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Deeper Life pt 2

1 John 4:16, "And we have known and believed the agape that God hath to us. God is agape; and he that dwelleth in agape dwelleth in God, and God in him."
To dwell in agape (our heavenly Father's love) is the call to every soul that calls on the name of Jesus. Paul wrote, "if I do not possess agape I am nothing," the Greek word for possess means, to have and to hold implying continued possession, 1 Cor 13:2. We are called to minister to God not man. The greatest commandment goes unfulfilled because the church is putting all its efforts into evangelism. Salvation is only a stepping stone to entering the deeper life with God. What if the church gained all the souls in the world and not one had a heart engaged in agaping the Father? The Father is more interested in us than in what we can do for Him. It is only when our hearts are rooted and grounded in agape, and we have agape for one another, that all men will know that we are disciples of Christ, Jn 13:35. Then and only then will we have true power to be Christ witnesses. Then will the whole church be involved in harvesting souls, not just a few.
The Greek word for dwell in 1 Jn 4:16 is meno, to remain, to live, to stay. Kenneth Weast expanded translation of the Greek, translates meno, "maintian a living communion." We are to remain in agape 24/7/365. Our heart is to become rooted and grounded in agape until we are filled unto all the fullness of God, Eph 3:17-19. This reality has nothing to do with striving in the flesh, but totally leaning on our beloved. This is the whole purpose of our existence, to dwell in agape.
To dwell in agape means our heart is totally involved. Fulfilling the greatest commandment is to agape God in all our heart. Without agape, there is no other source that will engage the heart to the degree God wants from us. Christianity without heart is nothing more than men striving in their own ability to serve God, it will never satisfy God or man.
John wrote in verse 8 of this same chapter, "The one who does not agape does not know God, for God is agape." This is a double not scripture, the author uses two different Greek words translated not. The first not is conditional, the second not is absolute. If we don't do the first part, we cannot do the second. To know God experiencedly we need to dwell in His love. God is not looking for a people who have a knowledge of Him through His word but a knowledge of Him through the heart. The only way we will gain this experiential knowledge is by abiding in agape.
Jesus laided out the blueprint in Jn 15:9, "Just as the Father has agaped Me, I have also agaped you; abide in My agape." The Father's agape is in His Son. Jesus is the only source for receiving agape. That is why He said, "I am the true vine," Jn 15:1. God has made His Son to be the heavenly tabernacle for His love. Paul wrote in Ro 8:39, "the agape of God is in Christ."
The Greek word for abide, is the same Greek word found in 1 Jn 4:16, meno, to remain, to live, to stay, to maintain a living communion. This is the path to the deeper life, and we must take this path. This is how the church will grow in their knowledge of God and grow into the full stature of Christ, Eph 4:13, and become one as Christ and the Father are one, Jn 17:21. This is our eternal calling, Jn 17:3. Jesus is the head of the church and He wants to agape us and bring us into the deeper life with Him and His Father.


 

The Deeper Life

Before you read any further I need you to turn off your brain and turn on your heart. The deeper life in God has nothing to do with your abilities and everything to do with your heart. In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth, on the sixth day He created man from the dust of the earth. Just as we had nothing to do with our beginning we have nothing to do with the deeper life. The deeper life won't be the result of our labors but the result of our yielding to God's plan. This plan was already in His heart and mind before He laid down the foundations of the earth.

