ON LOVE; PART MCCCLXIV
FIRST IS THE GREAT COMMANDMENTS: “The first of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord: And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment. And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these” (Mark 12:29-31).
WHAT THEN IS LOVE? In a general sense love is benevolence, good will; that disposition of heart which inclines men to think favorably of their fellow men, and to do them good. In a theological sense, it includes supreme love to God, and universal good will to men. While this IS from an older definition of Charity, which IS rendered in the King James Bible from the same Greek word agape which IS generally rendered as Love, we should amend our own definition here to include the idea that in the reality of Love a man will accord to ALL men ALL things that he would accord to himself and to say that Love IS our thoughts and attitude of the equality of ALL men regardless of their outward nature or appearance…that ALL ARE equally children of Our One God.
PLUS THE EVER IMPORTANT AND HIGH IDEAL TAUGHT TO US BY THE CHRIST: “Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them” (Matthew 7:12).
We ended the last essay with the Apostle Paul’s words on agape. Of the many places where the apostle focuses upon this spiritual idea and endeavor, the three most dynamic ARE perhaps the two entries from Romans and Galatians plus our current selection from his First Epistle to the Corinthians. We should ever be careful to NOT divorce Paul’s words from the context in which they ARE found as has been done by so many over the centuries; the context IS extremely important for our seeing and understanding the apostle’s spiritual intent. In his entry from the thirteenth chapter of Romans we find a lengthy dissertation on the realities of the law and this apart from the accepted doctrinal ideas that Paul IS against the law, ideas that have been developed because his words ARE taken out of context. We should remember that Paul IS a Pharisee and this by his own admission as we read in his Epistle to the Philippians; the apostle tells us that he was “Circumcised the eighth day, of the stock of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, an Hebrew of the Hebrews; as touching the law, a Pharisee; Concerning zeal, persecuting the church; touching the righteousness which is in the law, blameless” (Philippians 3:5-6). It IS against this way of Life that he rails against the law and this especially as regards the religious Jew’s presumption that he IS blameless in regard to “the righteousness which is in the law“. We must remember here that Jesus spends many words showing the Jews that their sense of righteousness, which they presume based in their application of the law, IS of NO value and had ONLY served to remove them further from the Truth and from the Lord. It IS this that Paul rails against and NOT the actual law itself; it IS the carnal view of the use of the law that IS the bane of the Jews. In their application of the law the Jews saw their salvation as many millions DO yet today; these ARE convinced that their practices of rites and rituals and their own affirmations and confessions regarding their mitzvah keep them close to God and provide the rewards that they seek as men. This IS NOT very different from the Christian view which, while based in the words of Paul, has created a doctrinal view of the Truth that IS become their own mitzvah. While much more varied than the Jews’ doctrinal approach, Christian doctrine has created an ever deeper spiritual hole from which they must climb for True salvation. When we can understand Paul’s perspective in writing against the law, we can then perhaps understand that his use of faith, believing and grace ARE NOT those nebulous ideas of doctrine but rather that KNOWING that comes to a man from his own Soul as he sees and accepts the reality of Jesus and His apostles’ words on agape. We have often framed the Greek words pistis and pisteuo as that KNOWING as we use the Master’s words to show that it IS when this KNOWING is become the expression of the man in this world that he has access to those “greater works” (John 14:12) and to the rare ability to move the mountain and plant the sycamine tree in the sea.
