Class Notes: 9/5/2010
Believers must take up God's agenda in order to enter into the advanced spiritual life
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.
We are presently discussing the passage in 1John 4:19; where we saw that because of the subjunctive mood of the verb "agapo", this verse should be translated, "We have the potential for love, because He first loved us."
The characteristics of this virtue love of the integrity envelope are described in 1Cor 13;
After describing these, Paul concludes in 1Cor 13:13; "But now there remains in place faith, hope, and love, but the greatest of these is virtue-love."
The faith-rest drill and a personal sense of destiny as problem solving devices are still in place in the Church Age, but the greatest of these problem solving devices is virtue-love.
"Faith" is the faith-rest drill. "Hope" is a personal sense of destiny, the first objective of the spiritual life that opens the door for the believer to walk into the advanced spiritual life.
"Love" is the tandem problem-solving device of personal love for God and impersonal love for all mankind that comprise virtue-love.
A personal sense of destiny is the dividing line between spiritual childhood and spiritual adulthood. Virtue- love represents the problem solving devices for spiritual adulthood.
The faith-rest drill represents the basic problem solving devices for believers in spiritual childhood. "Faith" or the faith-rest drill that was the spiritual life of the Old Testament has now become the basic and coordinating function of the spiritual life in the Church Age.
We have learned that there are four stages of the faith-rest drill that function under the mentorship of God the Holy Spirit.
The first is where the believer claims a promise that God has made in his word and believes it.
The second is when the believer combines the promises that God has made and puts them together as rationales such as the essence of God rationale, the plan of God rationale, the policy of God rationale, the a fortiori rationale, the four spiritual mechanics rationale.
In this case, the believer uses a rationale to come to doctrinal conclusions and faith takes control of the situation.
The third stage is the function of the faith-rest drill in relationship to perception of Bible doctrine or faith perception under the mentorship of God the Holy Spirit. This is where the Holy Spirit teaches the believer the things of God that cannot be understood by the natural man.
The forth stage is the plaintiff function before the supreme court of heaven where the believer refers all of the injustices of life to the justice of God in the supreme court of heaven thereby avoiding the function of the arrogance skills that lead to bitterness, anger, malice, revenge, and other forms of evil.
The transition from faith to hope is taught in Heb 10:39; - Heb11: 1; "But we are not shrinking back to ruin or failure in the spiritual life, but by faith possessing the soul.
The Greek word translated "apoleia" is translated "destruction" in the NASB, but also means to fail or to be ruined or wasted. The point is that if the believer turns away from Bible Doctrine their spiritual life is destroyed.
Heb 11:1; Now faith (Bible Doctrine) is the essence or the actual being, or reality of things being hoped for, it is the evidence of things not being seen."
"Hope" is the dividing line between the basic problem solving devices and the advanced problem solving devices so it is the dividing line between spiritual childhood and spiritual adulthood.
Hope or a personal sense of destiny creates capacity for and as a result opens the door to "virtue-love."
Believers cannot bring their own agenda into the advanced spiritual life. It must be checked at the door in order for the believer to enter into the happiness of God.
The question that each believer must answer for them self is what is more important to you in your life: your agenda or God's agenda. One of the most dangerous and vulnerable areas of the spiritual life is when believers face that open door. If they approach that open door and still have their own agenda and do not check it at the door, they will never enter the adult spiritual life.
This is why Jesus stands at the door. Rev 3:20; The Laodicean church represents believers who do not check their own agenda at the door. Their confidence is in their own agenda rather than God's agenda.
This means that very few believers ever walk through this door because they do not have absolute confidence in God from metabolized Bible Doctrine. The invisible assets that God has provided every believer that are appropriated by faith brings them right to the door of a personal sense of destiny and if they do walk through it, they walk right into the integrity envelope of virtue-love and the Happiness of God.
The word "Hope" is translated from the Greek word "Elpis" and means absolute confidence or confident expectation. Specifically an expectation or confidence in those things that pertain to matters spoken of in God's promises who is the One in whom the believer places their hope. 1Tim 1:1;
Hope is identified with the spiritual life of the Church Age in the following ways.
1. Hope is the first tactical objective of the spiritual life
2. Hope is a personal sense of destiny or problem solving device number six deployed in the soul.
3. Hope is the dividing line between spiritual childhood and spiritual adulthood.
4. Hope is spiritual self-esteem, the first stage of the adult spiritual life.
Some passages that refer to this include:
Rom 5:5, "And hope does not put us to shame, disgrace, or disappointment because the love for God has been poured out in our hearts through the agency of the Holy Spirit who has been given to us for our benefit."
Rom 4:18a, "In hope against hope he believed..." Abraham set aside his own agenda and believed in the agenda that God set before him and as a result became the father of many nations.
Abraham, Moses and David all set aside their own agendas and took up God's agenda for their lives.
Moses' setting aside his agenda for God's agenda is described in Heb 11:24-26;
"Love" represents the advanced problem solving devices in the status of spiritual adulthood. Virtue-love is the entrance into the adult spiritual life.
