Title: Gospel of John [20:19]. Christ's Resurrection, part 23 (fellowship with Christ and the Father - Agape).
1JO 4:16 And we have come to know and have believed the love which God has for us. God is love, and the one who abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him.
God's love is spontaneous and unmotivated. God is love. It does not come to man because of any value in him. It is unique - no creature has it. It is the initiator of fellowship with God - God comes to us. We cannot go to Him.
1JO 4:17 By this, love is perfected with us, that we may have confidence in the day of judgment; because as He is, so also are we in this world [justified; He is in us and we in Him; the Head and the body].
1JO 4:18 There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves punishment, and the one who fears is not perfected in love.
The love hymn and the fruit of the Spirit line up perfectly, therefore we know that this love is poured out in our hearts at salvation through the Holy Spirit given and it is only manifested in us and through us by means of the Holy Spirit.
The agape that is required has its prototype in the agape manifested by God, and therefore it must be spontaneous and unmotivated, uncalculating, unlimited, and unconditional. [Anders Nygren, Agape & Eros]
The fear spoken of here is not a godly fear or a suitable reverence as from a son or daughter before a holy God. A holy fear is one of failing to please the Father by walking in darkness.
The context of sinful fear indicates a tormenting fear, a slavish fear of a slave for a master, or of a criminal before a judge.
The divine love produced in the heart of the yielded saint includes the former [reverent fear] but not the latter [tormenting fear].
The fact that we can please the Father is frequent in the NT.
Will He smash me if I fail to please Him? No. Will He punish me if I fail to please Him? No. Divine discipline flows from God’s love and there is no punishment in love. That kind of policy is that of a tyrant. The Holy Spirit bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God. That is the policy of a Father, grace flowing from God’s infinite love. There is no greater motivation.
COL 1:9 For this reason also, since the day we heard of it, we have not ceased to pray for you and to ask that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding,
COL 1:10 so that you may walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, to please Him in all respects, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God;
COL 1:11 strengthened with all power, according to His glorious might [not scare tactics], for the attaining of all steadfastness and patience; joyously
COL 1:12 giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified us to share in the inheritance of the saints in light.
And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him.
No soldier in active service entangles himself in the affairs of everyday life, so that he may please the one who enlisted him as a soldier.
Finally then, brethren, we request and exhort you in the Lord Jesus, that, as you received from us instruction as to how you ought to walk and please God (just as you actually do walk), that you may excel still more.
Pleasing God is not pleasing men. Whether man is pleased by what we do in pleasing God is never the issue.
Slaves, in all things obey those who are your masters on earth, not with external service, as those who merely please men, but with sincerity of heart, fearing the Lord.
For am I now seeking the favor of men, or of God? Or am I striving to please men? If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a bond-servant of Christ.
Walking in the flesh will not please God.
because the mind set on the flesh is hostile toward God; for it does not subject itself to the law of God, for it is not even able to do so; and those who are in the flesh cannot please God.
Can God be displeased? The antithesis of something stated of God cannot be assumed to be true unless it is stated in the Scripture.
To always assume the antithesis exists when a thesis of God is presented in the Bible is dualism and that philosophy has been proven false.
But when Jesus saw this, He was indignant [aganakteo: much grief, violent irritation] and said to them [disciples], "Permit the children to come to Me; do not hinder them; for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these.
"Therefore I was angry with this generation,
And said, 'They always go astray in their heart;
And they did not know My ways';
As I swore in My wrath,
'They shall not enter My rest.'"
The anger or indignant response would obviously not be of sin. So they are often termed anthropopathisms by theologians.
So we might not say that God gets angry as man gets angry but that God in some divine way is not pleased with some.
In the Old Testament:
And God was displeased with this thing, so He struck Israel.
Do not rejoice when your enemy falls,
And do not let your heart be glad when he stumbles;
Lest the Lord see it and be displeased,
And He turn away His anger from him.
So although there may be some unknowns as to the extent of God's displeasure and how it manifests itself, we can be certain in the fact that God has a Sovereign will - His good pleasure, and a permissive will - that which He opposes.
The believer who loves God has a reverent fear of not walking in God's good pleasure and so opposing God's plan instead of participating in it.
1JO 4:19 We love, because He first loved us.
We love God and others because He first loved us. The two great OT commandments that summed up the whole Law - to love God and to love one's neighbor.
Our Lord showed that these are two sides of the same coin and still two different commands.
Jesus answered, "The foremost is, 'Hear, O Israel! The Lord our God is one Lord; and you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength.' "The second is this, 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself.' There is no other commandment greater than these."
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.
We were set free from sin and death, however, that is not to open up an even greater opportunity to sin. This has led legalistic teachers to bring in the Mosaic Law as a restrainer, but the Bible clearly says that the law only increases sin. The restrain for the Christian is not to be found in the law but in God the Holy Spirit.
The believer therefore has passed out of one control into another, from the control of a mere system of legal enactments into the control of a Person, God the Holy Spirit.