We should be careful to note that while the ideas presented here ARE from the words of Jesus and His apostles, the spiritual connotation of their words IS easily missed by the reader who approaches such spiritual ideas with a carnally focused mind. Paul warns us against this saying “Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God. Which things also we speak, not in the words which man’s wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual. But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. But he that is spiritual judgeth all things, yet he himself is judged of no man. For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ” (1 Corinthians 2:12-16). While these ideas offer us a clear view of the separation of the True follower, the True disciple and the True aspirant to discipleship, those that ARE NOT such use these same words to justify their position as such. The average Christian follower of doctrine sees himself as having “the mind of Christ” and this without realizing that having such a mind puts one in that state of perfection of which Jesus tells us to “Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect” (Matthew 5:48). From a doctrinal perspective it IS ofttimes the words of the Master that ARE deemed to be foolishness when accepted and practiced by others. In reality however many of these same persons see their own doctrines as Truth as they see such ideas as keeping His words, the foil of riches and a singular focus upon the things of God as that foolishness that Paul IS speaking of. If we could but see that ALL men ARE Paul’s “natural man“, that IS ALL men who have NOT progressed past the first True step onto the Path which IS Repentance….ALL who have NOT begun that Transformation and the “renewing of your mind” (Romans 12:2) CAN NOT possibly have “the mind of Christ“. It IS the Soul of everyman that IS in “the mind of Christ” and who has “the mind of Christ“; this IS the very idea presented by the Apostle John’s words on the unction and again we should understand the meaning behind this word. John tells us that “ye have an unction from the Holy One, and ye know all things” (1 John 2:20) and it IS ONLY when we relate the Greek words to this that we can see through the doctrinal aversion to a most basic Truth, the Truth of “Christ in you” (Colossians 1:27). The Greek word christos which IS always rendered as Christ in the New Testament (except for those few Jewish oriented texts and certain verses which render Messiah) but this word has a meaning apart from men’s doctrinal precepts. Messiah and Christ ARE equivalent ideas, the one from the Hebrew and the other from the Greek, but both have the same core meaning of being anointed and the Old Testament DOES render this in terms of anointing throughout. The Greek word that IS rendered as unction IS also rendered as anointing in the same chapter of John’s Epistle and its meaning IS offered as: an unguent or smearing, i.e. (figuratively) the special endowment (“chrism”) of the Holy Spirit:—anointing, unction 9a by Strong’s. Carnally this DOES refer to the smearing of an ointment or oil but spiritually it has far greater meaning which IS clearly seen in Jesus but NOT acknowledged at ALL by the doctrines of men as pertaining to anyone else. This Greek word, chrisma, IS used ONLY three times in the New Testament, and ONLY here in this chapter by John, it IS from the same root word as IS christos which IS always rendered as Christ. This root word IS chiro which IS defined as to anoint 9 by Thayer’s and as: to smear or rub with oil, i.e. (by implication) to consecrate to an office or religious service:—anoint 9a by Strong’s. We should be careful here to separate the carnal ideas from the spiritual which ARE NOT defined but which ARE contained in the rendering of the word christos as Christ. While we make this distinction between the carnal and the spiritual, most DO NOT. Vincent gives us some help here and while we have posted this in the past, his explanation deserves another reading in the context of this essay; we read of christos that it IS:
‘Properly an adjective, not a noun, and meaning anointed ( Χρίω , to anoint). It is a translation of the Hebrew Messiah, the king and spiritual ruler from David’s race, promised under that name in the Old Testament (Psalm 2:2; Daniel 9:25, Daniel 9:26). Hence Andrew says to Simon, “We have found the Messiah, which is, being interpreted, Christ (John 1:41; compare Acts 4:27; Acts 10:38; Acts 19:28). To us “Christ “has become a proper name, and is therefore written without the definite article; but, in the body of the gospel narratives, since the identity of Jesus with the promised Messiah is still in question with the people, the article is habitually used, and the name should therefore be translated “the Christ.” After the resurrection, when the recognition of Jesus as Messiah has become general, we find the word beginning to be used as a proper name, with or without the article. In this passage it omits the article, because it occurs in the heading of the chapter, and expresses the evangelist’s own faith in Jesus as the Messiah‘ 4.
