It is intriguing how a powerful, little preposition can change the meaning of a sentence. Take the core idea that God is love and with his love he does amazing things depending on the preposition. Each one is a special gift attached to a particular member of the Trinity.
God’s love is for us: Steadfast Love. Out of holy love, Christ gave his life for us, for the whole world. “Who shall separate us from the love of God?”
God’s love is with us: Immanent Love. God was potently with us in Jesus Christ and perpetually with us through the Holy Spirit. Both embody the presence of God.
God’s love is in us: Transformative Love. God’s love in us, the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, transforms us. It purifies, perfects, and empowers us and shapes our character after the likeness of Christ.
God’s love through us: Profound love for Neighbor. Holiness is lived out through love of others. God sanctifies and makes pure and effective our love for others.
God’s love is all in all. It is at its best for, with, in, and through us when is comes from an entire devotion to God. We love God, because he first loved us.
*Excerpts and paraphrases from chapter twelve, “Holiness as Love,” in Diane Leclerc’s Discovering Christian Holiness: The heart of Wesleyan Holiness Theology, (Kansas City: Beacon Hill Press), 2010, pp. 279-281.