Grace and Truth
God's Love is established in his Righteousness and Justice
In our continuing study of the doctrine of love, we are presently discussing virtue love that is based in humility as compared with pseudo love that is based in arrogance.
Last time we left off our discussion of Jude 21; "Guard yourselves by means of love for God, as you wait with anticipation for the lovingkindness of our Lord Jesus Christ with reference to eternal life."
In this passage, the Greek verb "tereo" that is translated "guard" or "keep" is military word for the Roman security system of guarding an encampment. It means to guard or to keep watch over something. We are guarding ourselves in relationship to love as a system of security.
This is a mandate for each of us to have as a part of our spiritual life our very own security system given to us by God. We are mandated to have true love in our soul as a system of security to grow in grace and in the knowledge of our Lord and savior Jesus Christ.
We are to guard ourselves, so that we can have momentum in the spiritual life. The constantive aorist means that this is something we do on a day-by-day basis. We are to guard ourselves. No one can guard your spiritual life except you.
This security is obtained is by means of love for God. The objective genitive of "Theos" is more accurately translated "for God" not "of God." It is our love for God that guards our soul.
Every believer has the potential for this love for God that is a security system that guards the soul.
The believer is unaware of this security system until they have true personal love for God the Father and impersonal love for all mankind. Love for God as a security system is the greatest dynamic given to us. All true love is based on capacity righteousness, and this righteousness must come first.
We are to "Guard yourselves by means of love for God, as you wait with anticipation for the lovingkindness of our Lord Jesus Christ with reference to eternal life."
Eternal life always refers to immortality. Our life on this earth is our mortal life. We are to guard ourselves by means of love for God as long as we are in our mortal body.
Immortality comes through resurrection. No believer of the Church Age has immortality before any other believer. We all receive our resurrection bodies at the same time at the exit resurrection of the Church.
Occupation with Christ and fullness of blessing from God is the ultimate in mortality.
If we die before the exit resurrection we have the ultimate of the interim body. The interim body is the greatest thing that can happen after death and before the resurrection.
This is why Paul stated in Phil 1:21;" for me to live is Christ and to die is gain"
2Thes 3:5; "And may the Lord direct your hearts to the love of God and to the endurance of Jesus Christ." Net notes 5 and 6
This passage explains that our capacity for love and endurance comes from our awareness of what God and Christ have done for us.
When we learn about the love of God we must understand that it is an integral part of the life of God because God does not possess life. We possess life, but God is life and God is love. God is infinite, eternal, unchanging life and part of God's life is God's love.
This means that love is an integral part of the being or essence of God.
Love belongs eternally and co-equally to the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. This means that the love of God has always existed.
The righteousness of God is the basis for the love of God as the subject of divine love. God's love is based upon God's perfect righteousness and therefore never changes.
Divine righteousness causes the love of God to be perfect and totally compatible with the essence of God. This means that the love of God always remains the same whether it functions in disciplining or blessing.
All divine discipline of the believer comes from God's essence that does not change.
James 1:17; NET All generous giving and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or the slightest hint of change.
When we sin, God does not view us any differently. He loves us exactly the same as when we are filled with the Spirit.
This is a security system that guarantees that no believer can lose their salvation regardless of how they may fail.
The personal love of God goes directly to the righteousness of God that is imputed to every believer at the moment of salvation. Because it is the "righteousness of God" this imputed righteousness never changes no matter how badly the believer fails.
God's personal love is always directed to this imputed righteousness establishing the believer's eternal security.
We have seen that there are two categories of divine love. There is divine personal love and divine impersonal love.
Since God is perfect and love is a transitive verb, the direct object of love must be compatible with perfect righteousness in the subject. The righteousness of God must be the subject and the righteousness of God must be the object in God's personal love for God (love among members of the Trinity).
God's personal love for believers is perfect righteousness to imputed perfect righteousness. God's love is not changed by the believer's failure or success.
God's impersonal love is directed toward unbelieving mankind in spiritual death.
So we see that God's personal love is directed toward four objects.
It is directed toward the absolute righteousness of the other members of the Trinity.
It is directed toward the perfect righteousness of the impeccable human nature of Jesus Christ in hypostatic union. God the Father has always loved the absolute perfect righteousness of the perfect humanity of Christ.
It is directed toward the imputed perfect righteousness of the believer in Christ.
The impersonal love of God is directed toward unbelievers at physical birth, where everyone is born into spiritual death or total depravity and in their rejection of the love of God offered in the gospel.
God does not possess love. God is Love. God does not possess life. God is life. He is infinite, eternal, and unchanging life.
Part of God's life is love, which means that love is a part of the essence or being of God.
Love belongs eternity and co-equally to each person of the Trinity.
The love of God has always existed, and there never was a time when the love of God did not exist.
God's love is completely compatible with the other attributes of God.
God is sovereign, therefore, His love is self-motivated from that sovereignty. Whatever decisions God has made, have all been made in love.
God is eternal, so God's love has existed eternally unsustained by Himself or any other source.
God is holy so, divine love possesses perfect integrity, that includes incorruptible justice and immutable righteousness.
This means that the perfect love of God has perfect and eternal virtue.
God is immutable. Because God is holy and immutable, His divine love cannot be compromised by sin, human good, evil, or any other function of the sin nature.
This means that divine love cannot be corrupted by any creature failure.