Rendering this as the Christ or as the anointed retains the same meaning to those who understand the meaning behind the word anointed in a spiritual context. Using His name as Jesus the anointed gives us a sense that there IS some greater spiritual Power which IS upon the Master and, if we conflate this with John’s words saying that “ye have an unction from the Holy One, and ye know all things“, we can then begin to see the differences between the Master and the everyman in this world. The church has spent 2000 years trying to protect the idea of Jesus the Christ as the ONLY Son of God when the proper approach IS in John’s words saying that Jesus IS “the only begotten Son” (John 1:18). There IS a world of difference in these two ideas but one that IS rejected by the church because it puts us, as men, on par with Jesus. If we should look at this from the perspective of begotten, we can perhaps see that Jesus’ uniqueness, His special attribute, IS in Paul’s words saying that “in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily” (Colossians 2:9). Here we can frame our understanding as that Jesus IS the ONLY begotten, the ONLY Son of God born into this world with “all the fulness of the Godhead bodily“. So then how DO we combine the idea of Jesus the anointed and the anointing of everyman? Simply in the reality of keeping His words which, while it may seem a far stretch, has its meaning in Jesus words saying “Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect“. It IS at this place of perfection that we can fully realize that great Truth written by John telling us that “as he is, so are we in this world” (1 John 4:17). These ARE NOT idle words but a great Truth for everyman that IS born as a body of flesh possessed of a personality and whose Life principle IS the Soul, the unction or anointing….the Christ Within. It IS in our ability to express this anointing through our body of flesh, through our personality, that we can Truly become Sons of God as He IS. Here we must understand that there IS NO special potent, NO rites or rituals, NO affirmations and confessions, that will accomplish this save our expression of agape, the Power of Truth, flowing through our being from the Soul. This brings us back to Paul’s words regarding “the mind of Christ“. In Paul’s words from his Epistle to the Corinthians above, we have a visual idea of the dichotomy between the “natural man“, the man whose focus IS upon the self and the things of the self, the man who has “the spirit of the world” in his thoughts and his attitudes, and the man who has “the spirit which is of God“. While the Christian claims to have the latter working in his Life, this IS but a part of the great illusion and the glamour that IS inflicted upon humanity in the vanity to which ALL are subjected. To Truly have “the mind of Christ” means that one would think and act as He DID 2000 years ago and this with NO sense of self whatsoever. Can any Christian proclaim to have “the mind of Christ” using this criteria, “I trow not” (Luke 17:9) as the King James Bible renders the Master’s words of denial. While this phrase IS omitted in many translations, we should understand that this idea IS stronger that ‘to think not’ and we offer it to show our view of the Christian idea that “the mind of Christ” IS in some way imputed to him by way of his doctrinal approach to the Lord. We should try to equate this “mind of Christ” to that sense of KNOWING that IS the True meaning of the Greek words pistis (faith) and pisteuo (believing) and here we should note that this KNOWING IS centered on KNOWING God. John gives us a view of KNOWING God that IS beyond the reach of most ALL men as he says “He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him” (1 John 2:4). In this we should see that the reality of having “the mind of Christ” IS the reality of KNOWING God, surely Jesus DOES KNOW God, and the reality of our KNOWING God IS founded in keeping His words. Can we see the point here and can we see how such analysis IS in total opposition to the doctrinal precepts taught by the church.
