Class Notes: 11/10/2010
Reciprocal Love occurs when believers respond to God with the application of metabolized Bible Doctrine
In our study we have seen that the basis for all true love is God's love. This makes our love a response to his love. This response is called reciprocal love.
Reciprocal love expresses the mutual love relationship between God and the Church Age believer under the ministry of God the Holy Spirit whereby the believer responds to the perfect love of God with Bible Doctrine.
Last time we met we were discussing the function of the arrogance skills versus the spiritual life.
No believer can advance to spiritual maturity through the deployment of the arrogance skills of self-justification, self-deception, and self-absorption that result in fear and guilt.
Fear creates stress in the soul. Adversity is the outside pressure of life. Adversity is constantly attacking the soul from the outside. Stress is the inside pressure of the soul.
Adversity is what circumstances do to you; stress is what you do to yourself. This means that while adversity is inevitable, stress is optional. We do not have to let the circumstances of life get into the soul as stress.
Stress in the soul contradicts the unique spiritual life of the Church Age and produces guilt fear, panic, and hysteria.
When stress breaks through the FLOT line of Bible doctrine and overruns the command post of the soul, the only solution is the divine solution of rebound and counterattack. Paul describes this in Phil 3:13-14;
All divine solutions to the believer's function under the OSN begin with 1 John 1:9; The result of acknowledgement of sin includes the recovery of the filling of the Spirit, restoration to fellowship with God, and the resumption of the unique spiritual life.
The phrase "Fear involves punishment" in 1John 4:18b; refers to the discipline God places on believers to wake them up so they will change their thinking and return to him. This punishment is not punishment for sin. It is punishment for quenching and grieving God the Holy Spirit.
When dealing with the pressures of adversity we must be able to distinguish between fear and concern. Fear is a sin. Concern on the other hand is not. Concern relates to the fulfillment of the legitimate aspects of one's responsibilities before God.
Concern is the sense of responsibility, honor, and integrity to obey the divine mandates given to the Church Age believer. Paul describes this in 2Cor 11:28;
We have seen that there is no fear of death in virtue-love. Our Lord explains this in Matt 10:28-31; "Do not fear those who kill the body but are unable to kill the soul; but rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.
v29 Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? And yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father.
v30 But the very hairs of your head are all numbered.
v31 So stop being afraid; you are more valuable than many sparrows."
Since there is no fear in virtue-love, there is no fear of death for believers who have virtue-love.
This manifestation of divine love in dying is important to understand. No matter how you sin or fail, since God is in control of every circumstance, death is God's victory. Psa 116:15;
The death of any believer is based on the virtue, integrity, and love of God. What the righteousness of God decides for the death of the believer, the justice of God executes through the love of God and his policy of grace.
Our Lord is saying that if the integrity of God cares for the death of a sparrow, how much more will the integrity of God care for the believer in Jesus Christ, who is threatened by death.
Therefore, we are to have no fear of dying. If we are afraid of dying, then we are not using the spiritual life and we are not functional in reciprocal-love for God.
When the believer fails, reciprocal love is restored when the believer simply acknowledges any known sin.
1John 1:8-10; "If we say that we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves and the truth is not in us.
v9 If we acknowledge our sins, He is faithful and righteous with the results that He forgives us our sins and purifies us from all wrongdoing.
v10 If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar and His word is not in us."
"If we say we have no sin" is the first arrogance skill of self-justification. "We are deceiving ourselves" is the second arrogance skill of self-deception. "If we say that we have not sinned" is a combination of the third arrogance skill of self-absorption along with denial.
1John 1:8 and 10 describe the case of the believer who rejects the principle of simple acknowledgement of sin when it is taught.
There is nothing more important than the spiritual life and there is no greater inheritance in history than that which has been given to the Church Age believer. The provision of acknowledgement of sin is a critical part of that inheritance because it is what makes it possible to receive all of the greater grace blessings of the inheritance.
When believers simply name their sins to God, the result is forgiveness of sins, the exit from the cosmic system, the recovery of the filling of the Spirit, and the resumption of the spiritual life.
Since our sins were judged on the cross, they cannot be judged again. This means that we cannot be judged for our sins, but we can be judged for the wrongdoing that results from our sins.
Wrongdoing is described in Eph 4:30; as grieving the Holy Spirit, where we are commanded to "Stop grieving the Holy Spirit of God by Whom you were sealed to the day of redemption."
We are not punished for our sins, but we are punished for grieving and quenching the Holy Spirit. Those who refuse to acknowledge their known sins continue grieving the Holy Spirit are severely punished by the supreme court of heaven.
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