Peter Leithart on the phrase “God is love” (1 John 4:8).
To say that God is love assumes that God is triune. God can be love only because he is plural, only because he is three, Father, Son, and Spirit… to be genuine love, love requires an object, a beloved, an ‘other’… A lonely single person cannot be love. Allah cannot be love.
God is not playing a role when he [loves us]…God is not adopting a pose or pretending. When God displays love, he displays himself. God loves others – creatures –because he has eternally loved others; the Father loves us as his children because he has eternally loved a Son in the Spirit. The Son loves us as brothers because he has eternally loved his Father in the Spirit. The Spirit loves us because he has eternally been the bond of love between Father and Son.
Loving another was not a new experience when God created the world. It is an extension of the love that Father, Son, and Spirit have always had for one another (The Epistles of John Through New Eyes, 148).