The Gospel of John Chapter 15 – Part 3 – Verse 12-15

The Gospel of John ~ Chapter 15, Part 3

Verses 12-15

The Upper Room Discourse / Gethsemane Discourse

 

Chapter 15 OutlineWhat to do with God’s Provisions.

  • 1-8, Suffering for Blessing and Divine Good Production
  • 6, Warning to the Unproductive Believer
  • 9-10, Abiding in the Love of God
  • 11, Divine Good Produces Inner Happiness
  • 12-13, Impersonal Love Motivates Divine Good Production
  • 14-15, Faith Application Results in Intimacy with Christ
  • 16-17, Predestined to Glorify God
  • 18-21, Obstructions to Divine Good Production
  • 22-25, The Reason for the World’s Rejection
  • 26-27, The Spirit Leads Us in Triumph

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Vs. 12-15, Impersonal Love Motivates Divine Good Production, Laying Down Your Life for Your Friends, Doctrine of Friends.

Impersonal Love Motivates Divine Good Production

We now turn to John 15:12, which begins with a dissertation on category #3 love (toward people), but is specifically targeted towards fellow believers, “friends”, and works back toward category #1 (toward God).

It reads, “This is My commandment, that you love one another, just as I have loved you.”

The Greek is:  “ αὕτη  ἐστὶν  ἡ  ἐντολὴ  ἡ  ἐμὴ,  ἵνα  ἀγαπᾶτε  ἀλλήλους  καθὼς  ἠγάπησα  ὑμᾶς. “

Which transliterated is:  “AUTE ESTIN HE ENTOLE HE EME, HINA AGAPATE ALLELOUS KATHOS EGAPESA HUMAS.”

We begin with “This is My commandment”,

“AUTE ESTIN HE ENTOLE HE EME.”

AUTE is a Near Demonstrative Pronoun in the Nominative, Feminine, Singular of HOUTOS that means “this”. It is looking ahead to the commandment Jesus is about to give.

ESTIN is the verb “to be or is” in the Present, Active, Indicative, Third Person, Singular of EIMI, that means “is”, stating that the commandment to come is from our Lord.

The Gnomic Present is for a timeless general fact. It’s an absolute status quo, “keeps on being”.

The Active Voice tells us that the principle remains forever.

The Indicative Mood is for the reality of the fact that this is a commandment from our Lord.

HE ENTOLE is the article HO for “the” with the noun ENTOLE that means “an injunction, order, or command”, in the Nominative, Feminine, Singular.  Jesus is identifying the following statement as a decree.

HE EME is the article HO for “the” plus the Possessive Adjective EMOS in the Nominative, Feminine, First Person, Singular that means “my or mine.” Jesus is telling us that this commandment is His decree to us.

Saying, “the commandment the mine” does not work in English so we translate it simply, “My commandment.”

So far we have “This keeps on being My commandment.”

Next we get into the commandment with, “that you love one another, just as I have loved you”,

“HINA AGAPATE ALLELOUS KATHOS EGAPESA HUMAS.”

HINA is the Conjunction which means “in order that, so that or that”.  Here linked with the next word “AGAPAO” in the Subjunctive Mood it is an Imperatival use which is a command.  So HINA identifies the beginning of our Lord’s decree.  We will translate it as “that” introducing the command.

AGAPATE is a verb in the Present, Active, Subjunctive, Second Person, Plural of AGAPAO that means “to love”

The Customary Present Tense stands for action that should regularly occur in the life of the believer.

The Active Voice, the believer is the one commanded to love.

The Subjunctive Mood linked with HINA above acts like an Imperative Mood for the command to “love one another”, yet it also emphasizes the volitional responsibility on the part of the believer.  Maybe you will heed the command to love and maybe you will not.  With the Second Personal Plural we add “you all” for “you all love”.

This is the positive side of AGAPE love, soul love based upon capacity from Bible Doctrine resident in your soul.  On the negative side AGAPAO is the absence of mental attitude sins; on the positive side it is the mentality of the soul having the capacity to be relaxed, (having a Relaxed Mental Attitude, RMA), toward other members of the human race, especially believers, classified in the next word for “one another”.

ALLELOUS is a Pronoun in the Accusative, Masculine, Second Person, Plural of ALLELON that means “of one another, reciprocally, or mutually.”  Here it means “one another of the same kind.”  If it were in the Third Person, we would say of another kind, but in the Second Person it is referring to believers.  Therefore, this command is restricted to believers or members the Royal Family of God.  We are discussing then family love. So this is restricted to those who are born again believers, members of the Royal Family of God.

KATHOS is an Adverb used as a Subordinating Conjunction that means, “as, just as, inasmuch as, because, in so far as, etc.”  It gives us an analogy, “just as” which identifies the example of love the believer should be following.

EGAPESA is the Verb AGAPAO in the Aorist, Active, Indicative, First Person, Singular that means “I loved”.

The Constative Aorist describes the action as a whole, an absolute love that Jesus had for the disciples during His ministry on earth.  Jesus Christ loves the believer with an absolute love. This love reflects the capacity of Jesus Christ’s mental attitude during His hypostatic union.

The Active Voice, Jesus produced the action of loving the disciples.

The Indicative Mood is for the dogmatic fact of reality.  He loved them totally and completely even thought they were sinners.

HUMAS is the Second Person Plural Pronoun of SU for “you all”, where Jesus is speaking of the disciples in the Upper Room and only the disciples.  These are the ones He loved as an example for the type of love we should have towards the Royal Family of God throughout the Church Age.

So our complete translation of John 15:12 is:   “This keeps on being My commandment, that you all (believers) love one another (fellow believers), just as I loved you all.”

The same concept is found in 1 John 3:23. 1 John 3:23, “This is His commandment, that we believe in the name of His Son Jesus Christ, and love one another, just as He commanded us.”

How did Jesus love us?  Personally?  No!  Impersonally, because we were imperfect.

Because of His personal love for God the Father and His impersonal love toward the entire human race, He went to the Cross and was judged for our sins.

Once we believe in Christ, then we receive God’s perfect righteousness, which God always loves.  Now Christ loves us personally, directed toward the Divine righteousness in us.

The type of love that Jesus Christ had and demonstrated is the norm or standard for the Church Age believer. That type of love is then amplified through illustration in Verse 13.

In Verse 13 we have the example for fulfilling the commandment given in Verse 12 where we clearly understand that this type of love is what our Lord is about to complete by going to the Cross.

Verse 13 reads, “Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends.”

The Greek reads:  “ μείζονα  ταύτης  ἀγάπην  οὐδεὶς  ἔχει,  ἵνα  τις  τὴν  ψυχὴν  αὐτοῦ  θῇ  ὑπὲρ  τῶν  φίλων  αὐτοῦ. ”

Transliterated into English it reads:  “MEIZONA TAUTES AGAPEN OUDEIS ECHEI, HINA TIS TEN PSUCHEN AUTOU THE HUPER”

We begin with: “Greater love has no one than this”. 

“MEIZONA TAUTES AGAPEN OUDEIS ECHEI.”

MEIZONA is the Comparative Adjective MEGAS in the Accusative, Feminine, Singular.  It means “great”, and as a comparative it means “greater”.   In other words, one thing is greater than another.   Jesus’ love is greater than human love.

TAUTES is the near Demonstrative Pronominal Adjective HOUTOS in the Genitive, Feminine, Singular that means “this”.  This is a Genitive of Comparison identifying Jesus’ type of love that is greater than any love that mankind has.  With the comparative above we could say, “greater than this”.

AGAPEN is the Noun AGAPE in the Accusative, Feminine, Singular that means “love”.

The greater love is obviously what Jesus Christ did for us.  He wants us to have this soul love, (which comes as a result of the Relaxed Mental Attitude [RMA] from Bible Doctrine resident within your soul,) but He also wants to show us how far a RMA can carry us.

Jesus Christ went further with this capacity for love in His soul than anyone else has ever gone in history.

With a RMA you can go a long way in this life. It is the devil’s world but an RMA carries you through many things.

Jesus Christ was carried all the way to the thing that was most repugnant to Him; the Cross to take on our sins.

He expresses this a little later on when He says in Luke 22:42, “Father, if You are willing, remove this cup from Me; yet not My will, but Yours be done.”

The thing that carried Him all the way to the Cross was His RMA.

He had the greater love: the combination of AGAPE love with Super Grace capacity, which led Him to say afterwards in John 18:11, “Put the sword into the sheath (Peter); the cup which the Father has given Me, shall I not drink it?”

Doctrine of Relaxed Mental Attitude (RMA)

Definition and Description:

A Relaxed Mental attitude is the function of human thought.  Your mental attitude is what you think at any given time. Consequently, thinking is the battlefield of your soul.  A Relaxed Mental Attitude is the high thinking of the Christian life.  It is having a mental attitude that is completely trusting in God and His Word in every situation.

The life of every believer is in his mental attitude.  The life of every believer is determined experientially by two principles:  What he thinks and what he decides.

  • Divine viewpoint mental attitude is part of the greatest delegation of Divine power in human history.
  • What you think is more important than anything else. But so many believers are struggling through life as mindless losers full of emotion.  What counts is the power of Divine viewpoint in the stream of consciousness of the right lobe of the soul.  Your life comes to be what you think, not what you feel.  Most believers today want overt impact, yet know nothing about the protocol Plan of God.

Eph 1:19-20, “And what is the surpassing greatness of God’s power toward us who have believed, These are in accordance with the working of the strength of His might (for the delegation of His superior power) which He has put into operation by means of Christ when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in heavenly places.”

Principles of Eph 1:19-20

The average believer does not even know anything about God’s superior power or how God has delegated it to us through thought.  We have a lot of mindless emotional activity rather than doctrinal thinking.  There is very little Doctrine being thought today.  This delegation of Divine power depends on post-salvation renewing of your mind, Rom 12:2. The delegation of superior power comes in the form of thinking metabolized Bible Doctrine circulating in the stream of consciousness.  This system of thought called Bible Doctrine produces a Relaxed Mental Attitude because of Divine viewpoint and is from the content of the infallible Word of God.

What you really are as a person is what you really think, not what you appear to be on the surface, not the way you are dressed or groomed, but what goes on inside the invisible you, which is your soul.  You are not always what you appear to be on the surface.  Some people can hide their thoughts and some cannot.  People can hide their thoughts and become adept at the practice of hypocrisy.  The real you is the thought content of your soul.  The soul is the place where you think or do not think.  Hence, what you really are is what you think.  Personality is not the real person; thought is.

Prov 23:7a, “For as a person thinks in his soul (NEPHESH), so he is.” 

Bible Doctrine is the thinking or the mind of Christ, 1 Cor 2:16, “For who has known the thinking of the Lord that he should instruct him, but we have the mind of Christ (The mystery Doctrine of the Church Age.).”

The delegation of Divine power to every Church Age believer is Bible Doctrine metabolized and deployed on the FLOT line of your soul. The delegation of Divine power includes:

  • The content of thought; Bible Doctrine with emphasis on the mystery Doctrine of the Church Age.
  • The communication of this thought through the spiritual gift of your right Pastor-Teacher.
  • The concentration of the believer on Doctrine as it is being taught. Concentration is a matter of your priorities in life. You have your own spiritual life and must be motivated from your own spiritual life. Living your spiritual life is thinking Divine viewpoint which gives you a Relaxed Mental Attitude.

All forms of worship are a concentration test.  Concentration on the teaching of Bible Doctrine reflects four things in your life:

  • The values in your life.
  • Your motivation in life.
  • Your mental attitude in life.
  • Your spiritual status quo in life.

The delegated power of God is thinking Bible Doctrine, Relaxed Mental Attitude Divine viewpoint.

John 4:24 says, “God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in (the filling of the) Spirit and truth (metabolized Bible Doctrine).”

Rom 12:2-3, “Stop being conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renovation of your thought, that you may prove what the will of God is, namely, Divine good production, the well-pleasing to God (the function of the spiritual skills), the mature status quo.  For I say through the grace which has been given to me to everyone who is among you: stop thinking of self in terms of arrogance beyond what you ought to think, but think in terms of sanity for the purpose of being rational without illusion as God has assigned to each one of us a standard of thinking from faith (Bible Doctrine).”

Phil 2:5, “Keep on having this mental attitude in you which was also in Christ Jesus.”

Principle: The mental attitude of Christ can be our mental attitude.  A confident mental attitude is the Divine viewpoint from the perception of Bible Doctrine, 2 Cor 5:1, 6‑8.  Arrogance is subjective thought.  Confidence is objective thought.

Col 3:2, “Keep thinking objectively (RMA) about the things above (metabolized Doctrine in the stream of consciousness, the 10 PSD’s, etc.), not on things on the earth.”

Bloom Where You’re Planted

I was out walking through the woods a while back when I came to a clearing that was full of tall weeds. Everywhere I looked there were these dried up, brown, ugly weeds.  As I continued walking, about a hundred yards in, I saw this beautiful flower.  It was so bright and colorful; so refreshing.  It had bloomed right there in the middle of all those weeds.  As I looked I thought, “Really, that’s what God wants us to do.  He wants us to just bloom wherever we’re planted.”

Your environment does not have the power to keep you from being happy.  You may work around a bunch of “weeds,” but that doesn’t have to stop you from blooming.  The key is to not focus on the weeds.  Some people spend all their time trying to pull up the weeds, so to speak.  In other words, they try to fix everything around them.  They try to make people do what’s right.  They try to straighten out all their co-workers.  But we have to realize that we can’t change people.  Only God can.  If somebody wants to be a weed, no matter what you do, they are going to be a weed.  If you spend all your time and energy trying to change others, it’s going to keep you from blooming.  One of the best things you can do is to focus on what God has for you to do.  You can bloom right in the middle of those co-workers who are negative and critical.  You can put a smile on your face and be kind and friendly.  You can have a good report.  Your job is not to pull up the weeds.  Your job is to bloom.

