Sunday, October 13, 2013

God’s love is max. out; ours, to grow

We should know that the extent of God’s love and men’s love are different; God’s love is max. out, while for men, our love need to be grown, in term of extent, as well as, its wholesomeness or correctness.

God’s love does NOT go through growth, like He loves us, 10% and then 30% and then 70% and then finally 100%; God’s love is 100% or max. out.  That is why we cannot make God love us more.  You may feel or think God loves you less or more, today, but that is NOT the truth, for the truth is that the love of God for you does NOT increase, like when you have done good, or diminish, like when you have done bad (God may like someone more, and someone may have more favour than another, but we will NOT go into this, here.  Also to be noted is that approval and love are NOT the same). 

God does NOT grow; He is arrived, and that includes His love for a person.  When God loves you, He loves you 100%.  You see, it is NOT He loves you less when you are unrighteous; it is that His love for you is love unto righteousness ('ahab love), and so, it is still 100%, although it may appear to you as God has lessened His love for you, when He does NOT accede to your fancy which is unrighteous in His eyes.  The love of God for men is subjugated to His holiness, and so, His righteousness (God’s love for men as love unto righteousness has been covered in a separate article: `ahab love – love unto righteousness, go read it, for understanding).

So, the support for the claim that God’s love is max. out included these:
1.   God is arrived; God is perfect; He will NOT need to get better, or can He degrade.  God is the same, yesterday, today and forever.  Some may say there is no direct verse on God is the same, yesterday, today and forever.  But there is one on the Lord, Jesus Christ, and it is Heb 13:8 (“Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.”).  The Lord, in His fullness, is one with God (the Father, or the LORD); John 10:30 {Jesus} said so: I and the Father are one."; and so, it is right to say God is the same, yesterday, today and forever. Mal 3:6 reads: "I the LORD do not change. So you, O descendants of Jacob, are not destroyed.; and Rev 1:8, "I am the Alpha and the Omega," says the Lord God, "who is, and who was, and who is to come, the Almighty."

What does it mean when Scripture said that God is the same or does NOT change?  It is referring to the arrived state of God; it is that God is good absolute; cannot get any better. 

Luke 18:18-19 reads:  18A certain ruler asked him, "Good teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?"19"Why do you call me good?" Jesus answered. "No one is good--except God alone. Matt 19:17, "Why do you ask me about what is good?" Jesus replied. "There is only One who is good. If you want to enter life, obey the commandments." These 2 texts collectively tell us that the only arrived one and is truly good, and good absolute, is God.  Jesus then, did NOT claim “good” (teacher), because He was NOT in His fullness yet (still was a man).  The resurrected Christ has returned to His fullness. 

Since God is arrived or perfect, He does NOT improve on love, faithfulness, etc. 

2.   God is love.  1 John 4:8 (KJV) - He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.  What does it mean that God is love? What does it mean God is light (1 John 1:5) or wisdom?  When God is love, it does NOT mean God cannot be light or wisdom; God is multi-attributed.  When we say God is light or wisdom or love, it means God is the source of light or wisdom (Pro 2:6, Dan 2:20, James 1:5) or love; and He is the definer or creator or originator of such (light or wisdom or love).   As such, the source, originator and definer, God does NOT increase in love; whatever is there, it is there; it is all there.
So, when we want to know true love, where do we look?  God; get to know Him, and His love.  Because God is source, of such, as light, wisdom or love, He can give such, but more often than NOT, we need to (and God expects us to) develop in such, with knowing Him.  For example, we need to develop our capacity to love (God, and one another) or have the capacity restored of its extent and rightness.  Our capacity to love was wrecked (distorted or corrupted) by the Fall of Men, in the Garden of Eden. 

3.   God’s love for men is love unto righteousness ('ahab love).  I have already given the link to my separate article on this, above.  In fact, the understanding of the love of God as such, i.e. love unto righteousness, helps us to understand and reconcile the apparent (NOT real) fluctuation of God’s love for us that we felt or perceived (wrongly). 

God does NOT grow; for us, men, it is different, and the significant difference is that we learn and grow over time, hopefully positively. In other words, for love (this is just one aspect; others included faith, hope, etc), we grow over time.  Our love for God grows over time; it is NOT straightaway we are able to love God 100%.  We love God more and more, as we know Him and understand His love for us, more and more. 

