Gospel of John [20:19]. Christ's Resurrection, part 28 (fellowship with Christ and the Father - Agape).
length: 62:43 - taught on May, 26 2015
Title: Gospel of John [20:19]. Christ's Resurrection, part 28 (fellowship with Christ and the Father - Agape).
We love, because He first loved us.
GAL 5:13 For you were called to freedom, brethren; only do not turn your freedom into an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another.
GAL 5:14 For the whole Law is fulfilled in one word, in the statement, " You shall love your neighbor as yourself."
To state that the Christian has no restrictions in terms of commands and statutes is antinomianism. To state that keeping the commands and statutes makes us righteous is legalism. To attempt Christian ethics from our own inner selves is darkness, a lie, and total failure.
If we say that we have fellowship with Him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth;
So both testaments have commands, many of which are identical, but what is the difference? And, if this is so, why are we no longer under the Law?
and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.
Unlike the OT believer, the Christian is indwelt by God, in union with Christ, and God's agape is poured out in his heart. Now, love for God and one's neighbor flow from God's very gift within.
A new creature in Christ is a new spiritual species rather than a new racial species. The OT saint was to recognize God's gifts that were freely given and so love Him. The NT saint is given God's very agape love within.
He is a new creature in Christ. He is not one who observes God and so loves Him. He is one who is in God and God is in Him and so loves Him as being one with Him.
Our love for God is not a love that compares all things around us and finds that God is the best and the sum of all conceivable good and has the most desirable objects and so we have an attractive love for Him simply because there is nothing like Him. God doesn't just transcend all human desire, He is not at all of the same plane. He is not the highest good compared to all other good we see. He is not the richest one or has the most stuff. He is simply not to be classed with any objects of desire whatsoever. What we have here is a purely theocentric love, in which all initiation on man's part is excluded.
Man loves God, not because on comparing Him with other things he finds Him more satisfying than anything else, but because God's unmotivated love has overwhelmed him and taken control of him, so that he cannot do other than love God.
This is the profound significance of predestination, not that God picked some and didn't pick others, but that God has elected the man who has believed in Him when the Spirit revealed the gospel. Those who rejected the gospel were still called by God, but the calling halted at the gospel - the seed that fell by the side of the road. No believer has ever selected God, but that God elected Him from before the foundation of the earth.
Before a believer can observe anything about God other than the cross of Christ, God did to him and gave to him everything at the moment of faith in Christ, including pouring His love into his heart. Only later does the believer perceive these things in his heart through faith.
It is true that we observe many things that God gives to us as we may be blessed in certain areas, but this is no longer the means of loving God.
We may say that we love how gracious God is, but in the CA do we not almost always read of the things that God gives to us that are totally unseen and unfelt?
Do we not more read of the great gifts given to us within that cannot be witnessed but must only be believed and that all of them were given in an instant, at the moment of salvation? Do we look to a land or a Millennium, or do we look to the pages of the NT and see something thoroughly outside and beyond such earthly things to the things that are of union with Christ, the Spirit of God given, the inheritance that is of the heavens and not of the earth?
1TI 6:17 Instruct those who are rich in this present world not to be conceited or to fix their hope on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly supplies us with all things to enjoy.
World - aion: "All that floating mass of thoughts, opinions, maxims, speculations, hopes, impulses, aims, aspirations, at any time current in the world, which it may be impossible to seize and accurately define, but which constitute a most real and effective power, being the moral, or immoral, atmosphere which at every moment of our lives we inhale, again inevitably to exhale." [Trench]
"Beware, and be on your guard against every form of greed; for not even when one has an abundance does his life consist of his possessions."
An attack against asceticism is here - "richly supplies all things to enjoy." We are to enjoy what God has blessed us with while being content with what we have and not lusting for more. Be on your guard against every form of greed.
1TI 6:18 Instruct them to do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous and ready to share,
1TI 6:19 storing up for themselves the treasure of a good foundation for the future, so that they may take hold of that which is life indeed.
He may be referring to the Bema Seat where the works are evaluated and so the storing up of treasure is the lack of loss of reward, or he may be referring to the future in time since all those who are greedy will lose out on the spiritual life since they put their trust in riches, making wealth an idol, and so not experiencing the joy of the Christian way of life. Our great blessings are not of the tangible type.
And even in this, we don't learn of these things that can only be seen by faith and then love God as some independent beneficiary, rather, we love Him because He has poured His love into our hearts. We love Him because He first loved us and that divine agape love was revealed at Calvary and even that was unseen, unwitnessed, but believed by faith alone.
Our love is one of the most intimate and personal relationship with God that He completely initiated. It would exist if there were no inheritance, rewards; even if there were no commands.
It's silly to imagine an earthly age when there are no commandments, but does our love of God depend upon them, or does it depend upon the fact that God gave us His love?
Christian ethics are for the one who is "in" the Father and the Son and led by the Spirit within. They are for the one who is a Royal Priest. Our ethics are on another plane from the OT Law.
They are the things of the adult son and not the young boy who is under a moral guardian. We have been entrusted with the great commands of the Church age and have been given the Spirit and the word by which to walk in them as sons of light.
This is why the OT Law increased sin whereas NT ethics only enhance the realization of what God is capable of - in us and with us.
The Law shut them up in sin. The Law was a constant reminder of sin and so it actually increased sin as it pushed them towards the Savior. Now that "the faith" has come, the commands are not a constant reminder of sin but a realization of what God is capable of.
It was for freedom that Christ set us free; therefore keep standing firm and do not be subject again to a yoke of slavery.
For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and of death.
"Take My yoke upon you, and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart; and you shall find rest for your souls. "For My yoke is easy, and My load is light."
While it is clearly true that additional commands of any kind would increase the sin of those who do not keep them there is something different in this age for the positive believer. Now that we have the Spirit our minds are set upon Him and the commands rather than just the commands alone.
So then, our minds are set on the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit and our minds are set on the commands as a manifestation of what the Trinity is capable of through our volition.