The apostle offers us another reality of KNOWING God that IS the epitome of keeping His words; John tells us “Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God. He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love” (1 John 4:7-8). Here again ARE sayings that equate the idea of keeping “his commandments” and the concept of agape and we should note here that this concept IS NOT the common idea of Love but the reality of Love that Jesus teaches us. This reality of agape says “whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also“; this reality of agape says “Give to him that asketh thee, and from him that would borrow of thee turn not thou away” (Matthew 5:39,42). These ARE realities of agape, realities which many limit to Jesus words saying “Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you“, a set of precepts that for most ALL men, religious and secular, ARE become but trite sayings, admired perhaps but seldom practiced. There IS much more in His words that define the reality of agape and in this Sermon on the Mount according to Matthew Jesus it IS in our expression of Love “That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust” (Matthew 5:44, 45). It IS this that the Apostle James clarifies and amplifies for us saying that “If ye fulfil the royal law according to the scripture, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself, ye do well: But if ye have respect to persons, ye commit sin, and are convinced of the law as transgressors” (James 2:8-9). The depth of agape IS far reaching and touches the wholly personal lives of men as much as it DOES their interactions with others. As the Sermon continues Jesus shows us the ways of agape in selflessness as He teaches us the righteous way of DOING alms, of prayer and of fasting; ways that ARE NOT for public display but ARE kept within and here we should try to see Paul’s words saying “Not of works, lest any man should boast” (Ephesians 2:9). While this saying seems out of context in our discussion, a careful review of the ideas of both Paul’s and Jesus’ words will show their intent IS NOT dissimilar. We should note here also that the Lord’s Prayer IS also a statement of agape as ARE His words that reflect on the selflessness which He incorporates into such ideas as “treasures upon earth” versus “treasures in heaven“, the role of the single eye, the idea of serving God or mammon and, most importantly the deep Truth that one should “Take no thought for your life” (Matthew 6:19, 20, 22, 24, 25). We should try to see here how that the doctrines of men ARE contrary to most ALL of these ideas; NOT contrary to the Master’s words which ARE ofttimes repeated in sermons, but contrary to the ideas behind them. Men DO seek after “treasures upon earth” and ARE encouraged to DO so by society and the church albeit the church also encourages sharing such treasures in tithes and other giving. Parts of the church actually concentrate upon such ideas of “treasures upon earth” as they use selected sayings from the Old and the New Testaments to support such ideas as the greater one’s giving, one’s tithing to be more specific, the greater one’s reward. Men in and out of the church ARE indoctrinated into the ways of mammon which IS better understood as ALL things of the self and of this world. These ideas, while related to “treasures upon earth” ARE more encompassing; these include family and worldly society as a whole and we should understand that this sense of society includes the church which desires the service of its members in often very mundane and carnal matters. The Master’s point here IS NOT that one should NOT offer service in the realm in which one’s focus lies; it IS rather that one should choose service to the Lord and here we should try to see that the ONLY True service IS one’s expression of Truth and Love.
Regarding the Master’s lengthy dissertation on the idea that men should “Take no thought for your life” we find a total misunderstanding of this great Truth throughout the church as these words ARE diluted to reflect ONLY the ideas of being anxious and of worry. Understanding this idea of “Take no thought for your life” requires an understanding of the resultant idea of discipleship which IS the True objective of His words and the result as well of our Repentance and our Transformation. In this we should see how that ALL of the teachings ARE related despite the appearance of different subject matter. Repeating Vincent’s words regarding this idea of “Take no thought” may aid in our understanding; Mr. Vincent tells us that: The cognate noun is μέριμνα , care, which was formerly derived from μερίς , a part; μερίζω , to divide; and was explained accordingly as a dividing care, distracting the heart from the true object of life 4. He goes on to tell us that this view of the Greek word merimnao: has been abandoned, however, and the word is placed in a group which carries the common notion of earnest thoughtfulness. It may include the ideas of worry and anxiety, and may emphasize these, but not necessarily 4. Over time the idea of merimnao has drifted into definite ideas of worry but despite this the average Christian still exhibits such mundane concerns. And, despite Vincent’s defining ideas here, he sees the same intent of being anxious and worry in these words and he quotes Bishop Lightfoot (“On a Fresh Revision of the New Testament”) where he says: “I have heard of a political economist alleging this passage as an objection to the moral teaching of the sermon on the mount, on the ground that it encouraged, nay, commanded, a reckless neglect of the future” 4. Can we see the church’s dilemma here in explaining the Master’s intent? Can we see how that His intent of showing the necessary selflessness in thought and attitude has been replaced by the carnal ideas of men who CAN NOT understand the entire idea of True discipleship? Finally we have the Master’s words on the single eye which we read as “The light of the body is the eye: if therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light. But if thine eye be evil, thy whole body shall be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in thee be darkness, how great is that darkness!” (Matthew 6:22-23). The point here IS the same as that of the previous verses on treasure, that “where your treasure is, there will your heart be also” (Matthew 6:21), and that point IS focus. Focus upon the things of God IS the steady reality that Jesus continually builds upon as He shows us the reality of the first of the Great Commandments which clearly IS about this focus. In this Commandment we see the totality of our focus upon the Godhead through the continuing idea of ALL; it IS with “all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength” that we ARE commanded to Love the Lord and when we tie this to Jesus’ words from our trifecta we can clearly see what IS necessary to show that Love, that sense of agape that sees the reality of God….that in Him rest ALL men as part and parcel of His One Truth. Repeating our trifecta we read:
- “If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free” (John 8:31-32).
