The Sovereign Liberty of Divine Love (Kuyper)

It is a wonder of sovereign grace that God loves his hate-filled enemies so much that he gave his Son to die in our place and give us eternal life.  We sometimes hear this and forget how staggering it actually is that God loves his people with divine, steadfast love.  Abraham Kuyper discussed this great truth well in his book, The Work of the Holy Spirit.  Here’s how he talked about the Lord’s love for us – and I like how Kuyper capitalized the word “love” when speaking of divine love:

That Love shone forth as a love for an enemy. Man had become the enemy of God: ‘There is no one who does good, not even one.’  The creature hated God. The enmity was absolute and terrible. There was nothing in man to attract God; rather everything to repel Him. And when all was enmity and repulsion, then the Love of God was made manifest in that Christ died for us when we were enemies.

Love among men and animals rests upon mutual attraction, sympathy, and inclination; even the love that relieves the sufferer feels the power of it. But here is a love that finds no attraction anywhere, but repulsion everywhere. And in this fact sparkles the sovereign liberty of divine Love: it loves because it will love, and by loving saves the object of its love.

Since this Love attained its severest tension on Calvary, its symbol is and ever shall be the Cross. For the Cross is the most fearful manifestation of man’s enmity; and by the very contrast the beauty and adorableness of divine Love shine most gloriously: Love that suffers and bears everything, Love that can die voluntarily, and in that death heralds the dawn of a still more glorious future.

Yes!  Amen!

Abraham Kuyper, The Work of the Holy Spirit, p. 519.

Shane Lems
Covenant Presbyterian Church (OPC)
Hammond, WI, 54015