Posts tagged ‘God is love’

What Really is Love?

Love is the very foundation of true religion, yet what this world perceives of love is nothing but lawlessness and wickedness because what our world considers as love is nothing but a love that satisfies their own interests and lusts. The Bible teaches us that God is love but to think of God by the standard of what this world knows as love, is nothing short of heinous and appalling. Take the Moral Law for instance, which teaches the individual to put God first even before self and second to love their neighbour as thoughtfully as oneself. Does the world know any such structure in its love? No, because the individuals of the world are nothing but a law to themselves, still imagine the might of God that he restrains these individual in their wicked nature [1Jn2:2] (who are inclined to serve nothing more than themselves) and allows for such people to live in a structured society hedged by the Civil Law that is given to the state (1Tim1:9). That is how good and great God is!

1John 4
7 Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God.
8 The one who does not love does not know God, for God is love.
9 By this the love of God was manifested in us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world so that we might live through Him.

The reason I feel so compelled to write on love is because it is the most abused term in the world today. Today, even fornication passes of as love but what happens when a child is born from it? The apostate State then gives license for murder through abortion. Clearly this is not the love of God because Biblically love covers a multitude of sins (1Pet4:8), never ever serving as a cause to give rise to sin.

John 15
9 “Just as the Father has loved Me, I have also loved you; abide in My love.
10 “If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love; just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love.
11 “These things I have spoken to you so that My joy may be in you, and that your joy may be made full.
12 “This is My commandment, that you love one another, just as I have loved you.

So what then is love? Love is knowing God because if you don’t know God, you will not live practicing God is first and that you ought to deal with your neighbour (people in your environment) in the same manner you would be like to be dealt with yourself (Mat7:12). The Bible refers to knowing God as loving God because unlike the fallen lusts this world wallows in, God is irresistible to the extent that it will not prove detrimental to your wellbeing but would enrich your life instead (Ps34:8). This knowledge of God is available to you in the Lord Jesus alone, whose Spirit overcomes our sinful nature propitiating us to the righteousness of God. We are thereby given to understand that God is love because He is strongly relational being One in Three Persons, a beloved unity which His people are blessed with in King Jesus Christ (Jn17:11).

Matthew 22
36 “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?”
37 And He said to him, ” ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’
38 “This is the great and foremost commandment.
39 “The second is like it, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’
40 “On these two commandments depend the whole Law and the Prophets.”

To the world, love is blind but that is only because they are blind to God. Love is not blind nor shapeless or lawless. Love is an absolute! Just take a look at the anatomy of our own bodies, the design is so complex. Take a look at our DNA and you notice the immensity of details it stores, which even exceeds the storage capacities of the fastest supercomputers today. If God was ever the senseless kind of love the world knows, there would never be such beauty in the details of all creation. So after you consider all of that and realize we are merely creation, we cannot imagine how infinitely awesome the Triune God Almighty is. In other words, if God is indeed love as the Bible teaches, He is not the irrational love the world knows because if you care to look into the Bible, God is absolutely rational, it is this world in its self-serving nature which is senseless and irrational, in being indifferent to the God of the Bible.

John 3
16 “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.
17 “For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him.
18 “He who believes in Him is not judged; he who does not believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.
19 “This is the judgment, that the Light has come into the world, and men loved the darkness rather than the Light, for their deeds were evil.
20 “For everyone who does evil hates the Light, and does not come to the Light for fear that his deeds will be exposed.

On this topic of love, I would like to touch-up on this popular notion which exists in Christian circles that: “God hates sin but loves the sinner”, which is far from the truth because from the fall of Adam, we all hated God but thanks be to the Lord & Saviour Jesus Christ, His elect are ransomed from all sin by the power of His blood. You see, a person cannot sin unless he/she is a sinner and the reason we all sin is because we all are sinners, and as sinners we hate the truth/light as it exposes our self-righteousness to be lie, which is a horrid feeling. We learn from the Bible that God in His Omniscience knows who are His even before the foundation of the world (Jn10:14/Eph1:3-4). So even though it is impossible for us who love sin to love God because the righteousness of God is contrary to our nature, our Salvation is by no means impossible to God (Mat19:25-26), since Salvation is not by the power of the people but by the power of God (Jn1:12-13).

Romans 5
10 For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life.

Mark 2
17 And hearing this, Jesus said to them, “It is not those who are healthy who need a physician, but those who are sick; I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners.”

Rom 5:10 is therefore the highlight of God’s grace upon we who are his elect, undeserving sinners. Those who are righteous in their own eyes know nothing of such grace given to the individual in repentance (Lk18:9), on the contrary they are fools who believe that they are right and God is wrong but to the elect God grants repentance (2Tim2:25) that in His time they would see the error of their ways and submit to God in Jesus Christ (1Tim2:5-6).

