This love is a thought and the expression of that thought. It is the embodiment of soul function and concentration toward someone, so as to single them out from the masses. That exclusion is called intimacy. Intimacy expresses the concentration of love, as you are focused on one individual and one only. This means capacity to love is related to capacity to concentrate, as you are focused on one individual.
All love is meaningless and disappointing unless you have personal love for God first. This love for God makes other loves real. Stimulation of emotion is not loving God, nor is it loving someone else. To have personal love for God, you must concentration on His Word and get it into your soul. Rom 5:5 says the love for God is poured out in us through doctrine in the soul.
Rom 5:5, “And hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.”
Therefore, love in itself, and the capacity for that love, is Bible doctrine in the soul, so that perpetuation of love is the perpetuation of your intimate relationship with God.
Therefore, in order to have AGAPAO love for your right woman or right man; you must first have concentration on God and His Word, and love Him personally. When you do, you will know and have the love of Christ in your soul, and therefore be able to express that love towards your right woman or right man in impersonal and unconditional (AGAPE) love. Therefore, for husbands to love their wives as Christ loves the Church, husbands must have the love of God resident within their soul, through maximum intake and application of Bible Doctrine, so that they can express God’s love towards their wives, as they should.
To have Category # 2 Love, we must have impersonal / unconditional love, which emphasizes the virtue, honor, and integrity of the subject. Gal 5:14, “For the entire Law is fulfilled in one doctrine, `You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’” This mandate is found first in Lev 19:18, and quoted in Mat 19:19; 22:39; Mark 12:31; Rom 13:9.
Impersonal love is defined as that Problem-Solving Device of the plan of God for the Church, which produces unconditional love toward all mankind. Being impersonal, this category of love places emphasis on your honor, your integrity, and your virtue, (not morality), of the subject, rather than the attractiveness of the object.
Impersonal love and virtue can only be produced by perception, metabolization, and application of Bible doctrine. Impersonal love is the ultimate expression of maximum metabolized Bible doctrine circulating by means of the Holy Spirit in the stream of consciousness of the heart.
Impersonal love is a virtue which cannot be duplicated in any phase of personal love among human beings. “Impersonal” is an adjective which means without personal reference or connection, not primarily affecting or involving the emotions of a person. Although personal and emotional love is a part of the marriage, it cannot be sustained by them alone. Cat. 2 Love must have Impersonal Love to be successful.
Without impersonal love, you will never have any good human relationships, never mind a great marriage. You will change friends, partners in romance, and spouses in marriage simply because you have no basis for perpetuating any of those relationships apart from virtue. In fact, even morality will not hold together human relationships. Morality does not solve the problems of human relationship. Only virtue can solve the problems of human relationship.
The noun “impersonality” is the quality or state of not involving personal feelings or emotions in relationship to an object. Emotion is designed to appreciate the relationship, but it is never designed to establish a relationship.
To have impersonal love you must have objectivity and grace orientation, the expression of virtue in human interaction, and humility in spiritual self-esteem. As you advance to spiritual adulthood, this love and virtue are expressed more and more from your soul.
The status of impersonal love is the status of true humility. Arrogant people are constantly seeking unconditional love from others, especially their spouse, but all they offer in return is conditional love. The greater your arrogance, the more conditions you put on someone else’s love. Most men do this to the woman they love.
Prov 8:13, “The fear of the LORD is to hate evil; Pride and arrogance and the evil way…”
Prov 18:12, “Before destruction the heart of man is haughty, but humility goes before honor.”
Eph 4:1-4, “…Walk in a manner worthy of the calling with which you have been called, 2with all humility and gentleness, with patience, showing forbearance to one another in love, 3being diligent to preserve the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.”
Personal love in marriage and all relationships minus the virtue of impersonal love is the weakest and most unstable status quo in life. It is vulnerable to the entire realm of both the arrogant complex of sins and the emotional complex of sins.
Personal love emphasizes the attractiveness of the object. Impersonal love emphasizes the virtue of the subject. Personal love is optional in the Christian life; it is not commanded. Impersonal love is the imperative of the Christian life, the Divine mandate for the function of the plan of God, even inside of marriage. Personal love is optional; impersonal love is imperative.
Personal love emphasizes rapport with an object; impersonal love emphasizes the virtue of the subject. Impersonal love emphasizes the virtue, the integrity, and the spiritual adulthood of the subject. Personal love emphasizes the attractiveness, the desirability of the object.
