The Love Quadrangle

There is One God in three persons: The Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. They have loved one another from all of eternity.  But God wanted to bring you into this great relationship of love.  This is what I will call “the Love Quadrangle.”  You see, He wants to share His love with you and in order for Him to do that He has invited you into the love that is shared in the Godhead.  When we speak of this love, God longs for a fourth person to be part of it – you.  This is a picture of how God sees you and His desire for you to be in that intimate relationship with Him.

I have laid out 7 points to help you understand how this Love Quadrangle works:

  1. The Father Loves Those Who Love Jesus and believe He sent Him.

“Whoever has my commandments and keeps them, he it is who loves me. And he who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him and manifest myself to him.” (John 14:21)

Since you believed in and received Jesus, you have since learned His commandments and do all you can to keep them, demonstrating that you truly love Jesus. And because of this, the Father and the Son love you and want to reveal their love to you.  In this Love Quadrangle: God loves those who love His Son.

Anyone who denies the Son doesn’t have the Father, either. But anyone who acknowledges the Son has the Father also. (1 John 2:23)    

“I made known to them your name, and I will continue to make it known, that the love with which you have loved me may be in them, and I in them.” (John 17:26)

God’s ultimate purpose in this Love Quadrangle is that the world would know that He loves you just like He loves His Son.

“I in them and you in me, that they may become perfectly one, so that the world may know that you sent me and loved them even as you loved me.” (John 17:23)

This is speaking of the evidence of our love for Jesus. He showed Himself to us; He showed us who the Father is. We accepted and believed His words. We followed Him. We believed that God sent Him.

“I have manifested your name to the people whom you gave me out of the world. Yours they were, and you gave them to me, and they have kept your word…For I have given them the words that you gave me, and they have received them and have come to know in truth that I came from you; and they have believed that you sent me.  (John 17:6, 8)

Whoever loves Jesus He will love also and manifest Himself to that person.

2. The Father knows He is loved by you when you love His Son.

“In that day you will ask in my name, and I do not say to you that I will ask the Father on your behalf;  for the Father himself loves you, because you have loved me and have believed that I came from God.” (John 16:26-27)

Here is the second time Jesus says this: “The Father loves you because you have loved Me and believed He sent me”. It was an amazing thing to say: “The Father Himself loves you.” The beginning point of loving God is to love His Son. When we love the Son then we love the Father. We cannot love the Father unless we love the Son.

Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.  If you really know me, you will know my Father as well. From now on, you do know him and have seen him.” (John 14:6-7)

So then, what does it mean to love Jesus? How does that look?

3. The way you show that you love Jesus is by keeping His Commandments.

Jesus answered him, “If anyone loves me, he will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him.” (John 14:23)

Jesus is saying, “I really will feel loved by you if you keep My word”. “In fact, my Father will then love you too. We will want to be with you, live with you, commune with you.” Here, God feels loved when we obey Him.“but I do as the Father has commanded me, so that the world may know that I love the Father”. (John 14:31)

Jesus teaches us this through His own life. When He obeyed His Father, then the world knew He loved the Father. He didn’t just go around saying, “I love God”. He showed everyone how real His love was. Love for God is only as real as our desire to obey Him. That’s how God feels loved.

So then, what does it mean to obey Him? What is His commandment?

4. This is His Commandment: To love one another in the same way as He has loved you.

“This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. You are my friends if you do what I command you.” (John 15:12-14)

Now, in a most interesting turn, Jesus says that we show we love God when we love one another. Whoever claims to love God yet hates a brother or sister is a liar. For whoever does not love their brother and sister, whom they have seen, cannot love God, whom they have not seen. And he has given us this command: Anyone who loves God must also love their brother and sister. (1 John 4:20-21)

No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us. (1 John 4:12)

Not only will Jesus feel loved by me if I love my brother and sister, but He will also see me as His friend. When I love you, I love Him. When I love you, He calls me friend.“I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you.  You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit—fruit that will last—and so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you.  This is my command: Love each other.” (John 15:15-17)

Being called His “friend” is a term of intimacy. He let you into His private space, into His Love Quadrangle. He wants you to know His personal business. You’re not just a servant or an employee, you are a friend. How did you become His friend? It is because he feels loved by you when you keep His commandment.