Remember, you may be surrounded by a bunch of weeds today, but you can just bloom right where you are. You can be the one to set a new standard for your family.  You can be the one to raise the bar.  When God sees you doing what you can do, He’ll show up and do what you can’t.  He will give you breaks that you didn’t deserve.  He will cause people to be good to you for no reason.  He will open up doors that no man can shut, and He’ll pour out His favor and blessing upon you in every area of your life!

I made you grow like a plant of the field.  You grew up and developed and became the most beautiful of jewels (Ezekiel 16:7, NIV).

A thought (or lack of thought) can make or break you at any given moment, depending on whether your thought is human viewpoint or Divine viewpoint.  Furthermore, your thinking can make or break your client nation.  Thinking is either the application of Bible Doctrine to life (Divine Viewpoint) or the application of arrogance and ignorance, (human viewpoint / cosmic thinking).

1 Cor 10:12, “Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall.”

Gal 6:3, “For if anyone thinks he is something when he is nothing, he deceives himself.”

When the right lobe of the believer receives Divine viewpoint through Bible Doctrine, the result is inner peace, a relaxed mental attitude, stability, and inner happiness.  But when the right lobe is crammed full of human viewpoint, or when mental attitude sins such as pride, jealousy, bitterness, vindictiveness, implacability, guilt complex, hatred, etc., dominate the mentality of the soul, the result is inevitably self-induced misery.  Mental attitude sins plus the absence of Bible Doctrine, lead to human viewpoint and can only produce disorientation to grace and agony of soul.

Human viewpoint is the thinking of the believer who has rejected Bible Doctrine or neglected it.  Therefore, it is the thinking of the carnal or reversionistic believer.  The arrogance skills hinder the function of Divine viewpoint.  This is why scripture emphasizes the fact that God makes war against the arrogant believer but he gives grace to the humble believer, James 4:6; 1 Peter 5:5; Prov 3:34.

Divine viewpoint is the thinking of the believer positive to Bible Doctrine, the advancing believer or the mature believer.  Divine viewpoint of life requires three thinking functions:

  • Cognition; both the act and the process of inculcation of Bible Doctrine.
  • Thinking; the application of metabolized Doctrine.
  • Solving; understanding and using the Problem Solving Devices by which we make accurate and correct application to experience.

A Relaxed Mental Attitude is the Result of the Application of the 11 Problem Solving Devices (PSD).

  • The 10 PSD’s include: Rebound, Filling of the Holy Spirit, Doctrinal Orientation, Faith Rest, Grace Orientation, A Personal Sense of Destiny, Personal Love for God the Father, Impersonal and Unconditional Love toward all of mankind, Sharing the Happiness of God, and Occupation with Jesus Christ. I also like an 11th PSD:  Authority Orientation, Rom 13:1-7; Titus 3:1-2; 1 Peter 2:13-17; Eph 5:22-24; 6:1-8; Col 3:18-25.
  • The 11 PSD are application skills of the spiritual life directly from the Word of God.
  • The application of metabolized Bible Doctrine is accomplished through the use of the 11 Problem Solving Devices.

This application goes in three directions: toward God, toward people and toward self:

  • Problem Solving Devices directed toward God include: Doctrinal Orientation, Fellowship with the Holy Spirit, Personal Love toward God the Father, and Occupation with Christ.
  • Problem Solving Devices directed toward people include: Doctrinal Orientation, Grace Orientation, Authority Orientation, and Impersonal Love for all mankind.
  • PSD’s directed toward self include: Doctrinal Orientation, Rebound, A Personal Sense of Destiny, the Faith-Rest Drill, Sharing the Happiness of God (Joy of Jesus Christ).

The thinking of the mature believer is different from the generally accepted thought patterns of the world.  Therefore, the believer is set apart as unique when he cracks the maturity barrier.  Uniqueness is reflected in his thought, actions and observation of the honor code of the Royal Family of God.

A Relaxed Mental Attitude includes the principles of life on which you operate.  These principles are your motivation for life.

  • Speech and action is an expression of your thinking; therefore, what you say and do is what you think.
  • Thinking and speaking is a reflection of your priorities in life. Everything we do, everything we say, even how we look reflects our thinking.
  • Thought, speech and action is a reflection of your mental attitude and motivation in life.

The greatest battle we have in life is the battle in the soul; therefore, the importance of the Problem Solving Devices on the FLOT line of the soul.  Good changes in history are made through what you think.  The content of your thinking is the most important thing about you.  But unfortunately, most believers today are confused in their thinking.

The difference between living in the cosmic system and advancing to maturity depends on the thoughts in your soul.  Phil 2:5, “Keep on having this mental attitude in you which was also in Christ Jesus.”

Having a Relaxed Mental Attitude is a Major Building Block in the Edification Complex of the Soul (ECS).

1.  The ECS consists of 5 floors.

1st floor – Doctrinal/Grace Orientation

2nd floor – Mastery of the Detail of Life

3rd floor – Relaxed Mental Attitude

4th floor – Capacity to Love

  • Love towards God
  • Love towards a spouse
  • Love towards friends (believers)

5th floor – Inner Happiness (the Joy of Jesus Christ)

2.  Having a Relaxed Mental Attitude (RMA) means that:

  • You overcome fear in your soul
  • You love yourself
  • You have a mental attitude love towards others
  • You are content in all areas of your life.

3.  With your Human Spirit in place coupled with Doctrinal Orientation and Mastering the Detail of Life, you are primed to exercise peace within your soul having a RMA.

Overcoming Fear:  Having a RMA is the opposite of having a soul filled with fear.  Fear manifests itself by worry, anxiety, insecurity, and nervousness.  Fear destroys the believer’s ability to think, to reason, to apply Doctrine under pressure from the circumstances of life.  Fear is total disorientation to the Plan of God.  Fear destroys any Personal Sense of Destiny.  Fear is from cosmic involvement, and therefore is arrogant emotional subjectivity and slavery.   People who are afraid have enslaved themselves, Psa 3:1-8, while having a lack of fear is a part of the RMA that believers with Bible Doctrine in their soul enjoy, Heb 11:27; 13:6.

Heb 11:27, “By faith he (Moses) left Egypt, not fearing the wrath of the king; for he endured, as seeing him who is unseen.”

Heb 13:6, “The Lord is my helper and I will not fear what man may do to me.”

Courage or lack of fear is a sign of spiritual growth and the construction of the 3rd floor in your soul, the RMA, Psa 56:1-4, 1 John 4:16-21.

Psa.56:1-4, “Be gracious to me, O God, for man has trampled upon me; Fighting all day long he oppresses me.  2My foes have trampled upon me all day long, for they are many who fight proudly against me.  3When I am afraid, I will put my trust in You.  4In God, whose word I praise, in God I have put my trust; I shall not be afraid. What can mere man do to me?”

1 John 4:16-21 tells us that confidence, the lack of fear is found in God and the application of His love in our lives.

You Must Love Yourself:  Before you can have a Relaxed Mental Attitude and love someone else, you have to have Spiritual Self Esteem (SSE) and love yourself.  Love for yourself is not arrogant.  God loves Himself based on His perfection and righteousness.  You should love yourself based on God’s perfection and righteousness which is inside of you from the moment of your salvation.  Love for yourself then is maximized as you grow spiritually and reach Spiritual Self-Esteem (SSE).   Self-Esteem can mean respect for self, satisfaction with one’s self or a good opinion of one’s self.  But those are superficial definitions.

Spiritual Self-Esteem (SSE) is:

  • Confidence in what you know, and how to put it into operation.
  • Maximum humility and minimum arrogance.
  • Confidence in God, confidence in the Word of God metabolized in your soul and circulating in your thought pattern.

It is not confidence in the energy of the flesh.

Psa 118:8-9, “It is better to take refuge in the Lord than to have confidence in mankind.  It is better to take refuge in the Lord than to have confidence in princes.”

SSE is related to the Problem Solving Devices.  Since SSE is Doctrinal and Grace Orientation, it is the embodiment of humility rather than any form of arrogance.  For this reason, SSE is consistency in being filled with the Spirit, consistency in cognition and inculcation of Bible Doctrine, consistency resulting in the execution of the Plan of God, and leads us to having a Relaxed Mental Attitude.

Prov 19:8, “He who gets wisdom, keeps loving his own soul; He who guards understanding shall find the absolute good (spiritual prosperity).”

Heb 13:5, “Let your lifestyle be free from the love for money and be content with what you have; for He Himself has said, ‘I will never desert you, nor will I ever forsake you’.”

Eph 6:23, “Peace (harmony) be to the brethren, and love with faith, from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.”

  • Harmony is the RMA related to the thinking function of the spiritual life. Harmony among believers demands humility, grace orientation and love.
  • Believers with SSE do not feel threatened by enmity, antagonism, vilification, ostracism, rejection, or any form of hostility. Therefore, believers with SSE are in a position to fulfill this mandate to have harmony among the believers.
  • This type of Love is associated with metabolized Bible Doctrine circulating in the soul’s right lobe and is the basis for attainment of SSE.

You Have a Mental Attitude Love Towards Others.  Mental Attitude Love leads to a RMA.  The Greek word for this type of love is AGAPE as we just saw in Eph 6:23.  With AGAPE – Love we overcome fear and gain a RMA.  God is AGAPE.  He possesses AGAPE love, 1 John 4:8, 16.  With AGAPE love God solves all of His people problems.  God uses His AGAPE love to solve the problems of man.  AGAPE love is His Problem-Solving Device.

AGAPE type love is found only in the mentality of the soul.  It is the capacity to love which comes from the filling of the Holy Spirit and knowledge of Bible Doctrine.  It is the Relaxed Mental Attitude of the Edification Complex and reflects freedom from mental attitude sins toward God and toward people.  It is impossible to sustain a relationship with the Lord or with any human being and be filled with mental attitude sins.  In John 15:12-13 and elsewhere, the command to love other believers is not an order to demonstrate your love in an overt manner, nor even to love everyone with the same intensity of love. It is strictly an order to maintain a Relaxed Mental Attitude, although mental attitude love often prompts overt manifestations or expressions toward the object loved, (e.g., John 3:16).

Capacity for love begins with mental attitude AGAPE.  Through the function of the Grace Apparatus for Perception (GAP), it spreads throughout the soul and becomes PHILOS, a total soul love.  PHILOS-type love directed toward God can exist only through the Edification Complex and the super-grace life.

Having a RMA is based on you having the mind of God, Jesus Christ in your soul which leads to spiritual growth and the capacity to AGAPE.  AGAPE is love expressed through your mental attitude, your thinking and thoughts.  AGAPE love can lead to actions like Christian service but it begins with thinking in love.  AGAPE love is produced by the Balance of Residency, linked with the mentality of the soul.

The Balance of Residency is Maximum Bible Doctrine in your Soul Ready for Application plus the Filling of God the Holy Spirit.  Balance of Residency is a combination of the 1st and 2nd floors of your ECS, (Doctrinal Orientation and Mastery of the Details of Life).  Due to your spiritual growth in the first two floors, it results in your ability to have a RMA.  The stronger your base of Doctrinal Orientation and application of Mastery of the Details of Life, the greater your opportunity to have a Relax Mental Attitude towards life’s situations.

When you have AGAPE love, there is an absence of the Mental Attitude Sins and instead you have a relaxed attitude towards people and events, Rom 5:1-5; Gal 5:22-23; 1 John 4:7-12.

Rom 5:1, “Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ,  2through whom also we have obtained our introduction by faith into this grace in which we stand; and we exult in hope of the glory of God.  3And not only this, but we also exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance;  4and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope;  5and 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.”

Notice in 1 John 4 that God loved us first.  Therefore, if we are to have a Relaxed Mental Attitude and love one another as Christ loved us, we must be the ones to initiate love towards our brethren rather than waiting for them to love us and then respond in love.

AGAPE love gives the believer a Relaxed Mental Attitude.  AGAPE does not think with evil thoughts, 1 Cor 13:4-13.  The human race can be obnoxious or attractive, beautiful or ugly, someone who hates or loves you; but to the believer with SSE, it makes no difference because the virtue of the subject (the one loving) is stronger than any handicap in the object (the one loved).  It is the most tranquil and marvelous system in the world reaching its peak as you grow spiritually, Eph 4:1-6.

1 Cor 13:4, “Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant,  5does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered,  6does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth;  7bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. … 13 But now faith, hope, love, abide these three; but the greatest of these is love.”

Eph 4:2, “Always be humble and gentle.  Be patient with each other, making allowance for each others faults because of your love.” (NLT)

Nearly every sin that man can commit expresses some form of arrogance; whereas, the Relaxed Mental Attitude of Impersonal Love demonstrates humility.

You are Content in All Situations of Life, (The Results of Having a RMA):

Heb 13:5, “Make sure that your character is free from the love of money, being content with what you have; for He Himself has said, “I will never desert you, nor will I ever forsake you,”  6so that we confidently say, “The Lord is my helper, I will not be afraid.  What will man do to me?””

Luke 3:14, “Some soldiers were questioning him, saying, “And what about us, what shall we do?”  And He said to them, “Do not take money from anyone by force, or accuse anyone falsely, and be content with your wages.””