Personal love is conditional; impersonal love is unconditional. Impersonal love as unconditional love means that no merit is assigned to the object. No characteristic of the object, whether attractiveness, rapport, or worthiness, is the motivation for impersonal love.
Personal love is virtue dependent for its effectiveness; impersonal love is doctrinally dependent for its effectiveness. Impersonal love is sustained by Bible doctrine. Personal love is sustained by rapport and mutual admiration.
Personal love is subjective and possessive; impersonal love is objective and grace oriented.
As we have noted, impersonal love is motivated by personal love for God and Occupation with Jesus Christ; therefore, it is non-discriminating. This means that the husband treats his wife impersonally with fairness, equity, justice, conformity with the rules and standards of God’s Word, and without prejudice.
On the other hand, personal love is motivated by attractiveness; therefore, the husband can fall into prejudice and be discriminating, which means he will look for and make issues of her flaws and failures, real or perceived, or even if she is operating in a good and righteous way, he will find things to complain about, because he is in a “bad mood.”
Yet, with Bible doctrine in the soul, his love will have stability and not ride on the ebbs and flow of his feelings or emotions. Remember love is a thought, not an emotion.
Personal love for God means you now have the ability to love your right man or right woman. Your thoughts isolate on God, your right man, or right woman, and not on yourself, your feelings, or emotions.
Therefore, impersonal (AGAPE) love is devotion after thought, maximum self-esteem, and loyalty to the object of your love. Attraction is merely a preliminary to love, and never a sustainer of love.
Passion is another concept regarding right man, right woman relationships. It is a combination of the function of certain glands, plus the function of the emotional pattern of the soul. Passion can accompany both true and pseudo love, and therefore proves nothing in regard to whether you truly love someone or not. You should never use passion as the basis for your decision making inside of relationships, and passion can never sustain your relationships.
By falling in love, you have created a problem for yourself. One of the biggest problems in life is to fall in love, because the object of your love is not perfect, (and neither are you).
Sooner or later, that object will be a source of people testing, whether irritation or antagonism. People testing comes from falling in love. When it does, you must have the pertinent Bible doctrine in your soul to overcome the testing, so that you do not function from feelings, emotions, or passion. You must operate with thought based on God’s Word resident within your soul to overcome any testing, including people testing, especially inside your marriage.
Without understanding the pertinent doctrines, you will idealize the object of your love, creating a monster out of them. And since no one is perfect, personal love does not have a chance, if there is any idealization of the object. No one is perfect. People we love disappoint us, frustrate us, turn against us, because we are not perfect; or they hurt us in some way, causing suffering.
Hypersensitivity versus Sensitivity.
Hypersensitivity is a problem in relationship to yourself when interacting with other people, especially your right man or right woman. Every person in a relationship has an area of vulnerability. If you are sensitive about what other people think about you, then you will become hypersensitive in arrogance when they say one bad thing about you, or do not complement you as you desire to be complimented. As a result, you lose any virtue you might have had in your life, and become hypersensitive. In slang terms we say, “you have become thin skinned.” This means that you have become hypersensitive, as you are occupied with self, and are reactionary about everything that people say about you and do towards you, rather than being “thick skinned,” with occupation with Jesus Christ. This leads to being reactionary to all situations of life, especially inside the marriage. It leads to having self-pity, being quick tempered, vengeance, vilification, etc.
Hypersensitivity can lead to the problem of having unrealistic expectations in your relationships. Very few people are loved the way they want to be loved, or treated the way they want to be treated. Because of this, people develop a subjective arrogance that leads to having eyes on self, eyes on people, and eyes on things. In other words, you are looking for love in all the wrong places. You are creating unrealistic expectations for how you ought to be loved by others. Then, when you are not loved the way you think, you should be loved, you become reactionary and enter into mental, verbal, and/or overt sins. When you react to others who do not love you the way you want to be loved, it is impossible for any virtue to exist in your life.
In addition, you will be insensitive to the situations, thoughts, and feelings of others, especially of your spouse. Then you become thoughtless, rude, indifferent, and cruel with all the mental attitude sins that can lead to verbal and overt sins.
