"The Love of God in Jesus Christ"

This thesis will be divided into basically three parts, or questions (propositions):

That you may be able to comprehend with all saints what [is] the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; And to know the love of Christ , which passes knowledge, that you might be filled with all the fullness of God. ** Ephesians 3:18,19

First - Why is it so important that we comprehend and understand the "Love of Christ"?
........Especially, HOW do we comprehend and understand it if it does, in fact, "passes knowledge"?

Second - Exactly what is the "Love of Christ", and of what does it consist?

Third - How is the "Love of Christ" manifested?

I. -- Why is it so important that we comprehend and understand the "Love of Christ" ?

It is my contention that an understanding of the "Love of Christ" is the underlying foundation of the Christian Life, and the prime requisite to "growing in the Love of God". It is through the "renewing of our minds" that we are transformed into His Image. How can we grow into something that we neither comprehend nor understand ? Our manifestation of Christ and of God are, I believe, in direct proportion to our comprehension of Their Being. The image that we manifest will be derived from the image formed in our minds and understanding as to who and what Christ and God are.

Be not conformed to this world: but be you transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what [is] that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God. ** Romans 12:2

We all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, [even] as by the Spirit of the Lord. {by the...: or, of the Lord the Spirit} ** 2 Corinthians 3:18:

If so be that you have heard him, and have been taught by him, as the truth is in Jesus: That you put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; And be renewed in the spirit of your mind; And that you put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness. {true...: or, holiness of truth} ** Ephesians 4:21-24

Have put on the new [man], which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him: ** Colossians 3:10

The "Love of Christ" constrains, restricts, and/or molds our thoughts and actions, directing us to be "transformed into the image of Christ". What image though ?? It will be the one that has been formed and that we hold in our mind and in our imagination !!

For the love of Christ constrains us: ** 2 Corinthians 5:14

The Apostle Paul believed (as do I) that it was the "First, Last, and ONLY" thing of ultimate importance !!

After his dramatic confrontation with the risen Christ and conversion to Him on the Damascus Road, Paul had, by this time, been in His service at least 10 years. Yet the cry of his heart was, "to KNOW Him (Christ)". He obviously DID NOT mean "know" as in mental acquaintance, as do many today when asked if they "know" Christ. What they mean is that they "know ABOUT Him", quite a different thing !!

What things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ. Yea doubtless, and I count all things [but] loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them [but] dung, that I may win Christ, And be found in him , not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith: That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death; If by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead. Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus. Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but [this] one thing [I do], forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. ** Philippians 3:7-14

Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, 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 charity, 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 charity, it profits me nothing. Charity suffers long, [and] is kind; charity envies not; charity vaunts not itself, is not puffed up, {vaunts...: or, is not rash} Does not behave itself unseemly, seeks not her own, is not easily provoked, thinks no evil; Rejoices not in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; {in the truth: or, with the truth} Bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Charity never fails: but whether [there be] prophecies, they shall fail; whether [there be] tongues, they shall cease; whether [there be] knowledge, it shall vanish away. {fail: Gr. 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. {done away: Gr. vanish away} When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things. {thought: or, reasoned} {put away: Gr. vanish away} 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. {darkly: Gr. in a riddle} Now abides faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these [is] charity. ** 1Corinthians 13:1-13

Why are there so many Schisms, Sects, and Cults? Why is there so much backsliding? Why is there so much of THIS world and SO LITTLE of THAT world (age) yet to come manifested in Christ's Church? Why are there so many warped and perverted views and doctrines regarding Christ and His (our) God? I believe that they all stem from a lack of knowledge and a distorted comprehension of the "Image and Love of Christ" !!

