"The Father loveth the Son."

H. H. Snell.

Christian Friend, vol. 13, 1886, p. 325.

That the Son loved the Father, His perfect obedience, faith, subjection, and entire surrender of Himself to the Father's will fully proves. But what an object of infinite and unchanging love was He ever to the Father's heart! What a sweet savour was He always to God in life and in death! What a delight was He to the Father by the Jordan! and again in the holy mount, where others were eyewitnesses of His majesty! On each occasion the voice from the excellent glory declared, "This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased." Never was there such a testimony from heaven before.

The Son also declared the Father. This He did not in word only, though He spake the words of God, and the Father who sent Him gave Him a commandment what He should say, and what He should speak; but also as to the works He did He could say, "The Father that dwelleth in me, He doeth the works." And is it not also true that He so manifested the Father in every detail, that if one had known Him he would have known the Father also? Thus the Son from heaven so declared the Father, that those who hated Him hated His Father also, and those who believed on Him believed on the Father who had sent Him; for "Jesus cried and said, He that believeth on me, believeth not on me, but on Him. that sent me. And he that seeth me seeth Him that sent me." How blessed then it is to find our Lord saying to His disciples, "He that hath seen me hath seen the Father;" and yet as the sent One He could add, when leaving the world, "I go unto the Father: for my Father is greater than I." (John 12:44-50; John 14:6-31.)

In seeing the Father as revealed in and by the Son, we recall to mind the Father's eternal counsel, purpose, and grace toward us in Him before the world was; and in His life and death we see divine love, and all the claims of divine righteousness and truth fully met, and God thus vindicated, glorified, and satisfied in this wondrous way of bringing blessing to us; so that divine power can now be for us, and not against us. "O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God!"

"The Father loveth the Son;" for divine, infinite, unchanging, eternal love ever has and ever must subsist between the Father and the Son. Hence the Holy Spirit, according to one of His present operations for our blessing, is taking of the things of the Father and the Son when He is pleased to say, "The Father loveth the Son;" and to show the perfection of the love, He adds, "and hath given all things into His hands," which sets before us not only the Deity of the Son, as thereby being capable of receiving all things into His hands, which no creature could do, but also the perfection of the Father's love in having no reserve in thus giving everything into His hands. What other object could satisfy the Father's heart? How is it possible the Father could withhold anything from Him who could speak of Himself when on earth as "the Son of man who is in heaven"? Here we have perfect love in power - giving all things into His hands.

Again we read, "The Father loveth the Son, and showeth Him all things that Himself doeth" - communicates the secrets of the heart without any reserve. Nor is the honour to be given to the Son less than that which is due to the Father. Not only does the Son of man, who is also Son of God, quicken whom He will, and has all judgment committed unto Him, but "all should honour the Son, even as they honour the Father;" so that to slight the Son would be to dishonour the Father. "He that honoureth not the Son, honoureth not the Father which hath sent Him." Thus we see that perfect love not only gives its object - that is, in divine relationship with the Father - "all things," and reposes such complete confidence as to show Him all things, but puts Him also in the place of equal honour with the Father. Nor is this all. For where could be the resting-place of love for the Son so loved but the Father's bosom? We read therefore of Him as "the only begotten Son, who is in the bosom of the Father." This surely is the resting-place of divine and infinite love; and certainly no other place could suit the Father who loveth the Son, or the Son who loveth the Father, infinitely, eternally, and unchangeably. Thus was the Son in the resting-place of perfect love, and knew no reserve with the Father as to power, confidence, or honour. It is true that the Father thus loved the Son in life, and in His death the Son showed that He loved the Father; so that the Father there found an additional motive for loving the Son, as He said, "Therefore doth my Father love me, because I lay down my life, that I might take it again;" for in it He had perfectly loved, honoured, and glorified the Father under the most adverse and trying circumstances. (John 10:17.)

The Son was always the central object of the Father's counsels and grace, and now glorified is the central object of the ways of the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ in goodness and grace, as He will be in power and judgment when He takes His great power and reigns. In His commendatory prayer to the Father, as recorded in John 17, the Son referred seven times to believers as the Father's gift to Him. He very often spoke of Himself as the sent One of the Father; but we are also taught that this sent One was the loved Son, whose glory to faith was the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth. It was His own Son that God delivered up for us all, who was delivered for our offences, and raised again for our justification. It was the Son whom in due time the Father so graciously revealed to us and in us, and thus drew us to Him for our eternal salvation. When Peter confessed that the Son of man standing by him was "the Christ, the Son of the living God," Jesus answered and said unto him, "Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven." And Paul speaks of it having pleased God to reveal His Son in him. Our Lord also plainly said, "All that the Father giveth me shall come to me;" and "no man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him … Every man therefore that hath heard, and hath learned of the Father, cometh unto me." (Matt. 16:17; Gal. 1:16; John 6:37, 44, 45, 65.)

