ON LOVE; PART MCCCLXVI
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 some defining words on the concept of agape as THE spiritual Way to Truth, to the Kingdom of God and to the Presence of God in one’s Life. While the Master tells us that such things ARE reserved for the man who will keep His words, the deeper Truth behind His words IS missed and that Truth IS agape. We see this in the very nature of His words which teach us first the importance of the Great Commandments and then how that they should apply in the Life of everyman that Truly seeks the Truth. This Truth has naught to DO with our carnal existence but at the same time will make our carnal existence the Truly meaningful experience of those who have found the Truth. The Buddha tells us in His Four Nobel Truths the very nature of that bliss that comes upon the man who can realize these Truths. The Buddha teaches us of our relationship with the world and the very nature of that vanity to which ALL ARE subjected through their birth in the world. The gist of these Truths ARE that in this world there IS suffering and that this suffering IS caused by the desires of men. It IS in this way of desire that the vanity which the Apostle Paul shows us plays its part as the illusions and the glamours that ARE this vanity make men’s worldly desires the relative objectives of their lives. At the heart of suffering we should try to see that there IS NO ‘satisfaction’ in our Earthly lives; that whatsoever IS gained becomes mundane against the next set of desires. The Buddha shows us the Way out of this circle of existence; He shows us that the Way IS to NOT seek for ‘satisfaction’ in the things of the world and He instructs us in a routine, the Eightfold Path, that leads us to the cessation of our suffering. There IS much written regarding the Buddha’s Four Noble Truths and His Nobel Eightfold Path and it would behoove ALL men to read the Buddha’s writings; they ARE NOT as the Christian understands them nor ARE they contrary in any way to the teachings of the Christ. Our Point here IS that in the expression of agape ALL of the Buddha’s Truths ARE realized; agape IS the single most Powerful spiritual concept, one which overcomes world suffering and that sense of dissatisfaction the pervades the Life of most everyman. Granted there ARE many who ARE so carnally focused that they DO NOT realize their own suffering at any given point in time but in the heart of everyman this suffering exists and IS ONLY cured by looking away from one’s own worldly Life. The Master shows us ALL this in those simple words saying “Take no thought for your life” (Matthew 6:25).
In Jesus’ words that tell us to “Take no thought for your life” we have the summation of His previous words which tell us that “where your treasure is, there will your heart be also“; this IS yet another of the Master’s instructions that goes unheeded by the secular world and by most ALL of the church as well. The doctrinal view of both of these ideas ARE of course contrary to the Great Commandment that instructs us to “love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength” and we should understand here that to fail in this total commitment to the things of God IS NO less a sin than any other deviation from His words. Again, the Apostle James shows us a similar effect of sin in his saying that “if ye have respect to persons, ye commit sin, and are convinced of the law as transgressors“. While men may think that the apostle’s words concern ONLY the expression of Love as commonly understood through his words on rich and poor, they ARE far more encompassing. James continues to say “For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all” (James 2:9-10) and it IS in this expression of agape with NO “respect to persons” that most ALL men fail. Here, when we consider the to “offend in one point” a man IS “guilty of all“, we should be able to see the deeper spiritual results of that vanity into which ALL are born. That the doctrinal thinker believes that he IS free from this ‘guilt‘, this belief IS but a part of the illusion and the glamour that ARE the workings of that vanity and this James also shows us in saying that men should “be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves” (James 1:22). If we could see that it IS this deception that IS the bondage of men we could then better understand the deeper ideas that Paul presents us in saying that “the creature was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him who hath subjected the same in
hope, Because expectation that the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God” (Romans 8:21-22). While the church has turned these words into an acknowledgement of the state of sin which they base in the idea of the original sin committed by Adam and Eve, they at the same time fail to acknowledge the means by which one IS freed from this sin. It IS here that the doctrinal precepts of the church became one of replacement as they, from the beginning, have replaced the straightforward words of the Master, most of them clearly elucidated, with the ramblings of Paul. We call Paul’s words rambling here because they ARE made so by the church which picks and chooses out of context sayings and cobbles them together into an incoherent doctrine that IS based solely on their own nebulous ideas of faith and believing. They DO this as they reinterpret the apostles’ other words into ideas that conform with their own precepts or else they ignore the veracity of such sayings as James’ above and as Peter’s who tells us that the way to the Truth IS to escape. This state of the church has created a worldwide situation where it IS extremely rare for a believer to actually escape and this because he DOES NOT see the need to keep His words. Here, if we can see Jesus’ words in Peter’s saying that “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” (2 Peter 1:4), we can then perhaps see the way to break our bondage to the world. We should note here that these words from Peter along with similar ideas from the other apostles and James’ words on deception ALL show us the very same principle that IS shown us by the Buddha. And here we should note that such New Testament ideas ARE as much despised by the teaching church as ARE the Buddha’s.
