“In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be
the propitiation for our sins.” 1 John 4:10 NKJV.
“Here we notice again two things:
First, the Love wherewith God loved the world proven by the fact that He spares not His own Son, but delivers Him up for us all.
Second, the love of Christ for the Father, whose work He finished, and for us, whom He saved.
The second is of greatest importance to us. In Christ, whom we honor as God manifest in the flesh, the divine Love is seen; in Him it appeared and scintillated with all-surpassing brightness. The reality of the divine Love appeared to men for the first time and once for all in Him: “That which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon and our hands have handled, declare we unto you”; and that was always the glory of the eternal Love which had captivated and pervaded their whole soul.
Until now men had walked in Love’s shadow, but in Immanuel Love itself appeared in the flesh and after the manner of men. It was not merely a radiation of Love, its reflection, an increased feature, sense or inclination, but the fresh, irresistible waves of Love’s own constraining power issuing from the depths of His divine heart. It was this Love which, in the heart of Immanuel, brought heaven down to earth, and which by His ascension to heaven uplifted our world to the halls of eternal light. Even though Europe had felt nothing of it, and America had never thought of a Savior, though Africa had not heard the tidings, and it was but a small spot in Asia where His feet pressed the ground, yet it was the heart of Immanuel that bound every continent and the world-yes, the very universe around it, to the divine Mercy.
That Love shone forth as a love for an enemy. Man had become the enemy of God: “There is none who doeth good, no not 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 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.
But even the work of the Son does not finish the work of putting the impress of God’s Love upon the human heart. Wherefore, as the Creation is followed by the Incarnation, so does Pentecost follow the Incarnation; and it is God the Holy Spirit who accomplishes this third work by His descent into the heart of man.
“It is expedient for you that I go away; for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you.” This implies that the Holy Ghost would give the disciples still a higher good than the Son could give them. This is not independently of the Son; for the Scripture teaches emphatically that He neither will nor can do anything without the Son, and that He receives of the Son only to give unto us. However, the difference remains that, although Jesus suffers and dies and rises for us, nevertheless the actual work in the souls of men awaits the gracious operation of the Holy Spirit. It is, as St. Paul writes to the Romans, that “the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost.”
And this is the proper work of the Holy Spirit, that shall remain His forevermore. When there remains no more sin to be atoned for, nor any unholiness to be sanctified, when all the elect shall jubilate before the throne, even then the Holy Spirit shall perform this divine work of keeping the Love of God actively dwelling in their hearts. How, we cannot tell, but this we understand, that it is the Holy Spirit who, being, the same in all, unites all souls in blessed union. When at the same moment spiritual life is wrought in your soul and mine and the souls of others, the mutual bond of Love must be the result. For, although men and things are grounded in the Father, and the souls of the redeemed are united in the Son, yet personally to enter every soul, making it His temple and dwelling-place, is the work of the Holy Spirit.”
-From Abraham Kuyper’s The Work Of The Holy Spirit First Published in 1900 Published by AMG Publishers Chattanooga, TN 1995 Pages 545-547.