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The Importance of Loving God.
Grace Bible Church
Tree of Life
A Weekly Review
Week ending 010613
The Importance of Loving God.
 
HOS 3:1-5, Then the Lord said to me, “Go again, love a woman {who} is loved by {her} husband, yet an adulteress, even as the Lord loves the sons of Israel, though they turn to other gods and love raisin cakes. So I bought her for myself for fifteen {shekels} of silver and a homer and a half of barley. Then I said to her, “You shall stay with me for many days. You shall not play the harlot, nor shall you have a man; so I will also be toward you. For the sons of Israel will remain for many days without king or prince, without sacrifice or {sacred} pillar, and without ephod or household idols. Afterward the sons of Israel will return and seek the Lord their God and David their king; and they will come trembling to the Lord and to His goodness in the last days.
 
We have noted in PHI 1:9, In fact, I pray this, that your virtue-love may excel to the maximum still more and more by means of metabolized doctrine resulting in all spiritual discernment,
 
We noted how important virtue love or agape love is in LUK 10:27 which says “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength, and with all your mind; and your neighbor as yourself.”
 
The word for love here is agapao which refers to a mental attitude love based upon a maximum amount of doctrine resident in your soul. In other words, there has to be something in you that causes you to love God and that something is Bible doctrine. You cannot have impersonal unconditional agape love for all mankind until you first have personal love for God.

Love for God is extremely important in our lives for the Bible says 1CO 16:22, If anyone does not love the Lord, let him be accursed. Maranatha [under a curse until the Lord comes back].

1CO 2:9, but just as it is written, “Things which eye has not seen and ear has not heard, And which have not entered the heart of man, All that God has prepared for those who love Him.”
 
In eternity past, God the Father prepared two categories of "things" or "blessings" for everyone of us, EPH 1:3-4 tells us that.
1. Temporal blessings which are above and beyond logistical grace support.
2. Eternal blessings which are blessings for the eternal state.
 
When a believer reaches the point of personal love toward God or when the believer begins to personally love God, he has made a major advance in the Christian way of life. The first sign of momentum and progress is a personal love for God ultimately manifested by occupation with the Lord Jesus Christ.
 
If a believer never reaches the point where he has personal love for God, then he will never receive “All that God has prepared for those who love Him.” Go forward to 2CO 5:14, we learn something else about loving God.
 
2CO 5:14, “For the love of Christ controls us, having concluded this, that one died for all, therefore all died;”
 
The word for control is the pres-act-ind of sunecho which is sunechei meaning to motivate, to compel, to urge. Loving the Lord Jesus Christ motivates us, it compels a person to go forward in the plan of God in spite of the pressure and distractions of life. Our motivation for the Christian life becomes very strong at the point of personal love toward God.
 
So how important is your love toward God? An answer is found in ROM 8:28, And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.
 
Only those who love God have everything in their life working together for good. And remember, we are talking about a certain type of love, a love that comes from the mental attitude of the soul and therefore a love that is based upon thoughts and knowledge. So those who love God are those who take God’s word seriously.
 
Therefore, ROM 8:28 is only true for those who love God.
God does not work all things together for good until there is love for God. And there is no love for God until there is a certain amount of metabolized doctrine. That can only come when you accept God's priorities over your personal priorities. There is no real impersonal unconditional agape love toward people until there is first of all, personal love toward God.
 
1PE 1:8, Even though you have not seen Him, you love Him; in fact, though you do not see Him now but believe in Him, you greatly rejoice with happiness inexpressible and full of glory.
 
Even though you have not seen Him is a reference to the Lord Jesus Christ. When you start to love someone you have not seen, it is because you have them in your soul and you have lined up with their thinking.
 
The Phrase, believe in Him is not used here for salvation, it’s the key to loving God...believing. Believing what?
How do you come to love God who you cannot see?
Answer: Bible doctrine, you believe the word of God.
 
This love then comes from believing the word of God and then falling in love with the Lord Jesus Christ. So everything for the believer begins when there is love for God. When there is love for God, it results in love for people. Personal love for God therefore is a virtuous love and you must have virtuous love in order to make personal love succeed. Just because you have fallen in love with someone and you say “I love you” that doesn’t mean it’s going to last.
 
The strength of personal love toward people comes from your personal love for God. And when people have no virtue they have no ability to love.
Virtue means right thinking resulting in right action.
Virtue means graciousness and power.
 
To love people personally demands more ability, more character, more integrity, more grace and more power than anything in life. It demands doctrine and divine viewpoint. People are basically unstable. They have wide emotional swings. One day it’s, I love you! The next day it’s I can’t stand you (if not verbally, mentally). And this is why this subject of love becomes so important. It's an extremely important subject. Unless you understand the importance of personal love toward God resulting in agape love or impersonal unconditional love for all, you will never be a good lover, personally.
 
The book of Hosea covers both personal love and impersonal love.
 
1JO 4:16, And we have come to know and have believed the love which God has for us. God is love, and the one who abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him.
Now, when John says, “we have come to know,” he uses the per-act-ind of ginosko which is egnokamen meaning to know, to become aware, to perceive, to understand, to be conscious of, to comprehend intellectually. The reason why it is translated “we have come to know the love which God has for us” is because - “knowing” that God loves you is a process. It is a process which is generated from facts. The more doctrine you learn the more you will realize how much God loves you.
 
