ON LOVE; PART MCCCLXXVI
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).
While it seems that we have been adrift away from our selection from Paul’s First Epistle to the Corinthians, our subjects have been in accord with the apostle’s theme which IS agape. With this essay we return to a deeper look at Paul’s words which first seek to define the idea of “spiritual gifts” under the reality that such gifts ARE spiritual. Secondly the apostle’s teaching here IS that in the absence of one’s expression of agape ALL such presumed gifts ARE essentially worthless. Paul tells us that his very words, words that reflect “the tongues of men and of angels“, ARE but noise in the absence of agape. In this we should see that such sounds as “sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal” ARE merely the utterances of one’s carnal state; such speaking has NO spiritual impact but reflects ONLY the carnal thoughts and attitudes of the speaker. We should understand here that it IS agape, Love rightly understood, that IS the conduit for the flow of Truth from one’s own Soul which ever resides in the Kingdom and IS everyman’s link to the eternal Godhead. The importance of this idea sets the stage for Paul’s ongoing words of Truth as it IS this flow of Truth that will become men’s spiritual wherewithal. In agape lies their ability to teach Truth, to prophecy, to KNOW the mysteries of God, and to have such faith, such KNOWING, that one IS capable of those “greater works” (John 14:12) which the Master promises and Paul amplifies saying: “Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him” (1 Corinthians 2:9). Paul goes on to reflect upon things that men see as spiritual but which ARE based in the mundane DOINGS of this world. He tells us of giving “all my goods to feed the poor” which IS a worldly virtue but one that must be sparked by True spiritual giving as we find in Jesus words to the rich young ruler to whom He says “go thy way, sell whatsoever thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven” (Mark 10:21). The Master’s words here ARE the gateway to “treasure in heaven” and Paul’s message is that such giving, such forsaking, has NO such profit if it IS DONE in the absence of agape. Similarly whatsoever reward one may perceive to be his in martyrdom IS also of NO value if one simply self-immolates himself or gives his Life without DOING so as an expression of agape. While we can imagine NO spiritual reality in self-immolation, we can see in history several spiritual men of other religions that have DONE so and, in so DOING, perhaps there IS a sign to others that one’s Life in this world is but a small part of everyman’s journey. The point here should be clear: that whatsoever one may believe that he IS DOING for the Lord IS of NO value, it IS worthless, when DONE in the absence of True agape. Here we should try to see that few understand the very nature of True agape and it IS this nature that we will explore today. Repeating Paul’s words from 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).
Paul begins his defining ideas on agape with a combination of ideas on what agape IS and what it IS NOT. He tells us first that “Agape suffereth long, and is kind” and we should try to understand that while there ARE carnal implications in these words, that there ARE spiritual ones as well. We should note as well that the way that many Greek words ARE translated reflects the doctrinal views of the translators and NOT necessarily the intent of the writer. An example here IS the idea that “Agape suffereth long” where the Greek word makrothumeo IS rendered as the phrase “suffereth long“. Most others render the idea in terms of patience with the implication that to Love IS to be patient with those Loved. But this IS NOT Paul’s intent; Strong’s tells us that the meaning IS to be long-spirited which they explain saying: i.e. (objectively) forbearing or (subjectively) patient 9a. Thayer’s tells us that the word means to persevere patiently and bravely as they go on to explain the idea is in enduring misfortunes and troubles 9. This IS Thayer’s primary definition as they then go on to define interpersonal ideas. We should note that the tone of both of these IS personal and NOT interpersonal; it IS the one expressing agape that IS patiently enduring misfortunes and troubles and it IS a quality of this expression to be long-spirited. Vincent refers us to the use of the word in James’ Epistle where we read “Be patient therefore, brethren, unto the coming of the Lord. Behold, the husbandman waiteth for the precious fruit of the earth, and hath long patience for it, until he receive the early and latter rain” (James 5:7). We have used this saying in the past to help us to understand the role of the husbandman whose expression of patience IS to wait for “the precious fruit of the earth” as he diligently works to assure its coming. The point from James’ words IS that the True follower DOES NOT idlily wait. Vincent shows us the meaning of makrothumeo here saying that it IS: from μακρός, long, and θυμός, soul or spirit, but with the sense of strong passion, stronger even than ὀργή, anger, as is maintained by Schmidt (“Synonymik”), who describes θυμός as a tumultuous welling up of the whole spirit; a mighty emotion which seizes and moves the whole inner man 4. From this we should get a glimpse of the strength of this idea of patience and understand that it IS a quality of the Soul which, for the man expressing agape, IS translated to the personality, the heart if you will, of the man in this world as his expression. If we can transport this idea of makrothumeo, of a patience which comes to a man in his realization of the Presence, to Paul’s words perhaps we can see the deeper idea of True spiritual patience. Paul tells us of himself, an accomplished disciple, saying “And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body” (Romans 8:23). This IS the reality of makrothumeo. Vincent adds that makrothumeo is: a patient holding out under trial; a long-protracted restraint of the soul from yielding to passion 4 and here we should try to see that it IS agape that allows us to persevere as aspirants to discipleship and to NOT fall back into our carnal ways. Can we see how that the intent here IS so much more than understood from the popular refrain ‘Love is patient, Love is kind’ and other versions of this idea? Can we see how makrothumeo becomes the first quality of agape that the apostle cites?
