Agape Love: What Is it?

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Religion and Spirituality  |  House: Booksie Classic
This article provides a workable definition/description for the kind of love that God the Father requires of every born-again Christian.

Submitted: January 01, 2009

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Submitted: January 01, 2009

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AGAPE LOVE:WHAT IS IT?

Introduction

I am a born-again Christian, and I have lived for years listening to what I call God-terms that I believe are no more than theological-jargon used by some Christians who could no more explain the terms they use than they could find the proverbial needle-in-the-hay-stack.One such God-term is “agape (agaph) love” with its vague definition, “unconditional love.” When asked to define agape (agaph) love, the person being asked generally responds with “unconditional love,” stops there, and then moves on as though “unconditional love” as the answer is so clear that no further explanation is needed.

R. B. Thieme, Jr., explained agape (agaph) love in terms of “a relaxed mental attitude,” one free from mental attitude sins.I used that definition for years, and was satisfied with it.I believed that it said more than just unconditional love -- with an attending look that said, “Don’t ask me any more about it.That ought to be clear enough.”If you should be bold enough to ask the next question, “What is unconditional love,” you might get the following answer”“Uuuhhh?? Wweell?? Uuuhhh??Unconditional love is . . . uuuhhh?? unconditional love!”I can accept that answer, but I happen to believe that the term agape love can be explained far better than that.

The purpose of this document is to offer an explanation of agape love, and to do so in such a manner as to be consistent with the Word of God.I will tie my definition to the concepts of freedom and the angelic conflict.Without these ties, I believe that when agape love is explained only as unconditional love, this explanation makes very little sense.I listened to that abbreviated definition for years, and finally said:“You are telling me that I need to “unconditionally love” (fill-in this blank with a name) – and then I asked “Why?”The corresponding answer, “Because the Bible says you should.”No.That’s where I’m told to unconditionally love.That doesn’t answer the question “why?”It was only after I came to a clear understanding of the concepts of freedom and the angelic conflict that meaning of agape love began to unfold and make sense to me.

Agape (agaph) Love Is Like a Puzzle

Agape (agaph) love is like a picture puzzle.As a puzzle has many pieces that must be dumped from the box onto the table, turned over, and its pieces put together properly to display whatever its designer intended, so agape love can be properly understood only after its parts have been considered and properly placed together to portray what the Master designer intended.I offer you the following information as parts of the agape love puzzle:Agape Love Is Like a Puzzle; Defining Freedom:Irresponsible and Responsible; Two More Definitions; Freedom of Choice:Before and After the Fact; Freedom’s Source and Environment; Defining Agape Love; Agape Love Must Be Tied to Freedom; God Is Love; Agapao and Agape Love at Work; More Verses to Consider; Applying All of This to Human History and Human Life; Setting the Stage; Why Did God the Father Determine to Create in the First Place; the Order of Creation; the First Fall; Angelic Condemnation; Satan Appeals His Condemnation; God Answers Satan’s

Appeal; What Then Is Human History All About; Freedom the Environment of Human History; Man’s Part in the Appeal Phase of Satan’s Trial; Dispensational History; Human History:What Is It; Agape Love in the Church Age Described; Freedom Is the Environment in Which Agape Love Is to Manifest Itself; Freedom and Divine Commands; Satan’s Response to God; If Man Had Been Created to Resolve the Angelic Conflict with Only One Pole on His Volition; Summary Conclusion.Let’s begin with Defining Freedom:Irresponsible and Responsible.

Defining Freedom:Irresponsible and Responsible

Irresponsible freedom:Irresponsible freedom is that form of freedom that seeks to achieve one’s own internalized goals the pursuit of which disrupts another person’s freedom to do the same.

Responsible freedom:Responsible freedom is that form of freedom that seeks to achieve one’s own internalized goals the pursuit of which does NOT disrupt another person’s freedom to do the same.

Two More Definitions

reference point:the biblical standard against which you measure whether your choices are good/right or bad/wrong.

volition (-V+):Volition is the capacity to make choices.Volition has a positive pole and a negative pole.Choices can be referred to as positive volition (V+) or negative volition (-V).Choices may be good or bad, right or wrong, dependent upon how those choices relate to a reference point.A good/right choice (V+) would match the reference point.A bad/wrong choice (-V) would deviate from the reference point.