Until it’s in your thought pattern, it is not in your life! There is no reality in your life until it is reality from thinking or what is in the right lobe of the soul called the heart in the Bible. Otherwise your life is nothing more but emotion and instinct. Thinking is what separates humans from the animal kingdom. Thinking doctrine is what separates winner believers from the emotional apostates or the self-righteous legalists.
 
Until you have divine viewpoint and metabolized doctrine in your soul you will have no capacity to love and no virtue. The command for the Christian way of life is virtue first. Not witnessing! Not serving! Not praying! Not doing great things for God...but virtue first. Virtue is the first objective. And what is virtue? Virtue is right thinking resulting in right action. Virtue means graciousness and power. Virtue requires thought. That’s why 1JO 4:16 says, And we have come to know and have believed the love which God has for us.
 
This is the love which God has from His own virtue or perfect righteousness. It is from His own perfect character...His own perfect integrity...from His own perfect virtue. This introduces the love that God used to solve our problems in JOH 3:16, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life.” God has virtue love or impersonal unconditional love from His own perfect righteousness.
 
1JO 4:16, And we have come to know and have believed the love which God has for us.
 
Everything begins with understanding the fact that God loves you. We don’t start by loving God. God starts by loving us. We didn’t find God. God found us. 
 
JOH 15:16, “You did not choose Me, but I chose you,”
 
So far we have in our corrected translation of PHI 1:9, In fact, I pray this, that your virtue-love. And we have already noted the doctrine of prayer and we are noting the subject of impersonal unconditional agape love. There is a tremendous difference between human love and divine love. True biblical love called agape love is a virtue. It is not an emotion, not a feeling, but a virtue. And this virtue-love called agape in the Greek is a system of thinking.
 
When love is directed toward God it serves as motivation in the spiritual life, 2CO 5:14, For the love for Christ motivates us, in fact, personal love for God motivates the believer or it is a motivational virtue...it will keep you going forward in the plan of God in spite of the distractions to take you away from God's plan. On the other hand, impersonal unconditional agape love is directed toward mankind is a functional virtue.
 
So, love toward God is a motivational virtue, love toward mankind is a functional virtue. It is important to note that agape love is not the love of God! Agape love is a certain type of love. It’s a certain way to love. For example, when God's love is in view, agape love is simply a mental attitude love requiring the thoughts in the Bible concerning how to handle different situations. In other words, it is a way in which God loves and a way in which we are to love. It is a type of love. Agape love has virtue when it is the love of God or from God. Agape love has power and is graceful as God's love but agape love is not automatically the love of God.
 
How important is it for you to have agape love?
 
1CO 13:1-8, If I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but do not have agape love, I have become a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. And if I have the gift of prophecy, and know all mysteries and all knowledge; and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but do not have agape love, I am nothing. And if I give all my possessions to feed the poor, and if I deliver my body to be burned, but do not have agape love, it profits me nothing. Agape love is patient, agape love is kind, and is not jealous; agape love does not brag and is not arrogant, does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered, does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Agape love never fails;
 
That’s how important is it for you to have agape love! When we talk about agape love we are talking about that impersonal unconditional agape love which is a certain way of loving, and it all has to do with thought not feelings or emotions. When someone says I don’t love you anymore, they better be talking about phileo or personal love not agape love. Because to say you don’t agape love someone is to say that you have mental attitude sins in your soul toward that person and you’re the problem...not him or her.
 
So love then becomes a major issue. Not love for people but as we will see, love for God first, and then followed by impersonal-unconditional agape love toward people. In fact, unless you understand the importance of personal love toward God resulting in agape love or impersonal unconditional love for all mankind, you will never be a good lover, personally.
 
We are going to look at one passage that covers both personal love and impersonal love.
In 1JO 4:16, And we have come to know and have believed the love which God has for us. God is love, and the one who abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him.
 
Our relationship with God begins by truly understanding the agape love that God had toward us. And God’s love for us is based upon who and what God is not who and what we are. Just like agape love in us is based upon who we are not the ones we’re showing love to. God loved us billions and billions and billions of years ago for no reason and without strings attached. In fact, God loves all believers, winners and losers. This is why even though God knew in eternity past who would be a winner and who would be a loser, He still blessed losers.
 
Losers have an escrow account. Losers have equal privilege and equal opportunity. How can God love losers? How can God love the carnal believer? The same way He loves winners and the same way He loves the mature believer.
Impersonal unconditional agape love! All losers and winners have the perfect righteousness of God given to them at the moment of salvation. And this perfect righteousness draws from the justice of God logistical grace support which is everything you need to advance in the Christian life. You have the righteousness of God whether you are a winner or a loser.
 
God blesses us. He keeps us alive. He gives us all some measure of prosperity and all from His love or from His agape. And that’s why this is the type of love that is vital for you to understand.
You must understand why God loves you. And why does God love you? Because God possess impersonal unconditional agape love. He doesn't just possess love, He is it. When you and I love with this impersonal unconditional agape love, we are literally loving with the very nature of God. How can we love with the very nature of God?
 
When you and I love with this impersonal unconditional agape love, we are literally loving with the very nature of God. When you understand that God loves you and why He does, you will be truly free. Free from guilt! Free from worry! Free from condemnation! Free from self-introspection!
 
When you realize this, ROM 8:38-39 will be a reality in your life. You will be free.
 
ROM 8:38-39, For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. 

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