Doctrine of the Angelic Conflict, part 51 – The essence of God – Love. Rom 1:7; 9:25; Mat 3:17; Gen 22:2; 2Th 2:16.
length: 61:39 - taught on Mar, 5 2013
The word beloved in the English NT:
ROM 1:7 to all who are beloved of God in Rome, called as saints: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
“beloved” - avgaphtoj[agapetos] = beloved, esteemed, dear, or favorite. The adjective of agapao.
It may seem difficult to understand the difference between the impersonal, unconditional love of God towards the sinner and the love for an esteemed, dear, or favorite one. But the difference is in the object itself. Agapao toward the sinner results in sacrifice while agapao towards the saved results in blessing.
The Bible states that God loves the believer and the believer loves Him with the word agape as well as phileo; agape being more prevalent. After salvation He is not needing to sacrifice Christ again and again nor do we love Him impersonally as if He is some jerk that demands virtue on our part for love, so agape takes on a different meaning. God continues to serve the church based on His virtue, to discipline the believer when necessary, and to bless +R through logistical grace and the justification by works through super-grace blessings. Agape then is a mental attitude love. When the love sees righteousness, capacity, election it responds accordingly. God loves the believer and unbeliever with agape love, but the response to both are not the same. The Love doesn’t change, but rather the object does and so there is a different response. The same is true for one believer who is under divine discipline and another who is under super-grace blessing - God’s love doesn’t change, but the response the object does.
It further helps to see that this word is directed towards Christ from the Father.
MAT 3:17 and behold, a voice out of the heavens, saying, "This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well-pleased."
MAT 12:18 "Behold, My Servant whom I have chosen;
My Beloved in whom My soul is well-pleased;
I will put My Spirit upon Him,
And He shall proclaim justice to the Gentiles.
And to Israel, even Israel that is not born-again:
ROM 11:28 From the standpoint of the gospel they are enemies for your sake, but from the standpoint of God's choice they are beloved for the sake of the fathers;
Through Abraham the nation is esteemed, held dear or favorite.
GEN 22:2 And He said, "Take now your son, your only son [Septuagint = agapetos], whom you love, Isaac, and go to the land of Moriah; and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains of which I will tell you."
GEN 22:12 And he said, "Do not stretch out your hand against the lad, and do nothing to him; for now I know that you fear God, since you have not withheld your son, your only son [Septuagint = agapetos], from Me."
GEN 22:16 "By Myself I have sworn, declares the Lord, because you have done this thing, and have not withheld your son, your only son [Septuagint = agapetos],
GEN 22:17 indeed I will greatly bless you, and I will greatly multiply your seed as the stars of the heavens, and as the sand which is on the seashore; and your seed shall possess the gate of their enemies.
GEN 22:18 And in your seed all the nations of the earth shall be blessed, because you have obeyed My voice."
“your only son,” - agapetos. Unique, special, esteemed or dear.
Though esteemed by God Israel’s discipline is on them, which could have been avoided if they had come to love the gifts God had given them because they were His beloved.
ROM 9:3 For I could wish that I myself were accursed, separated from Christ for the sake of my brethren, my kinsmen according to the flesh,
ROM 9:4 who are Israelites, to whom belongs the adoption as sons and the glory and the covenants and the giving of the Law and the temple service and the promises,
ROM 9:5 whose are the fathers, and from whom is the Christ according to the flesh, who is over all, God blessed forever. Amen.
All these were given to every Jew and some of them said no. That in no way means that God didn’t give to them.
The work of Abraham distinguishes them as a people, yet they are nothing without the cross of Christ - who is their true King.
And it was prophesized that this esteem upon Israel would not always be isolated to them …
ROM 9:25 [quoted from Hosea]
"I will call those who were not My people, 'My people,'
And her who was not beloved [Gentiles], 'beloved.'"
And much like the Jew or Gentile unbeliever who has been given Christ [for all have been given Him] or the believer who has been blessed with surpassing grace blessings in EP; we can all say no to God’s gracious gifts, however, this does not annul the fact that God gave those gifts.
God has given mankind the ability to love. To turn that love on something else is to live under a curse.
So beloved takes on the connotation of esteemed or chosen and the love is shown in God’s desire to bless the object of His esteem. For the believer the reason is the imputed +R of God at salvation.
Esteem does not mean that one is above another in a way that allows boasting. God esteems His righteousness in the believer and so the believer is blessed logistically in time with all surpassing grace blessings that were given in EP under the category of potential blessings which eye has not seen, ear has not heard, neither entered the mind.