These [things] have you done, and I kept silence; you thought that I was altogether [such an one] as yourself: [but] I will reprove you and set [them] in order before your eyes. Now consider this, you that forget God, lest I tear [you] in pieces, and [there be] none to deliver. ** Psalm 50:21,22

For my thoughts [are] not your thoughts , neither [are] your ways my ways, says the LORD. For [as] the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts. ** Isaiah 55:8,9:

Hear the word of the LORD, you children of Israel: for the LORD has a controversy with the inhabitants of the land, because [there is] no truth, nor mercy , nor knowledge of God in the land. My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because you have rejected knowledge, I will also reject you that you shall be no priest to me: seeing you have forgotten the law of your God, I will also forget your children. {destroyed: Heb. cut off} ** Hosea 4:1,6:

Then Job answered Yahweh and said: I know that You can do all things, And no plan of Yours can be thwarted. Who is this who obscures counsel without knowledge? Wherefore I have professed ideas when I was not understanding, Things too marvelous for me, that I did not know. Hearken now, and I myself shall speak; I shall ask of you, and you inform Me. With the hearing of the ear I had heard of You, But now my eye sees You. Therefore I sink down and repent On soil and ashes. ** Job 42:1-6

Because that, when they knew God, they glorified [him] not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, And changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts , and creeping things. Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonor their own bodies between themselves: Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshiped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen. {more: or, rather} ** Romans 1:21-25

"I give you a new commandment -- to love one another. Just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another." ** John 13:34

Jesus says, however, that this is a NEW commandment. So what is new in His instruction that God's chosen people should "love one another" ?? As far back as the founding of the Nation of Israel, God had commanded His People to exercise PRACTICAL love for each other as individuals as well as a nation through mutual concern, care and support. Jesus had pronounced that the SECOND greatest commandment was that we should, "love our neighbor as we love ourselves".

The mystery is answered in the second half of His utterance, "Just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another." Exactly HOW did Jesus love us that was so unique and special ?? The answer is that, "He gave of Himself that men (and women) might be brought back to God (to the Father)". The author of the book was saying that the uniqueness of the Love of Jesus - and that which He is commanding His followers to exercise - is that its PRIME end is to see the individual(s) upon whom it is spent return back to Father's waiting arms !!

The uniqueness of these words of Jesus - of this COMMAND of His - was recently brought to my attention by a book that I read. You can access the specific chapter [ Here ].

Oftentimes, this "love" may not appear in the eyes of men to even be love - it may sometimes have more the look of lack of feeling or cruelty. Take the case of the Apostle Peter. Jesus made it very clear that there was a chasm of difference between man's thoughts and ways and those of God. When Jesus revealed to the twelve that He must shortly die, Peter began to rebuke Him and tried to dissuade Jesus from completing His mission. Peter was responding out of a very "human" love of and concern for his friend and Lord, Jesus - for His safety - and because HE was going to miss Jesus if He was killed. Jesus, however, viewed it very differently, and rather than responding to Peter's concern in an appreciative manner, He spoke thus:

He turned and said to Peter, "Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to me, because you are not setting your mind on God's interests, but on man's." ** Matthew 16:23

He was basically telling Peter that through his PURELY human thinking and feeling, he was doing Satan's work rather than God's - that he was, in fact, being a hindrance to God's intent !!

Jesus even found it necessary to force Peter to examine the TYPE of love that he felt for his Master. Jesus asked Peter if he "Loved - Agapao" Him. Peter kept replying that he "Loved - Phileo" Him. Jesus was telling Peter that He required a deeper commitment from him. Peter was grieved that he didn't YET have the love that his Master required. (Please continue to read for the difference between "Love=Agapao" and "Love=Phileo").

"Love=Agapao" "Love=Phileo"
So when they had dined, Jesus said to Simon Peter, Simon, [son] of Jonas, love you me more than these? He said unto him, Yea, Lord; you know that I love you. He said unto him, Feed my lambs . He said to him again the second time, Simon, [son] of Jonas, love you me? He said unto him, Yea, Lord; you know that I love you. He said unto him, Feed my sheep. He said unto him the third time, Simon, [son] of Jonas, love you me? Peter was grieved because he said unto him the third time, love you me? He said unto him, Lord, you know all things; you know that I love you. Jesus said unto him, Feed my sheep. ** John 21:15-17

This was the revelation that I received from the above mentioned book -- that if our "love" has not as its ultimate end the intent and purpose of moving individuals closer toward the Father - if by our "loving" them we are making them MORE comfortable in their current position WITHOUT God - then our "love" is really a form of HATE, and we are in reality doing Satan's work and NOT God's - NOT exercising the love that was commanded by Jesus !!