When you are hypersensitive and your area of vulnerability is touched, you lose your self-esteem, self-confidence, and poise, and become a reactionary to the persons and/or environment which produced it. Reaction in hypersensitivity results in loss of virtue. You no longer love God, have personal or impersonal love for your right man or right woman, nor have impersonal love towards man, nor spiritual self-esteem.
On the other hand, impersonal love is characterized by true sensitivity, the expression of thoughtfulness, courtesy, good manners toward others, and willingness to accommodate yourself toward your wife, husband, an individual, or group of individuals whether in business, social, or spiritual life.
Sensitivity is the function of thinking in the adult believer in spiritual self-esteem, spiritual autonomy, and spiritual maturity. The basis for sensitivity is genuine humility, adding the superstructure of impersonal love, which reaches its peak in spiritual autonomy. Sensitivity is the dynamic expression of genuine humility by the spiritual adult believer. Therefore, sensitivity as the expression of impersonal love is a Problem-Solving Device in people, thought, and system testing.
Hypersensitivity can also lead to the problems of iconoclastic or role model arrogance.
This is an excessive admiration or personal love where you create an idol out of a person. This is followed by the idol showing their feet of clay, (doing something wrong). When the idol does something wrong, (real or imagined), there is a reaction by the one who created the idol. They become disillusioned or disenchanted.
When disillusionment or disenchantment sets in during iconoclastic arrogance, you seek to destroy the person you have set up as a role model or icon in your life. You created the idol, now you do not like the idol, so you seek to destroy the idol.
Impersonal love is the basic solution to the problem of marriage. Marriages fail because people are no better in marriage than they are as people. Marriages fail because:
- People are failures as human beings.
- People get married for the wrong reasons; therefore, they make wrong decisions concerning the spouse.
- People think marriage is the solution to all problems in life. If anything, marriage is a problem manufacturing device.
Marriage is not designed for happiness; it is designed for virtue that leads to happiness. Virtue is designed for happiness. Therefore, happiness in marriage demands virtue-love. You cannot change your marital problems by changing your spouse to conform to your personal standards or your unrealistic expectation. Therefore, marriage is more than finding the right person; it is being the right person. Without the virtue of impersonal love, personal love in the marriage is vulnerable and weak. It is influenced by too many factors which hinder its perpetuation. For example:
- Your involvement in personality conflict.
- Moral or immoral degeneracy.
- Lack of concentration on an object.
- Lack of reciprocation.
- Lack of mental, physical, or spiritual rapport.
- Loss of attractiveness on which a relationship was originally based. People change in their looks over time, and if personal love was based on attraction, it will not last.
So, personal love in friendship, romance, or marriage cannot be sustained or perpetuated without the Problem-Solving Device of impersonal love. All human and personal love relationships depend on virtue for their success, as well as their perpetuation; i.e., personal love for God the Father as a motivational virtue, impersonal love for all mankind as a functional virtue, and occupation with Christ as the priority virtue.
Personal love minus impersonal love is weak and vulnerable to being destroyed by arrogance, jealousy, pettiness, vindictiveness, implacability, and/or hypersensitivity as arrogant subjectivity, anger, hatred, bitterness, fickleness, etc.
Yet, with impersonal and unconditional AGAPE love, your personal relationships, especially your marriage, will be impenetrable, lasting, enduring, longsuffering, meaningful, and rewarding. As Andre Maurois, a French Writer, (July 26, 1885 – October 9, 1967), once said, “A happy marriage is always a long conversation that seems to be too short.” And, “A successful marriage is an edifice that must be rebuilt every day.”
Vs. 26-27, Christ’s Care for His Church as the Example for Husbands’ Care for Their Wives.
These two verses give reason and results for Christ’s love and sacrifice on behalf of His bride, the Church, as noted in vs. 25b, “As Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her.”
His love was also AGAPE love, which is that impersonal and unconditional love expressed towards the Church because of the love that was inside of Him. Because of His love, He voluntarily gave Himself over so that He could go to the Cross and pay the penalty for our sins, as noted in the Greek Verb PARADIDOMI in the Aorist, Active, Indicative that means, “handed over, delivered up, to give up, give over, etc.” Jesus handed over and delivered Himself up to be scorned, scourged, tortured, and ultimately crucified so that He could pay for our sins, Gal 2:20; Eph 5:2.
Gal 2:20, “… I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me, and delivered Himself up for me.”
Eph 5:2, “And walk in love, just as Christ also loved you, and gave Himself up for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God as a fragrant aroma.”
