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"That Love Which Is Of God"

Chapter X



Over the years there has been much discussion concerning God's work on and in the heart of man to salvation. I propose some thoughts from a foundation of that love (agape) which is of God. Without real genuine regeneration unto God through Christ, all else is without avail; for all life and purpose in the kingdom of God is upon freedom from sin before God.

It seems that in time past and certainly in the future, we hear the cry "easy believeism," which seems to be defined as putting such truths as repent, confess, forsake and other such Biblical truths on a "Blue Light Special," or lowering the demands of God to something other than full repentance, full confession and full forsaking of sin in coming to Christ. There are many who are winning souls to Christ who are accused of this "easy believeism," though, who have not reduced God's Word at all, but are so accused by others who have made God's salvation seem next to impossible to receive. Neither "assembly line" professions, nor relegating God's salvation to the land of the seemingly impossible, are right. Rather, to see one out soulwinning using care to deal with each heart as diligently as possible, while trusting God to do the heart-work He promises, is better than to never go out because one has determined that God belongs to some special elected group and virtually unreachable without their special combination of Gospel.

Let's notice just how God draws the sinner to Himself. Salvation is by faith and "...faith worketh (keeps on always working) by love "agape." (Galatians 5:6). Faith begins working from love (agape). Some believe that faith is a gift God imparts into the heart by His personal choice, or that God elects who will believe by choosing who to give the "gift" of faith. That is not what the Bible teaches. When faith is a given thing, it is referring to a saved person having faith given to do a task, not in relation to getting saved. Faith unto salvation comes by love (agape).

Notice in I John 4:9, 10, 19: "In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him. Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins." "We love him, because he first loved us." Here is the foundation of salvation. He first loved all mankind and that love began to work a drawing faith within the heart. Agape-love is "the beginning" of all faith toward God. Love is also the very cause of any continued growing of faith. "But faith whjich worketh (keeps on always working) by love...." (Galatians 5:6). Faith is activated "by" love (apage) and "God is love" (agape). Herein we have the drawing mentioned in John 6:44: "No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him:

How does God draw the sinner to Himself through Christ? By love! Where does one find information about God's love? In the Scriptures! "God commendeth (proved) His agape (love) ...in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us."

Faith, then, is the act of responding to "a perception of" that love (agape) which is of God. Serving Christ is also the act of response toward what one perceives of God's love (agape) as a wife is responsive to her husband. The amount of faith "exercised" is the depth of love grasped/perceived. One will serve in accordance to how He "is willing" to respond to God. "Their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears and should be understand with thier heart..."  (Matthew 13:15). God said this of Israel after having pleaded for centuries with them to respond to His love as described by Christ in Matthew 23:37: "O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not!" Agaain we read, "for this they willingly are ignorant..."  (II Peter 3:5), and again, "...therefore they say unto God, depart from us; for we desire not the knowledge of thy ways." (Job 21:14). It is not a fault in God's love hwich sends men into Hell! It is a rejection of sacrificing self's will for God's will. It is the rejection of acceptation. It is the despising of giving up one-self for others as Christ taught love (agape) to be when "God so loved the world (others) that He gave his only..." (John 3:16). Salvation offered was loving giving its self up for another - "substitutionary Atonement." In Philippians 2:4-5, we read, "...look . . . man also on the things of others. Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ..." We read also, "...the Son of man came ... to serve, and to give his life a ransom for many." (Mark 10:45). From this proof of love comes this appeal to the sinner, "Whosoever will save his life shall lose it; but whosoever will lose his life for my sake, the same shall save it." (Luke 9:24). This is the appeal hear of Christ in Matthew 19:21: "Jesus said unto him, If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, ...and come and follow me."

True salvaton begins when the love of God (agape) becomes intense enough that one will "leave himself" to go to its source. Real regeneration and real Christian service is built on a complete consuming by agape-love from God, as perceived thorugh the Scriptures, of the Holy Spirit, concerning the giving of God of Himself to men. Complete surrender, Biblically speaking, is a total enamoring response to God's love (agape). Hypocritical surrender is eye service, men-pleasing and not by real heart surrender to God.

Those who serve because of love (agape) for God, His words, His will and His works, will observe His methods, His manners and His directions out of love for HIm. These will also hate what offends Him and will fight what opposes Him, His Word and His people. Love (agape) will be found on the side of truth in controversy, yet exercising all the fruit of the Spirit of God, "love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance..." (Galatians 5:22-23). These will be found in he who stands with God for truth even when and as he is standing for truth. Never will true love (agape) be without self-sacrificing, without joy, without peace, without suffering lover over the offender, without gentleness toward the offender, with-out goodness, without faith, without meekness, without temperant self-discipline. Those who serve for eye service as men pleasers will be often found on the most advantageous side of cotroversy and are, more often than not, not offended by what offends God, nor will be found fighting what opposes God.

