God is. He exists in a context we call “the Godhead.” That context is a bit difficult for us to wrap our heads around, but it is reality whether we comprehend it well or not. We cannot know nor can we construct a satisfactory explanation for why God exists in what we call the Godhead. To the thinking of most of the Christians in the world, that phenomenon contains three entities: Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Whether there are other entities is not known to us, nor is it likely to be. But why does He choose to exist in that configuration?
One of the most important “properties” or characteristics of God is His love. As to why love is such an important component of the identity of God, we have no real answer. It is simply the case that He is so characterized. There are other properties, one of which is His authority. Love and authority present us with one major difference. Authority might exist in God in the absence of everything else. Authority does not have to be exercised. We would not be aware of it if it were not exercised, but it does not have to be exercised in order to exist.
But love. Love has to be exercised. In the Godhead, “before” the creation events happened, love was already manifest. It was manifest in the relationship of the Father and Son aspects of the Godhead. Because the Son entity was found in the Godhead before creation took place, it is true that the love of God could be “exercised” therein.
That would look something like the following. God the Father exercises His love for the Son by emanating that perfect love in some manner. When the love of God the Father, “inside” the Godhead, is emanated to the Son, that love elicits a response. The response of the Son is to return love to the Father. Love has now done what love does. The origin of that love, the Father, emanates that love to an object, the Son. The Son, as the recipient of that love, responds to that love in kind. He emanates a perfect love to the Father.
The love that the Son emanates is not the same as the love the Father emanates. The Father emanates a father’s love to the Son. The love response of the Son is to emanate a son’s love to the Father. Thus, within the Godhead there exists this dynamic: the two forms of love, that which is emanated by a father and that which is emanated by a son, occur in an eternal “bi-directional flow” that is a connective between the two. This is perfection.
However, if the Father desires to have other love objects, they cannot be found in the Eternal. The available love object in the Godhead is as the Father even though called the Son. The love dynamic between them is perfectly unblemished in any way. Even in the instance of the Son coming into the Creation, that perfected love remains perpetually perfect and unblemished. But the Son is the only love object of His kind. There is no other.
Love has such a positive effect on the one who loves that “emanating” it to others might well become an imperative. In fact, when love is perfect its further emanation does become an imperative. So God the Father would desire to find other objects upon which to emanate His love.
So, He gets busy with the Creation project. The Creation is undertaken so that God the Father can emanate His love on other love objects. We cannot accurately comment on what all it is that the Father emanates His love upon. We can though state that human beings are a key category of love objects, perhaps the only category. There we have it. God created the Creation so that on the sixth day of creation, He would have the pleasure of creating human beings. In them He designed love objects of the kind He wanted. These love objects were created in His image and in His likeness. None of the other entities in Creation were so created. None of them were to bear His image and likeness – only man.
When He created humankind in His own image and likeness, they would also have the image and likeness of the Son. That being so, they could become love objects much in the way the Son was. He could emanate His love onto them as He was already doing with the Son. That being so, they could respond with a love emanation of their own that would be something like the love emanation of the Son. In that way, God the Father could have the same relational dynamic with many entities just as He had it with the one Son in the Eternity.
The first emanation of the Father’s love occurred inside the Godhead. He emanated His father’s love onto the Son as its object. Love elicits a response. Therefore, the Son emanated a son’s love onto the Father. These are the first emanations.
It was the further pleasure of the Father to show us all these things so that we could come to appreciate the love between the two in the Godhead. In so doing, He invited us to the same kind of relationship. He emanates love to each and all of us full hoping that we will respond as did the Son with a reciprocal love emanation. Because the Creation is temporary and we have cooperated in introducing corruption into it, our emanations are not as those of the Son. We do not reciprocate the love of the Father in the same quality as does the Son. But we are invited nonetheless. Let us surrender to Our Father the son-love that He is due from us. In this are we finished in His creative purpose.