1 Tim 6:8, “If we have food and covering, with these we shall be content.  9But those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a snare and many foolish and harmful desires which plunge men into ruin and destruction.”

2 Cor 12:10, “Therefore I am well content with weaknesses, with insults, with distresses, with persecutions, with difficulties, for Christ’s sake; for when I am weak, then I am strong.”

Phil 4:11, “Not that I speak from want, for I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am.  12I know how to get along with humble means, and I also know how to live in prosperity; in any and every circumstance I have learned the secret of being filled and going hungry, both of having abundance and suffering need.  13I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.”

With Bible Doctrine in your soul and the filling of God the Holy Spirit, you are always relaxed around other people because you are not worried about what they will say; what they will do; are they better than you; are you better than them, etc. Rom 12:9-21, 13:8-10.

Phil 4:7, “And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

Peace (spiritual prosperity) is thought as well as possession.  It is a system of thought you carry regardless of circumstances.  It is the same consistency of thinking that provides true capacity for life, so that when you face undeserved suffering, you are just as happy as when you are in fantastic prosperity.

It is impossible for the unbeliever and the ignorant believer to understand prosperity from God; it’s beyond human comprehension!  They simply cannot begin to appreciate what God has done for us through logistical grace, prospering both winners and losers, and what God has done in phenomenally blessing those winners who execute His plan and will.

One of the great factors in the believer who is advancing spiritually is a phenomenal Relaxed Mental Attitude. This mental attitude is reflected by using the Problem-Solving Devices of the Plan of God.

So having a Relaxed Mental Attitude is being in a place of spiritual growth where you are:

  • Free from Fear
  • Love yourself because of what is inside of you (+R, B.D., F.H.S., etc).
  • Have a mental attitude of AGAPE – love for others.
  • Content in all situations.

Inner Beauty is a Relaxed Mental Attitude, 1 Tim 2:9‑15; 1 Peter 3:1-6.

In 1 Tim 2:15, Love is AGAPE, a mental attitude in the soul.  Therefore capacity for love is found in the right lobe.  Your ability to love is the capacity of the right lobe of the heart, 1 Cor 13:4-7.

When it says, “with self-restraint” that is the Greek preposition META that means “with” plus the Genitive of SOPHROSUNE [so-fros-oo’-nay], which means, “soundness of mind, self-control or stability of mind.”  So it comes to mean “with stability of mentality”, referring to having a Relaxed Mental Attitude within your soul.

Mental attitude is the function of the right lobe of the soul.  The right lobe is called the heart.  It has a frame of reference, a memory center, vocabulary, categories, norms and standards, and a launching pad for application. This is the function of the heart or the right lobe and that is what mental attitude is all about.

There are two viewpoints in mental attitude,

  • Human Viewpoint, which is an expression of cosmic thinking from cosmic norms and standards; this is the influence of evil. Human Viewpoint mental attitude is called worldliness, Rom 12:2; Col 3:2.  If human viewpoint persists in your right lobe after salvation, you are a worldly Christian (cosmic believer).  You are not worldly because of something you do or because of some place you go, (you are not worldly because you play golf on Sunday); you are worldly because of what you think, not because of what you do.
  • The antithesis is Divine Viewpoint which is viewpoint resident in the soul derived from God’s Word resident in your soul. The command to have Divine Viewpoint is given in 1 Cor 2:16; 2 Cor 10:3-6; Phil 2:5.  This command is obeyed by the consistent and daily function of GAP resulting in maximum Bible Doctrine resident in your soul.

In Phil 2:5 we are command to, “Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus.”

2 Cor 10:3-5 tells us, “For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh, for the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but Divinely powerful for the destruction of fortresses.  We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ.”

Every thought impulse that you will have as a believer can be categorized into Divine or human viewpoint; influenced by Bible Doctrine or influenced by evil.

Every believer faces the inner conflict of Divine versus human viewpoint.  This is a part of the spiritual struggle on this earth, Isa 55:6-9.  The more Bible Doctrine you have, the more this conflict will exist, and the more this conflict exists, the greater the inner struggle.  But Bible Doctrine will inevitably triumph in the faithful believer, if you take it in on a daily basis.

In 1 Peter 3:4, “gentle” is the Greek word PRAUS that means, “gentle or humble” which refers to a mental attitude humility, which is not really humility as much as it is Grace Orientation that leads to a Relaxed Mental Attitude (RMA).

Grace Orientation and a Relaxed Mental Attitude are character indexes in all believers, especially woman, that are part of the first and third floors of your Edification Complex of the Soul.

Likewise, “quiet” is really “tranquil”, the Greek word HESUCHIOS [hay-soo’-khee-os].  Tranquil means, “free of any disturbance or commotion”, and “free from or showing no signs of anxiety or agitation.”

Again we go right back to the mental attitude and the problem of mental attitude sins.  Part of this tranquility is freedom from pride, bitterness, jealousy, vindictiveness, implacability, or hatred; the things that destroy capacity for love or the expression of that capacity.

As you know, your thinking is your real personality.  Your real personality is the sum total of your thoughts. Therefore, there is nothing you can do about improving your personality by overt superficialities.  The real personality is what you think.  Mental attitude determines both the character and the life of a person, Prov 23:6-7

So the believer (woman in this case) with inner beauty is Grace Oriented and free from any mental attitude sins. Mental attitude sins produce self-induced misery, Prov 15:13.

Prov 15:13, “A joyful heart makes a cheerful face, but when the heart is sad, the spirit is broken.”

Principles of a Doctrinal Woman:

The woman’s inner beauty is related to Bible Doctrine resident in her soul.  Her outer beauty is nothing without her inner beauty; it is an empty shell.  A woman’s real beauty is her inner beauty from Bible Doctrine in her soul, “with stability of thinking.”

  • Bible Doctrine becomes resident in the soul through the consistent function of GAP. Therefore, in commanding women to make themselves beautiful, God’s Word emphasizes the beauty which comes from Bible Doctrine resident in the soul.
  • “Stability” is a mental attitude. You are not stabilized because of a pattern of life, you are stabilized because of a thought pattern, Isa 26:3-4; Phil 4:7; 2 Thes 2:2.

2 Thes 2:2, “That you not be quickly shaken from your composure or be disturbed either by a spirit or a message or a letter…..”

Isa 26:3-4, “The steadfast of mind You will keep in perfect peace, because he trusts in You.  4Trust in the LORD forever, for in GOD the LORD, we have an everlasting Rock.”

Phil 4:7, “And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

The more Bible Doctrine in the soul, the more beautiful she becomes from Divine viewpoint.  There is no such thing as true beauty in the woman apart from Bible Doctrine in the soul.  Inner beauty, then, becomes the mental attitude of Bible Doctrine resident in the soul.

The spiritually mature woman always possesses inner beauty, and that compensates for any lack of physical beauty. Overt grooming only compliments the inner beauty.   Overt beauty without Bible Doctrine becomes a facade for human good and evil.  Therefore, overt beauty is meaningless without inner beauty.

The woman’s inner beauty demands respect.  When a woman has inner beauty from Bible Doctrine, she is respected as a gentleman should always respect women, with impeccable manners.  Therefore, this is a greater incentive for the lady to advance to spiritual maturity.  Respect for womanhood is automatic in a society where women have inner beauty.  You instinctively develop good manners in a society of women with inner beauty.  They are inspiring, a pleasure to be around and stimulating when they have Divine viewpoint.  However, without a Relaxed Mental Attitude, they are petty, implacable, vindictive, and vicious with their tongues.

The woman’s inner beauty which comes from Bible Doctrine resident in the soul also becomes the source for capacity: capacity for life, capacity for love, capacity for blessing.  The super-grace woman or the godly woman always possesses this inner beauty no matter what her age.

Overt grooming merely complements the inner beauty of the spiritually mature / super-grace woman.  The real beauty of the woman; therefore, is her inner beauty.

The secret to inner beauty is the Balance of Residency in the soul between the filling of the Spirit and maximum Bible Doctrine.  This comes from the daily function of GAP.

Overt beauty and grooming must not be neglected, but the Bible emphasizes the importance of inner beauty in the Royal Family of God.  Therefore, inner beauty is a part of the principle of having a Relaxed Mental Attitude and “Laying down your life for your friends.”

Phil 2:5, “Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus.”

Getting back to the Greek of John 15:13, thus far we have noted in Verse 13, “Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends.”

The Greek reads:   “ μείζονα  ταύτης  ἀγάπην  οὐδεὶς  ἔχει,  ἵνα  τις  τὴν  ψυχὴν  αὐτοῦ  θῇ  ὑπὲρ  τῶν  φίλων  αὐτοῦ. ”

Transliterated into English it reads:  “MEIZONA TAUTES AGAPEN OUDEIS ECHEI, HINA TIS TEN PSUCHEN AUTOU THE HUPER.”

We have already noted the first few words which includes:

MEIZONA a Comparative Adjective MEGAS in the Accusative, Feminine, Singular.  It means “great”, and as a comparative it means “greater”.  In other words one thing is greater than another.  Jesus’ love is greater than human love.

TAUTES the near Demonstrative Pronominal Adjective HOUTOS in the Genitive, Feminine, Singular that means “this”.  This is a Genitive of Comparison identifying Jesus’ type of love that is greater than any love that mankind has.  With the comparative above we could say, “greater than this”.

AGAPEN the Noun AGAPE in the Accusative, Feminine, Singular that means “love”.

So now we pick it up with OUDEIS which is a Cardinal Pronominal Adjective in the Nominative, Masculine, Singular that means “no one”.

It is used as an Indefinite Pronoun to identify other types of love or actions of love that might be out there in the world / Satan’s Cosmic System. “No one (in the KOSMOS) has greater love than this.”  

ECHEI is the Verb ECHO in the Present, Active, Indicative, Third Person, Singular.  It means, “to have and to hold.”

The Extending from Past Present Tense describes an action which begun in the past and continues in the present.  In other words, in the past or the present, there is no greater form of love than what is about to be described, “laying down your life.”

The Active Voice is generic in nature, saying that there is no one who can produce greater love than God’s AGAPE love.

The Indicative Mood is for the reality of God’s love being greater than any worldly love.  So we will translate this as “has.”

So the first half of the verse reads, “No one (in the KOSMOS) has greater love than this.”

We now turn to the second part of Verse 13, “that one lay down his life for his friends.”

The Greek reads:  “ ἵνα  τις  τὴν  ψυχὴν  αὐτοῦ  θῇ  ὑπὲρ  τῶν  φίλων  αὐτοῦ. ”

Transliterated it is:  “HINA TIS TEN PSUCHEN AUTOU THE HUPER TON PHILON AUTOU.”

We begin with HINA which is a Superordinating Conjunction of Content that means, “that, in order that, so that, etc.”

Superordinating of Content means that the clause to follow is more prominent than the one it preceded.  It is introducing the subject or content of the passage.  In other words, we are about to be told what this greater AGAPE love truly is.

TIS is an Adjective used as a primary enclitic Indefinite Pronoun in the Subject Nominative, Masculine, Singular, that means, “a certain one, someone, anyone, etc.”

Enclitic means its formation or meaning is dependent on a preceding word.  In this case it goes back to AGAPATE (you love) of Verse 12, and thereby continues the focus on the same group (believers).  It is also used to state the principle and relate that principle to an historic experience used as its example.  In other words, Jesus would soon demonstrate for them personally what this commandment is saying about what they should do.  He would soon demonstrate for them personally what this “greater love” was that they should emulate.

TEN is the article for “the” in the Accusative, Feminine, Singular of HO.

PSUCHEN is a noun in the Direct Object Accusative, Feminine, Singular of PSUCHE that literally means, “breath” but stands for the soul and human life.  It is used allegorically in the Feminine to mean, “self, inner life, one’s innermost being, (physical) life, that which has life, living creature, person, human being. etc.”

Having life is the result of God breathing lives (the Hebrew word NEHSHAMAH) into man.  As a result man has soul life and physical life as noted in Gen 2:7, “Then the LORD God formed man of dust from the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breaths (NEHSHAMAH) of life; and man became a living being (CHAY NEPHESH in the Hebrew – PSUCHE ZAO in the Greek).”

Therefore, PSUCHE comes to mean, “life” in the human race which depends upon the possession of PSUCHE soul life.

AUTOU is a Pronoun in the Genitive of Possession, Masculine, Third Person, Singular of AUTOS that means “of him or his”, speaking of the believer’s life that is commanded to be laid down on behalf of fellow believers.

THE is the Verb TITHEMI in the Aorist, Active, Subjunctive, Third Person, Singular. TITHEMI is a word which has a variety of meanings; all related to the word “place”.  It can mean, “to put, lay, or set.”  In relation to your life we say “lay down” in the sense of giving up your life for the benefit of someone else, (being self-sacrificial), which we will see in the following phrase.

The Culminative Aorist Tense focuses on the entirety of the action but views it from its end result.  The end result is giving up your life for someone else.  Jesus Christ had developed this love in His humanity from the Virgin Birth all of the way to Gethsemane where He uttered these words, and that same love should be in us too. The demonstration of this love was that He obeyed the Father’s will and went to the Cross.

The Active Voice says that the positive mature or maturing believer performs the action of the verb.

The Subjunctive Mood is for potential.  It identifies the volitional responsibility of the believer and what they should do, yet considering that they may not.  Finally, as we saw earlier, coupled with HINA above it take on an Imperative sense of a command or exhortation.

HUPER is a Preposition in the Genitive case that means, “For, in or on behalf of, for the sake of, etc.”  It is the preposition of substitution and should be translated “on behalf of.”  We should be giving of ourselves in the place of others.