Paul wrote in Rom 8:29, "For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren." God's plan for man is to live the same life His Son lived who knew no sin. The Greek for conformed means taking on the exact inward likeness. Through Jesus, we've been reconciled to God, and through Jesus' life, we see the plan of God for man. Jesus said in Mt 11:29, "My heart is meek and lowly," this is the direct result of having a pure heart rooted and grounded in agape. This is the heart that will take us into the deeper life with God.
Jesus said in Mt. 5:8, "Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God." This is why our labors will not produce the deeper life. The deeper life depends on the heart, not the brain. It isn't what we know, but what we become through yielding to the agape of God. In Deu 30:6 Moses said, "The LORD your God will circumcise your heart, and the heart of your seed, to love the LORD your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, that you may live." Even though we have our sins forgiven and we are legally righteous before God, our hearts have not been made pure. If it were so then we should be able to love God in all our heart and soul and our life would be quite different then what it really is.
Jesus said in Mt 5:17, "Do not think I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I did not come to abolish but to fulfill." Jesus knew no sin, His heart remained pure thoughout His life. His pure heart enabled Him to live a life in the Father resulting in a much deeper life, then any of us have yet to experience.
Jesus was sent to heal the brokenhearted Lk 4:18. Because of sin, our hearts are broken and do not function the way they were created to. Just as we can do nothing to remove our sins from us, neither can we do anything to make our hearts pure. That is why it will be a work of the Spirit. That is why God will get all the glory for our lives.
The deeper life is in fulfilling the two greatest commandments. In Mt 22:37 Jesus answers a question asked. "You shall agape the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. Vs. 38, This is the great and foremost commandment. Vs. 39, The second is like it, You shall agape your neighbor as yourself. Vs. 40, On these two commandments, depend all the Law and the Prophets." Jesus used the Greek word agape, (God's love), not phileo, (our love). Our love coming from a broken heart will never enable us to fulfill these or any other laws of God. This is why we need a miracle to make our hearts whole. In Ez 36:26-27, we see a wonderful promise for our lives, "Moreover, I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I will remove the heart of stone from within your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. Vs 27, I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will be careful to observe My ordinances." This is the church Paul wrote about in Eph 5:27, "that He might present to Himself the church in all her glory, having no spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that she would be holy and blameless. This is the deeper life we are being called to. The deeper life is based on God doing a miraculous work in our hearts so we as Jesus, can live the same life He lived.






 

The Law of Agape

The Law of Agape
There are two main Greek words translated love in our Bibles. Phileo refers to natural love and agape refers to divine love.
The clearest comparison between phileo and agape is found in John 21:15-17. Both Greek words are used, and both are translated love in English. The first two times Jesus ask Peter if he loved Him, Jesus uses the Greek word agape. Peter responds with, “you know I phileo you.” This conversation is a result of Peter proclaiming he was willing to die for Him. Not only did Peter not die but he ended up denying Jesus three time. The third time Jesus asked Peter if he loved Him, Jesus uses the Greek word phileo natural love. Peter was grieved at this third question because he knew that though he said he was willing to die for Jesus his love failed him. Jesus knew at the time of Peter’s proclamation, his love was not agape, yet He never corrected Peter but let life take its course for a much more valuable lesson. That is why Peter said, “Lord You know all things.” Peter learned through this trial, that his love was not enough to enable him to do what he said. He also learned that Jesus knew, his heart was not in a place to enable him to do what he said.
In John 15:13 Jesus said, “Greater agape has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends.” In John 14:31 Jesus said, “so that the world may know that I agape the Father, I do exactly as the Father commanded Me.” It was agape that enabled Christ to die in our place. It was phileo that failed Peter’s proclamation to die for his Lord. Paul wrote in 1 Corinthian 13:7-8, “Agape bears up under all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Vs 8, Agape never fails.” Agape divine love did not fail Jesus in the greatest trail a human would ever face. The agape of His Father gave Jesus a strength that we as fallen man cannot relate to. Paul wrote in Romans 8:29 that there is, a people that God has predestinated to be conformed to the image of His Son. The Greek word Paul uses for conformed means, to take on the exact inward likeness. The same strength Jesus experienced all His life, will enable us to live for God the same way. Paul describes the attributes of agape in 1 Corinthians 13:4-8, as to what agape does and doesn’t do. Agape will enable the soul to live the same life Jesus lived, because agape comes from God, 1 John 4:7. Jesus prayed in John 17:23, “I in them and You in Me, that they may be perfected in unity, so that the world may know that You sent Me, and agaped them, even as You have agaped Me.” The world is going to see a people that can live far beyond the natural ability of man. The world will also know that what they are seeing is not because of us but is because of what Jesus did to take away the sin of the world, John 1:29. In that day we will not take credit for what we’ve become.
In Jeremiah 31:33, “This shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the Lord, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people.” It is written of Jesus in Ps 40:8, “I delight to do Your will, O my God; Your Law is within my heart." Jesus said in Matthew 5:17, “Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil.” What enabled Jesus to make this statement is because the laws of God where within His heart. The answer to how the laws of God were in His heart can be summed up in one word, agape. This is how God is going to put His laws into our hearts as well. Paul wrote in Rom 13:8-10, “Owe no one anything except to agape one another, for he who agapes another has fulfilled the law. 9 For the commandments, you shall not commit adultery, you shall not murder, you shall not steal, you shall not bear false witness, you shall not covet, and if there is any other commandment, are all summed up in this saying, namely, You shall agape your neighbor as yourself.
10 Agape does no harm to a neighbor; therefore, agape is the fulfillment of the law.” Agape will enable us to live a life fulfilling the laws of God.
So how is God going to put His agape in our hearts? John wrote in John 3:27, “A man can receive nothing, except it be given him from heaven.” James wrote in James 1:17, “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.” Paul wrote in Galatians 5:22, “The fruit of the Spirit is agape….” Paul also wrote that, “…the agape of God is in Christ Jesus our Lord,” Romans 8:39. The key to how we get the agape of God is found in John 15:9, I believe this is the pivotal verse in the New Testament. Jesus said, “As the Father has agaped Me so have I agaped you, abide in My agape. The Greek word for abide is meno, which means, “remaining or dwelling in a place.” This is the path to living a life fulfilling the law. Jesus said in verse 12 of this chapter, “This is My commandment, that you agape one another, as I have agape you.” This is the result of our remaining in the agape of Christ. We will work no ill to our neighbor and live fulfilling the law of God.
 