The next quality IS from the Greek word chresteuomai which IS used ONLY one time, here, in the New Testament. Strong’s tells us that this words IS the middle voice from G5543 9a which IS chrestos. Strong’s DOES NOT offer us a definition here but takes us back further toward the presumed root word. Thayer’s however tells us that chrestos IS: properly, fit for use, useful; virtuous, good 9 and in this there IS little to take us to that same popular refrain of ‘Love is patient, Love is kind’ and the interpersonal understanding of it. We should try to see that the doctrinal understanding of these first qualities of agape ARE carnally oriented and ARE used to show how that the common understanding of Love should work and endure. Vincent gives us a phrase from Dante, “Paradiso,” xxi., 70, 71 where he sees the idea of chresteuomai in Dante’s words which ARE rendered as: “The high charity which makes us servants Prompt to the counsel which controls the world” 4. We should try to see how that this idea of kindness reflects the overall use of the Soul’s impulse of agape in the Life of everyman who has such as his expression. The link between chresteuomai and agape IS indelible; chresteuomai IS fundamental to the expression of agape as it motivates our sense of service and of spiritual usefulness. It replicates in us that same quality of chrestos which Jesus shows us IS a quality of the Godhead saying: “love ye your enemies, and do good, and lend, hoping for nothing again; and your reward shall be great, and ye shall be the children of the Highest: for he is kind unto the unthankful and to the evil” (Luke 6:35). Paul goes on to show us additional qualities of agape telling us that “
charity agape envieth not; charity agape vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up“. These ideas ARE also understood in carnal terms as promoted in the doctrines of men. There ARE however spiritual implications in each that ARE the True intent of the apostle’s teaching. The Greek word zeloo IS rendered here as envieth; we have discussed this idea before using the noun form zelos. Of zelos, we generally use Vincent’s defining ideas which tell us that: The rendering envying, as A. V., more properly belongs to φθόνος , which is never used in a good sense. Emulation is the better general rendering, which does not necessarily include envy, but may be full of the spirit of self-devotion 4. To understand this idea of emulation however we CAN NOT rely upon the common understanding but rather we should see this from the perspective of older defining ideas, ideas that were common when Vincent wrote his commentary. Webster’s 1828 dictionary defines emulation as: The act of attempting to equal or excel in qualities or actions; rivalry; desire of superiority, attended with effort to attain to it; generally in a good sense, or an attempt to equal or excel others in that which is praise-worthy, without the desire of depressing others. In a bad sense, a striving to equal or do more than others to obtain carnal favors or honors 1. We should try to see that from both the good and the bad sense of this idea there IS naught that would be a quality of agape as ALL ARE self-serving ideas of competition and rivalry that would NOT come from the Soul. James tells us that zelos IS of that wisdom which descendeth not from above, but is earthly, sensual, devilish (James 3:15) and while this confirms our perspective, it also shows us in greater detail the dichotomy between the carnal and the spiritual.
