faith and hope, love remains forever (1 Cor 13:8). For, as Jonathan Edwards says, “Heaven is a world of love”. So we walk in love knowing that to love is to live in God as he lives in us.
The Father’s Son, has become one with us as Jesus. He has become God with us so that we might be with God. And God’s Spirit joins us to Jesus so that we are in him as he is in us. In this living union with the Father’s Son we are taken into the Triune Communion to share in the life and love of God himself. We do not become divine, but we do share in the Son’s relationship with his Father in the Spirit. And so, we are not detached from God looking at his love from a distance and trying hard to apply it with meaning to our own daily lives. We always look at God from within the communion of love that we are brought into through union with Jesus by the Spirit.
Within this communion of love, we discern that God does not exist for himself alone. We know that he will not be without us. All things were created for Christ and for us in him. And, through Christ, God has given himself to us so that we may be one with him sharing in his circle of love. Of course, we always remain merely human. We don’t become divine. And yet, God wants to be with us and for us to be with him in the Oneness of his own Triune circle of love. Abiding in Jesus, we know that nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from God’s love anymore than anything can separate the Father and Son from one another.
God is Love. He is an eternal movement of Love – Father, Son and Spirit ceaselessly loving one another. Not loving one another in a passive way of eternal stillness, but loving one another freely in active self-giving to one another. For God the Father to be Father is to be Father of the Son in joyful, self-giving love towards his Son in the Spirit. For God the Son to be Son is to be the Father’s Son in active self-giving love towards his Father in the Spirit. In the Spirit, Father and Son continually give themselves to one another and receive from one another in their dynamic communal life.
This eternal movement of love overflows in loving action towards us. For this God does not wish to live within himself and for himself alone. The One Lord who is essentially personal, dynamic and relational is God for others with whom he seeks and creates fellowship. In the freedom of his love, he wants to bring us into his joyful circle of love in a new world of love.
This free-flowing of sheer love for others reveals something of the inmost nature of God as Being for others. Father, Son and Spirit are always for one another in free-flowing dynamic loving within himself. And God is always for others outside his own inner life. The Triune God has eternally determined himself to be God with us and for us as one of us in Jesus and by the Spirit. And he has also eternally determined us to be with him in Jesus and Spirit.
In Christ, God was reconciling the world to himself. Reconciliation is now accomplished in him. In his Love, God was entirely free to do this. No one could resist him. No one could say you cannot do this. No one could prevent this eternal purpose of love from being accomplished once and for all. This is what God wanted to do for us in the freedom of his love. God wants us in relation with himself. And in the freedom of his love God acts to do what he wants freely in Jesus, the Father’s son.
It is all done!
Now, God’s Spirit acts for us on both sides of our relation with God. He opens to us all that God is for us in Christ. And the same Spirit opens us to God as dearly loved children in union with his unique Son. We know we are loved. We know we belong. And in this knowing we respond with confidence and glad obedience to Abba Father.
Yes, we now relate to Jesus’ Father as our Father crying Abba Father with Jesus in the Spirit. Jesus indwells us, by the Spirit, to live his own life in and through us. Christ himself is our very life. We live in him and he lives in us and the life we now live is lived in Christ as he lives in us. In this way, our relation with God is truly a sharing in the Son’s relation with the Father in the Spirit.
The Triune God is Love. The One God is three persons mutually indwelling one another in other-centred love. And so, there is within the very Being of God a desire to be for others in love. This God, who is love, has demonstrated his love for us by giving his Son even unto death. And he has poured his love into our hearts in the gift of his Spirit. He has moved freely out of himself as love to bring us into the communion of love with himself. Even though we turn away from him, he refuses to be shut off from us. He wants to be with us and for us to be with him.
The Triune God is also Light. I don’t think we are meant to separate light and love into two different ways of seeing God. The Light of God is his love shining towards us in all its beauty and brilliance. We see the light of God in the face of Jesus as we gaze on the radiance of his love. And the Spirit is the one who shines this light into our hearts so that we may see the light of God’s glory in the face of Jesus. The Spirit lights up the Face of God in the face of Christ. In Jesus, and by the Spirit, the God who is all love and light and light and love shines in our hearts. And as we gaze on the light of his glory we are transformed into his likeness.
God is essentially personal, relational and dynamic. He is not some static divine substance in eternal stillness. The One God is within himself three persons who relate together dynamically. Within God’s triune life there is always life and movement and relationship. Far from being static, the Being of God is essentially and eternally dynamic.
In the Jesus story, we see this God moving towards us in lowliness and love. He moved dynamically to save us from all the dark powers that ruled over us. And now, this saving action comes to us personally in living encounter by the Spirit. The Spirit makes actual within us and among us the saving action of the Triune God. And this same dynamic God continues to move in us and among us to energise us so that we share in all that God continues to do through Jesus in the Presence and Power of the Spirit.
In union with Jesus, by the Spirit, God is always with us as the dynamic and ever-living one. He continually desires to encounter us personally in his livingness. He continually desires to transform us personally in his livingness. He continually desires to include us in his ongoing mission on behalf of the world in his livingness. God’s intention is that, through his dynamic Spirit, we may live and move with the Father and Son to share in all they are doing. And he desires all this so that, in the Spirit, we may find our deepest joy in the joyful love of God.
Jesus was born of a poor and lowly girl in weakness. But he was conceived, within the girl, by the power of God’s Spirit. An angel announced to Mary, “The Holy Spirit will come on you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God.”
At his baptism, the Spirit came upon Jesus without measure. From that moment, we see Jesus living and moving in the Spirit. In lowliness and weakness he served his Father and yet always in the power of the Spirit. And so, his lowly serving was always dynamic movement
Everything Jesus did for us was in the Spirit. All his teaching was in the authority of the Spirit. All his miracles were works of power in the Spirit. He offered himself as the once for all sacrifice for us in the Spirit. And he was declared to be the Son of God in power according to the Spirit of holiness by his resurrection from the dead (Romans 1:4).
This lowly man, who served in the power of the Spirit, is now exalted to his Father’s side. And he received from his Father the promised Holy Spirit to pour out on us. And now, joined to Jesus in the Spirit, we may share his communion with the Father and participate in all that Jesus is for us as one of us. We also share in the ongoing mission of Jesus as he continually lives and moves and acts in us and through us serving his Father on behalf of the world.