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  • AGAPE is what God wants

    In most of the church nowadays more often than not it is thought that the personal edification is the most important thing we can pursue but unfortunately the church is which does this in many cases becomes religious but not spiritual.

    What does it mean to be spiritual?

    When you walk in the Spirit and are filled with the Spirit it is the fruit of the Spirit that is produced. I know there are many opinions in the church of what the demonstration or manifestation of being spiritual is.

    Being spiritual does not necessarily mean speaking in some strange language but it certainly means to be obedient to the Word of God.

    What does a person do when they are filled with the Holy Spirit?

    They preach and witness to the Gospel with boldness and courage, power, preaching in the power of the Spirit, teaching the word of God in truth and love, expressing the love of God in the truth of God

    2 Timothy 2:7 For God has not given us a spirit of fear but of power and love and discipline.

    When we are spiritual then we are not afraid but we have the power of God and not only that, we have the love of God and we are also disciplined in everything we do.

    All other measures that people use to measure their spirituality become secondary if not to be considered only carnal expressions.

    After all, even in the same context, speaking of love, Paul said these words that are important to the context of this meditation.

    1 Corinthians 13:1-9 Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I have become sounding brass or a clanging cymbal. 2 And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. 3 And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, but have not love, it profits me nothing. 4 Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; 5 does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; 6 does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; 7 bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. 8 Love never fails. But whether there are prophecies, they will fail; whether there are tongues, they will cease; whether there is knowledge, it will vanish away. 9 For we know in part and we prophesy in part.

    There is so much to say and to learn all about the love of God, but of course there is no time to do this in this meditation. We therefore need to talk about what the love of God is in the manifestation of His love in the church.

    Tonight we will talk about how the Lord wants His love to be expressed in the life of the church.

    As Paul has said so also said Jesus, He told His disciples that there was only one confirmed way to show who His true disciples, are, what was it? Speaking in tongues? Signs and wonders?

    No!

    Agape, love God’s way.

    Jesus said in: John 13:34-35 I give you a new commandment: love one another as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. 35 By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love for one another. ”

    Note what Jesus says, how are we to love each other? How he loved us so we too must do. How did He love us? So much to go to the cross and suffer the wrath of God for us. We can not really fully understand what Jesus sacrificed for love. We know however, that it cost him everything and that His was a love of sacrifice and obedience to the Father and His perfect will without regard to His own person, His comfort, regardless of the fact that not when we were righteous rather when we were yet sinners he loved us with His life.

    He who has never known sin became sin for us and paid the price for our sins.

    So this is the kind of love that God seeks from us, love of this type. Self-sacrificing love that puts others before ourselves and always put them first, without compromising God’s will no matter how difficult it can be.

    The love that God seeks from us is not like the love that the world shows us and as well as many churches today preach, churches that do not understand the true love of God.

    The love that God wants us to exercise is not exclusively sentimental or emotional it does not tolerate evil and injustice, does not tolerate sin, forgives but does not tolerate sin, these are two different things.

    The true Christian must express love that is consistent with the character of God, always in truth, even when the latter is difficult and hard to communicate, always in loyalty and obedience to the Word of God.

    The word of God shows us that our love is shown only genuine when we exercise faith in obedience to what God commands us.

    John 14:15 “If ye love me, keep my commandments.

    John 14:21 Whoever has my commandments and keeps them, is the one who loves me and who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I love him and manifest myself to him. ”

    So if we want a real manifestation of the Spirit of Christ in our lives then we must be obedient to the commands of Jesus, a real manifestation of the Holy Spirit is in fact in truth as Jesus told us in this passage where He said that His Spirit is called the Spirit of truth.

    The truth of the Word and the doctrines of God can not be separated from the manifestation of His love. So those who say that the doctrine of the word is not important but not only love is important, poorly understand that we do not know how we ought to love unless we find out how in the truth of God’s word and if we do not understand first the character of God and His word. Only by understanding these things can we love as God desires.

    Is it an expression of love if we guide or leave people in doctrinal error? No it is not! See in fact:Ephesians 4:11-16 And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, 12 for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, 13 till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ; 14 that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, 15 but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head–Christ— 16 from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love.

    Here are some passages of Scripture that confirm the expression of love for God and for our neighbor, brothers and sisters in line with the truth and God’s will John 14:23-24 Jesus replied, “Whoever loves me will keep my word and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and stayed with him. 24 Who does not love me will not obey my words, and the word which ye hear is not mine but the Father who sent me. 1 John 5:1-3 Whoever believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God, and everyone who loves Him who begot also loves him who is begotten of Him. 2 By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and keep His commandments. 3 For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments. And His commandments are not burdensome.