Freedom of Choice:Before and After the Fact

The freedom of choice of others must include choices that are viewed as after-the-fact and not just before-the-fact.“Before the fact” means that someone has not yet performed the act (good or bad), but the potential exists to do so.“After the fact” means that the act (good or bad) has already taken place.Illustratively, until you grow spiritually, you will always find it easier to agape (agaph) love the person who is only thinking about harming you than it is to agape (agaph) love that person after he has harmed you.However, agape (agaph) love is required to be extended in both cases.

Freedom’s Source and Environment

Freedom comes from God, not man.

Freedom is the environment in which agape love is designed to function.

Defining Agape Love

“Agape love is a mental attitude of recognition. It recognizes the volition of another person and respects his/her inalienable right to freely make both good and bad decisions in the spiritual battle known as the angelic conflict.”

Let’s say it another way:“agaph love is a mental attitude of respect expressed toward another person; this respect is manifested toward the other person when it permits the one being loved to freely make decisions that are consistent with or contrary to God’s will for his/her life.”

Agape (agaph) Love Must Be Tied to Freedom

Agape (agaph) love is correctly understood only when its function (manifestation) is tied to the principle of another person’s freedom.If this principle of freedom is not understood and applied, what may be deemed to be agape (agaph) love is NOT agape (agaph) love at all.If you think that you are directing agape (agaph) love toward another person, your love is NOT agape (agaph) love if you are NOT extending the inalienable right of freedom of choice to the person you say you are loving.The other person’s freedom of choice is the key to recognizing whether your love is agape (agaph) love or not.

God Is Love
1 John 4:8He that loveth (agapaw) not knoweth not God; for God is love (agaph).

God is love (agaph).

Agaph love is one of the ten characteristics (attributes) of God.

Agaph love is the very nature of God.

Comparing 1 John 4:8 with John 3:16 and Romans 5:8, we learn that God loves (agaph) the entire world (every human being), and it was while He was loving the entire world at a time that we were yet sinners that CHRIST DIED FOR US.

Please note that God didn’t wait for you to get good enough to save you.Jesus died on Calvary’s cross for you and me while we were yet sinners.

God’s absolute righteousness is offended by sin, and that’s why agaph love is the choice of words to describe God’s love toward sinners instead of filew love.

filew love is friendship love, and God is not the friend of sinners.

John 3:16For God so loved (agapaw) the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. KJV

This is God’s love (agapaw) for man as a sinner.

It is objective and unemotional in nature.

It is objective in that it considers someone other than Himself.Subjective love focuses on self; objective love focuses on others.

It is unemotional in that the very nature of agapaw / agaph love is unemotional.

Emotion when ascribed to God is an anthropopathism (a human emotion ascribed to God that He does not possess in order than we as humans might understand the policy of God).

God’s agaph / agapaw love is unconditional, and the very nature of unconditional love is that it acknowledges the personal freedom of the one being loved to make decisions consistent with or contrary to His will for that person’s life.

The greatest manifestation of agape (agaph) love is when one free person permits every other human being to be free to function in the realm of his/her own personal freedom.

agapaw and agaph Love at Work

agapaw = agapao (verb form)

agaph – agape (noun form)

In the following comments, what is true of agaph is also true about agapaw.

Agape (agaph) Love When Emanating from Man:

As stated above, “agape (agaph) love is the mental attitude that recognizes the volition of another person and respects his/her inalienable right to freely make both good and bad decisions in the spiritual battle known as the angelic conflict.”Note the following:

You don’t have to agree with those decisions when applying agape (agaph) love.

But – you must agree that both good and bad decisions can exist if you are going to be consistent with the concept of personal freedom.

Agape love respects the freedom of others to achieve their own internalized goals by not disrupting their freedom to do so.

Agape love does not force, intimidate, coerce, or badger another person to do the “right” thing or to do what someone else might want.

Agape love respects the freedom of others to make “bad” decisions.

Again, as stated above, “agaph love is a mental attitude of respect expressed toward another person; this respect is manifested toward the other person in such a manner that it permits the one being loved to make decisions that are consistent with or contrary to God’s will for his/her life.

In this definition agape love and respect are being viewed synonymously.

Agape love is a mental attitude.

Agape love is respect for another person’s freedom.

Agape love has no boundaries.

Agape love in unemotional.

Agape love is objective in nature, meaning it is expressed toward someone other than self.

Agape love is not blind to the decision of another person, the nature of which decision may be contrary to the will of God for the person making that decision.

Agape love recognizes that consequences may exist for decisions made that are contrary to the will of God for the decision-maker.