 

Abiding in Love

1 John 4:16 And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him.

To dwell in agape (our heavenly Father's love) is the call to every soul that calls on the name of Jesus. Paul wrote that if I do not possess agape I am nothing, 1 Cor 13 2.  We are called to minister to God not man. The greatest commandment goes unfulfilled because the church is putting all its efforts into evangilisim. Salvation is only a stepping stone to entering into a relationship with God Himself. What if the church gained all the souls in the world and not one had a heart engaged in agaping the Father? The Father is more interested in you than in what you can do for Him. It is only when our hearts are rooted and grounded in agape, and we have agape for one another, that all men will know that we are disciples of Christ, Jn 13 35. Then and only then will we have true power to be Christ witnesses. Then will the whole church be envolved in harvesting souls, not just a few.

The Greek word for "dwell" is meno, to remain. We are to remain in agape 24/7/365. Our heart is to become rooted and grounded in agape untill we become filled unto all the fullness of God, Eph 3 19. This reality has nothing to do with striving in the flesh but totally leaning on our beloved. This is the whole purpose for our existance, to dwell in agape.

To dwell in agape means our heart is to be totally involved. Fulfilling the greatest commandment is to agape God in all our heart. Without agape, there is no other source that will engage the heart to the degree God wants from us. Christianity without heart is nothing more then men striving in their own ability to serve God, it will never satisfy God or man.

John  wrote in verse 8 of this same chapter, "The one who does not love does not know God, for God is love." The Greek for "love" is agape in both places. This reality of knowing God has nothing to do with our love. In order to know God experientially we need to dwell in His love. God is not looking for a people who have a knowledge of Him through His word but a knowledge of Him through the heart. The only way we will gain this experiential knowledge is by abiding in agape.

Jesus laided out the blueprint in Jn 15 9 as to how to acquire this agape. "Just as the Father has loved Me, I have also loved you; abide in My love. The Greek for "love" is agape. The Father's agape is in His Son. Jesus is the only source for recieving agape. God has made His Son to be the heavenly tabernacle for His agape. Paul wrote in Ro 8 39, "the agape of God is in Christ."

The Greek for "abide" is the same Greek word found in 1 Jn 4 16, meno, to remain. This is how the church will grow in their knowledge of God and grow into the full stature of Christ and become one as Christ and the Father are one. God will get all the glory.

 

What is Eternal Life

What is eternal life?
Jesus said in John 17:3 “And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.” The Greek word for “know” is ginosko which means knowledge gained through experience. It is more than just mere head knowledge. This has always been the plan of God for man. God is love, and He created man with the ability to experience Him and come to know Him through those experiences.

In 1 John 4:8 “The one who does not love does not know God, for God is love.” This is what I call a double not scripture. The first not is hypothetical the second not is absolute. If you aren’t doing the first thing then you can’t do the second. The Greek words for “love” is agape in verb and noun form not phileo. Agape is who God is as to His nature. Phileo is our love that comes from within us. Agape is the fruit of the spirit, Galatians 5:22. What John is saying here is if you don’t agape you don’t know (through experience) God. There is a reality that mere head knowledge can not produce. God wants us to know Him experientially and on His level.