God is omniscient so Divine love always functions in a rational manner. This means that Divine love is rational, and therefore devoid of any emotional reaction or any system of irrationality.
Bible doctrine is the thinking of Christ, 1Cor 2:16; Divine love is rooted in every form of knowledge which resides in His perfect, eternal, and absolute being. Therefore, the most important thing in life to know is Bible doctrine.
God is absolute truth. He is absolute veracity. Therefore, divine love is revealed and integrated into every category of Bible doctrine. God's love only tells us the truth. He cannot lie.
Since divine integrity is maintained by the sovereignty of God and His incorruptible, unchangeable virtue, God's love can never be compromised or its capacity diminished or limited regardless of weather He is providing blessing or discipline.
Man's sinfulness and failures cannot and do not change or effect God's perfect, eternal, immutable and unchanging love. We do not have the power to change God's love, but God's love has the power to change us.
Even God's foreknowledge of our sins and failures in eternity past cannot cancel or diminish God's love for every believer.
Because God is perfect and absolute righteousness and integrity, His divine love cannot be prejudiced, cannot be unfair, and cannot be discriminatory.
The combination of God's perfect righteousness and immutability indicates that divine love is eternal and consistent as revealed in the doctrinal content of the Bible. Those doctrinal principles of the canon of Scripture are beneficial to the believer without compromising the essence of God. This is illustrated by the salvation work of Christ on the Cross.
The combination of God's omniscience and immutability means that God's love cannot be complicated by ignorance, silliness, or absurdities.
God's immutability means that divine love cannot change. Therefore, God's love does not improve or decline. God's love does not increase or decrease. Therefore, the rejection or spurning of God's eternal love never results in any form of reaction.
Heb 13:8; states that the human love of Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever. His punitive action therefore does not imply any change in His love.
Divine love is perfect, infinite, and eternal in its stability and its function regardless of any set of circumstances because God is veracity and truth.
Divine love has perfect and eternal capacity that cannot be diminished or changed by any failure or flaw of angelic creatures or human beings. Therefore, because God is infinite, He cannot be complicated by ignorance, absurdities, silliness or emotion in the existence in the function of love. God is not emotional.
Divine self-esteem is God's own perfect love directed toward His own perfect righteousness.
Each person of the Trinity possesses infinite, eternal, and perfect righteousness.
Each person of the Trinity loves His own perfect righteousness just as much as He loves the righteousness of the other two members of the Trinity.
This is classified as divine self-esteem, which means that no person in the Godhead ever feels threatened by another person in the Trinity.
Divine self-esteem also means that no person of the Trinity ever feels threatened by any form of creature failure. This is why God's love never changes toward creatures when they fail.
Divine self-esteem is the pattern for spiritual self-esteem, that is the first stage of spiritual adulthood in the royal family of God.
True love is defined in the human being as personal love for God and impersonal love for all mankind.
Personal love toward God is expressed as aggressive love and responding love.
Aggressive love is expressed as enduring devotion, enduring loyalty, consecration, and dedication toward God.
The responding love of respect is expressed as deference and admiration, honor of God in worship, esteem for God, and consideration and partiality toward God.
The spiritual life of the church age is characterized by soul love or virtue love and is preceded by capacity righteousness from metabolized Bible Doctrine that leads to confidence and results in personal love for God the Father and impersonal love for all mankind.
This system of virtue is therefore the greatest system of stability and tranquility we can have in this life.
The righteousness of God is the basis of divine love. What the righteousness of God demands, the justice of God executes, but always through the love of God as expressed in the grace of God.
Righteousness may demand punishment or blessing for us, but the love of God does not change whether we are disciplined or blessed by the justice of God.
Divine righteousness causes the love of God to be perfect and therefore totally compatible with divine essence. This is described in the Psalms.
Psa 33:4-5; "For the word of the Lord is righteous, And all of His work is done in faithfulness. He loves righteousness and justice; The earth is full of the unfailing love of the Lord."
Psa 89:14, "Righteousness and justice-the foundation of Your throne; Unfailing love and truth (Bible doctrine) go before You."
When we see God though is word, we see that His love has never diminished in all of human history.
God's love is always there for us whether we succeed or fail. The love of God for us never changes whether it is punishing or blessing us.
God's love never diminishes whether we fail or succeed. The love of God is still there even when He judges the unbeliever and condemns them to the lake of fire at the Last Judgment.
When we understand this doctrine, then we can live with confidence in God's love for us, and it results in the greatest spiritual life ever provided for mankind.
Rom 3:21-28; "But now apart from the Law the righteousness of God has been revealed, being testified by the Law and the Prophets,
v22 that is, the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all those who believe, (for there is no distinction (between Jew and Gentile);
v23 for all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God),
v24 who are justified by His grace through redemption which is in Christ Jesus,
v25 whom God (the Father) has displayed publicly by His blood as the mercy seat through faith, a demonstration of His righteousness, because of the passing over of previously committed sins by delay in judgment from God;
Rom 3:26; for a demonstration of His righteousness at the present time, in order that He might be righteous and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.
v27 Where then is boasting? It is excluded. By what principle? That Of works? Definitely not, but by the principle of faith.
v28 For we maintain that a person is justified by faith apart from works of the Law."
© Copyright 2007, Michael Lemmon Bible Ministries. World Rights Reserved.
This document was created on 9/15/2010
© Copyright 2007, Michael Lemmon Bible Ministries. World Rights Reserved. This document was created on 9/15/2010