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Redemption: The Supreme Untouched Love of God

Any consideration of the atonement must be predominated in the untouched and supreme love of God. When I say that God's love is untouched, I mean none have constrained or manipulated God's love. The love that flows from the divine is "tamper proof".  I further described it as supreme suggesting that it is the ultimate expression of love, making all other loves appear to be in nadir. Still more than that, the love of God is supreme in that it is dispensed out of unrivaled sovereignty.  So as God commends His love to sinners, He does not first clear such an exercise with a higher governing body.  Additionally, the LORD does not exercise this in response to a prescient glance to see if the object of love will requite or repay it. The untouched supreme love of God is a distinguishing love.  Professor Murray initially presents such passages as Romans 5:8 and 8:31-32 to illustrate the freely lavished love of God.  Then he points out love's delineation or the orbit of love in Romans 8:29 and Ephesians 1:4-5.  Professor Murray adds, "The love of God from which the atonement springs is not a distinctionless love; it is a love that elects and predestinates". With such considerations of the love of God we depart from the oft romanticized picture of the love of God which frames it in anthropocentric shapes.  In the true biblical portrait of God's love we find an uncomfortable theocentric orientation.  God loves freely.  God loves sovereignly.  God loves particularly.  To state it differently God sovereignly sets His everlasting love upon individuals of His own choosing making them the objects of the atonement.  Beyond the free and authoritative act of dispensing His divine special love upon those whom He wills, the entire occasion of redeeming the elect through the penal substitionary sin sacrifice of the Son of His love was consonant with the perfection of the Divine nature (consequent absolute necessity). Love continues to be front and center when we deal with the nature of the atonement.  But in the context of discussing the nature of the atonement love expresses itself in the obedience of Christ, better stated, the loving obedience of Christ.  Describing the nature of the atonement as the loving obedience of Christ is consistent with Professor Murray's assertion that expressed atonement the obedience goes beyond mere formal acts. "When we speak of obedience we are thinking not merely of formal acts of accomplishment but also of the disposition, will, determination, and volition which lie back of and are registered in these formal acts.  And when we speak of the death of our Lord upon the cross as the supreme act of His obedience we are thinking not merely of the overt act of dying upon the tree but also the disposition, will, and determinate volition which lay back of the overt act." Now at first glance we could say that Christ accomplished His Cross work with the singularly focused approach of a proletariat, but such an assertion would miss the heart of the Godhead.  For in the Son we have one who regarded obeying the will of the Father as His sustenance.  More clearly stated, the Son performs and accomplishes the atonement to manifest His love for the Father to the watching world(John 14:31).  It becomes in that vein, the joy set before Him.  Thus the obedience of Christ (active and passive) was a whole-souled unveiling of His love for the Father. 

Posted by ChristCentric on Tue, Apr 17 2012 20:54:00

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