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Bittersweet Refinements: Chapter XXXI

Posted by Jerry E Beuterbaugh Labels: ,

Chapter XXXI
Intimate Relations
But the goal of our instruction is love from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith.  For some men, straying from these things, have turned aside to fruitless discussion, wanting to be teachers of the Law, even though they do not understand either what they are saying or the matters about which they make confident assertions.  But we know that the Law is good, if one uses it lawfully, realizing the fact that law is not made for a righteous person, but for those who are lawless and rebellious, for the ungodly and sinners, for the unholy and profane, for those who kill their fathers or mothers, for murderers and immoral men and homosexuals and kidnappers and liars and perjurers, and whatever else is contrary to sound teaching, according to the glorious gospel of the blessed God, with which I have been entrusted.

Be assured that our Heavenly Father did not establish His church in the name of His only begotten Son, who truly is the Lord Jesus Christ, to save any souls, nor to change any behaviors.  For that is the work of His Holy Spirit [John 16:8-11].

No, this is not to say that it is has no part in the process.  For the body of believers, who make up His church [Romans 12:4-5], are called to echo what His Holy Spirit is already saying [John 15:26-27], which involves the convicting of sin [Galatians 2:11-21].

Nonetheless, even in respect to that, it can only be righteously done in His love.  For it is written: If I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but do not have love, I have become a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. [1 Corinthians 13:1 NAS]

Subsequently, it is also the work of our Heavenly Father’s Holy Spirit to teach us about His love.  For what we naturally consider to be love is nothing more than a mere shadow of what His is [1 Corinthians 13:12].

Furthermore, it is another part of His Holy Spirit’s job description to allow and enable us to love as His does [Galatians 5:22-23].  For there is a big difference between knowing about something and being able to actually do it [John 15:1-17].

It should not, however, be assumed that all in Christ are allowed and enabled to truly love as He does.  For as it is with all of the other Spiritual gifts, the ability to love of He does is determined by what He wants to accomplish in and through someone [1 Corinthians 12:11].

Proof of just how much is misunderstood about this is clear to see in every direction.  For what is often referred to as being “Christian love” has more to do with doing one’s duty in a military sort of way than anything else.

Whereas, the kind of love that truly is of our Heavenly Father is oh so very personal.  For it is written: Love is patient, love is kind {and} is not jealous; 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. [1 Corinthians 13:4-7 NAS]

Yes, it can be argued that it is not their fault, and if it was not for the witness of our Heavenly Father’s Holy Spirit, there would be ample evidence to support this objection.  For it is written: Now the end of the commandment is charity out of a pure heart, and of a good conscience, and of faith unfeigned. [1 Timothy 1:5 KJV]

Needless to say, there is a big difference between “love” and “charity,” but only in regards to what charity means in the eyes of this world now.  For in 1611, it meant so much more [Matthew 5:40-42], and in the Light of our Heavenly Father’s absolute truth [Matthew 11:25-30], even that was not taking it nearly far enough [1 John 4:7-21].

Yes, I can certainly appreciate why there would naturally be so much resistance to this.  For in order to truly love someone like our Heavenly Father does, we must want to get personally involved in their life to the extent that we are welcomed to, and that is just too close for comfort in far too many cases (naturally-speaking, of course).

Nonetheless, I would still think that most would want to believe otherwise when looked at from a different direction.  For which would be better: to spend all of eternity with the One who truly loves you [Jeremiah 31:3] or is merely charitable—even by the natural standards of 1611?


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