TON is the article HO in the Genitive, Masculine, Plural, for “the

PHILON is a Pronominal Adjective of PHILOS in the Genitive, Masculine, Plural that means, “beloved, dear, friend or friendly.”  It refers to a bona fide love, category #3, human friendship.  It is a total soul love in contrast to AGAPE which is a mental attitude soul love.  AGAPE is only the beginning of human love as it occurs in the mentality of the soul, but PHILOS is the total of human love, the greatness of human love.  So here we will translate it “beloved” to emphasize love for our fellow believers, (the Royal Family of God); your fellow believers who you should have a total soul love for because of what is in their souls.

AUTOU is once again a Pronoun in the Genitive, Masculine, Third Person, Singular of AUTOS that means “of him or his”, speaking of the believer who loves his fellow believers.

The corrected translation of the second clause is, “That someone lays down his life on behalf of his beloved (fellow members of the Royal Family of God).”

Our complete translation of John 15:13 is:  “No one has greater love than this, that someone lay down his life on behalf of his beloved (fellow members of the Royal Family of God).”

We now turn to John 15:14, “Friends of God”.

This is part of Category #3 Love (towards mankind), but as we have been noting, it is specifically speaking of fellow believers, “Beloved / loved ones / friends” who are fellow members of the Royal Family of God.

Remember Jesus is speaking to believers only.

John 15:14 reads in the English (NASB), “You are My friends if you do what I command you.”

The Greek reads:  “ ὑμεῖς  φίλοι  μού  ἐστε,  ἐὰν  ποιῆτε  ἃ*  ἐγὼ  ἐντέλλομαι  ὑμῖν.  ”

Transliterated it is:  “HUMEIS PHILOI MOU ESTE EAN POIETE HA EGO ENTELLOMAI  HUMIN.”

HUMEIS is the Second Person, Plural, Pronoun SU in the Subject Nominative Case that means “you or you all.”  Here Jesus is addressing the disciples as His beloved or loved ones and by extension all believers.

PHILOI is a Pronominal Adjective from PHILOS in the Subject Nominative, Masculine, Plural.

A Pronominal acts like a Pronoun and is linked with HUMEIS above as the subject of this sentence.  As we noted in Verse 13 PHILOS means “beloved, dear, or friendly.”  Once again Jesus is referring to the disciples as His loved ones, speaking of the close and intimate relationship He has with them which starts with AGAPE love, (mental attitude love), that leads to PHILEO love, (relationship type love).

This is a total soul love.  But if we are to realize this type of love, there is a condition into which we must enter to understand its true meaning, which we will see below.

Remember AGAPE love is used for the maximum love which comes to the believer after salvation from propitiation; PHILOS is used for the expression of that love for His friends, (PHILOS believers).  But He does not PHILOS all His believers.  God has AGAPE love for all believers on the basis of propitiation and for all members of the human race based on His grace and mercy.  Yet, God has PHILOS only for the spiritually mature or supergrace believers; those who keep His commandments.  And not all believers do.

MOU is the Pronoun SU in the Possessive Genitive, First Person, Singular that means, “of me or my.”  Jesus is saying the disciples are His loved ones / friends.

ESTE is the Verb EIMI in the Present, Active, Indicative, Second Person, Plural.  It means “to be, are or is” and in the Second Person Plural it goes with HUMEIS above as “you all are.”

The Progressive Present Tense means that they are beloved friends of Jesus and will remain that way as far as He is concerned.

The Active Voice – the disciples are loved ones / friends of Jesus.

The Indicative Mood is for the reality of how Jesus thinks about the disciples.  So we can say “you all are and you keep on being.”

So far we have, “You all are and you keep on being My loved ones (friends).”  That statement is the Apodosis or “then” statement of this sentence.  Now we will see the Protasis or “if” statement of the sentence.

EAN is a Subordinating Conjunction used with a Subjunctive that means, “if and maybe you will and maybe you will not.”  This is a Third Class conditional if statement speaking of the volitional responsibility of the believer.

POIETE is the Verb POIEO in the Present, Active, Subjunctive, Second Person, Plural that means “to make, or do.”

The Progressive Present Tense is used for continuous action.  The believer must keep on taking in and applying God’s Word if he is to be His friend.

The Active Voice says the positive believer produces the action of continually applying the Word of God to their life.

The Subjunctive Mood is used with the “if” statement above as a volitional choice of the believer, “if and maybe you will and maybe you will not keep on doing,”

HA is the Relative Pronominal Adjective HOS in the Accusative, Neuter, Plural.  HOS can mean, “who, which, what, or that.”

A Relative Pronominal is a Pronoun used to connect a substantive (noun) with a clause that in some way qualifies its meaning.  Here it is translated “what” used to represent the application of the Word of God / Bible Doctrine, (the mandates of Jesus Christ).

EGO is a Pronoun in the Nominative, First Person, Singular that means “I or me.”  Jesus is referring to Himself as an authority over the Church.  He is the Head of the Church and in Problem Solving Device #6, (Authority Orientation), we must be oriented to the authority of His Word if we are going to be His friend.

ENTELLOMAI is a Verb in the Present, Middle Deponent, Indicative, First Person, Singular that means “to enjoin, to charge, give orders or command.”  Its noun is ENTOLE that we have seen previously.  But this is the action of giving a command.

The Instantaneous Present Tense means that the command has been given by our Lord, now we need to abide in it.

The Middle Deponent tells us that Jesus has given us the command to follow.

The Indicative Mood is for reality of the command given to us by our Lord.  So we can say “I myself command”.

If God is giving the orders, it means to decree.  “If you keep on doing what I decree,” is another way to translate it.  God decrees after salvation that we GAP it to spiritual maturity / supergrace.  That is our purpose for remaining on this earth.  The only possible way that we are ever going to glorify God is by reaching the supergrace status.  This is why we have all kinds of words, like “Grow in grace … study to show yourself approved, etc.”  These are all ways of expressing God’s decree.  God decrees that all believers take in Bible Doctrine and reach the supergrace capacity so that they can become PHILOS.

HUMIN is the Pronoun SU that means “you”, in the Dative, Second Person, Plural.

The Dative of Advantage speaks to the benefit we receive from keeping God’s Word resident in our soul and applying it on a consistent basis by laying down our lives on behalf of others; we will be a “friend” of God.

Our complete translation of John 15:14 is: “You all are and you keep on being My loved ones (friends), if you all, maybe you will and maybe you will not, keep on doing what I myself command you.”

As you know the commands of Jesus Christ are found in His Word.  Therefore, “doing what I command you” means keeping God’s Word resident within our soul and applying it on a consistent basis.  In the context of John 15, this means abiding in the Word of Jesus Christ, John 15:4-11, with the added emphasis of the command given in Verses 12-13.

Keeping the commandments of Jesus Christ means the Bible has authority over our lives.  Therefore, the Bible is our authority as the Word of God.

L.S. Chafer notes, “It reflects the supreme authority of God as actually His revealed will, the Word of Truth is to be obeyed by all who come under His Divine rule.”

The fact that Jesus Christ is commanding us is one more example in the Scriptures of His authority over the Church.

Synonyms for Christ and His Authority Over the Church.

Jesus Christ is called the Last Adam as the ruler of the Church, and the believers.  The Church universal is called the new spiritual species, as found in 1 Cor 15:45‑49; 2 Cor 5:17; Gal 6:15.  This “new creation” is important because it focuses attention on the Church during the intensified stage of the Angelic Conflict.

In the Head and the body analogy, Christ is the head and the Royal Family of God is the body.  This speaks of Christ’s authority.  The body emphasizes our differences in personality and spiritual gifts, Eph 1:22‑23; 2:16; 4:4‑5; 5:23; 1 Cor 12; Col 1:17‑18, 24; 2:19. 

Eph 1:22-23, “And He put all things in subjection under His feet, and gave Him as head over all things to the church,  23which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all.”

Eph 5:23, “For the husband is the head of the wife, as Christ also is the head of the church, He Himself being the Savior of the body.”

Likewise we see in this analogy the King and the Royal Family of God, Eph 1:22‑23; Col 2:10.  Jesus Christ is the Royal King and we are His family.

The Shepherd and the sheep analogy is found in John 10; Heb 13:20; 1 Peter 5:4.  This analogy connotes the security and great blessings that come to us as members of the Royal Family of God.  The analogy is apropos for, like us, sheep have no sense of direction, cannot fend for themselves, are helpless, and therefore need the guidance, sustenance and protection of the Shepherd.  The sheep must be guarded and fed by the under-shepherd, the Pastor of the local church.

Heb 13:20-21, “Now the God of peace, who brought up from the dead the great Shepherd of the sheep through the blood of the eternal covenant, even Jesus our Lord, 21equip you in every good thing to do His will, working in us that which is pleasing in His sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be the glory forever and ever. Amen.”

The Vine and the branches analogy is taught in John 15:1‑6.  Jesus Christ is the Vine; we are the branches.  This analogy is used for union with Christ, i.e., positional truth and/or positional sanctification.  The vine always represented stimulation.  The production of the branches is your advance to maturity.

The concept of Christ as the Chief Cornerstone, and the stones of the building as the Church was first taught by Christ in Mat 16:16‑18 when He told Peter, “You are blessed, Simon, Son of Jonas.   And on this rock (PETRA, giant rock, Lord Jesus Christ) I will build my Church (Royal Family of God).  Therefore, your name is now PETRAS (part or chip of a rock).”  This reference to Christ as the Chief Cornerstone is found in Eph 2:20; 1 Peter 2:4‑8, quoting Psa 118:22-23.  Peter recognized that Christ, not himself or the Church, is the rock.  The Church didn’t even exist in Mat 16.  Christ is the link between the two walls, Israel and the Church.  He is the ruler of both.

The analogy of the High Priest and the Royal Priesthood is found in Heb 2:17; 4:14; 7:25; 10:10‑14; 1 Peter 2:5, 9; Rev 1:6.  Only when the God‑Man ascended and was seated could Jesus Christ be a High Priest.  Every believer in union with Christ is a royal priest.

The Groom and the bride analogy is found in John 3:29; 2 Cor 11:2; Eph 5:25‑27; Rev 19:6‑8.  This eschatological analogy speaks of the future of the Church as royal family of God.  This will not be fulfilled until the Second Advent at the wedding feast of the Lamb.  It takes seven years for the bride, the Church, to be prepared before the Judgment Seat of Christ.  There will be no local churches in the Millennium.

From each of these analogies, certain things are taught about your personal life as a Church Age believer.

As the human head governs the body to which it belongs, so authority is vested in the headship relation wherever it exists.  In relation to Christ and the Church, He is the Head and we are the body.

Christ sustains at Least Five such Relations, as:

  • Head of principalities and powers, Eph 1:21; Col 2:10. Christ has universal authority over all angelic hosts.
  • Head over every man, 1 Cor 11:3; cf. Eph 5:23. Whether recognized or admitted by men, Christ is ruling over all of them.  To Him they must one day render an account.

1 Cor 11:3, “But I want you to understand that Christ is the head of every man, and the man is the head of a woman, and God is the head of Christ.”

  • Head of the corner stone (Chief Corner Stone), Acts 4:11; 1 Pet 2:7. See Eph 2:19-22, where the whole company of believers is seen as a building of God, Christ being the Headstone of the corner.
  • Head over the mystic Body of Christ, the Church, Eph 4:15; Col 1:18; 2:19. This figure is used more than any other to represent the service and manifestation of Christ by or through the members of His Body.
  • Head over the Bride, Eph 5:23-33. Here again the Church is in view with a unique relationship, which relationship is to be realized fully after the marriage of the Lamb.
  • Christ ranks as Head over the New Creation, which creation is in Him and partakes of His resurrection life, Eph 1:19-23.

The Head of Christ is God, 1 Cor 11:3.  The authority which Christ exercises was given to Him by the Father, John 5:27; Acts 17:31; 1 Cor 15:25-28.

Now, before we get into laying down our lives for our PHILOS, let us understand AGAPE LOVE a little better, which creates capacity for PHILOS love and “laying down our lives for the beloved.”

Principles of AGAPE Love:

Categories of AGAPE Love.

  • The love of the Father for the Son, John 15:9.
  • The (impersonal) love of God for the human race, John 3:16.
  • The (impersonal) love of believers toward other believers, John 15:12ff.
  • The (impersonal) love of believers toward all of Mankind, Rom 13:8-14.
  • The (impersonal) love right man and right woman must have for each other in order to have personal love, Eph 5:28, 33; 1 Tim 2:15.

AGAPE love is a Relaxed Mental Attitude toward all mankind.

AGAPE love is dependent on the Word of God for its effectiveness.

AGAPE love is sustained by Bible Doctrine.

AGAPE love is the expression of the believer’s doctrinal orientation (metabolized Doctrine in the stream of consciousness).

AGAPE love for all mankind is a manifestation of your personal love for God the Father, and your occupation with the person of Jesus Christ as the highest motivation in life.

AGAPE love is a Problem Solving Device as well as the basis for great human relationships.

AGAPE love cannot be reduced to the level of dog eat dog.  Your Relaxed Mental Attitude is the issue.  You never reduce yourself to the norms and standards of those who attack and malign you.

AGAPE love emphasizes your strength (Bible Doctrine in your soul), not the weakness of someone else.  Therefore, you maintain your standards.

AGAPE love is the Relaxed Mental Attitude from the filling of the Holy Spirit rather than overt friendliness or effusive hypocrisy.