Along with the Master’s message of “take no thought” and the reality that “where your treasure is, there will your heart be also” we should see His words on mammon and the single eye. Through His words on mammon we should see that we must serve someone or something and perhaps it IS in the word serve that the church IS confused. Jesus teaches us that “No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon” (Matthew 6:24). While much of the church sees men’s church activities as serving, this IS an extremely diluted idea that IS imposed upon the Greek word douleuo. Strong’s defines douleuo as: to be a slave to (literal or figurative, involuntary or voluntary):—be in bondage, (do) serve(-ice) 9a and if we can see the ancient Levites and priests in this definition, perhaps we can gain some insight into the deeper meaning. These Jewish Levites and priests were dedicated by their bloodline to DO service to the Lord; it was their ONLY responsibility. There IS a strength in this word idea that surpasses the ideas of other words that ARE rendered in terms of serving; Thayer’s shows us this in defining douleuo as: properly, to be a slave, serve, do service; then as to yield obedience, Romans 7:6; τινί, to obey one’s commands and render to him the services due 9. While the implication IS that one IS either serving the one or the other, this IS missed or ignored by most ALL of the church which also misunderstands the idea of mammon. Much like the previous idea of treasure, the doctrinal thinker sees ONLY riches in both words but the reality IS much deeper and IS NOT hidden; both ARE offered in the same context which ends in the idea of “take no thought“. Understanding mammon in the broadest sense IS the reality of treasure as whatsoever IS important, desired and strived after. Hence both words refer us to a choice of oneself and the things of the world which perforce include thoughts, desires and the attitudes toward which men strive, and the things of God. This IS the choice in serving the one or the other; one IS bound to the one or to the other and, in this defining idea, IS one’s “bondage of corruption“, the world’s ways, versus “the glorious liberty of the children of God“. Can we see the point here? Can we see how that this choice reflects in the Master’s words on the single eye, the eye that sees ONLY the Truth and Love versus the eye that sees mammon and those “treasures upon earth” (Matthew 6:19) which have the attention of most everyman. It IS this mammon and these “treasures upon earth” that ARE the reality of the sense of evil presented in these verses and it should be easy to see how that these ARE contrary to the Great Commandments which ARE the foundation of both the True Jewish religion and the True Christian religious objectives. Here then we should be able to better see and better understand the Master’s injunction that we keep His words as well as the stark realities expressed in our trifecta which we repeat saying:
- “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).
That the church has lost sight of the Truth that such words as those on treasure, on mammon, on the single eye and on the Transformative idea that we “take no thought” ARE His commandments. Most fail to see that they ARE presented to us as instructions in True righteousness and the fact that ALL that IS found in His words ARE by their nature commandments. While He appears to be giving men a choice, deciding on the carnal way IS ever contrary to His words. The choice IS to be His follower, His True follower, or to remain engrossed in the carnality that IS Life in form….Life bound to that vanity and its deceptions. Choosing the “treasures upon earth” over the “treasures in heaven” (Matthew 6:19, 20) IS NO different that choosing mammon over God; both leave men in the same carnal position and unless one’s religious position IS that he IS bound to following the Lord and keeping His words, such a position IS relatively fruitless. Both of these choices shows the evil eye and the reality that one’s thoughts remain on the self and the things of the self in this world. The church has failed to see the deep meanings of His words that tell us to “take no thought” and we should understand here that this deeper meaning IS found in the literal idea itself as presented in the King James Bible. That the majority of bible translations render this Greek idea of merimnao in terms of being anxious and of worry IS yet another great fault of the church and one that has misled many through the ages. Even our bible dictionaries, Thayer’s, Strong’s and Vine’s, interpret the word into such ideas although Thayer’s more lengthy definitions add the idea that merimnao means to: look out for (a thing); to seek to promote one’s interests 9 which IS more attuned to the intent of the Lord’s words. Two posts back we cited Vincent’s commentary on merimnao and it IS worthwhile repeating a part of that here; Vincent tells us that merimnao: may include the ideas of worry and anxiety, and may emphasize these, but not necessarily 4. Our point here IS simply that the way that the church has deviated from the literal idea of taking NO thought regarding the things of this world shows us their doctrinal reality. It shows us that ALL of Jesus’ words that ARE considered an affront to the ‘normal’ thoughts and activities of men ARE exchanged for the ‘easier to swallow’ doctrinal ideas extracted from Paul’s words. This IS the state of the doctrines of men and this has ever been so. It IS against this human reality that the prophet spoke against the Jews’ ways and which caused the Master to repeat Isaiah’s charge saying “Ye hypocrites, well did Esaias prophesy of you, saying, This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me. But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men” (Matthew 15:7-9). Finally we should realize that the very idea of keeping His words IS the subject of the Parable of the Wise and Foolish Builders which IS NOT Truly a parable at ALL but rather a statement of Truth concerning the ways of men. Beginning with His words on the delusions of men concerning their own presumed holiness or righteousness the Master tells us:
“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. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity. Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock: And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock. And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand: And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it” (Matthew 7:21-27).
