Doctrine of the Angelic Conflict, part 46 – The essence of God – Love. Mat 23:7; Phi 2:5; Rev 19:10; Heb 1:14; Rom 12:10
length: 61:18 - taught on Feb, 26 2013
H. Love: Personal = affection and attraction to righteousness. Impersonal = unconditional, unchangeable, self-sacrificial preference in regard to the benefit of the creature.
There are three categories of divine love: God’s personal love in self esteem, God’s personal love of +R in others, and God’s impersonal love toward all creatures.
Category one is God’s love for His own righteousness, called divine self-esteem. God never feels threatened by what any creature does because He has perfect divine self-esteem. God the Father loves His own righteousness, God the Son loves His own righteousness, and God the Holy Spirit loves His own righteousness.
God loves His own +R as well as all His attributes. This divine self-esteem is given as a pattern for the believer.
Self-love where there is no perfection of righteousness is grotesque. In God self-love is not vanity, but holy and right. Legitimate personal love emphasizes the attraction of the object and when the object is holy and righteous then personal love is divinely ordained.
The pattern for spiritual self-esteem in the believer is to love what is holy within himself - Wisdom, +R, +J, Love, Truth, and Power - all from the source of God.
To love your looks, your body, eyes, hair, human intellect, physical prowess, social ability, financial status, geographical status, status of human achievement, etc. is to self-love that which is faulty, relative, imperfect, earthly, and temporary.
Therefore, human self-esteem is just arrogance manifested through personal love.
Spiritual self-esteem is to love the things that God has imputed to you at salvation, however, you have to learn what those things are, and so it takes quite a bit of doctrine to reach SSE.
We have studied this doctrine before, and I don’t want to get off track any more than I have, so suffice to reveal its characteristics.
SSE = Tranquillity of soul, not threatened, stability of mental attitude, composure marked by self-assurance, grace-orientation to life, doctrinal-orientation to reality, genuine humility, objectivity, teachability, spiritual common sense, the avoidance of inordinate ambition and competition, good decisions from a position of strength, self-control, a personal sense of destiny, self-confidence from wisdom, and poise or command of self.
There isn’t a sane person alive who wouldn’t want all of this. It comes from learning to love the things that God has freely given you.
Since we are so prone to arrogance God must allow a certain amount of preventative suffering so that we don’t turn gracious gifts from God into objects of human self-love, 2CO 12:7.
Due to divine self-esteem no person in the Godhead ever feels threatened by another person in the Trinity.
Sounds silly, but in mythology this is pretty common, but that’s not exactly what I’m getting at here.
This is important since members of the human race feel easily threatened when none of us are more holy or righteous than any other. Our stages of spiritual growth are different, but who can measure them?
We see the Trinity serving one another and so their perfect self-esteem does not make them feel threatened when they serve.
The same is true for the RFOG. Love for the things that God has given me makes me the ultimate servant. An ego doesn’t prevent me from laying down my life in service of another. Why would I have an ego if what I love about myself is all graciously given by God of which I could not earn or merit?
This all makes sense and shows us why service is the result of the ultimate virtue of divine love. Love causes loss of ego and frees the person to serve others without expectation of recognition, or reimbursement and without fear of loss.
The Son serves the Father: John 6:38
"For I have come down from heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me.
The Holy Spirit serves the Son: John 16:14
"He shall glorify Me; for He shall take of Mine, and shall disclose it to you.
The Father serves the Son: HEB 10:5
Therefore, when He comes into the world, He says,
"Sacrifice and offering Thou hast not desired,
But a body Thou hast prepared for Me;
We are to do the same, but you cannot serve effectively if you do not possess God’s love; personal love for God and impersonal love for mankind. Without love service is human good - wood, hay and stubble.
"But the greatest among you shall be your servant.
PHI 2:1 [all first class conditional phrases] If therefore there is any encouragement in Christ, if there is any consolation of love, if there is any fellowship of the Spirit, if any affection and compassion,
PHI 2:2 make my joy complete by being of the same mind, maintaining the same love, united in spirit, intent on one purpose.
PHI 2:3 Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind let each of you regard one another as more important than himself;
PHI 2:4 do not merely look out for your own personal interests [don’t completely ignore yourself - asceticism], but also for the interests of others.
PHI 2:5 Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus,
PHI 2:6 who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped,
PHI 2:7 but emptied Himself [kenosis], taking the form of a bond-servant [slave], and being made in the likeness of men.
PHI 2:8 And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself [to the plan of the Father] by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.
PHI 2:9 Therefore also God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name,
PHI 2:10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those who are in heaven, and on earth, and under the earth,
PHI 2:11 and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
The highest ranking elect angels are of the same mind.
And I fell at his feet to worship him. And he said to me, "Do not do that; I am a fellow servant of yours and your brethren who hold the testimony of Jesus [fellow servant and servant of John and all believers]; worship God. For the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy."
The elect angels gladly serve CA believers due to our position in Christ, HEB 1:14.
HEB 1:13 But to which of the angels has He ever said,
"Sit at My right hand,
Until I make Thine enemies
A footstool for Thy feet "?
HEB 1:14 Are they not all ministering spirits, sent out to render service [diakonia] for the sake of those who will inherit salvation?
You have at least one angel constantly ministering to you. Insight is given here as to the type of service. Diakonia is the work of a diakonos or minister, which is a title to pastors, deacons, and actually anyone serving in the local assembly. Therefore it is service applied to maximize spiritual growth.
Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends.
Divine self-esteem means that no person in the Godhead ever feels threatened by any form of creature failure, sin, or rebellion.
Divine self-esteem is the pattern for spiritual self-esteem, the first stage of spiritual adulthood in the royal family of God.
SSE means that you are not threatened by your own failures. One’s failures are never as important as what Christ did on the Cross.
[again]We are to do the same, but you cannot serve effectively if you do not possess God’s love; personal love for God and impersonal love for mankind. Without love service is human good - wood, hay and stubble.
So what do I mean by having God’s love. Personal love for God which includes personal love for the things that God has given you - the perfect things. Personal love is affection or attraction of an object. Directed at humans, even in right man right woman it is not virtuous since they are imperfect, even though given by God.
Human relationships demand virtue:
1)impersonal, unconditional, sacrificial love.
2) PL of the +R they possess.
3) PL for God’s integrity [essence]
ROM 12:9 Let love [agape] be without hypocrisy. Abhor what is evil; cling to what is good.
ROM 12:10 Be devoted to one another in brotherly love; give preference to one another in honor;
“Be devoted” - filo,storgoj[philostorgos] = tender, affectionate, loving as true brothers and sisters.
“brotherly love” - filadelfi,a[philadelphia] = love of the royal family of God.
The strong affection of brotherly love is our common divine righteousness and destiny as the bride of Christ and not overt superficial things.
ROM 12:11 not lagging behind in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord [when you serve others you are serving the Lord];
ROM 12:12 rejoicing in hope, persevering in tribulation, devoted to prayer,
ROM 12:13 contributing to the needs of the saints, practicing hospitality.