If there is no rapport with God first, people become a source of maximum misery because they become a total distraction from the unique spiritual life of the Church Age that results in a complete loss of values.
Virtue and values originate through that open door in the advanced spiritual life through the deployment of the advanced problem solving devices related to virtue-love and true happiness.
When believers walk through that door, whatever problems they consider insurmountable in this life are handled by their personal love for God, impersonal love for mankind, the sharing the perfect happiness of God, and occupation with Christ.
The benefits that accrue to the believer as a result of being loved by God from eternity past are infinitely more permanent and eternal because they are part of the believer's very own portfolio of invisible assets.
In the Church Age, the advanced problem solving devices of the spiritual life are related to virtue-love and perfect happiness. Arrogance reacts to things in life resulting in the worst, while virtue- love responds resulting in the best.
When believers pursue their own agenda, they reject God and his grace, bow their neck, and in arrogance walk into human good and evil.
Virtue-love is related to sharing the happiness of God and occupation with Christ,
Peter describes this in 1Pet 1:8; "And though you have not seen Him, you love Him, and though you are not seeing Him now but believing, you greatly rejoice with inexpressible joy (the happiness of God), having been clothed in glory."
Being clothed in glory means you have executed the greatest spiritual life that has ever existed in human history, and you have a fantastic testimony before the angels, and invisible impact that is recorded in heaven forever.
This personal love for God precedes any capacity for true love for any member of the human race.
Living the adult spiritual life is also a matter of coordination. The spiritual life is a system of coordination that begins with the filling of the Holy Spirit.
Coordination means putting the principles that have been learned together. Faith is coordinated with hope; hope is coordinated with love.
The spiritual life is the coordination of the two power options, the three spiritual skills, and the ten problem solving devices that are deployed in the three stages of the adult spiritual life.
To be uncoordinated is to be distracted. If one thing is emphasized and others excluded you will fail in the spiritual life. Jesus Christ is the example and the source of our coordination.
John 1:14; And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth.
Heb 12:2; "Be concentrating on Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our doctrine, who because of His exhibited happiness He endured the cross and disregarded the shame, then He sat down on the right hand of the throne of God."
Eph 3:17, 19; "so that Christ may be at home in your hearts through doctrine, when you have been rooted and established in virtue-love." "And come to know the love for Christ which goes beyond gnosis that you may be filled resulting in all the fullness from God."
2Cor 5:14; "The love for Christ keeps motivating us."
Virtue-love is defined in 1Cor 13:4-8a; "Love is patient, love is kind, is not jealous; love does not brag, is not arrogant, does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong, does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends."
1Cor 13:8b-12; is a parenthesis about the temporary spiritual gifts. Virtue-love is the adult spiritual life and is never phased out but the temporary spiritual gifts were.
The Outline of 1Cor 13; is a follows:
a. Vulnerability to Failure, verse 1.
b. Two Premises, verses 2-3
c. The Characteristics of Virtue-Love, verse 4-7.
d. The First Conclusion, verse 8a.
e. The Parenthesis, verses 8b-12.
f. The Second Conclusion, verse 13.
1 Cor 13:1; "If I speak with the tongues (languages) of mankind and angels, but do not have virtue-love, I have become a sounding brass or a clanging cymbal."
The word tells us that Paul had spoken tongues more than anyone else in the Church Age, 1Cor 14:18. This gave him the advantage of being able to give an accurate account of this spiritual gift, it's purpose and it's termination.
There is no spiritual gift of speaking in the language of angels, this is a hypothetical case to explain the importance of virtue-love as the adult spiritual life and the unique phase of the spiritual life for the Church.
Tongues reminded the Corinthians of the culture from which they had come with all its ecstatic experiences in the worship of the Greek deities. The influence of the Greek culture on women believers in Corinth was so bad that Paul had to tell the women to keep silent in church so that they would not shout out like they had in the worship of the Greek deities.
They thought that if you spoke in tongues, you were the greatest of all believers. The gift of tongues had a special purpose, but it was not a sign of spirituality. The function of the gift of tongues went from the human spirit to the believer's mouth, completely by-passing the mentality of the soul, so that the person who spoke in tongues had no idea what they were saying.
This is one of the reasons the gift of tongues required the gift of interpretation. 1Cor 14:27-28;
The purpose for the gift of tongues is explained in 1Cor 14:21-22; where Paul quotes Isa 28:11;"In the Law it is written, `By people speaking a foreign language and by the lips of foreigners I will speak to this people, and even so they will not listen to Me,' says the Lord.
v22 So then tongues are for a sign but not for those who believe but to unbelievers.
The sounding brass or peddler's gong called attention to tactics of the carnal believers in Corinth who were seeking to gain the approbation of others with the misuse of tongues. The "sounding brass" therefore represents the distraction of the arrogance complex of sins.
Pseudo love is also related to the self-absorption of the arrogance complex because it is a syndrome that demands that people treat you a certain way or be rejected.
This self-absorption creates self-deception and self- justification and makes it very difficult to stop associating love with what someone else can do for you. Under self-absorption, human love is self-serving.
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