    1 John 3:16-18 By this we know love, that he gave his life for us, we ought to also lay down our lives for the brethren. 17 Now, if one is in need of the world’s goods and beholds his brother in need and closes his heart, how can in him be the love of God? 18 My little children, let us not love in word or speech but in deed and in truth.

    James 2:15-16 Now if a brother or sister is naked and lacks daily food, 16 and one of you says to them: ‘Go in peace, be warm and be filled’, without giving them the things they need for the body, what good is it?

    Agape is well demonstrated, only when we exercise love for God and for others not with words but with deeds, and that true love does not simply say we will pray for our brother or sister, this is often used as an excuse not to do anything and we often forget also even to pray for that situation. That’s the context that James is using here. It is not enough to pray when we should act and have the means to act, and this happens almost always.

    God wants His church is to be the answer to many prayers simply by exercising obedience to His word and demonstrating our love with action and truth.

    Our “religion” is useless if there is no love that acts in obedience and holiness.

    James 1:26-27 If anyone among you thinks he is religious, and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his own heart, this one’s religion is useless. 27 Pure and undefiled religion before God and the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their trouble, and to keep oneself unspotted from the world.

    Writing instruction for the church in regard the ultimate passage in my opinion, which describes how God wants us to love is in

    Philippians 2:1-8 Therefore if there is any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any affection and mercy, 2 fulfill my joy by being like-minded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind. 3 Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself. 4 Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others. 5 Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, 6 who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, 7 but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. 8 And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross.

    Finally, our love must be like the way Jesus expressed it for us and it should also be practiced without hypocrisy and without favoritism.

    Romans 12:9 Let love be without hypocrisy, hate what is evil and cleave to the good. 10 in brotherly love, love one another tenderly, honor one another.

    James 2:1 My brothers, as believers in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ, don’t show favoritism.

    James 2:9 But if you show favoritism, you sin and are convicted by the law as lawbreakers.

    Do you favor the company of some and not of others? Do you have personal favoritism for some people and not for others? Do you like some brothers and dislike others and therefore you shun them ? This is sin, it is not evidence of Agape love.

    Do you want to know if you are like that, take a look with who you always hang around, are they always the same people? Do you try to be friends with as many different brethren as possible or do you form clicks? Your faith in Jesus cannot be expressed with partiality and favoritism, you are otherwise committing sin.

    So when all is reduced to the essential, if this element, this is the kind of love God wants us to express in the church, if these things are missing all the rest is useless and God does not bless, let’s say that He blesses but very much less than what He would bless and if anything He blesses us with His discipline and He corrects us to bring us back to repent from this severe lack of love. If Agape love is not present in the church and the love of God is not exercised, the Holy Spirit does not act with power.

    Maybe this is why there is so much helplessness and so little power in the churches today?

    Revelation 2:2-5 “I know your works, your labor, your patience, and that you cannot bear those who are evil. And you have tested those who say they are apostles and are not, and have found them liars; 3 and you have persevered and have patience, and have labored for My name’s sake and have not become weary. 4 Nevertheless I have this against you, that you have left your first love. 5 Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent and do the first works, or else I will come to you quickly and remove your lamp stand from its place–unless you repent.

    We may work hard in the ministry of the church, we may endure pain and persevere, we might be right on all biblical doctrines, they may be right those who teach predestination or they who say they have chosen Jesus themselves with their free will, but the problem is rather that, if we they do not practice the kind of love that God wants, then they do well to repent and return to practice in the Agape in the Church as we should.

    Examine yourselves to see if you are in the faith, prove yourselves. Do we not recognize that Jesus Christ is in us? Unless we are reprobates.

    Because without expressing Agape maybe they’re not among the elect and perhaps they did not even really have chosen Jesus, and did not really make Him Lord of their life.

    We could then also speak in tongues or not speak, we could prophesy or not, but without love non of it matters? Without Agape are these things true then? Well we have seen what Paul told us in 1 CORINTHIANS 13:1-3.

    We can evangelize but what does it really mean if he do not love those who are already in the church? Jesus, we have seen, gave us the confirmation test, the sign for which people will know that we are His disciples, this is if we love, Agape one another as He loved us. Without this element that pervades the church unnecessarily we try to bring people in it, sooner or later they will recognize that the most important element is missing, people often stop attending churches because they do not feel loved enough or helped when they really need it apart from other reasons . Then they accuse us of hypocrisy and being religious but in the end they are perfectly right.

    The demonstration of God’s love is so our main objective together with truth because it is in the fulfillment of this commandment that we will also obey all other commandments that are in Scripture. Love, Agape is obedience to His word, and this is the end of everything we are and do.

    These two can not be separated, if we love God, we obey His word and when we obey His word only we show that we love Him and then show our love to others.

    Our love for Him is not merely saying that we love Him but faithfully obeying His will, as He did tell us in His word.