1 Peter 3:8-12, “To sum up (what AGAPE love is), all of you be harmonious, sympathetic, brotherly, kindhearted, and humble in spirit;  9not returning evil for evil or insult for insult, but giving a blessing instead; for you were called for the very purpose that you might inherit a blessing.  10For, ‘The one who desires life, to love (AGAPE) and see good days, Must keep his tongue from evil and his lips from speaking deceit.  11 He must turn away from evil and do good; He must seek peace and pursue it.  12 For the eyes of the Lord are toward the righteous, And His ears attend to their prayer, But the face of the Lord is against those who do evil’.”

We now focus on the main thrust of the type of AGAPE Love Jesus is commanding us to apply in John 15:12-14. 

John 15:13, “Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends (PHILOS – loved ones = fellow believers).”

The Doctrine of Laying Down Your Life for Your Friends.

1 John 4:7-12, “Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God.  8The one who does not love does not know God, for God is love.  9By this the love of God was manifested in us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world so that we might live through Him.  10In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins.  11Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.  12No one has seen God at any time; if we love one another, God abides in us, and His love is perfected in us.”

1 John 4:18-21, “There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves punishment, and the one who fears is not perfected in love.  19We love, because He first loved us.  20If someone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for the one who does not love his brother whom he has seen, cannot love God whom he has not seen.  21And this commandment we have from Him, that the one who loves God should love his brother also.”

1 John 5:1-3, “Whoever believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God, and whoever loves the Father loves the child born of Him.  2By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and observe His commandments.  3For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments; and His commandments are not burdensome.”

Definition of  “Laying Down Your Life”:

In the command to love by “laying down our lives”, Jesus is comparing all realms of love to the love that is self-sacrificial for the benefit of our fellow believers, (whether they are current or future believers).  There is no greater love in the entire universe than that AGAPE love that puts others first and ourselves second.

1 John 3:16, “We know love by this, that He laid down His life for us; and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.”  

“Laying down your life” is in the Aorist tense which views the entirety of the action.   Therefore, it does mean suffering martyrdom for the sake of fellow believers, but that is just one aspect of “laying down our lives”, Rev 6:9; 20:4.  “Laying down your life” is also the day-to-day carrying of your Cross for the benefit of others, Luke 9:23-24; Gal 5:24-25.

Our Lord said in Luke 9:23-24, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross daily and follow Me.  For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake, he is the one who will save it.”

Gal 5:24-25, “Now those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.  25If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit.”

“Laying down your life” is also the day-to-day self-sacrificial AGAPE love for the benefit of loved ones (fellow believers current and future).  Whether we are witnessing the gospel or serving our fellow believers, we are in fact laying down our lives for their spiritual benefit whatever it may be.

Gal 6:9, “Let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due time we will reap if we do not grow weary. 10So then, while we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, and especially to those who are of the household of the faith.”

As believers, we each have received at least one spiritual gift at the moment of our salvation, which we should be applying in the service of God each and every day.  As you learn what your gift is and apply it on a consistent basis, you are fulfilling the command of John 15:12-14.  How so? Because there are many other things you could be doing with your life each and every day, yet when you put those things aside to serve God in the application of your spiritual gift you are sacrificing those “other things” of your life, you are sacrificing your life. See 1 Cor 12:4-7, 12-21; 13:1-7; Gal 5:22-23.

1 Cor 12:4-7, “Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit. 5And there are varieties of ministries, and the same Lord. 6There are varieties of effects, but the same God who works all things in all persons. 7But to each one is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good.”

Gal 5:22, “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.

  • Scripture provides detail as to what “laying down your life” entails.  There are two aspects, a) your mental attitude, and b) your actions:

1 John 3:23, “This is His commandment, that we believe in the name of His Son Jesus Christ, and love one another, just as He commanded us.”

1 John 3:18, “Little children, let us not love with word or with tongue, but in deed and truth (Bible Doctrine resident in your soul).”

  • The Appropriate Mental Attitude for “Laying Down Your Life”, Rom 14:7-8; Phil 1:21-25.

Rom 14:7, “For not one of us lives for himself, and not one dies for himself; 8for if we live, we live for the Lord, or if we die, we die for the Lord; therefore whether we live or die, we are the Lord’s.”

  • Mentally put God’s will for your life before your own will or anyone else’s, Luke 22:42.
  • Our Lord prayed in Luke 22:42, “Father, if You are willing, remove this cup from Me; yet not My will, but Yours be done.
  • Mentally put aside worldly titles, credits, power, and prosperity that are a hindrance to serving God and His children, Phil 3:7-8, 15-17.
  • Overcome the sinful desires of your Old Sin Nature with the Word of God resident in your soul, Gal 5:24.  The precursor of the mental attitude that leads to “carrying your cross daily.”

Gal 5:24, “Now those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.”

  • Do not judge your fellow believer, Rom 14:10, 13.

Rom 14:10, “But you, why do you judge your brother? Or you again, why do you regard your brother with contempt?  For we will all stand before the judgment seat of God.”

Rom 14:13, “Therefore let us not judge one another anymore, but rather determine this—not to put an obstacle or a stumbling block in a brother’s way.”

  • Have an absence of hatred, (for whatever reasons), toward fellow believers, 1 John 2:4-11.
  • Dwell in righteousness rather than the garbage of the world, (Satan’s Cosmic System), Phil 4:8-9 with 1 John 3:7.

1 John 3:7, “Little children, make sure no one deceives you; the one who practices righteousness is righteous, just as He is righteous.”

  • Strive for peace with your fellow believer and the edification of their souls, Rom 12:18; 14:19.

Rom 12:18, “If possible, so far as it depends on you, be at peace with all men.

Rom 14:19, “So then let us pursue the things which make for peace and the building up of one another.”

Your Actions in “Laying Down Your Life”:

  • Behave according to God’s mandates in society, Rom 13:8-14; Gal 5:24-26.
  • Suffer and rejoice with others when they are suffering or honored, 1 Cor 12:
  • Give graciously to your fellow believer who is in need, 1 John 3:17.

1 John 3:17, “But whoever has the world’s goods, and sees his brother in need and closes his heart against him, how does the love of God abide in him?”

  • You are not the 007 of Grace. Do not use Grace as a license to sin, Gal 5:13-14.
  • Do not gossip or malign in order to get ahead, Gal 5:15.

Gal 5:13-15, “For you were called to freedom, brethren; only do not turn your freedom into an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another. For the whole Law is fulfilled in one word, in the statement, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” But if you bite and devour one another, take care that you are not consumed by one another.”

  • Have an absence of self-righteous arrogance, Gal 5:26.

Gal 5:22, “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. 24Now those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. 25If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit. 26Let us not become boastful, challenging one another, envying one another.”

  • Forgive the sins of others and encourage them to go forward in the Plan of God, Gal 6:1-2; Eph 4:1-3; Col 3:12-17.

Gal 6:1-2, “Brethren, even if anyone is caught in any trespass, you who are spiritual, restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness; each one looking to yourself, so that you too will not be tempted. Bear one another’s burdens, and thereby fulfill the law of Christ.”

Eph 4:1, “Therefore I, the prisoner of the Lord, implore you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling with which you have been called, 2with all humility and gentleness, with patience, showing tolerance for one another in love, 3being diligent to preserve the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.”

Col 3:12-17, “So, as those who have been chosen of God, holy and beloved, put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience; 13bearing with one another, and forgiving each other, whoever has a complaint against anyone; just as the Lord forgave you, so also should you. 14Beyond all these things put on love, which is the perfect bond of unity. 15Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body; and be thankful. 16Let the word of Christ richly dwell within you, with all wisdom teaching and admonishing one another with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with thankfulness in your hearts to God. 17Whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through Him to God the Father.”

  • Strive for harmonious rapport inside the body of Christ, 1 Pet 3:8-12 with Gal 6:10.

1 Peter 3:8-12, “To sum up (what AGAPE love is), all of you be harmonious, sympathetic, brotherly, kindhearted, and humble in spirit; 9not returning evil for evil or insult for insult, but giving a blessing instead; for you were called for the very purpose that you might inherit a blessing. 10For, ‘The one who desires life, to love (AGAPE) and see good days, Must keep his tongue from evil and his lips from speaking deceit. 11 He must turn away from evil and do good; He must seek peace and pursue it. 12 For the eyes of the Lord are toward the righteous, And His ears attend to their prayer, But the face of the Lord is against those who do evil’.”

  • Have harmonious rapport inside your marriage and family, Eph 5:22-6:4; Col 3:18-21.
  • Apply authority orientation to human institutions, governments, bosses, Pastors, etc., Rom 13:1-7; Col 3:22-25; 1 Thes 5:12-13; 1 Tim 5:17-18; 6:1-2; Titus 2:9-10; 3:1-2.

Conclusion:  “Laying down your life”, means living righteously with confident expectation in the Plan of God, Titus 2:11-14.

Titus 2:11-14, “For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all men, 12instructing us to deny ungodliness and worldly desires and to live sensibly, righteously and godly in the present age, 13looking for the blessed hope and the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Christ Jesus, 14who gave Himself for us (laid down His life) to redeem us from every lawless deed, and to purify for Himself a people for His own possession, zealous for good deeds.”

In John 15:13-17 we have the friendship of Jesus Christ, and in Verses 18-27 we have the hostility of the world. So that leads us to…

The Doctrine of Friends, Friendship with God.

General Definition:
The Complete Biblical Library Greek-English Dictionary notes that in Greek culture, “The supreme duty of a friend was to sacrifice himself for his friend, and examples of sacrifice are highly extolled in Greek literature (Stählin, “philos,” Kittel, 9:151-152). Cicero gave several qualities of a friend.

  • First, friendship could only exist between good men, men who lived pure lives, free from greed, lust and violence.
  • Friends had complete agreement on all subjects and good will toward one another.
  • Friendship was based on love.
  • Friends would not ask one another to do what was wrong and only did good to one another.
  • Permanence and stability in friendship were the product of mutual loyalty.
  • The golden rule for a friend was to put himself on the same level as his friend (De Amicitia 5,6,8,12,13,18,19).

Greeks believed that a man could have only a few real friends and that a pair of friends was the true ideal.”

Etymology – Word Study.

Greek:

PHILOS, φίλος, is a primary adjective translated “friend(s) that means, “beloved, dear, friendly or friend(s).”  It is a term of endearment.  Although it is primarily an adjective with the meaning of “beloved, friendly,” or “dear,” PHILOS came to be used as a noun meaning “friend.”  Neither Greek nor Hebrew tradition requires a distinction between a relative and a friend; a PHILOS may also be a relative.

Thayer defines its use in Scripture as “friend, to be friendly to one, wish him well, a friend, an associate, he who associates familiarly with one, a companion, one of the bridegroom’s friends who on his behalf asked the hand of the bride and rendered him various services in closing the marriage and celebrating the nuptials.”

Liddell and Scott define PHILOS in the Passive Voice as “loved, beloved, dear”, which is equivalent to the Latin AMICSU, CARUS.  In early Greek writings it was used for “a friend, a dear one, an object of love, one’s nearest and dearest, (such as wife and children).”  Of things it was used as, “dear, pleasant or welcome.”  In Poets PHILOS is used of “one’s own limbs, life, etc.”  And finally in the active sense it meant, “loving, friendly or kindly.”

BAGD defines it as having two primary definitions:

  • Pertaining to having a special interest in someone. It was used this way in Greek writings to mean in the Passive Voice: beloved or dear, and in the Active Voice loving, kindly, disposed, or devoted.
  • One who is on intimate terms or in close association with another. In Greek writings is meant friend.

HETAIROS (het-ah’ee-ros), ἑταῖρος, from HETESETES that means clansman or cousin is another Greek word translated friend(s).  HETAIROS means, “a comrade, mate, partner, fellow, friend, (my good friend) or even a concubine.  It is used as a kindly address.  It contrasts PHILOS that was used as a term of endearment. HETAIROS is used in Mat 22:12; 20:13; 26:50.

Hebrew:

The Hebrew equivalents to PHILOS include:

ĀHĒB, אָהֵב, in the Qal stem: friend, loved one (Esther 5:10; Psa 38:11; Jer 20:4).  In the Piel stem: lover (Jer 30:14).

ALLÛPH, אַלּוּף, Close friend, intimate friend (Prov 16:28; 17:9).

YĀDHA, יָדַע, Know; in the Pual stem: intimate friend (Job 19:14).

MĒRĒA, מֵרֵעַ, Neighbor (Prov 12:26).

MODA, מוֹדַע, Kinsmen, intimate friend (Prov 7:4)

RĒA, רֵעַ, Friend, neighbor (Job 2:11; Prov 6:3; Micah 7:5).

SHĀLÔM, שָׁלוֹם, Peace, prosperity; friend (Jer 20:10).

Friendship.  Friendship is the word PHILIA in the Greek that comes from PHILOS and is a hapaxlegomena, (that is, it is used only once in the New Testament and that is in James 4:4).  The Hebrew equivalent is SOD that means “counsel”, and is only used for “friendship” in Job 29:4.

Corporate Friendship with God.

This means that friendship with God is the same between true Israel (Jewish dispensation believers who are Jews) and the Church, John 3:29.

John 3:29, “He who has the bride is the bridegroom; but the friend of the bridegroom, who stands and hears him, rejoices greatly because of the bridegroom’s voice.  So this joy of mine has been made full.”

John the Baptist is calling himself a friend of the Lord Jesus Christ who is the bridegroom of the Church, His bride, (compare with Eph 5:24-28, 33; with Rev 19:7).  Therefore, John the Baptist, a Jewish dispensation believer, is calling himself out as different from the Bride of Christ, the Church.  Therefore, we see a difference between believers of the Age of Israel and Church Age believers, yet both groups of believers have the opportunity to be a “friend / loved one” of God.