Real regeneration is in genuine love (agape) and real surrender to Christ is in genuine love (agape). "By their fruits ye shall know them." (Matthew 7:20). Love fruits are the divine nature, visible outwardly and inwardly.  No man can truly live, genuine regeneration in the flesh! Genuine conversion to Christ produces a truly "supernatural" life, "...a peculiar people..." (I Peter 2:8). "Because the love (agape) of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us. (Romans 5:5).

Of Christ it is written, "...and beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself." (Luke 24:27), and again it is said of Christ in John 1:1, "...and the Word was made flesh and dwelt among us..." God added meaning to this when He recorded through the Apostle Paul in Romans 10:17, "So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God." It is in the Word where one hears of God's love (agape) in human flesh giving Himself. (God giving His only) for man, Jesus Christ (God in flesh - "God, who was in Christ," II Corinthians 5:19) is the whole of the Scriptures, and that by hearing the Scriptures is perception of that love which is of God (Christ) attained.

This is God's drawing. As one looks at Calvary and perceives God's love (agape) (I John 3:16: "...hereby perceive we the love (agape) of God, in that he died for us..." ), God is then drawing on that heart. As the husband is to love (agape) his wife (Ephesians 5:25), and she is to respond (Ephesians 5:22) to his love, so likewise is the divine example given in Ephesians 5:32-33: "This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church. Nevertheless let every one of you in particular so love his wife even as himself; and the wife see that she reverence her husband." God first loved man; man responds to that love of God giving Himself as server to man's needed redemption.

Those who truly love the Lord love Him because He saved them. What is involved? It is God loving in sacrificial giving of His Only, His Best, Himself, for one unworthy such as man. That is why he, who truly loves the Lord, truly loves the Lord; it is not because He was elected, not because he was born where he could hear the Gospel, or any other reason, but becaue he at some time perceived that God loved him. That perception came as he surveyed the wondrous cross and the price God had to pay for his redemption. To win souls, one must show sin and God willing to be covered by its faith and ville vermin just to redeem one soul out of Hell's fire.

Some reject God's love (agape). Some want love their own way. Others refuse to recognize or submit to a "giving of one's own self" in love or for love. Rather, they choose loving their own selves, loving pleasures, loving this present world, more than loving the things of God.

Since "...without faith it is impossible to please him..." (Hebrews 11:6) and since "...faith which worketh by love..." (Galatians 5:6) are Biblical truths, any one who becomes a chld of God through spiritual regeneraton must come through a spiritual perception and response to the love of God shed abraod in Christ. It is also true that if any genuine saint honorably serves Christ, they must grow in the love (agape) of God.

Growing in love requries that the nature of God (agape- love - "God is love" I John 4:8), the divine nature ("...partakers of divine nature..." I Peter 1:4), the royal seed ("...His seed remaineth in Him, because He is born of God..."   I John 3:9), grow to have more and more free course and control daily over the man. This would include the habits, the acts, the moods, the pleasure - the whole of man. The Holy Spirit said, "He that saith, I know him and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth (Christ) is not in him. But whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of God (agape) perfected..." (I John 2:4-5).

The love of God (the person of God, Himself, "God is love," I John 4:8) is being perfected, or brought to spiritual maturity, in each one who is responding to the Lord by love. Real and genuine conversion to Christ requires that the love which is of God, God being the only Author, the drawing force upon every soul, and that man's wicked sinful heart be responsive to repentance toward God in confession of sin unto a spirit of "clearing of yourselves" (II Corinthians 7:11), and a sincere turning from all else to Jesus Christ as whole and complete Lord and Saviour.

I ask you the reader, have you received Jesus Christ as your whole Lord? Do you really love Him and desire to pleae ;HIm in obedience and servanthood to His will? Many who profess to know Christ as Saviour are just tares among the wheat (Matthew 13:24-30), just goats among the sheep (Matthew 25:32-33), and don't really know Christ in regenerating power at all. Many "Christian" ministers and workers are just wolves among the sheep (Matthe 7:15) or hirelings among the flock, and are not real servants of Christ.

Do you know that you know HIm? When did you actually receive Christ into your heart in genuine submission and surrender in response to His sacrificial love for you?

If you have received Him, glory! If not, why not just now bow your hear and confess your sins and unpardoned state to God and ask Jesus Christ to forgive you of your sins and to come into your heart right now? Will you?