Doctrine of the Angelic Conflict, part 47 – The essence of God – Love.
Title: Doctrine of the Angelic Conflict, part 47 – The essence of God – Love.
Opening prayer and announcements:
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.
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.
[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]
Human relationships are the same as service unto God. If we are to serve one another, by command of God our Master, then each relationship has to have an attitude of service. We are to love one another, by command of God our Master, and divine love, both personal and impersonal removes the human ego so that service is no longer viewed as degrading and weak. So then relationships demand love and service making for virtue of heart and virtue of action respectively.
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.
Young women are specifically encouraged to love their husbands and children, Tit 2:4.
Tit 2:1 But as for you, speak the things which are fitting for sound doctrine.
Tit 2:2 Older men are to be temperate, dignified, sensible, sound in faith, in love, in perseverance.
Tit 2:3 Older women likewise are to be reverent in their behavior, not malicious gossips, nor enslaved to much wine, teaching what is good,
Tit 2:4 that they may encourage the young women to love their husbands, to love their children,
“love their husbands” – fi,landroj[philandros] = total soul love for your hero. Eph 5:25
Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her;
Be careful who you marry since the command stands whether he is a hero in your eyes or not.
“love their children” – filo,teknoj[philoteknos] = total soul love for your children in training.
Wives, your husband and your children are going to totally fail you from time to time – vice versa with the husbands, and double that for the children, and at that point you always have agape, impersonal, unconditional love to fall back on. Agape love is always the foundation of all love.
One could conclude convincingly that if a wife does not possess the love for her husband andor children then her spiritual life will be hindered. The same is stated in the scripture for the husband who is bitter towards he wife – his spiritual life is hindered.
Wives, be subject to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord. Husbands, love your wives, and do not be embittered against them. Children, be obedient to your parents in all things, for this is well-pleasing to the Lord.
Yet in a world where a good man is hard to find and a submissive self-entertaining woman is rare, a man and woman must make their own decisions from the privacy (and I stress the word privacy) of their own priesthood in regard to responding to a constantly non-virtuous or even abusive spouse.
Tit 2:5 to be sensible, pure, workers at home [not idle – doesn’t mean she can’t have a job], kind, being subject to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be dishonored.
Tit 2:6 Likewise urge the young men to be sensible [sober minded];
Therefore personal love directed towards God, His word, His Spirit, His +J, +R, L, OS, V, and OP that you possess are virtuous and the building material for SSE.
In loving His justice I come to love all His decisions since none of them are wrong including prosperity, adversity, and even divine discipline. Hope is the future expectation of being an expert witness for the prosecution in the AC and I love the fact that God will faithfully bring me there.
PL for justice – loving all God’s decisions as well as the hope of justification by works.
In loving His righteousness I come to love all the things that He approves. By learning the difference between right and wrong and divine good and evil I love what is right and all divine good.
PL for righteousness – loving all that God approves; what is right, divinely good, and pleasing to Him.
Again, this is PL, a total soul love for the things or attributes of God. It’s one thing to acknowledge that these things are good but it’s quite another thing to have a total soul love for them. Developing that love takes doctrine, application of doctrine, and perseverance in the CWL. It really refers to desire and want. Examples:
Tit 1:7 For the overseer [PT] must be above reproach as God's steward, not self-willed, not quick-tempered, not addicted to wine, not pugnacious, not fond of sordid gain,
Tit 1:8 but hospitable, loving what is good, sensible, just, devout, self-controlled,
“loving what is good” – fila,gaqoj[philagathos] = to love divine good.
Tit 1:9 holding fast the faithful word which is in accordance with the teaching, that he may be able both to exhort in sound doctrine and to refute those who contradict.
This would apply to all spiritual gifts since they are divinely given by GHS for the purpose of the common good. The PT cannot function properly if he does not love divine good and so he is used as the example.
In loving God’s love I come to love the cross (included in +R and +J) as well as God’s comfort, patience, forgiveness, and gentleness.
PL for love – loving the cross (docs of soteriology) as well as God’s comfort, patience, forgiveness, and gentleness for believer and unbeliever.
Tit 3:4 But when the kindness of God our Savior and His love for mankind appeared,
“His love for mankind” – filanqrwpi,a[philanthropia] = Total soul love for mankind. God is the only true philanthropist.
There is nothing attractive in fallen man and yet God still possessed an affection for His creatures but not based on anything they possess. Affection alone, however, does not produce the cross. Affection plus agape love, plus +J and +R produces the cross.
Tit 3:5 He saved us, not on the basis of deeds which we have done in righteousness, but according to His mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewing by the Holy Spirit,
Tit 3:6 whom He poured out upon us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior,
Tit 3:7 that being justified by His grace we might be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.
In loving God’s omniscience I come to love wisdom and being a student of the word of God. I love application of doctrine and watching it work.
PL for omniscience – loving the wisdom of God, loving repetition, being a life long student of the word of God.
Col 2:8 See to it that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deception, according to the tradition of men, according to the elementary principles of the world, rather than according to Christ.
“philosophy” – filosufi,a[philosophia] = total soul love of wisdom. Right or wrong here depends on the source of the wisdom. [ex: Paul at Athens in Act 17]