Biblical Applications for Being a Friend of God:

The New Testament employs PHILOS about 30 times, often to indicate “a friend to whom one is under a basic obligation”, (Günther, “Love,” Colin Brown, 2:549). Although friends and relatives are sometimes differentiated, Luke 21:16; Acts 10:24, this need not be the case according to our passages, John 15:13-15.

  • Friends of God have no fear other than the fear (awe or respect) of God in their lives, Luke 12:4.

Luke 12:4, “I say to you, My friends, do not be afraid of those who kill the body and after that have no more that they can do.  5“But I will warn you whom to fear: fear the One who, after He has killed, has authority to cast into hell; yes, I tell you, fear Him!”

  • Friends of God have humility from a faith rest life, Luke 14:10.

Luke14:7, “And He began speaking a parable to the invited guests when He noticed how they had been picking out the places of honor at the table, saying to them, 8“When you are invited by someone to a wedding feast, do not take the place of honor, for someone more distinguished than you may have been invited by him, 9and he who invited you both will come and say to you, ‘Give your place to this man,’ and then in disgrace you proceed to occupy the last place. 10But when you are invited, go and recline at the last place, so that when the one who has invited you comes, he may say to you, ‘Friend, move up higher’; then you will have honor in the sight of all who are at the table with you. 11For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.”

  • Friends of God have a mental attitude and actions that are filled with righteousness, Prov 22:11.

Prov 22:11, “He who loves purity of heart and whose speech is gracious, the king is his friend (REA).”

  • Friends of God have a servant’s heart, Luke 7:6.

Luke 7:6, “Now Jesus started on His way with them; and when He was not far from the house, the centurion sent friends, saying to Him, “Lord, do not trouble Yourself further, for I am not worthy for You to come under my roof; 7for this reason I did not even consider myself worthy to come to You, but just say the word, and my servant will be healed.”

  • Friends of God are persistent in their prayer life, Luke 11:5ff.

Luke 11:5, “Then He said to them, “Suppose one of you has a friend, and goes to him at midnight and says to him, ‘Friend, lend me three loaves; 6for a friend of mine has come to me from a journey, and I have nothing to set before him’; 7and from inside he answers and says, ‘Do not bother me; the door has already been shut and my children and I are in bed; I cannot get up and give you anything.8I tell you, even though he will not get up and give him anything because he is his friend, yet because of his persistence he will get up and give him as much as he needs. 9So I say to you, ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. 10For everyone who asks, receives; and he who seeks, finds; and to him who knocks, it will be opened.”

  • Friends of God will be resurrected, John 11:11.

John 11:11, “This He said, and after that He said to them, “Our friend Lazarus has fallen asleep; but I go, so that I may awaken him out of sleep.””

  • Friends of God will have tremendous blessing for time and eternity because of His Word resident in their souls, Job 29:1-5ff.

Job 29:4, “As I was in the prime of my days, when the friendship (SOD – counsel) of God was over my tent.”

  • Friends of Jesus Christ keep His mandates, John 15:14.

In the New Testament the supreme example of a friend was Jesus.  His example of love crosses all cultural boundaries.  To the Jews he represented one who loved His disciples as He loved himself; to the Greeks and Romans He was the one who laid down His life for His friends.  In John 15:14-15 Jesus declared that His followers were His friends not merely His servants (DOULOS).  The believer is more than a servant of God, (i.e., one who ignorantly obeys orders under fear of punishment), rather, he is a friend, and one who knows the Lord’s will and follows Him out of love and desire.

Being subservient is not the intent here or the qualification for friendship, see Verse 15.  Keeping his mandates means you have the mind of Christ and have the same type of thinking as Christ which is the qualification for friendship. Compare with Rom 12:16; 15:5-6; 1 Cor 1:10; Phil 2:2.

Phil 2:1-4, “Therefore if there is any encouragement in Christ, if there is any consolation of love, if there is any fellowship of the Spirit, if any affection and compassion, 2make my joy complete by being of the same mind, maintaining the same love, united in spirit, intent on one purpose.  3Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves; 4do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others.  5Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus.”

  • Friends of Jesus Christ have an admiration for Him as his bride, Song of Solomon, 5:10-16.

Song 5:16, “His mouth is full of sweetness and he is wholly desirable. This is my beloved and this is my friend, O daughters of Jerusalem.”

  • Friendship with the Lord Jesus Christ is based on having His Word metabolized in your soul, Prov 7:4.

Prov 7:4, “Say to wisdom, “You are my sister,” and call understanding your intimate friend (MODA).”

This means that you have Occupation with the Lord Jesus Christ who becomes your best friend.  Occupation with Christ is attained through post-salvation epistemological renewing of you mind, Rom 12:2, (i.e., learning Bible Doctrine on a daily basis so that you advance to spiritual adulthood).

Occupation with Christ provides a new focus in life away from eyes on self, on people and on things.  How you are treated and loved by people is no longer an issue once you have reached Spiritual Self-Esteem and have cognitive self-confidence.

It is your fellowship with God that counts and consistent fellowship leads to friendship with God and the Lord Jesus Christ.  Likewise, this is the only way to execute God’s plan, God’s purpose and God’s will for your life.

Principles of True Friendship with Fellow Believers.

  • Your fellow believers should be considered “friends”, (loved ones), 3 John 14.

3 John 1:14, “But I hope to see you shortly, and we will speak face to face. Peace be to you. The friends greet you. Greet the friends by name.”

  • True friends are not wishy washy, or Johnny come latelies.  A true friend is a consistent companion, Prov 17:17; 18:24.

Prov 17:17, “A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.”

Prov 18:24, “A man of too many friends comes to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.”

  • True friends do not hold back punches.  In a loving way they tell it to you straight, Prov 27:6, 9-10, 14.

Prov 27:6, “Faithful are the wounds of a friend, but deceitful are the kisses of an enemy.”

Prov 27:9, “Oil and perfume make the heart glad, so a man’s counsel is sweet to his friend.”

  • Believer friends should be an encouragement and uplifting to one another, especially when one is going through various difficulties or trials, Job 6:14; Prov 27:10.

Job 6:14, “For the despairing man there should be kindness from his friend; so that he does not forsake the fear of the Almighty.”

Prov 27:10, “Do not forsake your own friend or your father’s friend, and do not go to your brother’s house in the day of your calamity.”

David said to his friend Jonathan in 2 Sam 1:2626, “I am distressed for you, my brother Jonathan; you have been very pleasant to me.  Your love to me was more wonderful than the love of women.”

  • Believer friends should not cause trouble or dissentions against fellow believers, Psa 15:1-5.

Psa 15:3, “He does not slander with his tongue, nor does evil to his neighbor, nor takes up a reproach against his friend.”

  • Believers lay down their lives for fellow believers, John 15:13; Psa 35:9-14.

Psa 35:14, “I went about as though it, (the afflictions of a friend), were my friend or brother; I bowed down mourning, as one who sorrows for a mother.”

Conclusion:

If you have fellowship with positive believers who have virtue, integrity and who recognize the privacy of your priesthood, you will have a wonderful relationship with them, and you will make some of the greatest friendships in this life.

The advantage to such friendships is that you are not depending on them; you are depending on the Lord.  When you are not depending on people and have relationships with them, then you are in Spiritual Self-Esteem.  As a result, you never feel threatened by them.  Likewise, you do not get upset when they turn nasty and sarcastic and turn sour.  Because you are depending on the Lord and not them, and your fellowship with the Lord takes care of that.

If you enter into Christian fellowship with unrealistic expectation, you will never grow in grace and you will never have the type of friendship God desires for you.

Prosperity and Friendship.

The appropriate application of prosperity blessings is to use that wealth to make friends with the lost and dying to win them for Christ, Luke 16:9.

Luke 16:9, “And I say to you, make friends for yourselves by means of the wealth of unrighteousness, so that when it fails, they will receive you into the eternal dwellings.”

Warren Wiersbe commenting on Luke 16:1-12 states, “Like the prodigal (wasteful) son, this steward wasted his master’s goods, just as many people are doing today.  All that we have comes from the Lord and must be used for the good of others and the glory of God.  We are not owners; we are stewards of His possessions, and one day we must give an account of what we have done with what God has shared with us.

Jesus did not commend the steward for cheating his master, but for making good use of his opportunity. The people of this world are much better at seeing opportunities and profiting from them than are the children of God (Eph 5:15-17). During this brief life, we have the opportunity to use wealth to make friends for God, friends who will meet us in heaven!

The key is faithfulness (vv. 10-12).  The unrighteous mammon (money) is the least, but the eternal riches are “the most.”  If we use God’s wealth as He wills, then He will give us true riches which are our own.  Jesus did not see a “great gulf” fixed between the material and the spiritual, for one of the most spiritual things we can do is use material things to the glory of God in the winning of the lost.”

The fool with his money thinks he has many friends, yet he does not, Prov 19:6.

Prov 19:6, “Many will seek the favor of a generous man, and every man is a friend to him who gives gifts.”

All believers (friends) will rejoice together in heaven with the knowledge of those who were lost that have been saved, Luke 15:6, 9.

Luke 15:6, “And when he comes home, he calls together his friends and his neighbors, saying to them, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep which was lost!’”

Wrong Friendships.

  • We should not be friends with the world, Satan’s Cosmic System, James 4:4.

James 4:4, “You adulteresses, do you not know that friendship (PHILIA) with the world is hostility toward God?  Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend (PHILOS) of the world makes himself an enemy of God.”

  • Sometimes even believing friends will turn on you, especially in the Tribulation, Luke 12:16; Job 19:14; Psa 55:12-14.

Luke 21:16, “But you will be betrayed even by parents and brothers and relatives and friends, and they will put some of you to death, 17and you will be hated by all because of My name.”

Job 19:14, “My relatives have failed, and my intimate friends (YADA – to know) have forgotten me.”

Psa 55:12, “For it is not an enemy who reproaches me, then I could bear it; nor is it one who hates me who has exalted himself against me, then I could hide myself from him. 13But it is you, a man my equal, My companion and my familiar friend (YADA); 14We who had sweet fellowship together walked in the house of God in the throng.”

  • Intensive Divine discipline can result in the loss of friends, Psa 38:11; 88:16.

Psa 38:11, “My loved ones (AHEV) and my friends (REA) stand aloof from my plague; and my kinsmen stand afar off.”

Psa 88:18, “You have removed lover and friend (REA) far from me; my acquaintances (YADA) are in darkness.”

  • Self-righteous legalism falsely projects sinfulness in terms of friendship onto the Grace Oriented believer, Mat 11:19; Luke 7:34-35.

Mat 11:19, “The Son of Man came eating and drinking, and they say, ‘Behold, a gluttonous man and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners!’ Yet wisdom is vindicated by her deeds (ERGON).”

Luke 7:34-35, “The Son of Man has come eating and drinking, and you say, ‘Behold, a gluttonous man and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners!’ Yet wisdom is vindicated by all her children (TEKNON).”

  • Wrong friends stab you in the back, gossip about you, slander, or malign you, Prov 12:26; 16:28; 17:9.  

Prov 12:26, “The righteous is a guide to his friend (MEREA), but the way of the wicked leads them astray.”

Prov 16:28, “A perverse man spreads strife, and a slanderer separates intimate friends (ALLUPH).”

Prov 17:9, “He who conceals a transgression seeks love, but he who repeats a matter separates intimate friends (ALLUPH).”

True Friendships can be Neutralized or Destroyed by any of the Following: 

  • Mental attitude sins, Job 19:19-22.

Job 19:19-22, “All my associates abhor me, and those I love have turned against me.  20My bone clings to my skin and my flesh, and I have escaped only by the skin of my teeth . 21Pity me, pity me, O you my friends, for the hand of God has struck me (underserved suffering).  22Why do you persecute me (mental attitude sins) as God, and are not satisfied with my flesh?”

  • Verbal sins, Prov 16:28, 17:9.

Prov 16:28, “A perverse man spreads strife, and a slanderer separates intimate friends.”

  • Overt sins, Rom 13:8-9.
  • National disaster, Jer 20:4.
  • We should not make friends with those who are prone to anger, Prov 22:24.

Prov 22:24(KJV), “Make no friendship with an angry man; and with a furious man thou shalt not go”

  • Friends who are in it for the money are not true friends, Prov 19:6-7.  Stingy people lack capacity for friendship.  True friends show up even when you are broke.

Prov 19:6, “Many will seek the favor of a generous man, and every man is a friend to him who gives gifts.  7All the brothers of a poor man hate him; how much more do his friends abandon him!  He pursues them with words, but they are gone.”

  • Those who have common enemies become friends, Luke 23:12.

Luke 23:12, “Now Herod (Jewish state king) and Pilate (Roman occupying governor) became friends with one another that very day; for before they had been enemies with each other.”

  • This is the concept we have from the ancient Arabian proverb, “the enemy of my enemy is my friend.”

The Biblical Applications of Other Greek Words for “friend”.

In Mat 5:25, we are command to reconcile with those who take us to court.

Mat 5:25, “Make friends (EUNOEO) quickly with your opponent at law while you are with him on the way, so that your opponent may not hand you over to the judge, and the judge to the officer, and you be thrown into prison.”

“Make friends” is the Greek verb EUNOEO from EU that means good or well and NOEO from NOUS that means to perceive, think.  So EUNOEO comes to mean, “to think kindly of, i.e. to be favorable, that is make friends.”