What we should try to see here IS that the carnal mind, founded in vanity and enhanced in that state by our nurturing and indoctrination, ever leads toward our emulative personality and that so long as we choose to compete we ARE NOT Truly expressing agape. Paul shows us this saying “the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be” (Romans 8:7). It IS with this in mind that we should read Paul’s other words from this same epistle saying “be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God” (Romans 12:2). In these ideas that ARE against emulation as a trait for the True follower of the Lord we should see Jesus’ own teachings on treasure, on mammon, and on the idea that we should “take no thought for your life” (Matthew 6:20, 24, 25) and James amplification of this saying “know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever* therefore will be* a friend of the world is the enemy of God” (James 4:4). It IS unfortunate that the entirety of these teachings IS NOT understood through Christian doctrines that teach us that it IS our lives, our carnal lives to be sure, here in this world that matter. In the end we should be able to see the total inadequacy of rendering zeloo or zelos into envy or jealousy; these carnal traits are at best the effect of the emulative nature of the carnal minds of men.
Next Paul shows us a similar negative trait that IS NOT a quality of agape saying that “agape vaunteth not itself“. Here the idea IS taken to be boasting and this IS again a natural carnal trait of men. Should we transport this idea into a spiritual boasting, we can then better see the idea that the apostle presents. If we look at this in terms of the idea of prophecy that we discussed earlier in this study of our selection, we can perhaps see the very nature of the “false prophets” that the Master cautions us against. Whenever we encounter men who would tell us what to believe we must measure them “by their fruits” (Matthew 7:15, 16). In so DOING we can separate those who teach in the absence of agape, those who insist that their teaching IS Truth, from those who teach us the Truth of Jesus’ words. Again we ARE reminded of Peter’s words about such persons who DO NOT teach the Truth but rather teach their own doctrinal approach to the Lord….those that ARE “teaching for doctrines the commandments of men” (Mark 7:7). Peter tells us of those:
“Which have forsaken the right way, and are gone astray, following the way of Balaam the son of Bosor, who loved the wages of unrighteousness; But was rebuked for his iniquity: the dumb ass speaking with man’s voice forbad the madness of the prophet. These are wells without water, clouds that are carried with a tempest; to whom the mist of darkness is reserved for ever. For when they speak great swelling words of vanity, they allure through the lusts of the flesh, through much wantonness, those that were cleane escaped from them who live in error. While they promise them liberty, they themselves are the servants of corruption: for of whom a man is overcome, of the same is he brought in bondage” (2 Peter 2:15-19).
Other than his approach to the problem, Peter’s words ARE NOT much different that Paul’s words that tell us of “another gospel: Which is not another“. Both ARE showing us that there IS a teaching circulating in their time (perhaps several variants) that was contrary to the Truth of the Master’s words which these apostles ARE teaching. While we DO NOT KNOW the motivation of these “false prophets“, we can assume that their allegiance was to their own selves as they attempted to lessen the burden of True spirituality by reinterpreting that Truth into a more carnally oriented set of doctrines. Paul tells us:
“I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel: Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ. But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed. For do I now persuade men, or God? or do I seek to please men? for if I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ. But I certify you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached of me is not after man. For I neither received it of man, neither was I taught it, but by the revelation of Jesus Christ” (Galatians 1:6-12).