II. -- Exactly what is the "Love of Christ", and of what does it consist?

I believe that, contrary to what many misinformed individuals seem to think, that the "Love of Christ" and the "Love of God" are one and the same thing. No one who has ever read the scriptures with a mind and spirit enlightened by the Holy Spirit could possibly find a "wrathful, vengeful, angry God" in the Old Testament versus a "loving, merciful, placating Christ" in the New Testament. Yet such is the view that many have - even so called "Bible Scholars". In fact, the New Testament Scriptures make it exceedingly clear that it was indeed the "Love of God", manifested in and through Jesus Christ, that secured for mankind our salvation.

In the Old Testament, God took a people, Israel, to be His "Wife", His special chosen people. They continuously broke His heart with their backsliding. He warned them again and again, to turn from their wicked ways, or to expect dire correction. However, He continually encouraged them with His Love, telling them that He could NEVER reject them totally, and that, when their hearts were finally turned back to Him, He would be there to love and comfort them.

Fear not; for you shall not be ashamed: neither be you confounded; for you shall not be put to shame: for you shall forget the shame of your youth, and shall not remember the reproach of your widowhood any more. For your Maker [is] your husband; the LORD of hosts [is] his name; and your Redeemer the Holy One of Israel; The God of the whole earth shall he be called. For the LORD has called you as a woman forsaken and grieved in spirit, and a wife of youth, when you were refused, says your God. For a small moment have I forsaken you; but with great mercies will I gather you. In a little wrath I hid my face from you for a moment; but with everlasting kindness will I have mercy on you says the LORD your Redeemer. For this [is as] the waters of Noah unto me: for [as] I have sworn that the waters of Noah should no more go over the earth; so have I sworn that I would not be wroth with you nor rebuke you. For the mountains shall depart, and the hills be removed; but my kindness shall not depart from you neither shall the covenant of my peace be removed, says the LORD that has mercy on you. ** Isaiah 54:4-10

Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God , which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. ** Romans 8:39

After that the kindness and love of God our Savior toward man appeared, { love : or, pity} Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost; ** Titus 3:4,5

Hope make not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us. For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. {in due time: or, according to the time} For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die. But God commanded his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. ** Romans 5:5-8

I also believe that the New Testament makes it quite clear that to "know Christ (God)" and to "Love Christ (God)" are ALSO one and the same thing. You can not have one without the other.

The New Testament uses the word "Love", or a derivative thereof, 215 times. 26 times this same Greek word is rendered "Charity". Of the 241 times, 215 represent the Greek word, "Agapao" (Strong's 25, 109 times and 26, 106 times). 26 times it represents the Greek word, "Phileo" (Strong's 5368, 21 times and 5360, 5 times).

In an insightful book, "The Four Loves", C.S. Lewis, a brilliant English Christian Apologetic writer, recognizes four basic types of human love. They are storge (natural affection),philia (friendship, love), eros (attraction, sexual love), and agape (love, charity). The scriptures speak predominately of Agape (formerly called Charity), with a few mentions of Philia (friendship). Nowhere, except perhaps in the "Song of Solomon", is Eros (sexual love) even mentioned.

You may download a .pdf copy of this book [ HERE ].

Now herein lies the root problem of our modern society. We have been so saturated with the Hollywood concept of love -- that soft, sticky, sickly sentimentality of popular novels, music and movies -- that our "Natural Minds" are totally incapable of comprehending what is the "Love of Christ", that very same quality He wishes to impart to us by His Holy Spirit, and have us live in and manifest. Our primary concept of love is emotional and most of all, sexual --- 180 degrees out of phase with the "Love of God" !! Many, particularly the younger generation, can barely distinguish between LOVE and LUST !! Proverbs says that love is, "strong as death". Jesus says, "THIS is Love -- that a man should lay down his life for his brother".

It is primarily a resolution of the will, having little or nothing to do with emotion. Many are counseled regarding their marriage relationship that if, "actions of love are initiated and maintained toward their partner, feelings of love will often follow".

God's Word tells us that His Love is manifested and confirmed by ACTION and by the bend of our lives. It is in the reality of our living, NOT in the multitude of our conversation. It is what we ARE, not what we SAY !! The Apostle John boldly affirms that, "If we say that we have the Love of God, and fail to manifest it in our everyday living toward our family and neighbors, then we are liars and the Truth is NOT in us".