Concerning men's
1 John 4:7-8 - Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God. 8 He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.
The above calls for us to love one another.  It also stated a number of truths:

1.   Love or the right (kind of) love, is of God.  Or as I commonly quote - God’s kinda of love, it is of God.  

2.   Those who love with God’s kinda of love, are born of God.   

Born of God can simply be viewed as having entered into salvation; much like the saying, “Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God” (1 John 5:1a).  In other words, if you claim you are born of God (or born again), firstly, you must have, at some point in time, believed Jesus is the Christ. If you no longer believe that Jesus is the Christ, you still have been born of God, for you do NOT get unborn (or like going back into the mother’s womb).  That is why born of God is NOT cited as a test if someone is a believer, for being born of God is a one-off event, a past event for every believer, presently not visible and cannot be proved, in the absence of external evidence like the testimony of a witness to the conversion event.   

A visible test which we can use is given in the 1 John 4:7 text, and it is whether the person loves (with God’s kinda of love) or NOT; this is NOT an one-off event, but is of a heart-condition and on-going conduct.  So, a tell-tale sign of one is born of God is that he loves (with God’s kinda of love). 

NOT only a person’s love is a tell-tale sign of one has been born of God, it is also a sign that he knows (ginosko) God.  As have been said, born of God is a one-off past event.  Knowing God, on the other hand, is a progressive endeavour; and so, the extent of one’s love does tell on the extent of one’s knowing of God.  The Amplified Bible version of 1 John 4:7 reads: 

Beloved, let us love one another, for love is (springs) from God; and he who loves [his fellowmen] is begotten (born) of God and is coming [progressively] to know and understand God [to perceive and recognize and get a better and clearer knowledge of Him]. 

In other words, the more we know Him and understand His love for us, the more, the restoration of our capacity to love, and the more we are able to love rightly, with God’s kinda of love ('ahab love), God and fellowmen.  While it is true, for the Word indicated so, that we are NOT able to fully know and understand God (we cannot comprehend Him fully), it is still we are to know Him more and more; and so, too, our love could only be growing more and more, in extent and rightness or purity, and NOT ever arrived; we always can improve, and should want to improve. 

Before we end, I just want to emphasize that the “know” here is the ginosko-know.  For more detailed understanding of the various Greek “know” words, and especially, “ginosko”, you should read: I don’tknow you (you evildoer) – Part I.  Here, I will just say that “ginosko” or know, refers to the knowing and knowledge from personal experiences with God (LORD, Lord or Holy Spirit), and that implies existence of a relation(ship) between the person and God.  The key thing is that a personal experience implies both the person and God are involved.  If you think God is with you in the experience, but He is NOT, that is NOT counted.  Of course, we use our mind in our understanding, but it is clear from the many references to ginosko-know God, in Scripture, we need to know and experience God in a personal way, even as we are to know and understand the logos Word of God. 

God’s love for us, is max. out, 100%.  It does NOT grow or diminish, depending on your performance.  Any fluctuation is apparent (NOT real).  The understanding that God’s love for us, men, is love unto righteousness ('ahab love) helps us to correct any mistaken viewpoint that God is loving you less when you did NOT act righteously.  

Having said the above, that God’s love does NOT decrease, on your unrighteous conduct, it does NOT mean that God approve of your wrongdoings or sins. Love and approval are NOT the same.  I love my children, but I do NOT approve of their conduct or ways when they are wrong. Also, for God, His love does NOT exclude Him from judging, for His love is still subjugated to His holiness (His most fundamental nature-attribute); and His holiness necessarily demands, and so, God judges.

For men, on the other hand, our love had, in the past, been distorted or corrupted, because of the Fall in the Garden of Eden.  We need to have entered into salvation, to start to be able to be loving with God’s kinda of love ('ahab love). We need to come to ginosko-know God, for God is love.  As the Amplified Bible version of 1 John 4:7 has shown us (quoted above), this is progressive, and so, too, our love will develop progressively.  And so, you and I have to move in the right direction for it to happen, i.e. that we must get to ginosko-know God more and more, and know the depth of His love. Mental assent alone is NOT sufficient, meaning, even the mere having of much knowledge of and the mere mental understanding of the Word are NOT sufficient.  Many people can be having biblical studies qualifications (even Masters and Phds), but if they ginosko-know NOT, God, they love NOT (with God’s kinda of love).

Anthony Chia, high.expressions

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