Vol. 17, No. 35 – September 2, 2018
In Eph 6:23 we have, “… and love with faith.”
In addition to AGAPE Love, Paul utilizes the actionable Verb for “love,” AGAPAO, 10 times, in 7 passages, with 5 different contexts in this letter, Eph 1:6; 2:4; 5:2, 25, 28, 33; 6:24. Therefore, we see Motivational Virtue AGAPE Love in action in these passages. With 10 being the number for perfect order, 7 the number of spiritual perfection, and 5 the number for grace, we see love is the perfect order for the believer to live in spiritual perfection under the grace plan of God; to express the grace of God to others.
1.) Eph 1:6, “To the praise of the glory of His grace, which He freely bestowed on us in the Beloved.”
The first use is in Eph 1:6, in the Perfect, Passive, Participle in the Dative Case that is in fact a title for Jesus Christ; “The one having been loved.” It emphasizes God’s actionable love for the human race by providing His salvation grace to the world through the person and work of the Lord Jesus Christ, who God the Father truly loves.
The action item of God’s love is seen in His son who He sent to provide the world with salvation that is applicable to those who believe in Jesus Christ. It emphasizes that fact that Jesus died for our sins, and the effect of His love and grace shown to those who believe, who are now in the “sphere of the beloved.” Therefore, it emphasizes our union with Jesus Christ, being “in the sphere of the Beloved.”
It is translated “Beloved,” which in other passages, (Eph 5:12 and 6:21), utilizes the Adjective AGAPETOS, as we will see below.
2.) Eph 2:4, “But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us.”
The second use is in Eph 2:4, which we noted above as it also uses the Noun AGAPE for God’s “great” motivational virtue love. Here, God’s motivational virtue AGAPE love led Him to express mercy towards us sinners because He loved us. As such, God expressed His actionable AGAPAO love towards us in the form of mercy, which overcame our sins and gave us life in Christ, raising us to eternal glory, and seating us with Christ at the right hand of God in heaven, which also “demonstrates His surpassing grace in kindness towards us,” vs. 7. The action item of God’s love is His mercy applied to the sinner who accepts Jesus Christ as their Savior.
This is our example of MVA Love in that we should help others to overcome their sins and raise them up, predominately but not exclusively by witnessing to others the gospel of Jesus Christ.
3.) 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.”
We noted Eph 5:2 above, as this verse has both the Noun AGAPE and Verb AGAPAO in it. Here we are noting the actionable verb AGAPAO, which is Christ’s demonstration of His motivational virtue love. The demonstration of His MVA Love was the giving of Himself to God the Father as an offering and sacrifice for our sins. His sacrifice was pleasing to God, as noted in the phrase, “fragrant aroma.” In other words, it propitiated God the Father as a satisfactory sacrifice for the payment of our sins that pleased Him, cf. Rom 3:25; Heb 2:17; 1 John 2:2; 4:10.
Rom 3:25, “Whom God displayed publicly as a propitiation in His blood through faith. This was to demonstrate His righteousness, because in the forbearance of God He passed over the sins previously committed.”
1 John 2:2, “And He Himself is the propitiation for our sins; and not for ours only, but also for those of the whole world.”
1 John 4:10, “In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins.”
Jesus Christ demonstrated His MVA Love by laying down His life on our behalf, John 15:13. As such, His MVA Love is the great example of how we should be expressing our MVA Love. This MVA Love is demonstrated in our lives by offering and sacrificing our lives on behalf of others. In other words, instead of living for ourselves inside of Satan’s cosmic system, we live for Christ, serving and sacrificing on behalf of others as God leads you to do so, as you ultimately serve God. This is our “walk in MVA love,” which is a pleasing aroma to God, cf. Phil 4:18; 2 Cor 2:14. In those two examples, we see that our MVA love is demonstrated in our giving and the application of Bible Doctrine in our lives, i.e., “the manifestation of the knowledge of Him.” The expiatory character of Christ’s death included the giving of Himself in our place as a sacrifice. With so great an example on our behalf, should we not give of ourselves in any capacity on behalf of others?
4.) The fourth through ninth usage of AGAPAO takes what we just noted in Eph 5:2, and narrows it down to one application of MVA Love regarding the husband’s responsibility to actionably love his wife, just as Jesus Christ demonstrated actionably His love for the Church by going to the Cross. AGAPAO is used twice in Eph 5:25; 3 times in vs. 28; and once in vs. 33.
