Tuesday November 27, 2018
3) Passages where election is applied to believers in this age:
We have studied five passages so far, and presently we return to the fourth.
3a. The elect are to reveal the emptiness of human desire for life without God, 1CO 1:27-29.
3b. Worldly status has no bearing on this position and the elect realize that they are poor in worldly good and rich towards God, JAM 2:5.
3c. Our election freely gives us all things. God will always be for us and His love will never separate from us, ROM 8:31-39.
3d. Election is to Christ’s love which is to unify our entire heart in compassion, kindness, humility, meekness, gentleness, patience, forbearance, and forgiveness, COL 3:12-17.
COL 3:12 And so, as those who have been chosen of God [the elect], holy and beloved, put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience;
Wrap yourself (put on) in a “heart of compassion” - bowels of compassion = a feeling of distress for the ills of others (Vine’s).
Kindness, humility (lowliness of mind), gentleness (meekness, often paired with humility), patience (as applies to people).
COL 3:13 bearing with one another, and forgiving each other, whoever has a complaint against anyone; just as the Lord forgave you, so also should you.
COL 3:14 And beyond (epi = upon) all these things put on love, which is the perfect bond of unity.
The translation “beyond” for the preposition “epi” seems to distance love from the other virtues. God states that agape love is equivalent (“which is”) to a perfect binding factor, and so the better translation of “epi” is “upon,” understanding love as wrapping itself around the other virtues of generosity and charity and holding them perfectly together and in place.
“And upon all these things put on love which is a binding factor of perfection or completeness.” [better translation]
Love is the seamless outer garment that holds all the others together in perfect fashion.
Actually, the word “unity” is not in the original. The Greek reads, “And upon all these, put on divine love which is a binding factor of perfection or completeness.”
Compassion, kindness, humility, meekness, gentleness, patience, forbearance, and forgiveness are all virtues of charity. They only exist to be given to others.
Human love doesn’t freely give. It gives, but it always expects something in return. However minor or insignificant the expectation of human love may seem, however hidden in the subconscious the expectation may be, it is human love. And human love is bad copy of divine love created in the heart of fallen men who are independent of God.
Attempt any of the charitable virtues of vs. 13 without love and they will end up becoming selfish and actually hurtful. Without divine love our best intentions fall apart in selfish desire. Without love, if we seek to do good, we will always look for reward, acknowledgment, or reciprocation.
Divine love is what loosens the bonds of self and discards any thought of self so that we may serve others as Christ would have us do.
In the spirit of the passage we saw in 2TI 2:7 “Consider what I say, for the Lord will give you understanding in everything,” a great thing to seek from your Father in prayer is to ask him what your life looks like if you could entirely forget about yourself and your desires and always look to Him.
When I did this, it wasn’t very long before I could see the areas in my life that I commonly think of myself and when the timing is right for those areas, I act on behalf of myself first and foremost and almost always, sin results. Just by asking this question to God and allowing time for Him and I to discuss them, I saw those areas of my life in a whole new light.
Now, that is just the beginning. Overcoming those areas is where the work of faith comes in and I roll up my spiritual sleeves and bear down on my foundation in Christ and clear my mind for the word of God and then take each battle individually and perceive and welcome victory in Jesus Christ.
The Christian must know divine love instinctively, and for that, he must know Christ up and down and strive to live the life of Christ every day. If he doesn’t not do those things, he will never come to a knowledge of agape love.
Agape relies completely on the Lord Jesus Christ, His mind, His power, His heart. Agape has no thought of self and seeks nothing but the life of the Lord and the benefit of the other. Only the elect can love with agape.
1CO 13:1 If I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but do not have love, I have become a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal.
1CO 13:2 And if I have the gift of prophecy, and know all mysteries and all knowledge; and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing.
1CO 13:3 And if I give all my possessions to feed the poor, and if I deliver my body to be burned, but do not have love, it profits me nothing.
Paul mentions speaking with the tongues of men and angels (language of men and angels - not gibberish), knowing all mysteries and all knowledge, faith to move mountains, giving away everything owned to fee the poor, and giving the body to be burned. All are things that are above and beyond what the Christian normally does, but they each contain the method that the Christian normally performs. He speaks truth in understandable language, he knows mysteries and knowledge (just not all of it), he has faith, he is gracious with his possessions, and he lays down his life. Yet, even if he could somehow do all these things to the height that Paul states, if it were without love, he would be nothing and profit nothing.
Speaking truth, having knowledge, having faith, graciousness, and sacrifice - what do they look like without love?
1CO 13:4 Love is patient, love is kind, and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant,
1CO 13:5 does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered,
1CO 13:6 does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth;
1CO 13:7 bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
1CO 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.
1CO 13:9 For we know in part, and we prophesy in part;
1CO 13:10 but when the perfect comes, the partial will be done away.
1CO 13:11 When I was a child, I used to speak as a child, think as a child, reason as a child; when I became a man, I did away with childish things.
1CO 13:12 For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face; now I know in part, but then I shall know fully just as I also have been fully known.
1CO 13:13 But now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.
Only the elect can love with agape because it demands total loss of desire for self. Only a dead and resurrected man can agape.
I must be a resurrected man, free of the power of death, to love with God’s love, thinking all others more important than myself, and losing all desire and intentions for self.
We are to project this love as lights of the world.