Here IS yet another choice to add to that choosing of the “treasures upon earth” over the “treasures in heaven” which IS the same as choosing mammon over God; here IS choosing to be the “foolish man” over the being the “wise man“. We should see here the reality that from a spiritual perspective most ALL men choose on the side of their Life in this world; this IS True in and out of the churches and IS a state that IS fomented by their failure to see the Truth of Jesus’ words. In a recent post we used a church word that generally describes doctrinal matters to describe what has happened in the church over the last 2000 years: ‘replacement theology’. From a doctrinal perspective replacement theology refers to their acceptance of a new covenant which replaces the old covenant into which the Master was born and which He Himself changed as He expanded the role of agape in the law. Jesus also and wiped clean the often arbitrary edicts of Moses that were set in place to control a barbarous and superstitious people of 1500 years earlier. While it IS Jesus who established the new covenant, an idea that should be rather meaningless in the continuous revelations of Truth, the church has never recognized this as so and this despite their acceptance of Him as “the author and finisher of our faith” (Hebrews 12:2). And we should understand that this new covenant that Jesus brought to the world IS itself NOT Truly new but a reemphasis upon the deeper Truths that ARE the Ten Commandments, a set of Truths that was severely diluted by the Jews’ greater acceptance of the ancillary edicts of Moses. Their motivation IS much the same as the Christian’ motivation; both saw the human problem with following the Truth of the Ten Commandments and the change of heart that would be required. This IS especially True when the summarizing ideas of the Great Commandments ARE considered as a part of these Truths. The doctrinal ideas regarding replacement theology ARE Truly a bridge too far as this philosophy has so diluted the Master’s words that the church NO longer deems them as important guidelines; they have substituted their own manufactured ideas of atonement and their reliance upon their nebulous ideas of faith and believing along with their total misunderstanding of the reality of grace. To be sure the entire Christian church DOES NOT see this doctrinally inspired replacement theology as the Truth but, even in the parts that DO NOT, the words of Jesus as the guideposts of True righteousness ARE simply ignored in favor of the doctrinal assertions that any particular denomination or sect professes. ALL in ALL the words of Jesus ARE NOT considered as the Way, the Truth and the Life; these have been substituted by the doctrinal ideas of confession and affirmation, of rites and rituals, and the various theories of atonement. And this IS our point: that True salvation IS ONLY found in Jesus’ words and, more to the point, keeping His words. It IS in DOING this that the Truth IS found as we read in our trifecta; it IS in DOING this that the Kingdom IS gained and it IS in DOING this that we can have the reality of the Presence of God in our lives. It IS in keeping His words that the reality of Repentance and Transformation can be realized. Here again we should try to see that Repentance IS that decision to follow the Truth of the Lord’s words, a decision that IS Soul inspired and accepted by the carnal mind that has come to see the futility, the spiritual futility, of its own existence. In Transformation we have the process, the steady and ofttimes slow process, of changing the carnal mind, renewing it to use Paul’s term. This Transformation brings into the heretofore carnal thoughts, attitudes and actions the Light of the Soul and the Power of Love and Truth that flow in that Light. This then IS the True replacement theology: that men change the self-centered thoughts, attitudes and actions of the carnal mind into thoughts, attitudes and actions that reflect the Unity of Life, the Oneness of ALL human kind that has its basis in the Oneness of the Soul of everyman with the Godhead. It IS this road that Jesus’ words put us on and it IS this Path that IS enhanced by the amplifying and clarifying words of His apostles.
