Abiding in Love
by Fred Rapp | December 26, 20171 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.