How different this is from the world's philosophy, where often the "gushing of our lips concerning Love" is only intended to camouflage the Sin and Hatred in our heart --- where expressions and platitudes of "Love" are often but precursors to actions of Lust, selfishness, degradation and enslavement of others. How many of God's children have been slaughtered and enslaved down through the ages under the banner of, "love of country, love of religion, love of own kind and love of race" ???

C.S. Lewis in his book, "The Four Loves", makes the point that maternal love, (the human love of a mother for her family) when given full, unbridled expression, can be the most selfish and destructive of all forces. This is particularly so for the very reason that it can hide and masquerade behind the supposed "Cause and Name of Holy Love".

A frightening example of unrestrained human "Love" turned demonic is dramatized in a 1946 movie called, "Leave Her to Heaven". In it, a beautiful, unstable, self-centered woman, obsessively devoted to her father, destroys everyone who enters her orbit with her devouring, parasitic "Love". She ruins her mother's life and drives her father to an early grave with her possessiveness. She allows the disabled brother of her husband to drown to get rid of him, then deliberately falls down the stairs, resulting in the miscarriage of her unborn child, so that she might fully posses ALL of her husband's love. Finally, she tries to frame her adopted sister of murder through her own suicide when she believes that her husband is going to leave for said sister.

During the 60's and 70's, the expression "Free Love" was, in reality, nothing more than a camouflage for unbridled lust and promiscuity !! How many an innocent maiden has succumbed to promises of "Love and enduring devotion", only to find herself rather ravaged by Lust and self-gratification ??

C.S. Lewis made another helpful observation about people who claim that they have trouble, "loving God". He observed that what they generally mean is that they can not manufacture "loving feelings" toward God. Lewis reminds them that they might just as well try to manufacture feelings of hunger or sorrow. Such is NOT what God asks of us. His Word is to follow Him, obey His commandments, and allow the Holy Spirit to work within. Feelings may or may not follow, but they ARE NOT a measure of ones "Love of God". Some people's ability to feel emotion may be permanently damaged until the "Renewal of All Things".

He is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for [the sins of] the whole world. Hereby we do know that we know him , if we keep his commandments. He that says I know him , and keeps not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him . But who soever keeps his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in him . He that says he abides in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked. ** 1John 2:2-6

Hereby perceive we the love [ of God ], because he laid down his life for us: and we ought to lay down [our] lives for the brethren. But whosoever has this world's good, and sees his brother have need, and shuts up his bowels [ of compassion] from him, how dwells the love of God in him? My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth. ** 1John 3:16-18

We have known and believed the love that God has to us. God is love ; and he that dwells in love dwells in God , and God in him. Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as he is, so are we in this world. {our love : Gr. love with us} There is no fear in love ; but perfect love casts out fear: because fear has torment. He that fears is not made perfect in love . We love him, because he first loved us.0 If a man say, I love God , and hates his brother, he is a liar: for he that loves not his brother whom he has seen, how can he love God whom he has not seen? And this commandment have we from him, That he who loves God love his brother also. ** 1John: 4:16-21

By this we know that we love the children of God , when we love God , and keep his commandments. For this is the love of God , that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous. ** 1John 5:2,3:

III. -- How is the "Love of Christ" manifested?

This, along with the warped concept of God as being a "hard, vengeful, cruel, merciless, judgmental taskmaster", has led to two primary errors down through the ages. On the one extreme - there is the current craze of sentimentality, gushing emotion, and "feel good" exhibitionism - often coupled with a total lack of any concept of, or desire for, personal righteous and holiness. At the other extreme is the "Legalistic Prison" - where the Church of Jesus Christ has been made into little more than a Legalistic Chamber of Horrors - where atrocities that might do a Hitler proud are done in the Name of Christ. Perhaps actually NOWHERE in-between is what Jesus came to bring into creation -- the "New Creature, conceived and born of the Spirit and after the Image of its Father, Jesus Christ" !!! It is ONLY under the direct, living inspiration and molding of God's Holy Spirit that this "Church of Jesus Christ", this "Building of Living Stones" can be wrought. All else is Legalistic Horror -- Works of the Flesh - Dung - Wood, Hay and Stubble -- ALL to be burnt up in that great purifying fire on the "Great and Terrible Day" of His appearing !!

