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Love: It’s All About The Cross

• Greg Boyd

God designed creation so that we would live in community with God and express God’s love towards each other and creation. However, sin disconnected us from God. In this sermon, Greg shows how we were created in the image of God to love others and creation and shows us how to reconnect with God.

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God designed creation so that we would live in community with God and express God’s love towards each other and creation. God’s love is not just an action that God expresses but is rather who God is. God is the Father, Son, and Spirit and all three have an eternal nature of other-oriented, Calvary love. In the book of 1st John, the author writes that Love is defined on the Cross and that God is love. Love is all about the Cross.

We are triune beings. Many people that we only have a body and a soul. However, the Bible tells us that we have a body, soul, and Spirit. The Spirit is our innermost being. Our soul is our mind and personality. Our body is our physical nature. All three combine to make us who we are.

The love of the Trinity is replicated in our relationships with ourselves. We were always supposed to be defined by our image in God. And on the other spectrum, we have our ideas about who we are. We gain the truth of who we are from the Trinity, from the revelations that God has given to us. This is why, in Matthew 22, we are commanded to love God and others as we love ourselves. We have already been programmed to love ourselves as God loves.

When creation began, we were created to exhibit the perfect, other-oriented love of the Trinity to ourselves, others and creation. This is a God-defined society, where God overflows into us as we overflow into each other and creation. We were created to put on display God’s glory, which is God’s radiant love. Everything in creation would have been defined by God’s love and reflect God’s love.

But we were deceived. Because of Sin and Satan, the flow of God’s love to us was interrupted. We began to define our inner image by the things of this world. Instead of hearing and believing God’s image about ourselves, we began to believe the lies about ourselves. We began to believe the lies that others tell us; that we are no good, worthless, broken, ugly, and not loved by God. We then become fragmented within our own triune self. Our soul and body begin to decay and distorted from these lies. Our spirit suffered as a result.

And not only ourselves, but all of creation was deceived. Since God’s love no longer flowed to us, we began to exploit one another and tell each other lies about who we are. When we don’t love our neighbors as we love ourselves, we inevitably use our neighbors for ourselves. And it’s the same with God, animals, and all of creation. Society becomes fragmented into us and them.

God wants us to clothe ourselves not with the love of this world, but the love of Calvary.
Because God clothes himself in the love of Calvary. This begins by us clothing our mental picture of God in Calvary. The love that was given to us on the Cross is the ultimate definition of God’s love and God’s essence. Then, we need to clothe ourselves with Calvary. We were worth everything, and God showed that on Calvary. Finally, we need to live out God’s society here and now through our thoughts and actions towards all other people, animals, and creation. In this way, we live out our true identity in Christ. And all of it is defined by Calvary. Love, it’s all about the Cross.

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Topics: Creation, Creation Care, Love

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Focus Scripture:

  • Colossians 3:14

    And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.

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18 thoughts on “Love: It’s All About The Cross

  1. Adam Fulton says:

    Does Greg ever teach on the subject of relating Jesus, our truest picture of God, to the God of the OT? It’s difficult to connect OT violence with Jesus.


  2. Charley Swanson says:

    Hey Adam — crazy timing; the last two weekends Greg’s sermons have been about just that:



    Hope they’re helpful!

  3. Peter says:

    God’s love is the oxygen of life.

  4. Dave Pritchard says:

    When Greg mentioned “Three’s” and the beautiful love and perfection that comes from the Trinity, I kept thinking about the number “Pi” and the symbolic beauty that it embodies from the constant ratio of its circumference to its diameter. A Beautifully Perfect Circle! Like those digits that never end, so is Gods love for us. And yes, its “irrational” Ha! He actually loves someone like me! The random distribution of those digits as well, speak to the infinite ways in which He has organized his amazing and evolving Creation!

    I’m somewhat of an Emerson fan and when Greg talked about our relationship and responsibility with the physical Earth, the message started to take on a quasi or even Neo-Transcendental feel in my mind. In his essay on “Nature”from (1836) under “Language”, he wrote –

    “Language is a third use which Nature subserves to man. Nature is the vehble, and threefold degree –

    1. Words are signs of natural facts.

    2. Particular natural facts are symbols of particular spiritual facts.

    3. Nature is the symbol of spirit.”

    Now, this could imply some seriously funky things, but I think Emerson was sincerely on to something mysteriously close to the true essence of what we are in relation to the Cosmos – i.e. God’s plan to demonstrate his relational Love.

    In our relationship with The Holy Spirit things are wonderfully reciprocal, biophilic and morally edifying. But with the earth, not so much. In fact, “mother nature” loves to bite our hand and leg off, if given the chance! Ha! I love how Greg graphically drew out God’s top down schematic with Jesus at then Center! Without him in that “Superposition”, our lives are pathetically limited.

  5. Gopher says:

    Well put, Peter. Great thoughts, Dave. And thanks for the rich message, Greg.

  6. M85 says:

    Greg Boyd is practically the only evangelical pastor i’ve ever heard seriously talk about the necessity to care for animals and creation in our relationship with Christ!! I just love his all-encompassing vision of the kingdom…

  7. Peter says:

    Hey M85, I was watching Greg’s “Trusting Dad” sermon ( http://whchurch.org/blog/1572/trusting-dad )which was about 5 years ago now, where he commences with a “mini sermon” on the animals….which underlines that theme/doctrine hasn’t altered overtime. Also I note Greg’s wardrobe hasn’t changed much over that time….which further underlines Greg’s adherence to Jesus words in Luke 12:22 which was part of the main sermon; not to care about what you will wear etc. I am on Greg’s side or, perhaps it is a male thing, that when you decide on comfortable clothes…..or clothes that you are comfortable in, why change style? Sure the suit is still in the wardrobe for appropriate occasions…..but for all the fashionistas, white will be the only ‘color’ in Heaven…Rev 3:5 “The one who conquers will be clothed thus in white garments”… and Rev 6:11…”each will be given a white robe”…..I suggest will be both symbolically and literally true.

    Lastly, there is a large archive of essentially Greg’s sermons which have been cataloged/themed and apart from those who wish to learn from these, there may also be those who are having problems that may come under one of the topics/themes and which may well be worth reviewing…..a great resource.

  8. M85 says:

    Thanks, Peter. Some of Greg’s sermons can be pretty inspiring.

  9. Dallas says:

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  12. credence says:

    If love was the cross,what was love before the cross

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  15. bambi says:

    Great stuff here.

    1. Benevolence says:


  16. Benevolence says:

    Why doesn’t Woodland Hills do an entire sermon series on God’s love for creation and our own mandate to care for it.

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