In Mat 20:13; 22:12; 26:50, the Greek word for “friend” is HETAIROS and is used in regard to the unbeliever in relation to Jesus ChristHETAIROS means, “clansman, cousin, a companion, or friend.”

  • Of those who reject Jesus Christ and their fate at the Great White Throne Judgment.

Mat 22:12-14, “And he said to him, ‘Friend, how did you come in here without wedding clothes?’ And the man was speechless. Then the king said to the servants, ‘Bind him hand and foot, and throw him into the outer darkness; in that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’ For many are called, but few are chosen.”

  • Of traitors such as Judas Iscariot.

Mat 26:50, “And Jesus said to him, “Friend, do what you have come for.” Then they came and laid hands on Jesus and seized Him.”

HETAIROS is also used in describing the Sovereignty of God in relation to saving both Jews and Gentiles and has application regarding rewards at the BEMA seat of Jesus Christ, Mat 20:8-16.

Mat 20:8 “When evening came, the owner of the vineyard said to his foreman, ‘Call the laborers and pay them their wages, beginning with the last group to the first.’  9When those hired about the eleventh hour came, each one received a denarius.  10When those hired first came, they thought that they would receive more; but each of them also received a denarius. 11When they received it, they grumbled at the landowner,  12saying, ‘These last men have worked only one hour, and you have made them equal to us who have borne the burden and the scorching heat of the day.’  13But he answered and said to one of them, ‘Friend, I am doing you no wrong; did you not agree with me for a denarius?  14‘Take what is yours and go, but I wish to give to this last man the same as to you.  15‘Is it not lawful for me to do what I wish with what is my own?  Or is your eye envious because I am generous?’ 16So the last shall be first, and the first last.”

This parable also tells us that one believer who has more Divine Good production than another will receive the same amount of rewards at the BEMA seat of Jesus Christ if they both have fulfilled God’s Plan for their lives.

Compare with 1 Cor 12:4-7, “Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit. 5And there are varieties of ministries, and the same Lord. 6There are varieties of effects, but the same God who works all things in all persons.” Also 1 Cor 3:10-15.

In Luke 5:20 we have a different word in the Greek for the NASB translation “friend”.  Here we have the passage translated as, “Seeing their faith, He said, “Friend, your sins are forgiven you.”

This is an incorrect translation because the Greek word is ANTHROPOS that means “man, human or mankind”.  It should be translated “man”, your sins are forgiven you.”  As it is in the KJV.  Therefore, our Lord is not addressing an unbeliever who has come to the knowledge of salvation as “friend or loved one”.  Instead He is saying that mankind’s sins have been forgiven and this one man’s sins are included in that.  So we do not have any interpretation of friendship from this verse, only the forgiveness of sins for mankind.

Abraham is our example of being a “friend” of God, 2 Chron 20:7; Isa 41:8; James 2:23

2 Chron 20:7, “Did You not, O our God, drive out the inhabitants of this land before Your people Israel and give it to the descendants of Abraham Your friend forever.”

This was part of the great public prayer of King Jehoshaphat to our Lord for guidance and protection from the invading armies of Moab and Ammon, (Lot’s incestual offspring).  But we have no detail as to why he was a “friend” of God here.  So we look elsewhere.

Isa 41:8, “But you, Israel, My servant, Jacob whom I have chosen, descendant of Abraham My friend.”

Here our Lord is speaking to His chosen people to comfort them, reminding them of His power, love, guidance, and protection, in comparison to the dead and dumb idols of foreign gods. Yet again, we only have an acknowledgement of friendship, but no reasons for it.

Then we see in James 2:21, “Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered up Isaac his son on the altar?  22You see that faith was working with his works, and as a result of the works, faith was perfected;  23and the Scripture, (Gen 15:6), was fulfilled which says, “And Abraham believed God, and it was reckoned to him as righteousness,” and he was called the friend of God.  24You see that a man is justified by works and not by faith alone.”

Finally we are given some reasoning as to why he was considered a “friend: of God; it was his faithfulness which means his consistent application of Bible Doctrine resident in his soul.

Now, in regard to the works versus faith discussion, see also Roman 3:20-4:1ff and Gal 2:16. Romans 3:28, “For we maintain that a man is justified by faith apart from works of the Law.”

James was written between 45 and 50 AD where Romans and Galatians were written by Paul between 56-58 AD and 55-57AD respectfully.  James is not nullifying faith alone for salvation but is saying that works, (Divine Good Production), are a demonstration of your faith in Jesus Christ and His Word.  The person who says they believe in Christ and His Word, yet have absolutely no Divine Good Production does not have the faith they say that they have or think they have, and truly do not believe in Christ.  The one that believes in Christ will demonstrate their faith in one way or another.

Now back to our topic of Abraham’s friendship with God.

Why is Abraham called “the friend of God”? Well our first two passages do not expand as to why he was called the friend of God, but the third passage, James 2:23, does.  Was he called the friend of God because of his sinlessness?  Or his good looks?  Or personality?  Absolutely Not!  He is called the friend of God because of his faithfulness to God.

Now it is interesting to note that his faithfulness was not 100%.  Yet it was consistent.  You see Abraham failed many times, for example:

  • The conception and birth of Ishmael with Hagar, Gen 16, not trusting in God’s promise of offspring.
  • 13 years later at age 99 he laughed in disbelief of God’s promise of a son, Isaac, with Sarah, Gen 17.
  • In Gen 18:23ff, the fact that he bartered with God over the deliverance of Lot from the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah, rather than asking and trusting in the Lord.
  • In Gen 20, the deception of Abimelech regarding Sarah, saying, “she is my sister”.

Yet even though he had failures, he always picked himself up, rebounded and got back to his relationship with God.  This is noted by his inclusion in the “Visible Hero” hall of fame listing in Heb 11:1-40, specifically in Verses 8-19.

Notice what it says in Verses 1, 2, 6.

Heb 11:1-2, “Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.  2For by it the men of old gained approval.”

Heb 11:6, “And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him.”

So there are two aspects to hall of fame faith.

  • Believe in God, that He exists and is the Savior of all men (“he who comes to God”).
  • Believe in God’s promises of blessing for time and eternity.

Faith here, and throughout this chapter, generally refers to Bible Doctrine or what is believed that is followed up by actions of faith.  Therefore, it begins with the function of the Grace Apparatus for Perception, (GAP), of Bible Doctrine and leads to Divine good production.

The noun here in Heb 11:1 is PISTIS that should read “In fact Doctrine.”

The word PISTIS has three different meanings in the Greek language.

  • That which causes trust and faith; therefore, translated faithfulness, reliability, proof, and pledge. This is a very common word in the New Testament.  It means that which causes trust and faith.
  • Faith in the active sense of believing, and it is always translated, “faith”, “trust”, and “confidence”.
  • The third use of the word which is quite common and never correctly translated throughout the New Testament is “that which is believed, the body of faith or belief”, and therefore translated it should be “Doctrine” or “Bible Doctrine.” In other words he was oriented to the Word of God that led him in all aspects of his life.

In Verse 1 we have “Doctrine is the Assurance of Things Hoped for…”  And all the way through we are going to see, for example:  Verse 4, “By Doctrine Abel Offered”; Verse 5, “By Doctrine Enoch was Translated”; and Verse 7, “By Doctrine Noah, Being Warned”.  Noah was not warned by faith, he was warned by God’s Word – Bible Doctrine.  Faith doesn’t warn you, Bible Doctrine warns you.

So when we read about Abraham in Verses 8-19, we note that it was by means of the application of Bible Doctrine resident within his soul that led him to serve God (produce Divine Good), in fantastic ways.

Note that twelve of the forty verses in our Hall of Fame list are devoted to Abraham, that is 30%, not to mention Sarah’s, Isaac’s, Jacob’s, and Joseph’s production that was the result of Abraham’s influence.

So what where the Doctrinally Oriented based works that gained Abraham the title of “being a friend of God”?

Verse 8, He obeyed the Lord’s calling of geographic location, without knowing where that location was at the outset.  He followed God’s Plan for his life.

Are you in the right location where God wants to use you?  Or are you trying to find the land that best pleases you, as his nephew Lot did.

Verse 9, He did not have a lust for material possessions and act like he owned the place even though it was promised to him as an inheritance.  He demanded nothing and humbly lived as God would provide.

Verse 10, He did not look to the world or his possessions to save him, but looked to God and trusted in God’s promises of the eternal state.

Verse 11, He managed his wife well, nurturing her own faithfulness in God.

Verse 12-16, He trusted in his heavenly citizenship as a member of the family of God, Phil 3:20-21.

Verse 17, He faith rested through adversity, disaster testing.

Verse 18, He trusted in the promises of God.

Verse 19, He believed in the resurrection of the dead to eternal life.

Verses 20-22, He passed down his faith in God and His Word to his children, grandchildren and great grandchildren, etc.; his spiritual heritage.

Summary of Friendship with God, adapted from Oswald Chambers, (My Utmost for His Highest), “Friendship with God.”

Genesis 18:17, “Shall I hide from Abraham what I am doing …?”

This verse is exactly what our Lord states in our passage of John 15:14-15, especially in Verse 15, “No longer do I call you slaves, for the slave does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all things that I have heard from My Father I have made known to you.”

Our friendship with God is based on hearing Him by means of His Word, Bible Doctrine resident within our soul.  When you have His Word and then faith rest, trust and rely upon it, you will be a friend of God.

There are two aspects to our friendship, the difficulties and delights of friendship.

The Difficulties of His Friendship.

In Genesis 18:33, Abraham stopped petitioning the Lord.  Why did he stop when he did?  He stopped because he was still lacking the level of intimacy in his relationship with God, which would enable him boldly to continue on with the Lord in prayer until his petition and desire were granted.  His petition was to spare the city.  His desire was to spare his nephew Lot and his family.

Whenever you stop short of your true desire in prayer and say, “Well, I don’t know, maybe this is not God’s will,” then you still have another level to go.  It shows that you are not as intimately acquainted with God as Jesus was, and as Jesus would have you to be, “…that they may be one just as We are one …”,  John 17:22.

Think of the last thing you prayed about; were you devoted to your desire or to God?  Was your determination to get some gift of the Spirit for yourself or to get to God?

Mat 6:8, “For your Father knows the things you have need of, before you ask Him.”

The reason for asking is so you may get to know God better.

Psa 37:4, “Delight yourself also in the Lord, and He shall give you the desires of your heart.”

Yet if you have a lack of faith in Him, you still have a ways to go before you can know that you are His friend.  So keep praying to get a perfect understanding not of your wants, needs and desires but of God Himself.

The Delights of His Friendship.

Genesis 18 also brings out the delight of true friendship with God, as compared with simply feeling His presence occasionally in prayer.

This friendship means being so intimately in touch with God that you never even need to ask Him to show you His will.  It is evidence of a level of intimacy which confirms that you are nearing the final stage of your discipline (education) in the life of faith.

When you have a right-standing relationship with God, you have a life of freedom, liberty and delight; you are God’s will.  And all of your commonsense decisions are actually His will for you, unless you sense a feeling of restraint brought on by a check in your spirit.  You are free to make decisions in the light of a perfect and delightful friendship with God; knowing that if your decisions are wrong, He will lovingly produce that sense of restraint.  Once He does, you must stop immediately.

Slavery versus Friendship.

In John 15:15 we have, “No longer do I call you slaves, for the slave does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all things that I have heard from My Father I have made known to you.”

The Greek reads:  “ οὐκέτι  λέγω  ὑμᾶς  δούλους,  ὅτι  ὁ  δοῦλος  οὐκ  οἶδεν  τί  ποιεῖ  αὐτοῦ  ὁ  κύριος·  ὑμᾶς  δὲ  εἴρηκα  φίλους,  ὅτι  πάντα  ἃ  ἤκουσα  παρὰ  τοῦ  Πατρός  μου  ἐγνώρισα  ὑμῖν.

Transliterated it is:  “OUKETI LEGO HUMAS DOULOUS, HOTI HO DOULOS OUK OIDEN TI POIEI AUTOU HO KURIOS. HUMAS DE EIREKA PHILOUS, HOTI PANTA HA EKOUSA PARA TOU PATROS MOU EGNORISA HUMIN.”

There are four parts to this verse that we will look at separately.

  • Our first clause is, “No longer do I call you slaves.”

Transliterated from the Greek to English alphabet it reads, “OUKETI LEGO HUMAS DOULOUS.”

OUKETI is an Adverb that means “no longer, no more, etc.”  It is a combination of the Greek words OUK, “no or not,” and ETI, “yet or still.”

LEGO is a Verb in the Present, Active, Indicative, First Person, Singular, that means, “to say, or to address”, for example to call someone by their surname.

The Instantaneous Present Tense is used to indicate Jesus’ designation for the disciples at that time.

The Active Voice with the First Person Singular,  tells us our Lord is the one addressing the disciples.

The Indicative Mood is used for the fact of reality that Jesus Christ is now designating them to be “His friends”, so we say, “I call or I designate.”

HUMAS is the Second Person, Plural, Personal Pronoun of SU in the Accusative that means “you all”.  Our Lord is addressing the disciples.  These are the ones He no longer calls servants and by extension all positive Church Age believers.

DOULOUS is a Noun in the Direct Object Accusative, Masculine, Plural of DOULOS that means, “Slaves or bond-servants.” This is our Lord’s prior reference to the disciples (believers), as he had used in John 13:16 that is now changing.

Our translation will be, “I no longer call (designate) you all bond-servants.

Principles of Being a Slave

To the Greeks a slave was to be subject to an utterly debasing social and anthropological position.  To them freedom and individuality was the goal of life.  Autonomy was the highest prize of the Hellenistic world; thus servitude was the absence of any such freedom.

