четверг, 5 ноября 2009 г.
Pursuing Joy in the Joy of the Beloved
And what is the church's ultimate joy? Is it not to be cleansed and sanctified and then presented as a bride to the sovereign, all-glorious Christ? So Christ sought his own joy, yes-but he sought it in the joy of the church! That is what love is: the pursuit of our own joy in the joy of the beloved.
In Ephesians 5:29-30, Paul pushes the hedonism of Christ even further: "No man ever hates his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, as Christ does the church, because we are members of his body." Why does Christ nourish and cherish the church? Because we are members of his own body, and no man ever hates his own body. In other words, the union between Christ and his bride is so close ("one flesh") that any good done to her is a good done to himself. The blatant assertion of this text is that this fact motivates the Lord to nourish, cherish, sanctify and cleanse his bride.
By some definitions this cannot be love. Love, they say, must be free of self-interest-especially Christ-like love, especially Calvary love. I have never seen such a view of love made to square with this passage of Scripture. Yet what Christ does for his bride, this text plainly calls love. "Husbands love your wives as Christ loved the church . . ." Why not let the text define love for us, instead of bringing our definition from ethics or philosophy?
According to this text, love is the pursuit of our joy in the holy joy of the beloved. There is no way to exclude self-interest from love, for self-interest is not the same as selfishness. Selfishness seeks its own private happiness at the expense of others. Love seeks its happiness in the happiness of the beloved. It will even suffer and die for the beloved in order that its joy might be full in the life and purity of the beloved.
John Piper Desiring God