The Constative Aorist tense contemplates the past action of the verb in its entirety, namely: reconciliation, redemption, propitiation, etc., everything that was accomplished on the Cross.
The Active voice and Indicative mood tells us that it is a fact of reality that Jesus voluntarily gave Himself over on our behalf; for our benefit.
Christ instinctively from His own free will delivered Himself over, the highest possible sacrifice, the efficacious sacrifice; whereby, we have eternal life. The principle here is sacrifice. When you love someone more than you love yourself, then you are willing to sacrifice, and that is a mental attitude of AGAPE love. Christ loved His Church enough to die for her.
Now in our verses, we see the benefits of Christ’s sacrifice on our behalf, which too gives analogy for what the husband is to accomplish on behalf of his wife.
Eph 5:26-27, “So that He might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, 27that He might present to Himself the church in all her glory, having no spot or wrinkle or any such thing; but that she would be holy and blameless.”
Here we have six benefits for the Church, (the Bride of Christ), that Jesus Christ accomplished upon the Cross. Interestingly, the number six is the number of man in Scripture.
The six benefits include:
- Cleansing, (purification).
- No spot or wrinkle, (sinless).
- Blameless, (justification, innocent).
Within this list, we have three Subjunctive mood verbs for, “Sanctify,” “Present” glorified, and “Be” holy. The Subjunctive is for potential and probability, noting that a decision or choice must be made. It represents our volitional responsibility to receive Christ’s accomplishments on our behalf for salvation. When we receive what Christ has done for us, that is the moment of our salvation, and at that time we receive sanctification and are sanctified, glorified, and holy.
Also note in this list of six blessings, the various pairings.
- When we are sanctified, we are also “cleansed,” which is a verb in the Aorist, Active, Participle, Nominative that speaks of the past action that placed us into our current position. When we are sanctified, we are also purified.
- When we are presented, we will be “glorified and without spot or wrinkle.” All three are in the Accusative case for an indirect object that speaks to what we are made at the moment of our salvation. When we are glorified, we are also positionally sinless before God.
- When we are saved, we will be, “holy and blameless.” Both are in the Nominative case, which also speaks to our new position in Christ. When we are holy, we are also justified, innocent from the penalty of sin.
Therefore, when we receive Jesus Christ as our Savior, we positionally receive six things that cannot be taken away: Sanctification, Purification, Glorification, Sinlessness, Holiness, and Justification.
All six blessings speak to our Position in Jesus Christ, as we are placed in union with Christ, from the moment of our conversion / salvation. These are part of the 40 things we receive at the moment of salvation.
Finally, in our introduction, note that the list begins with our Positional Sanctification. This is the basis for all that follows in this list that culminates in being justified before God forever. We will discuss each separately below.
“Sanctify” is the Greek verb HAGIAZO that means, “to make holy, to sanctify, to consecrate, dedicate, purify, or to set apart.” It is in the Aorist, Active, Subjunctive. It signifies an act; whereby, people are consecrated or set aside for the exclusive use of God. They are not to be used for profane purposes, but are a special possession of God. For believers, it means to be separated from sin and unto God.
Our sanctification is accomplished by faith, Acts 15:9, “And He made no distinction between us and them, cleansing their hearts by faith.”
2 Thes 2:13, “But we should always give thanks to God for you, brethren beloved by the Lord, because God has chosen you from the beginning for salvation through sanctification by the Spirit and faith in the truth.”
Acts 26:18, “To open their eyes so that they may turn from darkness to light and from the dominion of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and an inheritance among those who have been sanctified by faith in Me.”
And by the Holy Spirit, Rom 15:16, “To be a minister of Christ Jesus to the Gentiles, ministering as a priest the gospel of God, that my offering of the Gentiles might become acceptable, sanctified by the Holy Spirit.”
And by God, 1 Thes 5:23, “Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you entirely; and may your spirit and soul and body be preserved complete, without blame at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
And through the offering of the body and blood of Jesus Christ, Heb 10:10; 13:12.
Heb 10:10, 14, “By this will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all. 14For by one offering He has perfected for all time those who are sanctified.”
Heb 13:12, “Therefore Jesus also, that He might sanctify the people through His own blood, suffered outside the gate.”