In the "Love of Christ", knowing and loving is the same as living and being. It is not some idle concept of the mind, not some flimsy cloud of wistful, wishful fantasy, not some "theological mystery" to be brandied back and forth by corrupt and egotistic minds. It is manifested as the REALITY of your life. I see no contradiction between Jame's concept of "Works" and Paul's concept of "Faith".

Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified. ** Galatians 2:16

What [does it] profit, my brethren, though a man say he has faith , and have not works ? -- can faith save him? If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food, and one of you say unto them, "Depart in peace, be [you] warmed and filled"; notwithstanding you give them not those things which are needful to the body; what [does it] profit? Even so faith , if it has not works , is dead, being alone. {alone: Gr. by itself} Yea, a man may say, "You have faith , and I have works" : show me your faith without your works , and I will show you my faith by my works. {without: some copies read, by} You believe that there is one God; you do well: the devils also believe, and tremble. But wilt you know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead ? ** James 2:14-20

Those "theologians" down through the ages who have wasted so much energy trying to make a distinction have shown by their ignorance their lack of divine sight. It is like trying to make a distinction between "breathing" and "living". If you breath, you are alive -- if you are alive, you had BEST be breathing. Jesus said very simply, "If you truly KNOW Me, if you LOVE ME, if you are REALLY my friend, then you will keep my commandments. The Spirit of my life will flow and work through you". Does a man or woman, truly and deeply in love with their spouse, need to be TOLD to act and conduct their relationship in a loving manner ?? NO, it flows naturally !! In THIS manner did God manifest His love for us -- He GAVE of His Son. He didn't send some angle to conduct classes and give theological dissertations about the need and method of salvation.

In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him. Herein is love , not that we loved God , but that he loved us, and sent his Son [to be] the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another. No man has seen God at any time. If we love one another, God dwells in us, and his love is perfected in us. Hereby know we that we dwell in him, and he in us, because he has given us of his Spirit. ** 1John 4:9-13:

In the Old Testament, God made it exceedingly clear that He took no joy in lip service, empty ceremony and ritual. He wanted that which came out of a man's heart - out of his life as an extension of who and what he was. He would have nothing to do with any adulterous "marriage of convenience". Did He not warn, "I am a Jealous God" ?? Even His giving of the Old Testament Law and Ceremonies was nothing more than a TEMPORARY concession to man's sin and weakness.

If you [be] Christ's, then are you Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise. Now I say, [That] the heir, as long as he is a child, differs nothing from a servant, though he be lord of all; But is under tutors and governors until the time appointed of the father. Even so we, when we were children, were in bondage under the elements of the world: {elements: or, rudiments} But when the fullness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law, To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons. Because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father. Wherefore you are no more a servant, but a son; and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ. ** Galatians 3:29-4:1-7

There are not many things which the scriptures speak about as God "HATING" them, but there are at least two -- Divorce and empty, ritualistic, hypocritical worship !!!

I hate , I despise your feast days, and I will not smell in your solemn assemblies. {in...: or, your holy days} Though you offer me burnt offerings and your meat offerings, I will not accept [them]: neither will I regard the peace offerings of your fat beasts. {peace...: or, thank offerings} Take you away from me the noise of your songs; for I will not hear the melody of your viols. But let judgment run down as waters, and righteousness as a mighty stream. {run: Heb. roll} ** Amos 5:21-26

Wherewith shall I come before the LORD, [and] bow myself before the high God ? shall I come before him with burnt offerings, with calves of a year old? { of a...: Heb. sons of a year?} Will the LORD be pleased with thousands of rams, [or] with ten thousands of rivers of oil? shall I give my firstborn [for] my transgression, the fruit of my body [for] the sin of my soul? {body: Heb. belly} He has shown you O man, what [is] good - and what does the LORD require of you - but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God ? {walk...: Heb. humble yourself to walk} ** Mica 6:6-8

Sacrifice and offering you did not desire; mine ears have you opened: burnt offering and sin offering have you not required. {opened: Heb. digged} Then said I, Lo, I come: in the volume of the book [it is] written of me, I delight to do your will, O my God: yea, your law [is] within my heart. {within...: Heb. in the midst of my bowels} ** Psalm 40:6-8

For you desire not sacrifice ; else would I give [it]: you delight not in burnt offering . {else...: or, that I should} The sacrifices of God [are] a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, you wilt not despise. ** Psalm 51:16,17