Thus the object of such infinite love, and the One who was always so perfectly loving, was sent by the Father to save. "The Father sent the Son to be the Saviour of the world;" and He lovingly and obediently came into the world to glorify the Father in redeeming us from all iniquity, that, when risen from among the dead, He might bring us into living association and relationship with Himself and the Father, and, as Man, enter into the glory which He had with the Father before the world was. There we see Him crowned with glory and honour. There we have to do with Him, assured too by Himself that the glory which the Father has given Him He has given us; and that it is His desire to have us with Himself, that we may behold His glory, which we know must be with ineffable delight. We know Him there upholding all things, and in faithful love sustaining, restoring, and comforting us by the various offices He fills. We know Him there too as the glorified Man, having angels, authorities, and powers made subject unto Him; as having all power given to Him in heaven and in earth, and soon to rise up from that throne on which He now sits, when this world will most certainly know that He is sitting on His own throne. And He must reign till He has put all enemies under His feet, and subdued all things unto Himself, thus putting down all rule and authority and power. "Unto the Son he saith, Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever: a sceptre of righteousness is the sceptre of thy kingdom. Thou hast loved righteousness, and hated iniquity; therefore God, thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows." (Hebrews 1:8-9.)

It is to the Son that the Holy Spirit now directs us, and gives us to know that He is in the Father, and that we are in Him, and He in us. He is our righteousness, and we have no other. He is our life, and all our resources are in Him; so that, being no longer in the first man, but standing in the cloudless favour of God in the second man who has redeemed us, we are taught to live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved us and gave Himself for us.

It was then the unspeakable gift of the only begotten Son that was sent forth by the Father to be a sacrifice for sin. It was the Son in the bosom of the Father who became flesh; some little inferior to angels for the suffering of death, that we might be with Him, and in love without blame before the Father for ever. What love! How abundantly it met our need, and fills our hearts with praise and thanksgiving! Is it any marvel that an apostle by the Spirit should say to us, "Behold, what manner of love the Father has bestowed upon us, that we should be called the children of God"? "Beloved, now are we the children of God." Can any relationship be more endearing or more lasting? The work of righteousness and grace on which all is founded has teen done, and the Son who did it has glory with the Father given Him as the only adequate recompense according to divine righteousness for such a mighty and God-glorifying work; and having done it for us, we become therefore entitled to the gift of righteousness - the righteousness of God by faith. What grace! Grace too which reigns through righteousness. Moreover, by the rending of the veil of the temple from the top to the bottom, the raising of the Son from among the dead by the glory of the Father, and setting Him at His own right hand in the heavens, the coming down of the Holy Spirit, the promise of the Father, after the Son's exaltation, and sealing and indwelling all who know the cleansing power of the blood of the cross, clearly manifest God's perfect satisfaction with that finished work for us.

When we meditate on the infinite perfection and love of the Son, and what He was to the Father before the world was, and when here as Man in the bosom of the Father counted worthy of all power, all confidence, and all honour, a sweet savour, and glorifying the Father every step of His path, we realize something of what an amazing gift it was when God gave His only begotten Son that we might live through Him. To give Him too to make propitiation for the sins of such unclean and loathsome sinners, knowing that in delivering Him up for our offences it involved nothing less than His being forsaken of God, suffering all the judgment due to our sins, the Holy One being made sin for us, and treated as if He, the intrinsically pure and spotless One, were guilty and unclean! Who can fathom such love? How true it is that God only knows the love of God! How incompetent we feel to rightly estimate such a gift! What love to us must have been in the Father's heart to send Him, to give Him, to spare not His own Son for us! Infinite love arrests us here! We think of it, and are lost in wonder, love, and praise. We try to speak of it, and find our warmest utterances are so cold and scanty that we can only say it is an unspeakable gift. How it would draw out our inmost souls in worshipping the Father as His dear children, and in longing for the Father's house, if we could better estimate the deep reality of His love in sending His own Son to be the propitiation for our sins! H. H. S.

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God has connected the discovery of the path of His will, His way, with the inward state of the soul.