The esteem of Israel is due to Abraham, Sarah, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Moses, Rahab, Ruth, Bathsheba, etc. The nation did not deserve or earn the impact of these men and women.
HEB 11:32 And what more shall I say? For time will fail me if I tell of Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, of David and Samuel and the prophets,
HEB 11:33 who by faith conquered kingdoms, performed acts of righteousness, obtained promises, shut the mouths of lions,
HEB 11:34 quenched the power of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, from weakness were made strong, became mighty in war, put foreign armies to flight.
HEB 11:35 Women received back their dead by resurrection; and others were tortured, not accepting their release, in order that they might obtain a better resurrection;
HEB 11:36 and others experienced mockings and scourgings, yes, also chains and imprisonment.
HEB 11:37 They were stoned, they were sawn in two, they were tempted, they were put to death with the sword; they went about in sheepskins, in goatskins, being destitute, afflicted, ill-treated
HEB 11:38 (men of whom the world was not worthy), wandering in deserts and mountains and caves and holes in the ground.
HEB 11:39 And all these, having gained approval through their faith, did not receive what was promised,
HEB 11:40 because God had provided something better for us [Royal family in union with Christ], so that apart from us [fulfillment of the CA in the calling out of the body of Christ] they should not be made perfect [complete].
Summaryconclusion of God’s love:
God’s unconditional, mental attitude love continues to love us after salvation. This is evidenced by logistical grace blessing (2TH 2:16), super-grace blessing (1JO 3:1), and divine discipline (HEB 12:6).
For those whom the Lord loves He disciplines,
And He scourges every son whom He receives.
2TH 2:16 Now may our Lord Jesus Christ Himself and God our Father, who has loved us and given us eternal comfort and good hope by grace,
2TH 2:17 comfort and strengthen your hearts in every good work and word.
See how great a love the Father has bestowed upon us, that we should be called children of God; and such we are.
Children of the RFOG obtain an inheritance under the principle of divine, CA adoption.
God’s personal love is directed towards the perfection of the object. God has an affinity for and an attraction to the +R in every believer, JOH 16:27.
Believers are the recipients of divine personal love because they have the perfect righteousness of God.
for the Father Himself loves you, because you have loved Me, and have believed that I came forth from the Father.
God’s personal love for Himself becomes the pattern for the believer’s own SSE, i.e. a total soul love of the things that God has given you.
Each person of the Trinity possesses divine personal love. Each person of the Trinity directs His personal love toward other persons in the Godhead who possess coequal and coeternal righteousness.
Remember all the words that had a philo prefix indicating love of the wrong object:
Love of money, of self, of pleasure, of victory, of being first, of worldly wisdom; unloving of RF, haters of good, not lovers of God.
We are commanded to love the RFOG and be devoted to one another based on our unity of mind, Phil 2:1-3.
God’s personal love for the believer becomes the pattern for the believer’s affection of the +R and common destiny of all the RFOG, ROM 12:10.
God’s impersonal and unconditional virtue love becomes the pattern for the foundation of believer’s love of others - believer and unbeliever.
Impersonal love always emphasizes the virtue, honor, and integrity of the subject. God therefore can always establish perfect relationships with believers and sacrificial relationships with unbelievers. Believers must develop virtue, honor, and integrity through Bible doctrine in order to have successful relationships according to the divine standard.
In the case of God, He is perfect and eternal righteousness. Therefore, under the principle of impersonal love, God loves both fallen angels and unbelievers in the human race because of who and what He is, not because of who and what we are. God loves the spiritually dead person, who has no merit at all. Being able to come to God for salvation through faith in Christ does not depend on what kind of a life you are living, but only on faith in Christ.
This is in no way a complete study of divine love. I have passed over the topic in the OT in God’s love for Israel as well as the love chapters in 1Jo 2-5.
6. The essence of God part 2: Attributes that constitute God and are commuted to beings.
I: Veracity - Being self-existent and eternal God is the only source of absolute truth. God can never be in error.
Our first insight, which is the actually meaning of truth, into truth is through the Greek word used in the NT.
“truth” is the translation of avlh,qeia[aletheia - noun] and avlhqh,j[alethes - adjective] = unconcealed, unhidden, true, truth, truthful, dependable, genuine, that which will bear scrutiny and investigation, that which is open to the light of day.
The words are a compound made up of lanthano which means "to escape notice, to be unknown, unseen, hidden, concealed," and the Greek letter Alpha prefixed. When a Greek wants to make a word mean the opposite to what it originally meant, he prefixes the Greek letter Alpha. For instance, dikaios means "righteous," adikaios, "unrighteous."