Eph 5:25, “Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her.”
Eph 5:28, “So husbands ought also to love their own wives as their own bodies. He who loves his own wife loves himself.”
Eph 5:33, “Nevertheless, each individual among you also is to love his own wife even as himself, and the wife must see to it that she respects her husband.”
Therefore, we see the significant role and responsibility husbands have to apply Motivational Virtue AGAPE Love towards their wives. The love of Christ for the Church demonstrated what the husband’s attitude toward his wife should be. Christ loved His church enough to die for it, John 10:15, 17; 15:13. Likewise, the husband should lay down his life for the benefit of His wife. This is further explained in vs. 26-27, and in vs. 28, it relates back to the greatest commandment “to love others, (in this case the wife), as you love yourself,” or even “as Christ has loved you,” John 13:34-35; 15:12, 17; Rom 13:8-10.
5.) Eph 6:24, “Grace be with all those who love our Lord Jesus Christ with a love incorruptible.”
The tenth and final usage is in closing the book of Ephesians, Eph 6:24. Here, it speaks of the actionable love believers should have for the Lord Jesus Christ, demonstrated by being unwavering in their faith and following of Jesus Christ. We will note the interesting word “incorruptible,” the Greek noun APHTHARSIA ἀφθαρσία when we study vs. 24 in detail below, but for now I want to tell you that the context of this word in its other usages in the NT stand for immortality. In other words, an everlasting love. And that is what we see here. We are to love our Lord Jesus Christ with an ever-present and ever-continuing Motivational Virtue Love.
Therefore, as Paul closes this letter, he has a statement about our personal relationship with Christ. Paul has told us of God’s great MVA love, but now he asks us,
“Do we love Christ?”
“Do we love Him?”
“Are we Christians?”
“Have we turned from sin and placed our faith in the Lord Jesus Christ?”
“Do we love Him with an undying love that will go on into eternity?”
What a great question to end such a letter. Let us love Jesus! Soon we will see Him, and then we will put our weapons down. Then we will not regret having put all our trust in His perfect work, and we will not regret having been faithful soldiers engaged in His mission.
In all these examples, the action of AGAPAO love is motivated by the mental attitude motivational virtue of AGAPE love within the soul:
- The MVA love that Christ has for us by going to the Cross, Eph 1:6; 5:2.
- The MVA love God the Father has for us by providing for our Salvation, Eph 2:4.
- The MVA love a husband has for his wife that demonstrates Christ’s love for the Church, Eph 5:25, 28, 33.
- The MVA love we, the Church, have for Jesus Christ in response to the love He has demonstrated towards us, Eph 6:24.
Because Christ first loved us, we in response are able to love Him that is also demonstrated in our love for one another, 1 John 4:10-19.
1 John 4:10, “In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins.”
1 John 4:11, “Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.”
1 John 4:16, “We have come to know and have believed the love which God has for us. God is love, and the one who abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him.”
1 John 4:19, “We love, because He first loved us.”
Finally, the Adjective AGAPETOS is translated “beloved,” in Eph 5:12 and 6:21. AGAPETOS describes the love one has for another, thereby classifying them in your heart and words as someone who is “beloved,” (i.e., loved by you). It is first used to describe the “children of God,” which is all believers, those loved by God, and then it is used by Paul to describe his close companion and coworker, Tychicus, as the “beloved brother and faithful minster in the Lord.”
As we noted above, Paul adds to this passage, “with faith,” the Genitive case of the Preposition META and the Noun PISTIS. This tells us that peace and love, which originates “from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ,” can only be accomplished when there is faith in the life of the believer. Without faith, it is impossible to have peace or true motivational virtue love. In all his letters, Paul stressed that the faith which is alive, is the faith that is lived daily, e.g., Rom 12-15. Therefore, we see that peace and love come into your life by means of faith.
1.) Faith resulting in peace is noted in the following passages in the NT, Mark 5:34; Luke 7:50; 8:48; Rom 5:1; Gal 5:22; Eph 6:23; 1 Tim 1:2; Titus 1:4; Heb 11:31.
Rom 5:1, “Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.”
Heb 11:31, “By faith Rahab the harlot did not perish along with those who were disobedient, after she had welcomed the spies in peace.”
Mark 5:34, “And He said to her, “Daughter, your faith has made you well; go in peace and be healed of your affliction”.” Cf. Luke 8:48.