John 14
15 “If you love Me, you will keep My commandments.

John 15
5 “I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing.
6 “If anyone does not abide in Me, he is thrown away as a branch and dries up; and they gather them, and cast them into the fire and they are burned.

I would like to put in a word of caution for those of you who are inclined to follow after the Charismatic Church. The Charismatic Church is not a body Christ has instituted because if you care to look into its history, you would learn that it is nothing but an atrocious spinoff of a retard girl (Margaret McDonald somewhere around the 1830s) from a mental asylum, who is believed to have been gifted with visions by some (I’d say just as in Acts16:16-18). We ought to understand that prophesies and revelation were given in its time to the Apostolic Church [1Cor14:24-25] (i.e. before the Bible was compiled in 325 AD) so that the miracles would bear witness to those to whom the Gospel was preached that the Church was indeed from God. However, after the Bible was compiled, all these healings, prophesies and speaking in tongues ceased (1Cor13:8) as they no longer stood as assurity that that body was a Church. Today, many ministries like that of Benny Hinn claim to be Ministries and Churches of God but with the money laundering and molestation charges that is brought against such leaders, we learn that these are merely bodies who serve themselves in their sin, not God. Today, what determines a body as God’s Church depends on how that body obeys God’s word in the Bible without being dependant on any additional revelation through prophesies or the speaking of tongues (Rev21:18-19) because the Bible by itself is complete/sufficient to edify/nourish the Church (Ps19:7/2Tim3:16-17).

1 Corinthians 13
8 Love never fails; but if there are gifts of prophecy, they will be done away; if there are tongues, they will cease; if there is knowledge, it will be done away.

Mat 7
22 “Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?’
23 “And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness.’

As Christians, there is a standard by which we are to live, which is the Moral Law (2Jn1:5). The Moral Law defines the very nature of God, revealed to us in scripture and so in our calling to be Christlike, this nature becomes our own (Ezek36:27/Jn3:3,16), owing to our Godly purpose as human beings who are made in the image of God. If you have time, take a look and the study Psalm 119, which is the longest chapter in the whole Bible, as it expounds on the nature of God revealed to the individual in the Moral Law.

1 John 5
16 If anyone sees his brother committing a sin not leading to death, he shall ask and God will for him give life to those who commit sin not leading to death. There is a sin leading to death; I do not say that he should make request for this.
17 All unrighteousness is sin, and there is a sin not leading to death.

Before I conclude, there is one more thing I need to caution you against. Please know that the Bible is not merely a set of instructions to the Church but it is a set of instructions to society at large, which means that it instructs both the Church and the State. So just as a parent would kill, if their child’s life depends on it, so too Capital Punishment is a power given to the State (not the Church or the individual) to protect society from deadly antisocial elements. You might find this fascinating that nations in the west like Switzerland and Netherlands who have abolished Capital Punishment because they are so civilised supposedly… have legalised Euthanasia! Can you believe that? It’s like Rev3:16 materializing right before your very eyes (God is indeed sovereign). It’s as though their self-righteousness made them break their fall with their own faces when they abandoned their faith, leaving their religious institutions to be turned into pubs and mosques.

Heb 12 (breaking in the middle of sentence)
5 and you have forgotten the exhortation which is addressed to you as sons, “My son, do not regard lightly the discipline of the Lord, Nor faint when you are reproved by Him;
6 For those whom the Lord loves He disciplines, And He scourges every son whom He receives.”
7 It is for discipline that you endure; God deals with you as with sons; for what son is there whom his father does not discipline?

To conclude, this is something I must leave you with. True love does not start and end with mushy feeling because love bears a character of duty; just like one’s faith is evident in what he/she does (James2:14-20), so too Love goes beyond emotions in practicing Godly duty and neighbourly kindness. We need to remember that true love involves discipline and requires us to mend our ways… straighten us out, so to speak. It is from such “discipline” that we get the word “disciple” because the love we learn in Jesus Christ is not one which allows us to live as we please but to live according to the good pleasure of God. Such love is not merely healthy for our lifestyle but it also promotes a congenial environment for society to blossom in, where the corner stone is Jesus Christ.

1John 3
1 See how great a love the Father has bestowed on us, that we would be called children of God; and such we are. For this reason the world does not know us, because it did not know Him.

How to Love your Enemy!

Mat 5 (Jesus says)
43 “You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbour and hate your enemy.’ 44 But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45 that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.

