Eternal Relationship

By: Mark Tabata (Evangelist)

One of the great teachings of Scripture revolves around the fact that God is a Triune Being-Father, Son, and Spirit (cf. 1 John 5:7; Isaiah 48:16).

Have you ever stopped and considered the implications of this? One of my favorite books is known as the Shack. Written by Paul Young, it tells the imaginary situation of a man who is sent a letter by God (i.e., Papa). Mack travels to the Shack to meet Papa, and has a life-altering experience.  

Writing about the profound (and biblical) messages within this book, another author speaks of the complex philosophical and theological implications of the subject of the Godhead. 

We read:
“For Young’s Papa, if God were alone and solitary from eternity, then being other- centered would be out of the question, for there would be no other to be centered upon. Relationship itself and fellowship, even being open, personal, and approachable, would be quite foreign to the very nature of such a solitary God. “Love,” C. S. Lewis says, “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.” 2 According to Saint Victor, “No one is properly said to have charity on the basis of his own private love of himself. And so it is necessary for love to be directed toward another for it to be charity. Therefore, where a plurality of persons is lacking, charity cannot exist.” 3 Young, Lewis, and Saint Victor raise a great issue. If there is no relationship within God’s eternal being, then there is no real basis in God’s nature for caring about something other than himself, no basis for altruistic devotion to others or for loving a thing for its own sake. The love of a single- personed God would be inherently self- centered, narcissistic, and ultimately about God, not others….This, it seems to me, is a huge point. Are we loved for what we can potentially bring to God’s table, or are we loved for our own sake? Does the love of the Father, Son, and Spirit come with strings attached? Is our existence about relationship, or is it about performance? Is the universe the product of divine self- interest, or need, or perhaps boredom? Are we here to do something for God, for God’s benefit?” (C. Baxter Kruger, Ph.D., The Shack Revisited: There Is More Going On here Than You Ever Dared To Dream, 117-118 (Kindle Edition); New York, NY; FaithWords; Hachette Book Group)
Let’s make a few observations.

First, the teaching of the Bible is in perfect harmony with the Nature of God as revealed in the Creation. A single being would not have the capacity for love per se. The only reason that love is possible is due to the fact that relationship exists eternally in the Godhead.

Second, we are reminded of the fact that God did not create out of an act of need or boredom. God, by His very Nature, is perfect in all of His attributes. This is due to His non-contingent Nature (see my article on The Non-Contingent Being for more detail). Being perfect, He has no need for us. This theme is reiterated throughout Scripture (Acts 17:25).. You and I (and the entire Creation) were not made out of loneliness, but we were instead made as an act of God’s unparalleled grace and steadfast love (Psalm 136). We were created to be loved. Is it any wonder that psychologists and psychiatrists through the years have pointed out this basic need of man?

Third, God invites us to share in fellowship and relationship with Him. One of my favorite passages of Scripture is from the Book of Jeremiah. We are told:
Jeremiah 9:23-24-23    Thus says the LORD: “Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom, Let not the mighty man glory in his might, Nor let the rich man glory in his riches; 24    But let him who glories glory in this, That he understands and knows Me, That I am the LORD, exercising lovingkindness, judgment, and righteousness in the earth. For in these I delight,” says the LORD.
This is the message that Jesus Christ has brought us: that we can KNOW (be in relationship with) the only true God, and Jesus Christ His Son Whom He has sent (John 17:3). We come into that relationship with God when we as believers repent of our sins and are clothed with Him and united with Him in baptism (cf. Galatians 3:26-27; Romans 6:3-4). 

Why not seek Him today?

The grace of The Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you all. Amen.

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