If a person in authority must impose a consequence upon another person for making a bad decision, to do so is not inconsistent with the nature of agaph love if imposed objectively.

Agape (agaph) Love When emanating from God:

Agape love is God’s mental attitude of respect expressed toward the totally depraved human race; this respect is manifested toward every member of the human race in such a manner that it permits the one being loved to freely make decisions that are consistent with or contrary to God’s will for his/her life.

In this definition agape love and respect are viewed synonymously.

Agape love is God’s mental attitude toward the human race.

Agape love is respect for the freedom of choice of members of the human race.

Agape love has no boundaries.

Agape love in unemotional.

Agape love is objective in nature, meaning it is expressed toward members of the human race rather than toward God Himself.

Agape love is not blind to the decisions of members of the human race, the nature of which decisions may be contrary to the will of God for the person making those decisions.

Agape love recognizes that consequences may exist for decisions made that are contrary to the will of God for the decision-maker.

If God imposes a consequence upon a member of the human race for making a bad decision, to do so is not inconsistent with the nature of God’s agaph love.

More Verses to Consider

Romans 5:8But God commendeth his love (agaph) toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. KJV

1 John 4:7-12, 16-21

7 Beloved, let us love (agapaw) one another: for love (agaph) is of God; and every one that loveth (agapaw) is born of God, and knoweth God.

8 He that loveth (agapaw) not knoweth not God; for God is love (agaph).

9 In this was manifested the love (agaph) of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him.

10Herein is love (agaph), not that we loved (agapaw) God, but that he loved (agapaw) us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.

11Beloved, if God so loved (agapaw) us, we ought also to love (agapaw) one another.

12No man hath seen God at any time. If we love (agapaw) one another, God dwelleth in us, and his love (agaph) is perfected in us.

16And we have known and believed the love (agaph) that God hath to us. God is love (agaph); and he that dwelleth in love (agaph) dwelleth in God, and God in him.

17Herein is our love (agaph) made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as he is, so are we in this world.

18There is no fear in love (agaph); but perfect love (agaph) casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love (agaph).

19We love (agapaw) him, because he first loved (agapaw) us.

20If a man say, I love (agapaw) God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth (agapaw) not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love (agapaw) God whom he hath not seen?

21And this commandment have we from him, That he who loveth (agapaw) God love (agapaw) his brother also.KJV

John 21:15-17

15So when they had dined, Jesus saith to Simon Peter, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest (agapaw) -thou me more than these? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love (filew) thee. He saith unto him, Feed my lambs.

16He saith to him again the second time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest (agapaw)thou me? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love (filew) thee. He saith unto him, Feed my sheep.

17He saith unto him the third time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest (filew) thou me? Peter was grieved because he said unto him the third time, Lovest (filew) thou me? And he said unto him, Lord, thou knowest all things; thou knowest that I love (filew) thee. Jesus saith unto him, Feed my sheep. KJV

A Brief Look at agapaw and agaph Love and filew Love

agapaw or agaph – man’s love for Christ (God)

This is man recognizing the freedom of God to achieve His own internalized goals. (Peter failed here and Jesus rebuked him.)

Matt 16:22-23 Then Peter took him [Jesus], and began to rebuke him [Jesus], saying, Be it far from thee, Lord [this is Peter’s attempt to correct the thinking of Jesus]: this shall not be unto thee [Peter continues to put-his-foot-in-his-mouth].23 But he [Jesus] turned, and said unto Peter, Get thee behind me, Satan [Peter was not Satan; Peter was not indwelt with Satan; Peter was thinking like Satan]: thou [Peter] art an offence unto me [Jesus as God]: for thou [Peter] savourest not the things that be of God [God the Father whose plan Jesus was following], but those [human viewpoint thoughts] that be of men. KJV

Mark 8:32-33 And he [Jesus] spake that saying openly. And Peter took him [Jesus], and began to rebuke him [Jesus].33 But when he [Jesus] had turned about and looked on his [Jesus’] disciples, he [Jesus] rebuked Peter, saying, Get thee [Peter] behind me [Jesus], Satan [Peter was not Satan; Peter was not indwelt with Satan; Peter was thinking like Satan]: for thou [Peter] savourest not the things that be of God [God the Father whose plan Jesus was following], but the things [human viewpoint thoughts] that be of men.

