The Father’s Love For His Son -- By: Bartel Elshout

Journal: Puritan Reformed Journal
Volume: PRJ 02:2 (Jul 2010)
Article: The Father’s Love For His Son
Author: Bartel Elshout


The Father’s Love For His Son

Bartel Elshout

The Father loveth the Son (John 3:35).

The third chapter of John’s gospel records Jesus’ discourse with Nicodemus about the necessity of the new birth (vv. 1-13), His articulation of the biblical gospel (vv. 14-21), and John the Baptist’s profound testimony about Christ (vv. 22-36)—words that marked the conclusion of John the Baptist’s public ministry.

In this final segment of the chapter—amid John the Baptist’s moving confession that Christ must increase and he decrease (v. 30) and the solemn declaration that God’s wrath abides on all who do not believe the Son (v. 36)—we find these profound words: “The Father loveth the Son.” This statement stands out for its beautiful simplicity but contains a truth so extraordinary in its meaning that its profundity excels everything else in this chapter—even the fact that God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son. These words tell us why God the Father was moved to give His Son to be the Savior of a fallen world: because He loves His Son!

The Father’s Love For His Son: The Fountain Of All Theology

The Holy Spirit gives us a glimpse into the infinite depth of the Father’s heart—a heart that is eternally moved in love for His eternally begotten and beloved Son. This is the fountain from which all theology flows. Nothing so precisely defines who the Father is as the fact that He loves His Son with the totality and fullness of His divine Person.

No book in the New Testament highlights this love relationship between the Father and the Son so much as the Gospel of John. There are at least 126 direct and indirect references to the Father/Son

relationship; this gospel states eight times explicitly that the Father loves His Son (John 3:35; 5:20; 10:17; 15:9, 10; 17:23, 24, 26).

The remainder of the New Testament repeatedly focuses on this essential and foundational truth regarding the identity and character of the Father, as for instance in Romans 15:6, “That ye may with one mind and one mouth glorify God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ” (cf. 2 Cor. 1:3, You must have a subscription and be logged in to read the entire article.
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