- “Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven” (Matthew 7:21).
- “He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him. Judas saith unto him, not Iscariot, Lord, how is it that thou wilt manifest thyself unto us, and not unto the world? 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. He that loveth me not keepeth not my sayings: and the word which ye hear is not mine, but the Father’s which sent me” (John 14:21-24).
In these words from the Master we have that same sense of focus presented in terms of keeping His words and we should note that Jesus IS careful to reiterate the idea of the third part saying that “He that loveth me not keepeth not my sayings” as He equates His sayings with the Words of the Father. This He clearly shows us saying that “the word which ye hear is not mine, but the Father’s which sent me“. What we should see here IS that the single eye IS the focus of a man upon the things of God while the evil eye IS any that ARE focused upon the self first and the “double minded man” who believes he can focus upon both next. Of the latter James goes on to tell us that he IS “unstable in all his ways” (James 1:8). In this we see the more spiritual meaning of evil, that it IS NOT the same idea of evil that doctrines see as those gross behaviors of men which ARE against their selected ideas of right and wrong. Evil IS NOT ONLY this but reaches out spiritually into the idea of men whose focus IS NOT upon the things of God. We should remember here that the doctrinal idea of sin IS equally misplaced and should reflect this same idea of focus; it IS in this regard that we should understand that “all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). Two short ideas on sin and evil can perhaps highlight this difference between the doctrinal ideas of sin and evil and the Truth of the greater intent of these words. First the Master tells us of evil as He offers His words on seeking, asking and knocking; in regard to earthly fathers He says “If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children” (Matthew 7:11) and surely He IS NOT calling ALL fathers evil according to doctrinal terms. What He IS implying IS that men ARE essentially evil according to the reality of their focus, that ALL whose focus IS NOT according to the precepts of the Great Commandment ARE among the evil. This should of course be understood as a result of that vanity to which ALL ARE subjected, a vanity that produces, in ALL, the illusions and the glamour by which men conduct their mortal lives. Can we see the point here? Can we see how that ALL evil IS NOT as doctrines and cultures define this idea and that ALL whose focus IS NOT True ARE then evil….that they DO NOT have that single eye by which “thy whole body shall be full of light“. There IS NO range in the Master’s voice here; one IS either of the single eye or “thine eye be evil“; we ARE the one or the other. The reality of sin presents us a similar difference between the doctrinal ideas and the deeper spiritual reality of what IS sin; for this we go to James’ words that tell us “If ye fulfil the royal law according to the scripture, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself, ye do well: But if ye have respect to persons, ye commit sin, and are convinced of the law as transgressors“. James tells us that to simply fail to Love according to the greater reality of agape, with NO “respect to persons” IS sin. This IS also an amplification of Jesus’ words regarding discipleship where we see that to Love one’s family or self more than the Lord means that “he cannot be my disciple“. Of course we need to see this saying from Luke’s Gospel together with the same idea from Matthew’s to understand the dynamic here and to see as well the reality that to be His disciple IS to be “worthy of me” as the Master tells us.