With agaph love, the merit is in the one doing the loving.(In this case, Peter failed miserably.)

filew – man’s love for Christ (God)

filew love is rapport and compatibility; friendship; on the “same page” as

the merit in this form of love is in the object of love, the one being loved

in this case, the object of love is Christ, as God

Applying All of This to Human History and Human Life

The Author of “freedom” is God the Father who decreed the principle of freedom as an inalienable right for both angels and mankind.The manifestation of that freedom is volition, the capacity to choose.Assume for a moment the existence of absolute truth, the source of which is the God of Judeo-Christianity.(I believe in the existence of Absolute truth.)Given both Absolute truth and volition, inherent in volition is the capacity to choose for or against Absolute truth – and why is this so important?The following paragraph will set the stage.

Setting the Stage

In eternity past there existed only the three Persons of the Godhead.Nothing else existed.We refer to them as the First Person of the Godhead, the Second Person of the Godhead, and the Third Person of the Godhead.We know the First Person as God the Father, the Second Person as God the Son, and the Third Person as God the Holy Spirit.They are co-equal and co-eternal, meaning that they have exactly the same attributes, and that They have co-existed from eternity past.(Jesus is no less God than is the Father or the Holy Spirit.)While the Bible declares Them to be co-equal and co-eternal, it also declares that by sovereign decisions freely made by each of Them in eternity past, They accepted different job descriptions in a plan that affects both angels and mankind.Divine revelation indicates that God the Father is the Author of the plan (1 Corinthians 8:6a).God the Son is the Executor of the plan (1 Corinthians 8:6b), and God the Holy Spirit is the Revealer and Restorer (John 14:26; Titus 3:5; Genesis 1:2) to the plan.It is of value for us to remember these job descriptions and the Persons of the Godhead to whom they have been assigned by God the Father’s divine decree in eternity past.

Why Did God the Father Determine to Create in the First Place?

God the Father determined to create for the purpose of glorifying Himself.The Presbyterian shorter catechism expresses this well:"The decrees of God are His eternal purpose according to the counsels of His own will whereby for His own glory He has foreordained whatever comes to pass."

Note the following regarding the catechism:

“God” refers to God the Father as the Author of the plan.

“His eternal purpose” refers to the eternal purpose of God the Father, not any of man’s contrived purposes.

The eternal purpose is “according to the counsels of His own will” which means that God the Father did not confer with the Son or the Holy Spirit or with you or me regarding the nature of what the plan would be.Yes, He conferred with Them regarding Their cooperation and participation, but not in the development of the content of the plan.He counseled only with Himself.

“Whatever comes to pass” is for the glory of God the Father as the Author of the plan.“Whatever” includes not just the good decisions of angels and mankind, but their bad decisions, causes and effects, also.Perhaps this would be a good place to inject a more complete definition for “divine decree”:

“The decree of God is His eternal (always existed), holy (perfect integrity), wise (the application of omniscience to creation), and sovereign purpose, comprehending simultaneously all things that ever were or will be in their causes, conditions (status), successions (interaction with others that leads to certain decisions), relations, and determining their certain futurition.”

Note that the decrees are designed to glorify God the Father, not the Son, not the Holy Spirit, and certainly not mankind.

God the Father will “glorify” Himself through the manifestation of the unity of His attributes.”This means that if God the Father violates any of His attributes in any manner as He relates His attributes to the decisions of angels or mankind, He is no longer God, and Satan as a created being will emerge victorious in the angelic conflict.

“He” who has foreordained is a reference to God the Father as the Author of the plan.

“foreordained” means that God the Father has determined the entire plan ahead of time, namely, in eternity past, and by taking into consideration the decisions of angels and mankind foreseen by His omniscience, was able to include those decisions, both good and bad, in His predetermined plan.

The decrees of God in no way violate the free-will of man, contrary to the opinion of the Calvinism and Arminianism.

The Order of Creation

God the Father decreed all of creation – and in a particular order – first angels, then the universe, and then man.All of creation did not take place simultaneously.The three Persons of the Godhead were, are, and will be.Angels were created while the Godhead was being, and the angelic time clock began to run.God the Father later ordered the universe to be created.The universe time clock now began to tick.God the Father later ordered the creation of man, and now mankind’s time clock began to tick.The universe may be billions of years old, but man is a late-comer on the scene and perhaps only a few thousand years old.