Remember that there are three types of Sanctification in Scripture. This verse speaks to the First Category of Sanctification, which is called, “Positional Sanctification,” which means our standing before God. Even though we sin after our salvation, we have been given the position, and therefore stand before God sanctified, as well as the other five blessings we have in our list. In other words, God looks upon you as justified, purified, holy, blameless, and sinless, giving you the position of being a member of the Royal Family of God forever. Positional Sanctification refers to salvation at which point the baptism of the Spirit enters every believer into union with the person of Jesus Christ. As such, we share the eternal life, righteousness, sonship, heirship, royalty, election, and destiny of Christ, as well as many more things. It is the status quo of every Church Age believer at the moment of salvation through faith in Christ.
The Second Category of Sanctification is called “Experiential Sanctification,” and has to do with your daily walk. This means that we are walking without sin in our lives and being filled by the Holy Spirit, Eph 5:18. Even though positionally we are sanctified before God from the moment of our salivation, we are able to sin after our salvation. When the believer sins post salvation, they are no longer walking “experientially sanctified,” even though they are still positionally sanctified. Because of the sin they have committed, they lose their experiential sanctification. When that occurs, the grace of God is available to them by utilizing 1 John 1:9, confessing their sins and receiving experiential forgiveness and cleansing of those sins. In addition, as we have proved when studying Eph 5:18, they are filled with the Holy Spirit once again, which filling is also lost when the believer sins post salvation, even though they do not lose His indwelling, (see study of Eph 5:18).
Experiential Sanctification protects us from the schemes of the devil, John 17:15-17. This protection is the result of being filled with the Holy Spirit, 1 John 1:9 with Eph 5:18, and having the Word of God resident within your soul and applied in faith.
John 17:15-17, “I do not ask You to take them out of the world, but to keep them from the evil one. 16They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. 17Sanctify them in the truth; Your word is truth.”
The Third Category of Sanctification, “Ultimate Sanctification.” This is the sanctification we live in, in the eternal state. When we die and go to heaven and ultimately receive our resurrection bodies, we are removed from sin positionally and experientially, forever and ever. This is the sanctification of our eternal state, based on the Positional Sanctification we received at the moment of our salvation. Ultimate Sanctification protects us for all of eternity from having anything to do whatsoever with sin or evil and their results, 1 Cor 15:54-57; Rev 21:4, 27; 22:3.
L.S. Chafer defines “sanctify” with its various forms, (i.e., holy and saint) as such. “This word, which is used 106 times in the Old Testament and 31 times in the New, means ‘to set apart,’ and then the state of being set apart. It indicates classification in matters of position and relationship. The basis of the classification is usually that the sanctified person (or thing) has been set apart, or separated, from others in his position and relationship before God, that is, from that which proves unholy.” (Systematic Theology, Volume 7.)
1 Cor 1:2, “To the church of God which is at Corinth, to those who have been sanctified in Christ Jesus, saints by calling, with all who in every place call on the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, their Lord and ours.”
1 Thes 5:23, incorporates all three Sanctifications as protection provided for us by God.
1 Thes 5:23-24, “Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you in every part, (i.e., Positionally, Experientially, and Ultimately); and may your spirit and soul and body be preserved complete, without blame at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. 24Faithful is He who calls you, and He also will bring it to pass.”
Therefore, because of our Sanctification made possible by our Lord Jesus Christ and His Work upon the Cross, death is not a hopeless thought of loss or the end of things; actually, it is a new beginning.
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If you would like more information on this subject, you may watch/listen to lesson:
#’s 17-070 through 17-072
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A PERSONAL NOTE FOR YOU
If you have never accepted Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, I am here to tell you that Jesus loves you. He loves you so much that He gave His life for you. God the Father also loves you. He loves you so much that He gave His only Son for you by sending Him to the Cross. At the Cross Jesus died in your place. Taking upon Himself all of your sins and all of my sins. He was judged for our sins and paid the price for our sins. Therefore, our sins will never be held against us. Right where you are, you now have the opportunity to make the greatest decision in your life.
To accept the free gift of salvation and eternal life by truly believing that Jesus Christ died for your sins and was raised on the third day as the proof of the promise of eternal life. So right now, you can pause and reflect on what Christ has done for you and say to the Father:
“Yes Father, I believe that Your Son, Jesus Christ, died on the cross for the forgiveness of my sins.”
If you have done that, I welcome you to the eternal Family of God!