The drift away from the Truth offered by men who Peter shows us as “wells without water, clouds that are carried with a tempest” and of whom Paul says “let him be accursed” IS clearly pictured by both as doctrines that “seek to please men“. Again, in the authority taken first by the church fathers and then by those who followed in their footsteps rather than words of the Master, the doctrines of men have flourished. In these doctrines the self-protecting formula has been that such words from the apostles ARE directed to others and NOT to these who have diluted and changed the Master’s words so that they DO “please men“. Thus, following in the ways of the Jews which Jesus rails against continually, the Christian too has “loved the praise of men more than the praise of God” as the Apostle John shows us was at least a part of the Jews’ motivation. Our point here IS that from the Master to Peter and Paul there have been cautions against those who “would pervert the gospel of Christ” but this DID NOT stop the steady creeping in of men’s thoughts and attitudes that have overturned the Truth. That such thoughts and attitudes ARE carnally based IS NOT seen by those who study the writings of the church fathers whose writings ARE more concerned about theological positioning than expressing the Truth that the Master teaches us. Jesus’ Truth has ever been an inconvenient Truth and it IS based in men’s believing that they could NOT attend to His words and live as men in this world. In this they have chosen the latter which they then dressed up in garments of holiness and created doctrines that replace the Truth with “another gospel“. While the cautions against “another gospel: Which is not another“, them that “speak great swelling words of vanity” which we should try to see as that “another gospel“, and the Master’s words 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 15:8-9) ARE rather clear, these ideas have never been accepted with their intended purpose by the church. For the last 2000 years the church has taught various versions of “the commandments of men” as the Truth. It IS this that has been accepted by the masses based in the authority taken to themselves by a long list of teachers who ARE themselves the subject of another of Jesus’ cautions as He tells us:
“Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them” (Matthew 7:15-20).
While it may seem unfair to call church authorities those “false prophets“, there IS a fundamental Truth here that must be seen in order to further advance spiritually. This IS the Truth of agape as the singular force that can allow men to overcome the vanity in which most ALL men yet live. It IS the vanity that has caused men to choose to live as men rather than as disciples of the Christ, the same vanity by which Eve IS deluded with Adam in the Genesis story of the garden of Eden. ALL ARE deluded yet today and it IS our living in the illusory world that we have built that keeps us from the Truths that we CAN NOT see and, when we DO get a glimpse, this generally fades quickly. Doctrinal thinkers will NOT willingly admit their error as they have, as part of their illusion, placed their doctrines into a position of Truth which they will nurture and protect in that other aspect of vanity, glamour. We should understand here that the intent of those who have chosen the ways of the world and incorporated such into their doctrines IS NOT evil per se; it IS the natural working of vanity of the carnal mind. We should understand as well that the working out of the doctrinal ideas of men over the centuries has NOT been negative although we can easily see points of tension that ARE so in the history of the church. The working out of doctrinal ideas has led many to seek after the Lord albeit in ways that bear little fruit for the masses and for those that can express agape through their doctrinal views, there IS just reward.
In ALL these cautions we should see the additional idea that “agape vaunteth not itself” and the companion idea that agape “is not puffed up“. We should try to see that there need not be an outward display of braggartry regarding one’s presumed spiritual position to be seen in such vaunting; there need ONLY be the attitude that one possesses such a position of spiritual authority and knowledge. It IS in presenting one’s doctrinal knowledge as Truth that binds a man to his position and inhibits the flow of agape in his Life. We should note that this NOT ONLY afflicts the teacher but also the rote believer who proudly stands upon his particular position and we should try to see this in the secular and religious worlds alike. That agape “is not puffed up” should bring us similar ideas to “agape vaunteth not itself” and perhaps IS intended to further clarify Paul’s point. Vincent tells us that the difference here is that the former IS: Of inward disposition, as the previous word denotes outward display but he goes on to tell us that The opposite is put by Dante 4. We tend to see the combination of these ideas as the apostle’s intent and understand that the man whose expression IS agape simply stands on the Truth with NO illusory outward nor inward sense of pride but rather a sense of humility in his presentation of agape. Perhaps we can rephrase Paul’s words to reflect the idea that the man who stands in agape stands alone with ONLY his expression as his fruit. This idea of standing IS often cited by Paul and perhaps the strength of this idea comes through most clearly in his words saying:
“Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God” (Ephesians 6:10-17)