The First Fall

Jesus Christ as the Executor of the plan created angels first.For an unspecified period of time after the creation of angels, angelic creation functioned with positive volition toward the plan of God for their lives.However, after an unspecified period of time in angelic history, Lucifer Son of the Morning, later known as Satan, sinned against God (Isaiah 1413-14), and one-third of angelic creation followed after Satan.A message of salvation was provided for an unspecified period of time for the fallen angels (Hebrews 2:2), after which God the Father withdrew the offer.It is not clear whether any of the angels accepted the message of salvation; however, every fallen angel that rejected the offer was immediately condemned to the lake of fire (Matthew 25:41).

Angelic Condemnation

The negative volition (-V) manifested by fallen angels offended the absolute righteousness (+R) of God the Father whose plan they had violated.When the righteousness of God is offended, the Justice of God swings into action.Justice can either bless or curse.It blesses positive volition (V+) and curses negative volition (V+).Satan’s negative volition caused the Justice of God to condemn him and every angel who followed after him.The condemnation – banishment into the lake of fire, tantamount to eternal separation from the God who authored creation.Remember, the Father’s agaph love permits negative decisions (-V), but not without consequences.The consequence of angelic negative volition is banishment to the lake of fire after the Great White Throne judgment (Revelation 20:11).

Satan Appeals His Condemnation

Satan will be cast into the lake of fire at the end of human history.The lapse of time between Satan’s sentence in eternity past and his ultimate banishment from the presence of God begs-the-question:“Lord, why this expanse of time between Satan’s sentence and ultimate banishment into the lake of fire?”The answer to this question is not directly stated in Scripture, but is inductively concluded from knowledge of pertinent biblical facts related to the subject.Satan appealed his case.He appealed his condemnation, and his appeal focused on the love of God – “How can a loving God possibly send one of his creatures to the lake of fire?”God answered that question.

God Answers Satan’s Appeal

I phrase God’s answer in this manner:“Stick around a minute and I’ll show you” -- and God the Father decreed the creation of man -- and the human history time clock began to tick.Man was created for the purpose of resolving the spiritual battle between God the Father and Satan.

What Then Is Human History All About?

Human history is the appeal phase of Satan’s trial.The trial began in eternity past the moment God’s Justice swung into action after His absolute righteousness (+R) was offended by Satan’s sinful activity.Human history is an extension of that trial that began in eternity past.The human history phase is the “appeal phase” during which time God the Father will receive a satisfactory answer to every objection that Satan raised regarding his condemnation to the lake of fire.Mankind was created for the purpose of providing evidence regarding God the Father’s justification in sending fallen angelic creation to the lake of fire.Please do not argue that God the Father needs no justification.Such an argument either overlooks or ignores the “fairness” of God the Father, the same fairness that has permitted each of us to live life long enough to get saved.

Hhhhmmmm????We relish the fairness of God toward ourselves, while overlooking or ignoring His prerogative to manifest the same fairness toward fallen angelic beings over the entire timeline of human history.

I know.You and I could have solved this matter a whole lot quicker, couldn’t we? It certainly wouldn’t have taken us the entire expanse of human history, and we would have saved ourselves a whole lot of human suffering, wouldn’t we?

Freedom the Environment of Human History

Freedom is one of the four divine institutions:1) freedom, 2) marriage, 3) family, and 4) nationalism.These four divine institutions were decreed by God the Father to perpetuate human history for the purpose of resolving the spiritual battle between Himself and Satan.

God the Father decreed freedom as the environment within which mankind would operate.The manifestation of freedom is volition with both poles, positive (V+) and negative (-V), intact.It must be understood that in order for freedom to remain freedom, freedom must permit “license” and license connotes the possible abuse of freedom.

So fundamental is freedom to the function of the human race in the resolution of the angelic conflict, that if every divinely revealed command of God were removed as an obligation for man to follow, morality and immorality would still exist as possibilities.Morality would be defined as the function of one person’s freedom in pursuit of his own internalized goal without disturbing the freedom of another person to do the same.Immorality would be defined as the function of one person’s freedom in pursuit of his own internalized goal the function of which would disturb the freedom of another person to do the same.

Freedom is more fundamental to the human race than is Christianity.With freedom intact, Christianity can exist, but when Christianity is practiced as a religion, freedoms are destroyed.Christianity is not a religion.It is a personal relationship with Jesus Christ that begins with faith-alone in Christ-alone and has as its goal becoming like Christ in His humanity – a very reachable goal.