Luke 7:50, “And He said to the woman, “Your faith has saved you; go in peace“.”
1 Tim 1:2, “To Timothy, my true child in the faith: Grace, mercy and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord.”
Titus 1:4, “To Titus, my true child in a common faith: Grace and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Savior.”
2.) Faith resulting in MVA Love is noted in the following NT passages, 1 Cor 13:13; 2 Cor 8:7; Gal 5:6; Eph 1:15; 3:17; 6:23; Col 4:4; 1 Thes 1:3; 3:6; 5:8; 2 Thes 1:3; 1 Tim 1:5, 14; 2:15; 4:12; 6:10-11; 2 Tim 1:13; 2:22; 3:10; Titus 2:2; 3:15; Philemon 5; James 2:5; Rev 2:19.
1 Thes 5:8, “But since we are of the day, let us be sober, having put on the breastplate of faith and love, and as a helmet, the hope of salvation.” Cf. Eph 6:14, Breastplate = righteousness. Therefore, faith and love result in walking in righteousness.
Gal 5:6, “For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision means anything, but faith working through love.”
Eph 1:15, “For this reason I too, having heard of the faith in the Lord Jesus which exists among you and your love for all the saints.”
Eph 3:17, “So that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; and that you, being rooted and grounded in love.”
1 Thes 1:3, “Constantly bearing in mind your work of faith and labor of love and steadfastness of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ in the presence of our God and Father.”
1 Thes 3:6, “But now that Timothy has come to us from you, and has brought us good news of your faith and love, and that you always think kindly of us, longing to see us just as we also long to see you.”
2 Thes 1:3, “We ought always to give thanks to God for you, brethren, as is only fitting, because your faith is greatly enlarged, and the love of each one of you toward one another grows ever greater.”
1 Tim 1:5, “But the goal of our instruction is love from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith.”
2 Tim 1:13, “Retain the standard of sound words which you have heard from me, in the faith and love which are in Christ Jesus.”
1 Tim 1:14, “And the grace of our Lord was more than abundant, with the faith and love which are found in Christ Jesus.”
1 Tim 4:12, “Let no one look down on your youthfulness, but rather in speech, conduct, love, faith and purity, show yourself an example of those who believe.”
The misappropriation of your love is the result of your failure in faith, 1 Tim 6:10, “For the love of money is a root of all sorts of evil, and some by longing for it have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.”
Yet, the believer is to, 1 Tim 6:11, “But flee from these things, you man of God, and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, perseverance and gentleness. Cf. 2 Tim 2:22.
Titus 2:2, “Older men are to be temperate, dignified, sensible, sound in faith, in love, in perseverance.”
1 Cor 13:13, “But now faith, hope, love, abide these three; but the greatest of these is love.” The reason love is the greatest, is because it is the visible expression of the Christian way of life. The other two are the internal workings of the Christian way of life, but motivational virtue AGAPE love is both the inward and outward expression of the Christian way of life.
And in fact, faith, peace, and love are all part of the Fruit of the Spirit, i.e., Divine Good Production, Gal 5:22; Rev 2:19.
Gal 5:22, “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faithfulness.”
Rev 2:19, “I know your deeds, and your love and faith and service and perseverance, and that your deeds of late are greater than at first.”
“Faith” is the Greek noun PISTIS, πίστις that can mean, “faith, trust, trustworthiness, reliability; confidence, assurance, conviction; belief, what is believed or doctrine.” “Faith” is one of the most crucial terms in the entire Bible and PISTIS is the chief word conveying this concept. It is used in the Septuagint for the related Hebrew words, EMUNAH, “fidelity, faithfulness;” AMAN, “a faithful attitude toward another human being, God or His Word;” BATACH, “to rely on, put confidence in;” CHASAH, “to seek refuge in.”
The Verb PISTEUO, πιστεύω means, “believe, have faith in, be convinced of, trust, rely on, have confidence in.” In the NT, it always concerns believing in God and Christ; therefore, it signifies absolute confidence and trust, complete surrender, and heartfelt obedience to them and their Word.
The Adjective PISTOS, πιστός means, “trustworthy, faithful, reliable, credible, trusting, and believing.”
God is faithful towards us, Deut 7:9; 1 Cor 1:9; 2 Thes 3:3; 1 John 1:9.
