God-Centered Love: Complex

From Thabiti’s post on Jonathan Leeman’s new book,The Church and the Surprising Offence of God’s Love: Reintroducing the Doctrines of Church Membership and Discipline(pp. 85-86):

God’s love is God-centered. When we as humans then love in a God-centered way, we love – as Augustine said – with respect to him, or for his sake. That means we burn to see his character and glory expressed everywhere – in ourselves, in our friends and family, in our enemies, in creation, in everything. From the vantage point of creation, God-centered love bears no judgment and draws no boundaries. It knows only pleasure and delights in the gift of itself.

On the other hand, God’s God-centered love bears a posture that opposes everything that opposes God, just as you and I will oppose anyone who opposes the human objects of our love such as a friend or spouse. I love my daughters, so I have an affection for their good.  How then can I not oppose anyone or anything that intends for their ultimate ill? So it is with God’s love for God, and so it is for any true love of God that we have. Loving him means having affection for his glory and honor. A complex posture is therefore required. God loves all sinners insofar as they reflect his glory; he opposes them insofar as they don’t.  What that means is that a God-centered love must discriminate; it must have preferences; it must make judgments, and it must do so in light of sin and the fall. It is not universal, because it does not love anything that opposes God. God-centered love does not love sin.


About B Treece
loved by God before I ever loved Him, saved by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone by the authority of the Bible alone to the glory of God alone, made to enjoy Him forever, happily married with wonder-filled children.

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