This brings us back to Paul’s words on agape that have been our selection. Paul writes these words to the Corinthians, a cultural and social group in which he senses problems with the necessary Unity that IS the hallmark of the True follower of the Christ. Paul begins his epistle saying “Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment” (1 Corinthians 1:10). These words beseech a Unity in the message that they take to heart. Here again we should NOT see the division as being between following the Jews mitzvah and NOT following it under Paul’s teaching which IS his teaching on the words of the Master. While this may be a part of Paul’s sense of “divisions among you“, it IS not the entirety of his message. Paul goes on to show the Corinthians that they ARE dividing Christ, that they ARE breaking into groups that see different ideas in the teaching which ARE presumably based in the different teaching styles of Paul, of Apollos and of Cephas. What seems hidden here IS that these ALL teach the same Christ and that while they may emphasize different aspects of Jesus’ own teaching, they ARE NOT divided despite the way that the church itself has interpreted this scene. In the end the message to the Corinthians IS in the form of a question that asks “Is Christ divided?” (1 Corinthians 1:13). From this point we should see then a dissertation on the way that these Corinthians perceive the ideas that they have developed from the teachings of the apostles and the greater Truth that Paul shows us as Love. Paul shows them how that the thoughts, attitudes and ideas that they have developed and which he perceived as being in conflict ARE of NO value in the absence of agape. Here we should try to see that while agape was a part of the original teachings from Paul, this had faded into what may seem as a competition regarding the “spiritual gifts” (1 Corinthians 12:1) about which the apostle writes before showing their worthlessness in the absence of agape. While this view of Paul’s Epistle skips over many points between the first and twelfth chapters, this DOES NOT detract from the analysis that we have formed here; and we should note here that this whole written scene IS much the same as his words to the Galatians regarding “another gospel: Which is not another“. In this Epistle to the Corinthians Paul makes many points which he wants the reader to understand as he tries to correct the course of the people’s thoughts and attitudes regarding the teachings of the Master. And, what we should perhaps see here IS that Paul IS NOT successful as he writes again to them with a different approach which IS NOT addressed to so broad an audience.
In his First Epistle to the Corinthians Paul addresses his words to “the church of God which is at Corinth, to them that are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints, with all that in every place call upon the name of Jesus Christ our Lord, both theirs and ours” (1 Corinthians 1:2). While the idea of sanctified shows us the idea that Paul writes to the ‘holy‘, it IS easy to tell by the text that ALL who may claim to be ARE NOT. We should note here that he IS also writing to those “called to be saints” which idea infers that the reader IS merely invited to be among the saints. The Greek word for saints IS hagios while the word for sanctified IS hagiazo; these related words, the first IS an adjective while the second IS a verb form of the root word hagos. We should note here that in the sameness of these word ideas there IS either an ignorance on Paul’s part or a misunderstanding of his intent as his words, as presented, are contradictory. In the latter idea we should note that the words “to them that are” ARE added by the translators and that most ALL translations take the perspective that Paul’s address IS to the sanctified people and that the idea of called IS ‘to be chosen‘ which IS contrary to the ideas behind the Greek word. If we can view this passage as that the Paul IS writing to the church, to the congregation, which IS by its nature of focus upon God sanctified, the contradictory nature of the idea IS diminished. If we can then see that the people of the church, the congregation, ARE “called to be saints” under the right definition of the Greek kletos which IS to be invited 9, 9a as both Strong’s and Thayer’s show us, we can eliminate the apparent contradiction. In this we should see that Paul IS writing to a ‘holy‘ church and to those people who ARE invited to themselves be ‘holy‘ and that the rest of the epistle IS instructions for them to Truly be so. In addition to this we should see that Paul recognizes the divisions in this church, divisions which ARE among the people and which perhaps ARE trending toward an actual division of the church. The entire message here can be summarized into the ideas that first “ye all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you” and second that regardless of what they, as a church and as a people, had come to believe through their varied instructions and from their own sense of ‘wisdom’ and sense of “spiritual gifts“, that ALL was worthless in the absence of agape. Paul’s Second Epistle to the Corinthians IS from a more positive perspective as he writes not to those invited but to those who have accepted the invitation. Paul writes to “the church of God which is at Corinth, with all the saints which are in all Achaia” and here we should perhaps see the expansion of the church into the greater region. This epistle can be seen in two parts; the first a positive dialogue that seems intended to enhance the Way of the saints and to encourage their continued following of the Lord while the second seems to be in argument against those who were speaking against Paul and his teachings and through this were trying to “pervert the gospel of Christ” much as was the intended effect of “another gospel” (Galatians 1:6, 7).