Today, when Christians discuss “how to love your enemy”, it seems common sense and practicality are thrown out of the window for the sake mushy religiosity based on an eisegesis as over an exegesis of scripture. The reason I feel compelled to write on this topic is because there are people out there who desire to do that which pleases God but have spiritual elders who are poorly equipped with scripture and thereby incapable to holistically counsel them in the light of scripture. We ought to remember that a good exegesis is done when scripture is interpreted in the light of scripture, if a verse is interpreted so as to favour the prevailing humanists/liberal mind-set, not only does that not harmonize with the rest of scripture, which stands as its background but it ascertains a teaching which was never Biblically called for, to be the foolishness God supposedly requires of the individual from unholy fear.

Mat22
36 “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?”
37 Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbour as yourself.’ 40 All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”

If you were to take a look at the Ten Commandments (Ex20:3-17), you would notice that the first four commandments deal with the Christian’s religious accountability unto God, while the other six deal with the Christians accountability toward his/her neighbour. Now this neighbour could be anybody who exists or whom you can make contact with in your environment, yes even your worst enemy if he/she is around (Lk10:27-37). However, this does not mean that you ought to go hug them as you see them or ask them out for dinner or even smile at them from an out of place feeling. It just means that you should be courteous in your dealings with them and even help them out if they or their property is in danger.

Exodus 23
4 “If you come across your enemy’s ox or donkey wandering off, be sure to return it. 5 If you see the donkey of someone who hates you fallen down under its load, do not leave it there; be sure you help them with it.

As a true Christian, you need to understand that your enemy only hates you because he/she hates the nature of Christ that is burgeoning in you (Jn15:18-19). That hatred between the seed of Satan and the seed of Christ is what God has put in place from the beginning (Gen3:15) because light can have no fellowship with darkness (2Cor6:14). This means the Christian can never be intimately involved with the unbeliever because the glory of God pleases the Christian while a sinful satisfaction of self is what pleases the unbeliever.

Rom 12
18 If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. 19 Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” says the Lord. 20 On the contrary:
“If your enemy is hungry, feed him;
    if he is thirsty, give him something to drink.
In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.”

Today, what the world knows about love is merely a mushy feeling that pampers the other to do as they please but if you were to read the scripture from Mat22 above, you would notice that love requires us to bear responsibility unto God and neighbour. Love is not merely a wavering emotion but a duty given the Godly to act from the nature of Christ (Phil4:13) because when the individual is born from above, he/she turns to God by the merit of Christ (Jn3:3,16 & 15:4). So you notice that the individual is called to be Godlike in nature, in his/her calling to be Christlike (Ezek36:27), as the moral law of God occupies the person’s heart (Jer31:33), making God’s precepts the individual’s new nature because we are a new creation in Christ (2Cor5:17).

Rom 9
22 What if God, although choosing to show his wrath and make his power known, bore with great patience the objects of his wrath—prepared for destruction?

1Cor13
4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.

From 1Cor 13 we notice that patience is a virtue of love and in Rom 9 we see that God exhibits such love through patience upon the wicked who are merely vessels of wrath prepared for destruction. So in being called to follow after God (Mat10:16,25), we are called to be gentle and live as peaceably/wisely with them as you possibly can (Prov16:7/Rom12:8).

2Tim 2
23 Have nothing to do with foolish, ignorant controversies; you know that they breed quarrels. 24 And the Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome but kind to everyone, able to teach, patiently enduring evil, 25 correcting his opponents with gentleness. God may perhaps grant them repentance leading to a knowledge of the truth, 26 and they may come to their senses and escape from the snare of the devil, after being captured by him to do his will.

That is to say that scripture does not expect you to make your enemies your close friends or count them among your loved ones because such intimacy is not possible for you who are in Christ to have such communion with those whose communion with God is broken. In other words, the reason you would not be able to share intimate fellowship with your enemy is because what your enemy delights in, will probably make you feel squeamish.

Col1:21
21 And although you were formerly alienated and hostile in mind, engaged in evil deeds, 22 yet He has now reconciled you in His fleshly body through death, in order to present you before Him holy and blameless and beyond reproach— 23 if indeed you continue in the faith firmly established and steadfast, and not moved away from the hope of the gospel that you have heard, which was proclaimed in all creation under heaven, and of which I, Paul, was made a minister.

To conclude, most of us believers would know how we lived back in the time when we were unbelievers, knowing now how patient God was with us while we never knew the rich intimacy of Christ’ fellowship back then (Col1:21-22). We thereby are not given to determine beforehand whether the patience/curtesy we exhibit unto our enemies, shall be a conduit of God’s mercy allowing for closer/likeminded fellowship with the individual (2Tim2:25) or whether it would merely be leaving room for God’s justice (Rom12:19) because Salvation belongs to God and as Rom 9:15 says God has mercy on whom He has mercy and compassion on whom He has compassion.

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