Does Being Transformed Into The Likeness Of The Son Include How We Relate To The Father?

18 February, 2015

Today’s reading comes again from Michael Reeve’s book: Delighting in the Trinity. In this section he explains how being Christlike absolutely includes loving and being loved by the Father.

“The Father has eternally known and loved his great Son, and through the Spirit he opens our eyes that we too might know him, and so he wins our hearts that we too might love him. Our love for the Son, then, is an echo and an extension of the Father’s eternal love. In other words, through the Spirit the Father allows us to share in the enjoyment of what most delights him—his Son. It was his overwhelming love for the Son that inspired him to create us in the first place, and all so that we might share in that highest pleasure of his. This, in fact, is the heartbeat of what it means to be godly, to be like this God. It is why Jesus says: “If God were your Father, you would love me” (Jn 8:42). The Father’s very identity consists in his love for the Son, and so when we love the Son we reflect what is most characteristic about the Father. It is the prime reason the Spirit is given.

The Puritan theologian John Owen wrote that “therein consists the principal part of our renovation into his image. Nothing renders us so like unto God as our love unto Jesus Christ.”But the Spirit not only enables us to know and love Christ; he also gives us the mind of Christ, making us like him. Now before anything else, what is most characteristic of the Son is his relationship with his Father, that he knows and enjoys receiving the love and life of the Father, “that I love the Father and that I do exactly what my Father has commanded me” (Jn 14:31). At the heart of our transformation into the likeness of the Son, then, is our sharing of his deep delight in the Father. In our love and enjoyment of the Son we are like the Father; in our love and enjoyment of the Father we are like the Son. That is the happy life the Spirit calls us to.”- Reeves, Michael (2012-07-03). Delighting in the Trinity: An Introduction to the Christian Faith (p. 95). InterVarsity Press. Kindle Edition.

Michael Reeves, does a great job of reminding us that being Christ-like absolutely involves loving the Father. Sometimes our own view of what the Father is like is not accurate. We associate him with our earthly fathers, or we think of him as some all powerful non-caring deity who couldn’t be moved less by our love for him. That couldn’t be further from the truth. Look how Jesus reveals the Father in the story of the prodigal son. He’s the dad who not only accepted his son back into his home but was moved to run to his son, to embrace him, and to celebrate by throwing a great feast!  To be Christ-like then, is not to pretend that we love some unmoved god, but rather it is to truly love and be loved by this Father who runs to and embraces his children, and who invites us to share in the love He has always shared with the Son.


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