What is His commandment? To love your brothers and sisters. When we love one another we build trust with God. When we love others it is like a deposit in the bank of trust and friendship with Him.

“If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in his love.” (John 15:10)

“This is my command to you: Love one other.” (John 15:17)

So how do I love others? What does that look like?

5. How has Jesus loved you? He laid down His life for you. That is how you are to love others.

“Greater love has no one than this: that he lay down his life for his friends.” (John 15:13)

What does it mean to lay down your life for your friends? When he had finished washing their feet, he put on his clothes and returned to his place. “Do you understand what I have done for you?” he asked them.  “You call me ‘Teacher’ and ‘Lord,’ and rightly so, for that is what I am.  Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet.” (John 13:12-14)

Washing someone’s feet in the days of Jesus was the job of a slave. The master of the house wouldn’t do that. It was very humbling. It was for the hired labor. Jesus was Lord of All and yet took the form of a slave in order to show us what love looks like in action.

Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death—even death on a cross! (Phil. 2:6-8)

What was Jesus teaching us by washing His disciples’ feet? Put others first. Serve them. Sacrifice for them. Go out of your way to do kind acts for them. In this way, we lay down our lives for our friends and hence become friends of God.

Do nothing out of selfish ambition or empty pride, but in humility consider others more important than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others. (Phil. 2:3-4)

When we consider others more important than ourselves and show it with our actions, we are practicing the same kind of love that Jesus did.

6. Jesus feels loved by us when we desire to be with Him in Heaven some day

“Father, I desire that they also, whom you have given me, may be with me where I am, to see my glory that you have given me because you loved me before the foundation of the world.” (John 17:24)

When we have our eyes and desires set on being with Him in His Father’s House, He feels loved by us. “My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am”. (John 14:2-5)

“You heard me say to you, ‘I am going away, and I will come to you.’ If you loved me, you would have rejoiced, because I am going to the Father, for the Father is greater than I.” (John 14:28)

Jesus feels loved by us when we rejoice that He is with the Father but will one day come again for us. This is because when we honor the Father and desire His presence, we are truly showing love for Jesus

7. The Holy Spirit communicates God’s love to us

How does the Holy Spirit fit in the Love Quadrangle?

The Holy Spirit is the one who woos us to the love of Jesus, and makes the love of Christ real to us. He gives us revelation, understanding and wisdom and teaches us as a personal tutor would. Without the Holy Spirit, we could not understand or realize the reality and gravity of God’s love for us.

“But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, He shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.” (John 14:26) 

One of the major reasons the Father sent the Holy Spirit to us was to constantly remind of us of Jesus’ love for us and how to show love to Jesus.

But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come. He will glorify me because it is from me that he will receive what he will make known to you.  All that belongs to the Father is mine. That is why I said the Spirit will receive from me what he will make known to you.” (John 16:13-15)

The Holy Spirit will take of what is Jesus’ and show it to us. He will take of His love and manifest it to us.  He is the messenger of God’s love, the One who makes it real and unforgettable to us.

And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us. (Romans 5:5)

The Holy Spirit wants us to know what has been given to us. He makes it real. He brings us into and connects us with the love of Father and the Son in the Love Quadrangle.

The Holy Spirit wants to tell us all about the good things that God has given us. He wants to make known these things unto us, so that we can take advantage of them. This is how we know that we live in him and He in us: He has given us of his Spirit.  (1 John 4:13)

Conclusion: There is One God in three persons, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. And as much as they were content with one another and with the love relationship they had from eternity, they decided to add a fourth person into their circle to share and receive their love with. That person is you! They invited you, me and every other human being that desires to join them in the way they have required. There is no other creature in all of creation that has this privilege – it is the privilege of humans alone. The only way into this Love Quadrangle is through Jesus Christ Himself. He made the way possible through the greatest display of love in history – the Cross. The amazing thing is that the Father didn’t have to do this. Jesus didn’t have to do this. The Holy Spirit didn’t have to do this. It was their radical and amazing plan to display their love for you. God did it because He is Love and wanted to share Himself with you. What is our reasonable response? To say yes! But with that, our responsibility and privilege is to be like Him and display this type of extravagant love to others: A kind of love that knows no bounds. A love that begins and ends within the Love Quadrangle.

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