Man’s Part in the Appeal Phase of Satan’s Trial

The wisdom of God was at work when He decreed man to be created lower than the angels (Hebrews 2:7).Why wisdom?If man, created lower than the angels, would manifest obedience to the plan of God for his life, the implication is that the higher creature, namely, Satan as an angel, could have been, but wasn’t, and God is vindicated in completing Satan’s sentence and sending him to the lake of fire with all of the angels who followed after him.Every choice that man makes that is consistent with the Father’s plan is part of the favorable resolution of the angelic conflict.Every choice that man makes that is inconsistent with the Father’s plan simply delays or prolongs the outcome in God the Father’s favor.The reason we know that God is the victor in the battle is because we have read the last chapter of the Bible.

Dispensational History

Human history is divided into four dispensations, each dispensational period having its own unique set of rules for which the human race during that period were, are, or will be responsible to obey.The four dispensations and their set of rules:the Age of the Gentiles/Inherent Law; the Age of Israel/Mosaic law; the Church Age/the Protocol Plan of God; the Age of Christ (the millennium)/Kingdom Law.

The Apostle Paul makes it very clear that the Word of God must be “rightly divided,” and this means that when interpreting the Bible, the rules for living must be applied by the people of the respective dispensation to which those rules apply.We as Christians are subject to the rules decreed only for the Church Age.Be sure to distinguish rules from principles, promises, doctrines, and techniques.The latter four may be found anywhere in the Bible; yet, while not limited to the Pauline Epistles, the larger portion of the rules for Christian living are given to us by the Apostle Paul.

Human History:What Is It?

“Generally speaking, human history is no less than the circumstances of life that manifest the tangled web of “old-man” thinking that results in “old-man” function with an occasional “new-man” thinking thrown in from the source of the “new-man.”

--Dr. Jim

Agape Love in the Church Age Described

Agape love manifests itself in the following manners:1 Corinthians 13:4-7 (NLT)

Love is patient and kind.

Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude.

Love does not demand its own way.

Love is not irritable.

Love keeps no record of when it has been wronged.

Love is never glad about injustice.

Love rejoices whenever the truth wins out.

Love never gives up.

Love never loses faith.

Love is always hopeful.

Love endures through every circumstance.

Freedom Is the Environment in Which Agape Love Is to Manifest Itself

Freedom is useless unless there are creatures that can experience this freedom.Angels and mankind represent creatures for whom freedom is available.Freedom is related to choice.

Freedom and Divine Commands

Freedom is the environment in which obedience to divine commands are to be carried out.If freedom did not exist for obedience to be manifested, every decision would fall into one of two categories:

forced obedience

forced disobedience

If God required obedience from angels and mankind, the following would be true if God provided volition with only one pole:

positive pole removed:obedience would be impossible

negative pole removed:disobedience would be impossible

Satan’s Response to God If Man Had Been Created to Resolve the Angelic Conflict with Only One Pole on His Volition

Man with only a negative pole:Satan says to God, “You are being unfair.You have created man with only a negative pole, and that resolves nothing in the angelic conflict.It is impossible for man to be obedient, therefore, his disobedience and my disobedience are only a guarantee that we all will be banished to the lake of fire.

Man with only a positive pole:Satan says to God, “You are being unfair.We’ll never know if man would have been disobedient.You are forcing man’s obedience, and then you’ll send me to the lake of fire because man was obedient and I wasn’t.”

Summary Conclusion

Agape (agaph) love is the mental attitude of respect for another person’s freedom.It can be produced by the following persons:

unbeliever

believer

baby Christian

adolescent Christian

mature Christian

carnal believer

spiritual believer

Here it is one more time:Agape (agaph) love is the respect for another person’s freedom to pursue his/her own internalized goals without regard to whether those goals are consistent with ours or Gods.Yes, even unbelievers can do this.In fact, unbelievers generally apply agape (agaph) love to a greater extent than do most fundamentalist Christians because the latter are generally tied to legalistic control.

If an unbeliever can manifest agape (agaph) love, then why does the Apostle Paul tell us that agape love is a fruit of the Spirit in Galatians 5:22-23?The answer is quite simple.Only in the Church Age is agape (agaph) love a fruit of the Spirit.In the Age of the Gentiles, it was produced in the energy of the flesh, therefore, fleshly motivated.In the Age of Israel, it was produced in the energy of the flesh, therefore, fleshly motivated.However, since we as Christians live in the Church Age, and are to “walk by means of the Spirit,” even OUR agape (agaph) love must be a product of the Spirit, hence, a fruit of the Spirit.

Is it possible to define agape (agaph) love in four words or less?The answer is “yes.”LIVE AND LET LIVE!!


© Copyright 2020 drjim. All rights reserved.

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