When we can conflate these seemingly separate ideas from the gospels into a single realty, we can then begin to see the role of discipleship in His words from the Sermon; his words on treasure, on mammon and on the need to “take no thought“. We we add to this the difference between the single eye and the evil eye we can begin also to see how that it IS the man whose focus IS upon the Lord, the man who IS Repented and IS Transforming, that IS keeping His words and IS thereby able to receive the Truth, His Presence and His Kingdom here and now. ALL of these spiritual ideas ARE connected to that same reality of agape and are both the cause and the effect of one’s coming to KNOW that without agape “I am nothing” spiritually regardless of what place one may place himself in his own mind. We should understand that discipleship IS ever the objective of True Christianity; not that diluted idea of doctrines but the reality of discipleship as the Master defines it. It IS His disciples that ARE able to DO those “greater works” and it IS the disciple that IS able to bear the True cross which IS to keep His words. Jesus defines the disciple in our trifecta saying that to be so, to be a True disciple, one must “continue in my word” and the rewards of DOING this ARE clearly stated throughout the gospels. Most important however ARE the rewards shown us in the trifecta as the Truth, His Presence and His Kingdom here and now. The Master DOES NOT stop here however; He continues to define the disciple saying from the negative perspective “If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple. And whosoever doth not bear his cross, and come after me, cannot be my disciple….So likewise, whosoever he be of you that forsaketh not all that he hath, he cannot be my disciple” (Luke 14:26-27, 33). Like in the reality of one being either of the single eye or of the evil eye, here we should see that one IS or IS NOT His disciple. We should try to see here that if one IS NOT His disciple, regardless of his trying, his striving for a better word, that he remains of the evil eye. Can we see the point here? Can we see that in whatsoever measure of His Truth one may attain, a man IS NOT complete until he IS keeping His words, until he IS seeing the difference between the treasures, between God and mammon, “taking no thought” for ought of the world and forsaking “all that he hath” in things, in relationships, in thoughts and in attitudes. DOING ALL this IS the epitome of agape from one’s own personal perspective; it IS from this perspective that one can see himself in everyman and see everyman in the Lord. It IS in this place that we can “have the mind of Christ“.
We should understand that this IS NO easy task but it IS at the same time a journey that once begun bears spiritual fruit by the same measure as one’s measure of striving. It IS to this end that Paul shows the those Christians in Corinth that the reality of their striving IS NOT found in the doctrinal ideas of men regarding “spiritual gifts” (1 Corinthians 12:1) or, better, the perceived “spiritual gifts” which men presume that they have. The reality of their striving IS found in agape which Paul calls for us “a more excellent way” and, from his words, we should be able to discern that these gifts ARE meaningless and carnal if they ARE NOT accompanied by one’s expression of Love; an expression which James tells us must be with NO “respect to persons“. An expression that we KNOW must be according to the words of the Master and in that selflessness that comes in keeping His words. Repeating our selection from Paul’s words we read:
“covet earnestly the best gifts: and yet shew I unto you a more excellent way. Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not
charityagape, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal. And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charityagape, I am nothing. And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charityagape, it profiteth me nothing. CharityAgape suffereth long, and is kind; charityagape envieth not; charityagape vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil; Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth; Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things. CharityAgape never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away” (1Corinthians 12:31, 13:1-8).
Paul IS telling us of the supremacy of Love, of agape, and while the doctrinal thinker may connect these ideas to the common ideas of Love, a study of his words will reveal a deeper Truth and one in which lies the reality of having “the mind of Christ“. We should understand that the relationship between the common ideas of Love and the Truth of agape ARE polar opposites; that the expression of these common ideas of Love ARE contrary to the Truth of agape as found in the fullness of the Master’s words. A simple example would be one’s Love for family which IS most definitely with “respect to persons” as men most often Love family above ALL others. When we can see that Jesus tells us that it IS these relationships that we must forsake and that the Gospels show us that the disciples of the Christ DID forsake ALL, we can then come closer to understanding the Truth that IS agape. A view of this IS in Jesus’ words according to Matthew, words that align with His words on discipleship from Luke’s Gospel above; the Master tells us “He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me” (Matthew 10:37-38). Can we see the dividing line here between carnal visions of Love and spiritual expressions of agape?
We will continue with our thoughts in the next post.
romans 13 context
- 4 Word Studies in the New Testament; Marvin R Vincent D.D. 2nd edition
- 9 Thayer’s Greek Lexicon on blueletterbible.org
- 9a The New Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible on blueletterbible.org
Those who walk on the well-trodden path always throw stones at those who are showing a new road.
Voltaire, Writer and Philosopher