There are two commandments that without agape are impossible to keep. In Matt 22:37-40 Jesus answered the question asked Him as to what is the greatest commandment.
37 And He said to him, " 'YOU SHALL LOVE THE LORD YOUR GOD WITH ALL YOUR HEART, AND WITH ALL YOUR SOUL, AND WITH ALL YOUR MIND.'
38 "This is the great and foremost commandment.
39 "The second is like it, 'YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF.'
40 "On these two commandments depend the whole Law and the Prophets."
The Greek words for love is agape in both places. Fulfilling the two greatest commandments has nothing to do with our love. To love God, the way He needs to be loved we must experience His love. He wants to draw us into a love relationship with Him on His level.

So how do we obtain this love? The answer is in John 15:9, Jesus said, "Just as the Father has loved Me, I have also loved you; abide in My love." The Greek in all three cases is agape. Jesus is not talking about human love. Jesus is the source of divine love. Jesus refers to Himself as the vine and us, the branches in this chapter. If we want to be able to agape God, then we need to abide in the vine for the branch can not produce fruit of itself. This is what Paul is referring to in 1 Tim 2:5 when he writes, there is one mediator between God and man, the man Christ Jesus. Jesus said in verse 5 of this chapter, “I am the vine you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing.” No Jesus no agape no agape no fruit.

In John 17:3 Jesus included himself in the process of knowing God. As we abide in the vine we will come to know Jesus as well. Paul wrote in Ephesians 3:19, “and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled up to all the fullness of God.” As we experience the agape of Christ we experience being filled unto all the fullness of God. Paul also wrote in Ephesians 4:13, “Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ.” The Greek word for knowledge is epignosis meaning a full knowledge through experience. Ephesians 4:13 describes the much fruit that will be produced by abiding in the vine. Through Jesus loving us we will be able to live a life agaping God in all our heart, soul, mind, and strength. This is the life that will cause the world to know that we are Christ disciples.
 

 

Scriptures yet to be Fulfilled


Eph 4:13 Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ:
Today’s Christianity will only rise to the level of one’s own ability. Man without outside help will never attain to the level this verse is speaking of. The actual fulfillment of this verse will be the result of abiding in the vine John 15:9. Jesus and His agape will bring us into a perfect man that is on par with Jesus Himself. Jesus lived and became what God wanted for man. This is the condition of the church that Jesus will raise up, John 6:39. This will be a glorious church without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, Ephesians 5:27.
The knowledge of the Son of God can only be acquired by abiding in the vine. This knowledge which is a full experiential knowledge of the Son of God is an inward through the heart knowledge that will produce abundant life in the believer. Agape is the spiritual source that will produce this reality. Paul wrote in Romans 5:5, “that God was pouring out into the heart His agape through the spirit that was given us.” Jesus is the vine and He is the spirit that was given us. Jesus sits on the right hand of God doing the work of God in the spirit providing the saints with the agape of God.  Jesus is the mediator between God and man, 1 Timothy 2:5.
Jesus has entered the vail in heaven, His life, His death, His entering into the vale, is all done for us. It is the life we lost due to sin. Paul calls Jesus a forerunner, one who has gone to heaven and now occupies the position that is above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come, Ephesians 1:21. We were foreknown before the worlds were, to be joint heirs with Christ. This last day move of God will produce the reality of Ephesians 4:13 in our lives and the world will know that we are the disciples of Christ.

 

God's Agenda

God's Agenda
Most Christians have no idea what God's agenda really is, yet it has been clear from the beginning of time. Genesis 1:26, And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.

Jesus is the first man to experience the reality of Genesis 1:26. It is written of Jesus in Hebrews 1:3, “Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high.” Jesus never fell under the indictment of Romans 3:23, “All men have sinned and fallen short of the glory.” Jesus lived a life in the glory of His Father. The life Jesus lived produced the reality of Jesus being the brightness of God's glory and becoming the express image of God's person. Jesus said in John 10:30, "I and the Father are one." This is God's agenda.

Jesus prayed in John 17:23, “I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me.” Jesus not only died for our sins but the life He lived is the life we are to live. This is God's agenda. We are to experience a life of being agaped by the Father the same way Jesus is agaped by the Father. In the last part of verse 22 of John 17 Jesus said, "that they may be one, even as we are one.” The life Jesus lived is the same life we have been redeemed to live.

Paul wrote in Rom 8:29, “For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.” I have always maintained that you can't be the firstborn of something if there is nothing like you that follows. The Greek for "conformed" means: taking on the actual inward likeness not just a mere outward appearance. What Jesus is we are to become. This is in accordance with God's agenda.