Deut 7:9, “Know therefore that the LORD your God, He is God, the faithful God, who keeps His covenant and His lovingkindness to a thousandth generation with those who love Him and keep His commandments.”
1 Cor 1:9, “God is faithful, through whom you were called into fellowship with His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.”
2 Thes 3:3, “But the Lord is faithful, and He will strengthen and protect you from the evil one.”
Likewise, His Word is faithful, i.e., “faithful is the word/saying,” 1 Tim 1:15; 3:1; 4:9; 2 Tim 2:11; Titus 3:8.
In turn, we too should be faithful to Him in our service and worship daily.
Faith is not a passive resignation to life like fate; rather, it is confidence that God will fulfill His promises and will carry out His salvation plan; past, present, and future. Having faith and applying it to life: We are saved by grace through faith, we walk by faith, and we are victorious in faith, which aligns with our salvation; past, present, and future.
In fact, the title “the believers” describes both Jews and Gentiles who have expressed their faith in Jesus Christ as the Messiah, Acts 2:29-36, 44; 4:32, which is God’s plan for past salvation. “To believe or begin to believe” are equal to being or becoming a Christian, Rom 13:11; 1 Cor 3:5; 15:2.
PISTIS denotes the entire teaching about Christianity, and although pertinent in every believer’s life, it is also a unique spiritual gift given to some believers by God, 1 Cor 12:9; 13:2.
For the believer, faith implies a relationship with the living God whose Word has convinced you to respond on the basis of that relationship. Therefore, faith of the Christian is one that is persuaded that God has revealed Himself in His Word and the believer gives every aspect of his life over to God and His Word, even when confronted by attacks or challenges to the reality of the relationship.
Habakkuk 2:4, “Behold, as for the proud one, His soul is not right within him; But the righteous will live by his faith.” Cf. Rom 1:17; Gal 3:11; Heb 10:38.
Rom 1:17, “For in it, (the gospel of Jesus Christ), the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, “BUT THE RIGHTEOUS man SHALL LIVE BY FAITH”.”
We find in the NT that the believer can become:
- Strong in the Faith, Acts 16:5; Rom 4:20.
- Grounded and established in Faith, Col 1:23.
- Stand fast in Faith, 1 Cor 16:13; cf. Eph 6:16.
- Be full of faith, Acts 6:5; 11:24.
- Be on the road to deeper faith, 2 Cor 10:15; 2 Thes 1:3.
- And unfortunately, there exists the possibility of weakening in one’s faith, Rom 14:1.
We also see from Scripture, that anything we do that is not based on faith in God is actually sin in God’s eyes, Rom 14:23.
Rom 14:23, “But he who doubts is condemned if he eats, because his eating is not from faith; and whatever is not from faith is sin.”
Therefore, if we have any doubts, worries, fears, etc., due to a lack of faith, we are operating in sin.
Yet, our faith grows out of God’s call, Acts 2:39, and His Word, as it is received, Acts 2:41. It results from the fact that God opens hearts of those with positive volition, Acts 16:14-15. Paul’s writings view faith as the normative expression of the Christian.
The basis of faith is the Word of God and God’s action in history. As such, faith is directed at God Himself, both subjectively, (based on perception and feelings), as well as objectively, (not influence by feelings, but based on fact, experience, or some measurable quality). God and Jesus Christ are the objects of faith, central to the life lived by faith, John 14:1.
In addition, as the prototype for the unique spiritual life of the Church Age, Jesus is rightly called the “author (leader, pacesetter) and perfecter (finisher) of our faith,” Heb 12:2.
In the great portrait gallery of faith, Hebrews chapter 11, we are given a lengthy series on the OT models of faith. These saints believed God’s promises in spite of the apparent hopelessness of their circumstances. Without seeing the realization of the promises, they lived and died believing that the promised Messiah would one day come and of the promised inheritance God would give them. Faith characterized their lives. They might be said to have realized that “without faith it is impossible to please (God),” Heb 11:6.
The book of James advises us that works must follow as the “fruit of faith” and as “proof of salvation.” He cautioned against a “faith” that rests upon an intellectual assent to the truth that lacks a life yielded and obedient to God. Therefore, Faith is the yielded life to God and His Word, as we actionably live faithfully unto Him in thought, word, and deed.
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If you would like more information on this subject, you may watch/listen to lesson:
#18-089 – 18-091
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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 !!!