Pastor’s Blog 8.21.19
For the last several weeks I have been teaching on the Love of God. What a subject! It is so far reaching and so deep, yet at the same time so simple. God is love, right? I think the question we need to ask in today’s climate and culture is what is God’s love? Only His word which is the Bible can define it.
Here is the meaning of the word love used in John 3:16, “For God so loved the world…”
NT:25 from Thayer’s Greek Lexicon:
NT:25 agapaoo, agapoo;
a. to love, to be full of good-will and exhibit the same: Luke 7:47; 1 John 4:7 f;
b. with the accusative of the person, to have a preference for, wish well to, regard the welfare of
c. used often in the First Epistle of John of the love of Christians toward one another;
d. used of the benevolence which God, in providing salvation for men, has exhibited by sending his Son to them and giving him up to death
e. used of the love which led Christ, in procuring human salvation, to undergo sufferings and death, Gal 2:20; Eph 5:2;
f. used of the love with which God regards Christ, John 3:35;
g. When used of love to a master, God or Christ, the word involves the idea of affectionate reverence, prompt obedience, grateful recognition of benefits received
h. With an accusative of the thing agapaoo denotes to take pleasure in the thing, prize it above other things, be unwilling to abandon it or do without it
i. to welcome with desire, long for 2 Tim 4:8
j. Concerning the unique proof of love which Jesus gave the apostles by washing their feet, John 13:1
k. John 17:26; Eph 2:4
No question about it, God loves the people He creates. I think the confusion has arisen because people have redefined God’s love as His acceptance. As far as I can research, I find this current cultural definition that “unconditional love means unconditional acceptance” is where the error enters in to today’s pop culture theology. That definition can be traced back to secular “even atheistic” psychologists. When you divorce psychology from theology you get serious error. Psychology attempts to overwrite the guilt and shame of sin with unconditional acceptance not Biblical repentance. It alarms those of us who have lived long enough to see the erosion of morals among God’s people, as an acceptable compromise to grow the church. So let’s look into some scripture – not our own feelings to determine truth about God’s love shall we?
Romans. 2 : 4-11 TPT
Do the riches of his extraordinary kindness make you take him for granted and despise him? Haven’t you experienced how kind and understanding he has been to you? Don’t mistake his tolerance for acceptance. Do you realize that all the wealth of his extravagant kindness is meant to melt your heart and lead you into repentance? But because of your calloused heart and refusal to change direction, you are piling up wrath for yourself in the day of wrath, when God’s righteous judgment is revealed. For: He will give to each one in return for what he has done.
For those living in constant goodness and doing what pleases him, seeking an unfading glory and honor and imperishable virtue, will experience eternal life. But those governed by selfishness and self-promotion, whose hearts are unresponsive to God’s truth and would rather embrace unrighteousness, will experience the fullness of wrath.
Anyone who does evil can expect tribulation and distress—to the Jew first and also to the non-Jew. But when we do what pleases God, we can expect unfading glory, true honor, and a continual peace—to the Jew first and also to the non-Jew, for God sees us all without partiality.
When you look at human nature, the most prevalent sins, lust, greed, thirst for power, or lust of the eye, lust of the flesh and the pride of life, (as the scripture calls these) are where culture continues to demand the church compromise. This isn’t anything new. Paul and the Apostles fought this cry for tolerance as acceptance in the first generation of the church body.
1 Corinthians 5:1-13
1–2 It’s been widely reported that there is gross sexual immorality among you—the kind of immorality that’s so revolting it’s not even tolerated by the social norms of unbelievers. Are you proud of the fact that one of your men is having sex with his stepmother? Shouldn’t this heartbreaking scandal bring you to your knees in tears? You must remove the offender from among you!
Even though I am physically far away from you, my spirit is present with you. And as one who is present with you, I have already evaluated and judged the perpetrator. So call a meeting, and when you gather together in the name of our Lord Jesus, and you know my spirit is present with you in the infinite power of our Lord Jesus, release this man over to Satan for the destruction of his rebellious flesh, in hope that his spirit may be rescued and restored in the day of the Lord.
Boasting over your tolerance of sin is inappropriate. Don’t you understand that even a small compromise with sin permeates the entire fellowship, just as a little leaven permeates a batch of dough? So remove every trace of your “leaven” of compromise with sin so that you might become new and pure again. For indeed, you are clean because Christ, our Passover Lamb, has been sacrificed for us. So now we can celebrate our continual feast, not with the old “leaven,” the yeast of wickedness or bitterness, but we will feast on the freshly baked bread of innocence and holiness.
Correcting a Misunderstanding
I wrote you in my previous letter asking you not to associate with those who practice sexual immorality. Yet in no way was I referring to avoiding contact with unbelievers who are immoral, or greedy, or swindlers, or those who worship other gods—for that would mean you’d have to isolate yourself from the world entirely! But now I’m writing to you so that you would exclude from your fellowship anyone who calls himself a fellow believer and practices sexual immorality, or is consumed with greed, or is an idolater, or is verbally abusive or a drunkard or a swindler. Don’t mingle with them or even have a meal with someone like that. 12–13 What right do I have to pronounce judgment on unbelievers? That’s God’s responsibility. But those who are inside the church family are our responsibility to discern and judge. So it’s your duty to remove that wicked one from among you.
So is your definition of the “Love” of God the same as the Bible’s? Definitely something we all need to ask ourselves.
Think about it…
Until next week – be blessed!
- Date - August 21, 2019