The blueprint to how this is going to be accomplished in our lives was given by Jesus Himself over 1900 years ago. In John 15, we see the process of how we become like Christ. In verse 5 Jesus lays the ground work for how this is going to happen. This is the only way it is going to happen. "I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing." It is very important to realize that what we become will be produced by Jesus only. Our only involvement will be to receive. We will not be able to take any credit for how we turn out. This is why Jesus told the rich man when he called Him good master, "why call me good, there is only one that is good and that is God," Mark 10:18. Jesus's life is a product of receiving from the Father, just as our life will be a product of receiving from Jesus.

John 15:9 is the key to how our change will take place. Verse 9, "As the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you: continue ye in my love." The Greek word for love is agape in all three places. This is not talking about natural love but divine love. This is the path to conformity to the Son of God so that Jesus will become the first born among many brethren. Paul wrote in Eph 3:19, “And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fullness of God.” As we experience for ourselves the agape of Christ we will come unto all the fullness of God Himself. We will live a life like Christ fulfilling the two greatest commandments, agaping God and one another. This is God's agenda for our lives.
 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

This Next Revival Will Produce Perfection

In 1 Cor 13:10 Paul writes, "when prefection comes." Paul is refering to the promise of God in Gen 1:26. It is the heart of God to have a people who are like Him.

Jesus was the first man to fulfill this scripture. He was born outside the curse that has come upon all men because of their sin. In Heb 1:3 is says, "Jesus is the radiance of His glory and the exact represenation of His nature." In Jesus we see the eternal purpose of God for man carried out, (Eph 3:11).

The Father has given His Son all authority in heaven and earth, to produce the same result in us, (Mt 28:18). This next revival will be a move of God through His Son to produce prefection in us.

Jesus gave His deciples the blue print for how this will be done and it was recorded in (John 15:9). Jesus told His deciples to abide in His agape. In verse one of chapter 15 Jesus called himself "the true vine and His Father the vine dresser." Jesus is the sorce of everything we need to become just like Him. Jesus as the vine is rooted and grounded in agape which makes Him the true vine. Paul wrote in Romans 8:39, that the agape of God is in Christ. Paul also wrote in Eph 3:19 that through continual experience of recieving agape from Christ will produce all the fullness of the Father dwelling in us. In Eph 4:13 this relationship with Jesus will produce a full experiental knowledge of the Son of God and bring us unto a prefect man just like Him.

The reason we are in the predicament we're in today is because the 1st century church walked away from their first agape (Rev 2:4). Jesus who is the source of agape was put out of His church and has been outside knocking to gain entrance ever since. Jesus didn't leave His church, His church left Him. For the last 1900 years we have been living a Christless christianty. But not to fear. God is in control and He knows the beginning from the end. When all this is done you will like how you turn out and God and His Son will get all the glory.
 

What's Missing

Jesus said that I have come to give life and to give it more abundantly. Now either Jesus is being untruthful or we are missing something in our lives that will produce the abundant life Jesus talks about. Since we know that Jesus only speaks the truth because He is the truth, John 14:6, then the only conclusion we can come to is that there is something in our Christian life that is missing.

In my 42 years of walking with Jesus I have seen and heard and read just about everything that we are supposed to do that will produce the abundant life. Now either I am really slow on the up take or what I have read or heard or tried just has not produced the reality of the abundant life.

We have the truth of salvation by grace, not of works. We have the truth that we are to be water baptized for the remission of sins, to be buried with Christ and to rise unto new life. We have the truth of the baptism of the Holy Spirit. Jesus said that you will receive power after that the Holy Spirit comes upon you. We understand that faith cometh by hearing the word of God. We know that without faith it is impossible to please God.

Knowing all this should produce the abundant life, right? But if you are like me, there is still something missing that will produce a victorious life like the one Jesus lived. Maybe you are not like me and you feel like you are doing just fine. Well, that’s okay, but you can still keep reading because even if you feel like you are doing just fine, there is still more that can be had in this Christian life.

So what’s missing? The answer is found in the Scriptures in the New Testament. Are you ready for this? It’s the doctrine of love. That’s right; love in the New Testament is a doctrine that was built line upon line by the authors of the gospels and epistles.

The one thing that enabled Christ to live the abundant life was His love relationship with His Father. Jesus said in Matthew 5:17, “I have not come to destroy the law and the prophets but to fulfill them.” Jesus was asked, “What is the greatest commandment?” in Matthew 22:36. In verses 37-40 Jesus responds with, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the greatest commandment, and second is like unto it, you shall love your neighbor as yourself; upon these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.”

