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God Is Love

• Greg Boyd

The love of God expressed in Christ on the cross was “foolishness to the Gentiles” and “a stumbling block to the Jews”. God’s love is scandalous to us all in different ways.

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Greg argued that Jesus is the fullest revelation of God we have. What we learn about God from Jesus (the incarnation of God) is that God is love. “Scandalous” love. Jesus was scandalous to the Greeks because they expected God to be supremely rational, transcendent, powerful, distant and free from emotions. Jesus clearly was not what they expected. Jesus was scandalous to the Jews because he didn’t fulfill their expectations that their messiah would free them from oppression by the Romans and establish them as their own nation.
Greg had four main points for this message:
1. Jesus is the “Word of God” (John 1:1), the “image of God” (Col. 1:15), the
“form of God” (Phil. 2:6), as well as “the Way, the Truth and the Life” (John 14:6).
2. “In Christ, all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form.” (Col. 2:9)
3. Jesus is the visible face of God. (John 14:9; 1 John 2:23; 2 Cor. 4:6)
4. Jesus trumps all previous revelations. (John 5:36; Hebrews 1:1-3; Mt. 11:27;
John 1:17-18; Mt. 5:38-39, 44-45; Luke 9:54-55.)
Today’s message contained a lot of Scripture passages. Take time as a group to look each of these.

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Topics: Love, Power

Sermon Series: Scandalous Love


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Focus Scripture:

  • 1 John 4:8

    Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.

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4 thoughts on “God Is Love

    Tim Cooper says: Monday August 2, 2010 at 4:20 pm

    Hi brothers and sisters,
    I loved this teaching and embrace it completely! I would only add that there IS an answer to the Old Testament questions that seem to ascribe evil to God. I have left a link below that will (finish) Greg’s teaching with answers many of you have been looking for. Below

    http://thegoodnessofgod.com/goodness_part_one.pdf

    Reply
    Tony Ripley says: Saturday September 4, 2010 at 9:39 pm

    Question
    Romans 5:8-11 says:
    8But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. 9Since we have now been justified by his blood, how much more shall we be saved from God’s wrath through him! 10For if, when we were God’s enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life! 11Not only is this so, but we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation.
    How do I reconcile the terms in these verses “God’s enemies” and “God’s wrath” in context of His “all good” character? By “God’s wrath” is Paul referring to how we experience life, bumping up against God’s righteousness and feeling pain, maybe God’s “megaphone” getting our attention to his existence and our circumstances apart from him? Or something altogether different, a third option in my blindspot? Is God’s enemies referring to our position against him in our, before surrendering ourselves over, decisions to live for ourselves and our selfish desires? Thus, us making ourselves enemies to God. Or because we have sin in us and we choose it and perpetuate sin, does God consider us enemies?
    Romans 5:9-10 seem to illustrate the idea that God – the mean God, wants to pour out wrath on us, but Jesus – the Good God, saved us from God the angry father. Romans 5:8&11 Clearly has the opposite view of God and Jesus being together in their sacrificial and atoning, God-glorifying love. Vs 8 shows how God sought after us with great sacrificial love and verse 11 shows how, having been God’s enemies, we rightly say, “we were wrong – you’re awesome God.”
    To clarify, my questions is: Am I correct in seeing “God’s wrath” and “God’s enemies” as our reality, an objective description of our experience (or past experience) having been unjustified and unreconciled to God, or am I inserting wishful and limited thinking of God’s character that has all goodness and holds God’s position toward us as wrathful and adversary before/unless we have faith in Jesus?

    Reply
    Jim LePage says: Wednesday September 8, 2010 at 4:28 pm

    Hey Tony – I don’t necessarily have answers for you, but I did want to make you aware of the Wrath and Love Q&A that Greg and Paul did:

    https://whchurch.org/sermons-media/other-media/qa/wrath-and-love-qa

    I think they address some of the questions you’re asking.

    Reply
    Jim LePage says: Thursday September 16, 2010 at 4:07 pm

    Hey Tony – I was able to get a response from Greg on this. Here’s what he said, hope it helps:

    Excellent question. There’s actually an on-going debate regarding the nature of God’s “wrath” in theological and exegetical circles. Some scholars argue that God’s wrath is “AFFECTIVE,” meaning it includes an emotion of anger on God’s part. Other scholars, however, argue it is “EFFECTIVE,” meaning it refers to the God-ordained consequences of sinful behavior, but is not used as a descriptor of an emotion of God. I just completed my own study of the concept for a book I’m working on, and I’ll tell you I am squarely in the SECOND camp. So, in this view, God’s “wrath” is not at all incompatible with God’s “love.” And we escape God’s “wrath” by God’s love saving us from a life that was leading to God-ordained consequences of rebellion (destruction).

    Reply

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