For I desired mercy , and not sacrifice; and the knowledge of God more than burnt offerings. But they like men have transgressed the covenant: there have they dealt treacherously against me. {men: or, Adam} ** Hosea 6:6,7

Hear, O my people, and I will speak; O Israel, and I will testify against you: I [am] God, [even] your God. I will not reprove you for your sacrifices or your burnt offerings, [to have been] continually before me. I will take no bullock out of your house, [nor] he goats out of your folds. For every beast of the forest [is] mine, [and] the cattle upon a thousand hills. I know all the fowls of the mountains: and the wild beasts of the field [are] mine. {mine: Heb. with me} If I were hungry, I would not tell you: for the world [is] mine, and the fullness thereof. Will I eat the flesh of bulls, or drink the blood of goats? Offer unto God thanksgiving; and pay your vows unto the most High: Call upon me in the day of trouble: I will deliver you and you shall glorify me. But unto the wicked God says: What have you to do to declare my statutes, or [that] you should take my covenant in your mouth? Seeing you hate instruction, and cast my words behind you. When you saw a thief, then you consented with him, and have been partaker with adulterers. {have...: Heb. your portion was with} You give your mouth to evil, and your tongue frames deceit. {give: Heb. sends You sit [and] speak against your brother; you slender your own mother's son. These [things] have you done, and I kept silence; you thought that I was altogether [such an one] as yourself: [but] I will reprove you and set [them] in order before your eyes. Now consider this, you that forget God, lest I tear [you] in pieces, and [there be] none to deliver. ** Psalm 50:7-22

Unto the angel of the church of Ephesus write; These things says he that holds the seven stars in his right hand, who walks in the midst of the seven golden candlesticks; I know your works, and your labor, and your patience, and how you can not bear them which are evil: and you have tried them which say they are apostles, and are not, and have found them liars: You have borne, and have patience, and for my name's sake have labored, and have not fainted. Nevertheless I have [somewhat] against you, because you have left your first love. Remember therefore from whence you art fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I will come unto you quickly, and will remove your candlestick out of his place, except you repent. But this you have, that you hate the deeds of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate. ** Revelation 2:1-6

I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot: I would you were cold or hot. So then because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spew you out of my mouth. Because you say, "I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing"; and know not that you are wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked: I counsel you to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that you may be rich; and white raiment, that you may be clothed, and [that] the shame of your nakedness does not appear; and anoint your eyes with eyesalve, that you may see. As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent. ** Revelation 3:15-19

IV. -- Concluding Thought and Question

So then, do these things REALLY "passes knowledge and understanding" ?? Yes, indeed they do!!! So what hope is there for sick, warped humanity? Left to its own devices, knowledge, understanding and ways -- NONE AT ALL -- That is the point !! As part of, or integral to, God's gift of salvation, he also gave us of His Spirit, the Holy Spirit. Part of His job is to "guide us into all truth", to work toward the "renewing of our minds", and to assist us in understanding and appropriating those things of God which, "the natural man" can NOT discern. They must be opened up by the Spirit of God since they are "Spiritual Matters", matters outside of our realm of comprehension. God has in fact, if we can believe and grasp hold of it with faith, given to us nothing less than "The Mind of Christ".

My speech and my preaching [was] not with enticing words of man's wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power: {enticing: or, persuadable} That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God. {stand: Gr. be} Howbeit we speak wisdom among them that are perfect: yet not the wisdom of this world, nor of the princes of this world, that come to naught: But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, [even] the hidden [wisdom], which God ordained before the world unto our glory: Which none of the princes of this world knew: for had they known [it], they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. But as it is written, "Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God has prepared for them that love him". But God has revealed [them] unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searches all things, yea, the deep things of God. For what man knows the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knows no man, but the Spirit of God. 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 teaches but which the Holy Ghost teaches; comparing spiritual things with spiritual. But the natural man receives 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 judges all things, yet he himself is judged of no man. {judges: or, discerns {judged: or, discerned} For who has known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ. {may: Gr. shall} ** 1Corinthians 2:4-16

I also STRONGLY recommend the reading of THIS essay: "The Wrath of God vs. the Love of God"

Search Site
Click for
Site Menu
See What's New?