Imagine that, everything depends on fulfilling these two Commandments. Yet how often do we hear sermons that this is the starting point and that from this point we are to live our lives. If you are like me you have done just about everything but follow these two Commandments. One of the reasons I believe this is not preached is because we suppose that we are doing just that, we are loving God with all our heart, soul and mind, but if that were true then why are we not fulfilling the second part loving our neighbor as ourselves. This is where it breaks down because we can claim we love God that way, but if we love God that way, then we should love one another the same way.

Jesus said in John 13:35, “that all men will know that you are my disciples if you have love for one another.” Do all men really know that we are Christ disciples? I have to say no.  It isn’t even evident to the church that we are Christ disciples the way we treat one another and you know I am right. Some of our worst enemies are our own brethren.

Have you ever wondered how we are going to get along in heaven? Are there going to be denominations in heaven so we won't have to associate with one another just like we do now on earth? Those that carry a grudge against their brother will they still continue to carry that grudge throughout eternity?

In Matthew 18:21–22 Peter asked Jesus, “How many times shall I forgive my brother if he continues to sin against me, seven times?” Jesus replied, “seventy times seven.” We as Christians think we have a right to not only not forgive but also defend ourselves and speak badly about our brother. Is this loving our brother even as Jesus loves us, John 15:12?

So why is it that we seem to fall so far short of being able to live this Christian life the way the Bible tells us to? The main reason is because we misunderstand the doctrine of love in the Bible.

In our language the word love is used to translate the Greek, but in the Greek language there are more words than just one for love. There is a Greek word for our love and there is a Greek word for God's love. If you just read the New Testament in English you miss the revelation of what is being made.

For example in John 21:15–17 Jesus asked Peter if he loved him, and Peter responds with “Lord you know I love you.” But what you don't see is that Jesus uses a different word for love then Peter uses. Jesus uses the Greek word agape while Peter responds with the Greek word phileo. Clearly there is a distinction between Jesus definition of love and Peter's definition. Peter is unable to respond with the same Greek word that Jesus uses because Jesus is using a Greek word that carries a deeper meaning then the word Peter uses.

Jesus said in John 15:13, “The greatest act of love is that a man lay down his life for his friends.” The Greek word Jesus uses for love is agape, since Peter said he would die for Jesus and instead of dying he ended up denying Jesus then it was obvious to Peter that his love for Jesus was not agape but phileo. The third time Jesus asked Peter do you love me Jesus uses the word phileo and Peter was grieved and said, “Jesus you know all things you know I phileo you.” Peter's love for his friend was not deep enough or mature enough to enable him to do what he told Jesus he would do. Peter was not able to die for his friend. His love for Jesus failed him.

Jesus said, “If you want to be My disciples then deny yourself take up your cross and follow Me.” Peter's phileo was not enough to enable him to deny himself take up his cross and follow his friend. Phileo love on its own will never give the believer the ability to live for Jesus the way we are supposed to.

What we see here is natural love phileo verses divine love agape. Phileo is man’s natural ability to love in whatever capacity the particular individual is capable of loving. Whereas agape is divine love and because it is from God as a source 1 John 4:7, it has no limits. Enabling the soul to live a life beyond his or her natural abilities.

Let's take another look at the two greatest Commandments. Jesus was asked, “What is the greatest commandment?” He replied, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind this is the greatest commandment.” Jesus used the Greek word agape not phileo. This means we are to love God with a divine love not our natural love in order to fulfill the greatest commandment. In order to do this God has to be intimately involved in our lives with His love.

And the second greatest commandment is, “To love your neighbor as yourself.” Here again Jesus does not use the Greek word phileo but agape. We are to have divine love for one another. In order to fulfill this commandment God has to be intimately involved in our lives with His love.

If our natural love, phileo, was enough to live this Christian life then we should be fulfilling the two greatest Commandments and all men would know that we are Jesus’s disciples, and we would be living a life willing to die for one another.

I do not believe that God ever intended for us to live for Him with phileo only. Especially since the two greatest Commandments have nothing to do with phileo. The only way to fulfill these and all the other Commandments is through agape, divine love.

Paul wrote in Romans 13:10, “That love [agape] works no ill towards its neighbor and therefore it is the fulfilling of the law." Paul also wrote in Galatians 5:14, “That all the law is fulfilled in one word. You shall love [agape], your neighbor as yourself.”

