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"That Love Which Is Of God"

Chapter III


Agape is God, God is agape. And Jesus Christ is agape visible. Agape roots itself in God and cannot exist apart from God. 1John 4:8 says, He that loveth (agape) not knoweth not God; for God is love (agape)."

This is a love-sick age we're living in, but the love of the world is not that which is of God. All too often the love we are seeing in action in the professing saints is that love which is the world's love.

Properly speaking, each person who receives Jesus Christ as Saviour receives the Holy Spirit into their heart and this Holy Spirit is God, who is Agape. Since this is so, shouldn't growing in knowledge be an expanding and enlarging of agape love? Shouldn't fruit bearing be agape love acting out from within? What we see instead is the world entering deeper into the average professing Christian.

Romans 7:22 declares, "I delight in the law of God after the inward man," and II Corinthians 4:16 adds, "For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day." Who is this inward man? Is it a new old man? It is not actually. Second Peter 1:4 states, "Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust." First John 3:9: "Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God." What is this seed? We are told in I Peter 1:23, "Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the Word of God, which liveth and abideth forever." And again in Revelation 19:13, we read, "And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called the Word of God." God was in Christ in II Corinthians 5:19: To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation. Therefore, God, "the Word," is the divine seed-nature within the heart of every child of God. At that name every knee should bow. Philippians 2:9-10 Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth;".

Agape-love has its roots in God. What does I John 4:8 actually mean? If God is love and God is within the inner man, then agape love will also be within the inner man. As previously stated, agape is also life and is active. James 2:17 says, "...even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone." Verse 26 adds, "For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also."

Genuine agape-love, when actually resident, will produce spiritual and Biblical activity or fruits of agape affection. James 2:22 says, "Seest thou how faith wrought with his works, and by works was faith made perfect." In John 14:23: "Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him."  If a man agape me, "...he will keep..." THERE WILL BE OBEDIENCE to the Word of God, affectionately when the real agape God lives within the heart of the believer. In fact, professing believers ought to be judged closer based on I John 2:4-5: "He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in him." (i.e., matured).

Spiritual maturity and Holy Spirit controlling are first evident through a consistent and steadfast keeping of God's words. This is the work of agape-love within the inner man. It would seem that the opposite of keeping God's words would be found in John 14:24: "He that loveth (agape) me not keepeth not my sayings..."

Now to reiterate, this agape is greatly lacking among the churches, even fundamentalists, today. When a sound preacher preaches on sins today, many Christians do not agree with the Scriptures outwardly. They might say "amen," but inwardly they return to their cigarettes, wicked television shows, mixed swimming (even at their church camps), backbiting, gossipping and an unlisted number of other things which God's Word is against. Brethren, it is not the purpose of this writer to scold, but it is a hope that this agape love that God is will be allowed to fulfill the mandate of Romans 5:5: "And hope maketh not ashamed; because the lvoe of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us."

As agape is rooted in the inner man, let it be noted that this is the real nature of God literally residing within the inner man. This nature as stated will produce some evident active fruit, which will not rise then fall; begin then cease; start then stop. In Philippians 2:13, we read, "For it is God which worketh in youboth to will and to do of of His good pleasure" Philippians 1:6 states, "Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you, will perform in until the day of Jesus Christ." Again Hebrews 13:21 declares, "Make you perfect (complete or mature) in every good work to do his will, working in you that which is well pleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ; to whom [be] glory for ever and ever. Amen." Now we are told in Ephesians 2:10, "For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them." By these Scriptures, we come to the conclusion tha tGod is active in the heart of each real child of God to build up a completeness which is said in I John 2:5; to be based on keepng His Word.

One might ask if there is any real connection between loyalty and obedience to the Scriptures, being spiritually maure and knowing that love which is of God. The answer is: there is a very definite connection. For a Christian to claim Christ as Saviour and yet deny the divine inner leading and working of agape-love toward the Word is to cast aside the Scripture itself, making God a liar.

Another area which needs to be touched is the work of agape love within and what it will produce in the life of the believer. It is found in John 8:42, which states, "Jesus said unto them, If God were your Father, ye would love (agape) me: for I proceeded forth and came from God; neither came I of myself, but he sent me. Now, let us examine a very serious side laid open here. What about the professing believer (Some are probably asking about now if this writer is questioning some professing believers as to genuineness of salvation. The answer would be yes, unreservedly), who claims to love "Jesus" and sings his "Jesus Rock" and attends one of these emotional "Jesus" churches and professes a salvation vested in having accepted a Jesus, which is impossible to find in God's Word? Is there a chance that some could have a false Jesus and not have THE Jesus, whom God was within? (II Corinthians 5:19, "To wit, that God was in Christ..." )

Note, please, II Corinthians 11:4: "For if he that cometh preacheth another Jesus, whom we have not preached, or if ye receive another spirit, which ye have not received, or another gospel, which ye have not accepted, ye might well bear with him." It is a foregone fact that one reason the agape love of God is not witnessed by or displayed in many professing Christians is because they do not have God - agape within. They have "a" Jesus, but not "the" Jesus of God, the Christ. We see many "Jesus" folowers in our day who have "a" Jesus, who accept what the Holy Scriptures deny. The Bible's Jesus did not, nor will He, lead one to violate the Scriptures. Jesus Christ does not endorse long hair on men (singers included), or a Christianity wihtout Bible doctrine. Yet we are seeing an age of this kind of worshipping.

Brethren, God's agape-love nature will draw, point, etc., to Christ Jesus, and will have agape-affection toward and for every word of God. Notice what God declares about our affecton toward the Scriptures from the Psalms. Psalm 119:97 "O how love I thy law! it is my meditation all the day." Psalm 119:113 "I hate vain thoughts: but thy law do I love." Psalm 119:127 "Therefore I love thy commandments above gold; yea, above fine gold." Psalm 119:159 "Consider how I love thy precepts: quicken me, O LORD, according to thy lovingkindness." Psalm 119:163 "I hate and abhor lying: but thy law do I love." Notice now what God declares about an affection toward Christ. John 16:27 "For the Father himself loveth you, because ye have loved me, and have believed that I came out from God."

No one can genuinely love (agape) God and not love (agape) His Words and His Christ. Yet today's Christianity does this daily, with no regular consistent Bible reading, no support for real Bible preaching preachers, and little solid support for good, sound, New Testament Churches. Folks say they love God, but worship in a manner not to be found in the Scriptures. Folks say they love God's Word, yet they do not obey its clear precepts, let alone the principles which are sometimes not clear on the surface, but can be understood easily enough if the desire to know is resident in the heart. Folks say they love God, yet worship a Jesus who cannot be found in person or principle in the Word of God.

Love's root, then, is to be found in God Himself, and the understanding thereof is found in turning affectionately to God's very own words and studying deeply of the visible love of God in Jesus Christ. Christ is agape love acting toward man. Listen to Christ in John 14:9: "Jesus saith unto him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? he that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, Shew us the Father?" To know Christ is to know and see agape-love in action and in example. Verses 10 and 11 continue the thought: Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me? the words that I speak unto you I speak not of myself: but the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works. Believe me that I am in the Father, and the Father in me: or else believe me for the very works' sake."

The work of God is agape-love within the believer and to know the practical side of agape-love, look unto Christ. 1Peter 2:21 "For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps:"

Beloved, let us pray over the depth of theology seen in I John 4:16, where we read: "And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him." God is agape, and he that dwelleth in agape dwelleth in God, and God in him. Do you literally live in love, that love which is God's?