Wednesday November 28, 2018
Ephesians; 1:4 - Election of church age believer, part 13.
3) Passages where election is applied to believers in this age:
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 [wrap yourself in] a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience;
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 binding factor of completeness].
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.
From here we went to 1CO 13:1-13 and revisited the description of agape love.
I would like to point out that agape love does not exclude human love or feeling, but supersedes them. Agape love is not cold or uncaring, the word compassion reveals that to us. It may force us to separate from another, and in that sense, we might call it impersonal, but really it is not impersonal, but quite personal. It gives, it sacrifices, it takes no account of self and considers all others more important. God doesn’t tell us to get rid of our human love. He tells us not to let it rule us over and above divine love.
Those who have interpreted divine love as cold, impersonal, and uncaring, have missed its meaning. Did not Jesus weep over Jerusalem, a city that He knew would in just a few days shout together, “Crucify Him!”?
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, as Christ’s elect.
The Looting Machine by Tom Burgis.
In his book The Looting Machine, Tom Burgis opens chapter one, which is about the looting of oil and gas in Angola, Africa: “Little but fear and sewage flows down the precipitous slope that separates Angola’s presidential complex from the waterside slum below.” The book describes the plundering of Africa’s natural resources by the commanding few in each nation. They simply sell the oil, gas, and minerals to outside nations, pocket the cash, and don’t do anything to improve the living conditions of their impoverished people. They do nothing to create an economy or education in their countries in which the rights of their citizens may be protected and their own pursuit of prosperity and personal happiness may be insured. Instead, they take as much money as they can before their family or their military is overrun by the next greedy monster.
Why, to the contrary, did our founding fathers desire a nation under God? Almost all of them were men and women who knew something about the love of God. They approved of a declaration that addressed nature as being under one God who gave man certain unalienable rights.
Men and women all over the world are impoverished, beaten, raped, relocated, and murdered by more powerful men and women who will stop at nothing to fulfill their desires and lusts. It is an ugly world and none of the popular press covers it.
Burgis reveals in the book that the international community of lawyers, bankers, businessmen, and politicians protect these rulers who are looting their countries so that the cash, oil, gas, and rocks keep flowing, and they justify it all by saying that they are helping the economy of the world, yet whom they help would not be considered “the world.”
It will not change. The Book of Revelation shows this clearly, in which this whole greedy system is called Babylon the Great, the Mother of Harlots and Abominations of the Earth. Why does it happen? Men are lovers of money and lovers of self (2Ti 3). The love of God is not in them. It is so very vital that those who can be influenced by Christian can see the love of God in them, flowing from them.
One of the men interviewed by Burgis in the slums of Angola, who has some influence over the refugees, said that revolution must happen in our minds and not in the political arena. He is right.
Imagine you died, went to heaven and then God returned you to earth as a resurrected creature who could not be hurt by anything or anyone. Can you imagine that? What would your life and behavior look like if it were true? Now, understand believer, it is entirely true for every one of us; exactly as I said it.
COL 3:14 And beyond (epi = upon) all these things put on love, which is the perfect bond of unity.
COL 3:15 And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body; and be thankful.
“Rule in your hearts” is an athletic term that means “to umpire.” Lightfoot says: "Wherever there is a conflict of motives or impulses or reasons, the peace of Christ must step in and decide which is to prevail."
The previous reference to occasions for meekness, long-suffering, forbearance, forgiveness, etc., indicates a conflict of passions and motives in the heart. Only conflict within calls for these virtues to prevail and then goodness be performed.
The peace of Christ in the heart of the Christian allows him to calmly choose the right course in the midst of these conflicts, and so it becomes our umpire in all situations of conflict.
And, as Paul relates, we are called or elected in one body. God united us in salvation and love. He placed each one of us in the body as He willed. The peace of Christ, given to us by Him through His death and resurrection, gives us the ability to clearly see the right path in the many conflicts we face.
Thankfulness is deep appreciation for gifts that we could never have had by our own means and which we did not deserve for any reason.
Put it all together, that we wear Christ’s virtue, and all of that virtue is perfectly held together by the wrapping of His love, and His peace in our hearts always shows us the right way and gives us the power to choose that way, and that we were elected in one body to be this way - we should be thankful.
None of us could have remotely achieved anything that is composed of such goodness. None of us deserved any of it. There is nothing within or possessed by any of us that motivated God to give them. Yet, He did and it cost Him greatly. The blood of Christ was the cost.
COL 3:16 Let the word of Christ richly dwell within you, with all wisdom teaching and admonishing one another with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with thankfulness in your hearts to God.
Think of the words on the psalms and hymns and not the music when dealing with one another, and then think of the music within yourself. You should make your own music within your heart.
COL 3:17 And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through Him to God the Father.