Jesus said in Matthew 5:17, “I have not come to destroy the law and the prophets but to fulfill.” In John 15:9 we see the second greatest commandment in action through Jesus. He said, “That as the Father has loved [agaped] Me, so have I loved [agaped] you.” Here we see that Jesus loved them as he was being loved, and the second commandment is to love, [agape], your neighbor as yourself.

Isaiah 55:8-9 the prophet wrote “For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways,” declares the LORD. Verse 9, “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways and My thoughts than your thoughts.”

This truth is demonstrated in the two greatest Commandments. They are higher then what we can perform. Yet God is calling us to this higher standard. Only with God intimately involved with His divine love in our lives will we be able to do and live out the Commandments.

Jesus said in Matthew 19:26, “that with man it is impossible but with God all things are possible.” Imagine living a live so influenced by God's divine love that you are dwelling in a place of fulfilling the two greatest Commandments 24/7. This is what perfection is going to look like.

This has been God's heart from the very beginning of creation. He created a being, (that is us), that He could agape and His love would so influences us, that we would literally become like Him, Genesis 1:26.

God told Adam that he could partake of all the trees in the garden but not the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. The day in which he partook would be the day he died; now we know from the story in Genesis that Adam did not die physically but he did die. He lost his relationship with God and that is worst then if he had died physically. For to live life without God and knowing His love and goodness is not living at all. That is why Jesus said in John 10:10, “I have come that you might have life and have it more abundantly.”

When we accept Jesus as our Savior we experience newness of life, but it isn't supposed to stop there. Not only have our sins been taken away but through Jesus we can now come to the Father. The door to intimacy with the Father that closed in the Garden of Eden is now opened.

In John 3:16, Jesus said, "For God so loved [agape] the world that he gave his only begotten son that whosoever believes on him will have everlasting life." In John 17:3 Jesus states that eternal life is experientially knowing God and His Son whom God sent. This is the abundant life Jesus spoke of in John 10:10.

In John 15:9 Jesus said to his disciples, “abide (the Greek word is "mano" which means make your home there), in My love,” and the Greek word is agape. Jesus calls God's love His love. The Greek word “My” is a possessive pronoun showing emphasis on who's love this is, also the definite article is before “My,” showing more emphasis on who's love it is. Jesus is not stating that the agape He has is another agape but that He has made the Father's agape His showing that He has become like the Father, fulfilling the Scripture in Genesis 1:26.

The apostle Paul makes a similar statement in 1 Corinthian 16:24, Paul states, “Let my love [agape], be with you all." Paul understood the revelation that we are to be so influenced by agape that it literally becomes our way of life.

This is how we are going to be able to live a life fulfilling the two greatest Commandments. Our own love phileo will never produce this reality.

The greatest commandment is to agape God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind Matthew 22:37. The Greek preposition translated “with,” is "en," it should read “in” all your heart, “in” all your soul, and “in” all your mind. The Greek word "en" means a place of remaining, a place of rest. There is no striving to keep this commandment. Keeping this commandment will be a natural outflow of your life as you are abiding in Jesus’s agape. This will become our natural way of life. When we are living epistles of fulfilling the two greatest Commandments then we will also claim God's agape as our own. This is what Jesus referred to in John 10:10 as the abundant life.

Does it seem strange that we are to agape God with His love? When I first discovered the Greek word for love was agape in Matthew 22:37, I asked myself that question. Why would God want to be loved with His love? The answer is in John 15:9. This is why Jesus called the Father's love His love, and it will be why the Father's love in Jesus will become your love.

You were designed by God to experience His love and His love will influence your whole being, your heart, your soul, and mind, so now the agape God receives, will be influenced by you. This is what makes you of infinite value to God. This is why He gave His only begotten Son for you. He wants you because you are the only one that can agape Him the way you do.  Your agape will be just as unique as you are.

What a marvelous God we serve. David in the Psalms stated we are fearfully and wonderfully made. Jesus said in John 17:22, “The glory You have given Me I have given them that they may be one just as We are one.” This reality did not happen to the first century church, and to this day has yet to be fulfilled.

Paul wrote in Romans 8:29 that, "by God's foreknowledge there is a people that will be conformed to the image of His Son." The word conformed in the Greek means the exact inward likeness, not just an outward resemblance. In other words, what Jesus is, we are going to become.