The point in all this IS to show that the writings of Paul ARE the same from epistle to epistle and that in each the apostle IS promoting the Truth and the concept of agape against as constant threat from those who could NOT see that Truth. It IS the divisive ideas that he shows us in First Corinthians and in the idea of “another gospel” that Paul struggles to contain and history should tell us that he was NOT successful. Even through those national regimes that demanded one be a Christian according to the times and the places, the divisions of the church remained and were propagated more than was the Truth. Through ALL Paul’s writings however there IS a common thread of instruction which, while it IS often disrupted by his tone of fighting against the divisive forces of his day, IS the True intent of his writings….instructions in Truth and in Love through KNOWING the Lord. But this idea IS interpreted by much of the church into the nebulous doctrinal ideas of faith and believing and his words ARE reconstructed to be in support of the doctrinal ideas of men. For us this IS these interpretations of the Truth ARE the result of “another gospel” which may have begun in Paul’s time but has greatly multiplied over the centuries into thousands of different approaches to the Lord with few based in the Truth of Jesus’ words nor the amplifying and clarifying words of His apostles. What started as the divisions at Corinth and the perversions of “the gospel of Christ” in Galatia have NOT been halted by Paul’s admonitions but have grown in both number and in strength into the various doctrines of men. Again, this IS the product of the vanity, the illusion and the glamour of men, by which the unreal has become the real and the biblical Path of Love and Truth has been set aside for the easier but nebulous doctrinal path of ‘salvation‘ through atonement and “free gifts” from God. It IS to avoid such doctrinal straits that Paul shows the Corinthians the Truth of agape which we read again in our selection:
“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. For we know in part, and we prophesy in part. But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away. When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things. For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known. And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity” (1Corinthians 12:31, 13:1-13).
It IS important to understand the intent of Paul’s words through his epistles; for some he writes specifically to saints and his interpretation of that word should be seen steadily in the defining ideas of the Greek word hagios. Thayer’s tells us that to be hagios IS: properly reverend, worthy of veneration 9; to be revered and venerated by others IS a high honor for men but we should understand this IS a rather carnal idea. Thayer’s goes on to say that to be hagios IS: set apart for God, to be, as it were, exclusively his 9 and in this we should see the Life of one who conforms to the First Great Commandment; here we should understand that one IS NOT set apart by God but rather through one’s own effort to so conform. Further Thayer’s tells us that hagios IS: pure, sinless, upright, holy 9 and in these ideas we should see one who conforms with the second of the Great Commandments. Here we should try to understand that to NOT conform to these Commandments IS in itself the sin of most ALL men and that the whole of these words IS in regard to the whole concept of agape. So then there IS a great difference in Paul’s words that ARE addressed to those invited to be saints as we ALL ARE and His words that ARE addressed to saints. In the category of those that ARE “called to be saints” we have instructions to sainthood for those who have put themselves upon the Path; instructions if you will to keep them there. In epistles that ARE written to saints, those that have accepted that invitation, we have more of a sense of praise and admonitions for the struggle that they have endured. In the first category we should see the apostle’s words to the Romans, to the Corinthians (first epistle), to the Galatians and to the Thessalonians and try to understand that the level of instruction in these epistles IS most basic and intended to aid in the Transformation of the readers. While there ARE learning points in the other epistles as well, these tend to be of deeper spiritual significance. The revelations of the first category seem less clearly stated and one needs to interpret his words through the agency of one’s own renewing mind while the revelations of the second seem more clear for them who have found the basis of the first. In both the revelations of Truth DO remain unseen by the man whose focus IS yet carnal, to the man who IS NOT decided to Truly Repent and, to be sure, this includes most ALL men in and out of the churches. And this IS the problem with Paul’s words that ARE our selection; men have ever interpreted these ideas through a carnal mind that fails to see the emphasis that he places on agape, a concept which the carnal mind interprets ONLY into his own visions of Love as this word IS understood by men. It IS to men that ARE Truly striving to be pure, sinless, upright, holy 9, men that have accepted that invitation to the Path, that can Truly see in their hearts the deeper meanings of the worthlessness of ALL presumptions of holiness in the absence of their expressions of agape.
We will continue with our thoughts in the next post.
- 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