Deeper Life pt 2
July 15, 20201 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.