We are living in the time that all the Scriptures regarding this reality are about to be fulfilled. Jesus is going to have a glorious church not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing according to Paul's writings in the book of Ephesians 5:27. This is the church I am desiring to belong to. A church that is a product of the Father's love not of our love. I don't know about you but I have seen and heard enough sermons and exhortations that produced little to no result to last me a lifetime. Jesus got results everywhere he went and Jesus gave us the keys so we could live a superabundant life just like He did.

The key is found in John 15:5, Jesus said, “I am the vine and you are the branches he that abided in Me and I in him will bring forth much fruit for without Me you can do nothing.” Without Jesus actively involved in our lives all we will bring forth is wind.

What does Jesus mean when He says "he that abided in Me?" Is He talking about our salvation? Doesn't being born again mean that we are abiding in Him? Actually Jesus explains what He means in verse 9 of this chapter. John 15:9 Jesus says, “As the Father loves Me so have I loved you, abide in My love. In all three places the Greek word for love is agape. This is the second greatest commandment in action. Jesus agapes you as He is being agaped by His Father.

Just being born again and having our sins taken away is only the beginning. The work on Calvary is so those who believe in Jesus would have eternal life. Jesus prayed in John 17:3, “this is eternal life, that they might know You the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.”

God wants us to know Him, and the way to knowing Him is by abiding in His Son's agape. Jesus said in John 14:6, “that He is the way, the truth, and the life, and that no man can come unto the Father but through Me.”  By abiding in Jesus’s agape we will have access to the Father.

John wrote in his second epistle verse 9, “the one who abides in the teaching of Christ, has both the Father and the Son.” The teaching of Christ, John is referring to is the commandment to agape one another, verse 5 and 6 of 2 John. If we agape one another then the agape of God is perfected in us, 1 John 4:12. Paul wrote in Ephesians 3:19, “to know experientially the agape of Christ, which far surpasses mere knowledge, that you might be filled unto all the fullness of God.” As we are being loved by Jesus we are being filled unto all the fullness of the Father.  This is the answer to Jesus’s prayer in John 17:21, “that they all may be one as You Father are in Me and I in You, that they also may be one in Us.”

When the world sees this scripture being fulfilled in us they will see something different then what they see now, and all of this new reality is based on the doctrine of agape.  It is all based on Jesus agapeing us, not us phileoing Jesus. Agape is the missing piece to the puzzle that will make everything work the way God intended it to.

 
 
 

The Power To Live A Perfect Life Is In The Love

 
Why would Jesus tell the religious leaders in Mathew 5:48, “to be perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect?” In this chapter Jesus is comparing the letter of the law with the spirit of the law. In verse 43-44 Jesus said, "You have heard that it was said, 'YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR and hate your enemy.' But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.” Jesus is showing the Father’s heart towards souls. Jesus said in the next verse, “the Father causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good.” The Father’s heart is that none perish.
 
The key to understanding this portion of scripture is in the Greek word translated love. Jesus is not saying to love your enemies with your love (phileo), but love your enemies with God’s love (agape). Paul wrote in Ephesians 3:17, “That Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you being rooted and grounded in love.” Again the Greek is agape, not phileo.
 
The missing ingredient in all our lives is God’s love. Paul wrote in Romans 5:5 that, “God is pouring His love into our hearts.” The first century church began to experience the power of God’s love, the same love Jesus demonstrated throughout His life. John wrote in 1 John 4:16, “And we have known and believed the love [agape] that God hath to us. God is love [agape]; and he that dwells in love [agape] dwells in God, and God in him.” This is how we are going to have the power to live perfect even as our Father which is in heaven is perfect. This is how we will be able to agape our enemies.

Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 13:5 “love [agape] doesn’t take into account the wrongs suffered.” God’s love is going to protect your heart at all times enabling you to live for God in any situation. We are on the threshold of the greatest out pouring of God’s love this world has ever seen.

This love is so powerful that is will affect your heart, your soul, your mind, and your strength. This love will make you whole, body, soul, and spirit. This love will cause the world to know that we are Jesus’s disciples, John 13:35. This love will produce full maturity in your life, and enable you to fulfill the two greatest commandments, “agape the Lord your God in all your heart and in all your soul and in all your mind, and agape your neighbor as yourself.”
 
You are being called into an intimate love relationship with God Himself on His level. It is the whole purpose for your existence.
 
 

 
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