This idea of standing IS NOT unlike the first defining quality of agape that we discussed: the Greek word makrothumeo which IS rendered as the phrase “suffereth long” in our King James Bible and in terms of patience by other translators. The Greek word histemi IS rendered in Paul’s words above as stand but this IS a word that has many meanings; Strong’s shows us that histemi IS: used in various applications (literally or figuratively):—abide, appoint, bring, continue, covenant, establish, hold up, lay, present, set (up), stanch, stand (by, forth, still, up) 9a and, in the context of Paul’s words above we should try to see abide, and establish as the point that the apostle IS trying to relate to his reader. Paul tells us to “stand against the wiles of the devil“, to “withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand” and then to “Stand therefore” armed with the tools necessary to defeat the vanity. Again, this IS much like the idea of patience and if we can see this through James words on the husbandman, we can likely gain some needed insight. James tells us that the “husbandman waiteth for the precious fruit of the earth, and hath long patience for it” and here we should note that these same tools ARE required in this sense of patient waiting which CAN NOT be idle if one Truly expects to reap the fruit. Relating this ALL to our current topic of agape we should be able to see that our standing in the Truth and in agape requires the same sense of patience. Those who merely believe that they have and can distribute such “spiritual gifts“, and DO so in the absence of agape, ARE among those “false prophets” in the sense that they teach what they believe and NOT what IS the Truth. Again, while this may seem like a condemnation of the church, that IS NOT the intent. The intent here and in this entire blog IS to show forth the vanity of men, of ALL men, and to allow us to glimpse the greater Truths that have eluded men for 2000 years. We should remember that this IS ALL according to scripture; Paul tells us that “the creature was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him who hath subjected the same in
hope, Because in expectation that he creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God” (Romans 8:20-21). In this we should see the reality that the Souls of men, the Inner Man if you will, has been so subjected and whether we see this as Paul explains or as the ‘fall of man’ according to the Christian interpretation of the Genesis story DOES NOT matter; this state of humanity IS real and the same. Vincent rightly defines this ‘fall’, this subjection to vanity based on being born into this world, saying that this vanity IS: a perishable and decaying condition, separate from God, and pursuing false ends 4. This IS NOT unlike the Master’s own thoughts regarding such blindness; the Apostle John references this blindness of men as He repeats the words of Isaiah saying “He hath blinded their eyes, and hardened their heart; that they should not see with their eyes, nor understand with their heart, and be converted, and I should heal them” (John 12:40). While John applies his words to Jesus’ words on Light, the Master Himself says the same thing in regard to the parabolic nature of His speech and how that the masses, and especially their leaders, may hear his words but DO NOT understand nor accept the Truth which they contain. Jesus tells us:
“Therefore speak I to them in parables: because they seeing see not; and hearing they hear not, neither do they understand. And in them is fulfilled the prophecy of Esaias, which saith, By hearing ye shall hear, and shall not understand; and seeing ye shall see, and shall not perceive: For this people’s heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them. But blessed are your eyes, for they see: and your ears, for they hear” (Matthew 13:13-16)
This IS ALL the result of that vanity, that illusion and glamour of men, that IS their “bondage of corruption“. Men see themselves as men and, save for the few, have always done so. It IS this view of Life that the doctrines of men seek to protect as they fail to recognize their own blindness through which “they seeing see not; and hearing they hear not, neither do they understand“. This IS the story of humanity and while fear IS a contributing factor in men’s failure to recognize their own blindness and deafness, the greater factor IS their sense of self. This sense can be ALL consuming and from the beginning it has blinded men to the Truth that True religion has tried to show us from that beginning. It IS in taking the words of the Master and His apostles to heart that our corruption can be overcome and whether one IS in or out of the churches and organized religion, it IS this corruption that governs the lives of most ALL men. Jesus tells us that the singular remedy for our affliction IS agape and when we can come to understand just what this word Truly represents as a quality of the Godhead, we can then perhaps overcome and be able to stand and say with the Master “I have overcome the world” (John 16:33). This IS the singular objective of every Soul that IS born into this world of vanity. While Jesus teaches us the fundamentals of agape and the need to keep His words, His apostles show us that the Way to keep His words IS through our expression of agape. This IS our expression of Unity and Oneness which DOES easily overcome our sense of self and DOES allow us to DO as the Master tells us in His acknowledged most important words: the words of the Great Commandments and the explanatory value of the Golden Rule. This IS of course a sea change for the masses and one that can ONLY begin when the churches teach His Truth and the deeper realities of His apostles’ clarifying and amplifying words as the True Way, Truth and Life of which the Master tells us. It IS these that ARE promised to us through 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).
We will continue with our thoughts in the next post.
- 1 Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary, 1828 and 1913 from https://1828.mshaffer.com/
- 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