What kind of love it is.

God loves us eternally,

“The love of God in itself is the eternal purpose and act of his will. This is no more changeable than God himself: if it were, no flesh could be saved; but it changeth not, and we are not consumed. What then? loves he his people in their sinning?

Yes; his people, — not their sinning.

Alters he not his love towards them? Not the purpose of his will, but the dispensations of his grace.

He rebukes them, he chastens them, he hides his face from them, he smites them, he fills them with a sense of [his] indignation; but woe, woe would it be to us, should he change in his love, or take away his kindness from us! Those very things which seem to be demonstrations of the change of his affections towards his, do as clearly proceed from love as those which seem to be the most genuine issues thereof. “But will not this encourage to sin?” He never tasted of the love of God that can seriously make this objection. The doctrine of grace may be turned into wantonness; the principle cannot. I shall not wrong the saints by giving another answer to this objection: Detestation of sin in any may well consist with the acceptation of their persons, and their designation to life eternal.” Of Communion with the Triune God, chp. 3

johnowenOwen on God’s love toward His people,

“It was fixed on us before the foundation of the world. Before we were, or had done the least good, then were his thoughts upon us, — then was his delight in us; — then did the Son rejoice in the thoughts of fulfilling his Father’s delight in him, Prov. viii. 30. Yea, the delight of the Father in the Son, there mentioned, is not so much his absolute delight in him as the express image of his person and the brightness of his glory, wherein he might behold all his own excellencies and perfections; as with respect unto his love and his delight in the sons of men.

So the order of the words require us to understand it: “I was daily his delight,” and, “My delights were with the sons of men;” — that is, in the thoughts of kindness and redemption for them: and in that respect, also, was he his Father’s delight. It was from eternity that he laid in his own bosom a design for our happiness. The very thought of this is enough to make all that is within us, like the babe in the womb of Elisabeth, to leap for joy. A sense of it cannot but prostrate our souls to the lowest abasement of a humble, holy reverence, and make us rejoice before him with trembling.” Of Communion with the Triune God, chp. 4

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