The slave is:

  • Limited in personal rights and privileges.
  • Limited in thinking and actions.
  • Carries out the will and purpose of another.
  • Depends on others to provide protection and sustenance.
  • Has turned his freedom over to someone else.
  • Does not know what his master is thinking or planning.

In our relationship with God, these are emphasized in a positive way to protect us from sin and evil.

DOULOS in the New Testament plays a major theological role.  Apart from the use of DOULOS as a character in a parable, (e.g., Mat 25:14ff.; Mark 12:2; Luke 14:17), and excluding its normal literal use, (e.g., Luke 7:2ff.; John 18:10; Eph 6:5ff.; Col 3:22ff.; 1 Tim 6:1), it usually functions in a figurative sense.

This figurative use covers three basic areas:

  • The Christian as a DOULOS of God.
  • The Christian as a DOULOS to other Christians.
  • Christ as the DOULOS of God.

The Christian as a “DOULOS” of God.   John’s Gospel and Paul’s epistles agree that people are either “slaves” (DOULOI) of sin, or they are slaves of righteousness, (i.e., they are obedient; John 8:34; cf. Acts 7:6; Rom 6:16-17, 20).   Believing in Christ’s atoning work makes it possible for people to be freed from their enslavement to sin and to enjoy a new status as sons and daughters of God, Gal 4:7; cf. 2 Peter 2:19.

The believing community is God’s/Christ’s DOULOI, 1 Cor 7:22. That is, the DOULOS of God is under obligation to be totally committed to his (or her) Lord, Mat 6:24, “No man can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and wealth.” cf. Mat 8:9.

The Christian as a “DOULOS” to other Christians.  Believers are to model the servant-hood of Jesus.

Mat 20:27, “Whosoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant.” cf. 1 Cor 7:23.

Service to one another is an expression of love (AGAPE, Gal 5:13), kindness and social responsibility (2 Tim 2:4).

Gal 5:13, “For you were called to freedom, brethren; only do not turn your freedom into an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another.”

Christ as the “DOULOS” of God.

The servant-hood of Jesus is capsulized in Phil 2:6ff.  Christ’s role as DOULOS binds Him solidly with humanity’s condition.  He identified with mankind’s subjection to the Law, sin and death, Heb 2:15.

Heb 2:15, “And might free those who through fear of death were subject to slavery all their lives.”

Servant-hood to God is uniquely expressed in Christ’s obedience even unto death, Phil 2:8.  Our Lord distinguishes a friend from a servant, who might also be loyal but would not share intimate secrets.  Therefore, our Lord is saying, we are much more than merely slaves to Him.

  • Our next clause is, “For the slave does not know what his master is doing”.

“HOTI HO DOULOS OUK OIDEN TI POIEI AUTOU HO KURIOS.”

HOTI is a Subordinating Conjunction that means “that, because, for or since”.

Here it has a Causative Force.  Used in this way it indicates the nature and extent of the influence of the thing said in the subordinate clause on the statement in the main clause.

HO DOULOS is the Article “the” and Noun DOULOS in the Subject Nominative, Masculine, Singular once again used for “bond-servant, slave.”

OUK is the negative particle of OU for “not or no.” We will say “does not.”

OIDEN is the Verb OIDA in the Perfect, Active, Indicative, Third Person, Singular that means, “to have seen or perceived, hence to know.”

The Perfect with a Present Force stands for completed past action that remains completed at the time of speaking that is used like a present tense for a lack of knowledge at the present time.

The Active Voice, with the preceding negative OUK means that the bond-servant has not known in the past and does not know presently.  That is the reality for the bond-servant. They “do not know.”

TI is an Indirect Interrogative Pronominal Adjective in the Accusative, Neuter, Singular of TIS that means “who?, which?, why?, what?, wherefore, or how very.”  Here it is dealing with the things of our Lord, that is, “what He is doing”, so we say “what”.

POIEI is a Verb in the Present, Active, Indicative, Third Person, Singular of POIEO that means “to make, or do.”

The Progressive Present Tense is for continuous ongoing action that is, “what he keeps on doing”, so we add “is” for our English understanding for continuous action and say, “is doing.”

The Active Voice in the Third Person Singular identifies the “master” as the one who is performing an action that is unknown to the bond-servant.

AUTOU is the anaphoric use of the Pronoun AUTOS in the Possessive Genitive, Masculine, Third Person, Singular that means, “of him or his.”

HO KURIOS is the article “the” and the noun KURIOS in the Nominative, Masculine, Singular that means “master or lord.”  Originally KURIOS was an adjective which meant “to have power, authority.”  The term also functioned as a noun, and in that case it meant “lord, master, and ruler.”  It could also be used as an address reserved for those with a superior status, “sir”.  This parable uses the word KURIOUS  in relation to a slave and his master; so we will not translate it “Lord”, as for the Lord Jesus Christ, but will simply say “master” is regard to the slave – master relationship used here.

So we have “for the bond-servant does not know what his master is doing.”

Principles:

A slave does what he is told without understanding his master’s mind or business.  Yet to the contrary, our true relationship with God and The Lord Jesus Christ is based on knowing who they are, how they think and what they are doing. This can only be accomplished through the consistent intake and application of God’s Word / Bible Doctrine by the power of God the Holy Spirit.

As the saying goes, “knowledge is power!” Therefore, the more knowledge you have of God and His Plan for your life, the more power you will have over your own life, your sin nature and Satan’s Cosmic System.  You have only two choices in life; to be a friend of sin and Satan’s Cosmic System or to be a friend of God, James 4:4f.

James 4:4, “You adulteresses, do you not know that friendship with the world is hostility toward God?  Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.  5Or do you think that the Scripture speaks to no purpose:  “He jealously desires the Spirit which He has made to dwell in us”?  6But He gives a greater grace.  Therefore it says, “God is opposed to the proud, but gives grace to the humble.”  7Submit therefore to God.  Resist the devil and he will flee from you.  8Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.  Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded.  9Be miserable and mourn and weep; let your laughter be turned into mourning and your joy to gloom.  10Humble yourselves in the presence of the Lord, and He will exalt you.”

  • Then we have, “But I have called you friends.”

“HUMAS DE EIREKA PHILOUS.”

HUMAS is the Second Person, Plural, Personal Pronoun of SU in the Direct Object Accusative that means “you all”, again referring to the disciples.

DE is a Superordinating Conjunction that means “but, to the contrary, or rather.”  It is an Adversative Conjunction of Contrast.

EIREKA is the Perfect, Active, Indicative, First Person, Singular of EIPON which is the AORIST use of LEGO that means “to say or address.”

The Extensive Perfect Tense is for completed past action from which a present state emerges.  Because of the relationship Jesus has had with them, they are currently designated as “His friends.”

The Active Voice tells us that Christ has designated the disciples as “His friends”.  So we say, “I have called (designated).

PHILOUS is the Pronominal Adjective PHILOS in the Accusative, Masculine, Plural that means “friends, loved ones, beloved, dear, etc.”

So we have “To the contrary, I have called (designated) you all friends (loved ones).”

Principles:

The slave simply receives the command of his master without knowing the reason why this or that thing is ordered.  It is one of the conditions of slavery not to be let into the counsels and plans of the master.  Yet, it is the privilege of friendship to be made acquainted with the plans, wishes and desires of your friend.

The traditional Greek concept of friendship emphasized equality among companions.

The main ideals of friendship in ancient literature included loyalty (sometimes to the death), equality and mutual sharing of all possessions and an intimacy in which a friend could share everything in confidence.

Friends love each other and help each other.

The obedience that Christ asks from us is not that of the slave, but of the friend.  Because we are His friends and abide in Him, we know His will and share His secrets.

Jesus called His disciples friends because He had disclosed His Father’s revelation to them. This designation of friendship He gave to them was the result of making them acquainted with the reasons why He was about to leave them, and with His secret (mystery) Doctrines for the Church Age.  As He had given them these proofs of friendship; therefore, it was proper that He should not withhold from them the title of friends.

  • We complete Verse 15 with, “for all things that I have heard from My Father I have made known to you.”

“HOTI PANTA HA EKOUSA PARA TOU PATROS MOU EGNORISA HUMIN.”

HOTI once again is a Subordinating Conjunction with causative force, “for

PANTA is a Pronominal Adjective in the Accusative, Neuter, Plural, of PAS that means, “all or every.”

Used here as a Substantive, (equivalent to a noun), it means, “all things, or everything.”  This is speaking of the mystery; the mystery of His work for the Father and the entrance into the mystery Doctrine for the Church Age.

HA is a Relative Pronominal Adjective in the Accusative, Neuter, Plural, of HOS that means “which.”

EKOUSA is a Verb in the Aorist, Active, Indicative, First Person, Singular, of AKOUO that means “to hear, hearing or listen”.

The Culminative Aorist Tense is used for simple past tense, so we say “heard”.  The Aorist Tense here is rather important.  It means that Jesus Christ heard the whole realm of Church Age Doctrine.  It means that He learned it all.  In His Deity He always knew it, but here the emphasis is on His humanity in the hypostatic union.  So this is a reference to the thinking of God that Jesus learned in His humanity.  It tells us that Jesus Christ Himself, in His humanity, went to supergrace; He learned maximum Doctrine; He learned the plan of God the Father for the Church Age, and He communicated it.

In the First Person Singular Active Voice, Jesus is the one performing the action, so we say, “I heard.

PARA is the Genitive of Source Preposition that means “from”.  It is the Preposition of immediate source.  The source of Jesus’ knowledge is noted in the next words.

TOU PATROS is the Genitive of Relationship, Masculine, Singular Article “the” and PATER that means “Father”, referring to God the Father.

MOU is the Pronoun EGO in the Genitive, First Person, Singular, that means “of me or my.”

EGNORISA is the verb GNORIZO in the Aorist, Active, Indicative First Person, Singular that means “to come to know, disclose, to make known”

The Ingressive Aorist Tense emphasizes entrance into the action or state.  That means He began to make known the whole realm of mystery Doctrine for the Church Age.  He did not teach the whole realm of Doctrine to the disciples; they will learn as time goes on.  What Jesus began to teach Peter, John, Paul, etc. will record, and in 96 AD the Canon of Scripture will be completed, and that will record everything that Jesus Christ heard.  The Lord heard, assimilated and communicated this knowledge of God the Father in His humanity by means of the Grace Apparatus for Perception (GAP). So, we say “I have begun to make known”.

The Active Voice tells us Jesus is the one who taught them the Doctrines which the Father disclosed to Him.

HUMIN is the Pronoun SU in the Dative of Advantage Case, Second Person, Plural that means “to you all”.

So we have, “for everything I heard from My Father I have begun to make known to you all.

Principles:

In essence Jesus is saying to them, “I have admitted you into a state of the most intimate fellowship with Myself; and have made known unto you whatsoever I have heard from the Father.”  This is similar to what is said of our Lord’s relationship with Moses in Ex 33:11, “Thus the LORD used to speak to Moses face to face, just as a man speaks to his friend.”

The disciples were, (and you and I can be), friends of Jesus Christ, because of our Lord’s discloser of the thinking of the Father.

Jesus Christ has communicated to them Bible Doctrine and also desires to communicate His Doctrine to us.

The Grace Apparatus for Perception (GAO) was designed by God so that Jesus Christ could communicate His thinking, His Word to us, 1 Cor 2:16; 2 Cor 4:7 (Read vs. 1-12).

1 Cor 2:16, “But we have the mind of Christ.”

The reason why He called them friends was that He had now treated them as friends.   He had opened to them His mind; made known His plans; acquainted them with the design of His coming, His death, His resurrection, and ascension; and, having thus given them the clearest proof of friendship.  Therefore, it was proper that he should give them the title.  Likewise, He desires the same for you and me.

Knowing the will of God is a tremendous privilege; with it comes great responsibility.

  • Knowing God’s plan and will, whether it be for your own life or someone else’s, means you need to be a part of His will and align yourself to it. That is, voluntarily be His servant to accomplish His will.
  • This also means that you should not get in the way of or frustrate His will in any given situation.
  • If you know His will, you operate in conjunction with His will and you do not get in the way of His will. (Note Balaam, Num 22-24.)

Knowing His heart as His friend you take on the heart of being His bond-servant.

Our complete translation of John 15:15 is:   “I no longer call (designate) you all bond-servants, for the bond-servant does not know what his master is doing. To the contrary, I have called (designated) you all friends (loved ones). For everything I heard from My Father I have begun to make known to you all.”

Principles:

Jesus declared that His followers were His friends not merely His servants (DOULOS).  The positive, (supergrace), believer is more than a servant of God, (i.e., one who ignorantly obeys orders under fear of punishment), rather, he is a friend, and one who knows the Lord’s will and follows Him out of love and desire.

The difference between DOULOS and PHILOS: DOULOS is ignorance; PHILOS is cognisance.  That is the whole story of the Christian life.  The issue after salvation is cognisance versus ignorance.  Ignorance leads to reversionism; cognisance leads to supergrace.

This tells us that our friendship with God is based on hearing Him by means of His Word, Bible Doctrine resident within your soul.  When you have His Word resident in your soul and then faith rest, trust, and rely upon it, you will be a friend of God.

Being subservient is not the intent here or the qualification for friendship.  Keeping his mandates means you have the mind of Christ and have the same type of thinking as Christ which is the qualification for friendship. Compare with Rom 12:16; 15:5-6; 1 Cor 1:10; Phil 2:2.

Phil 2:1-4, “Therefore if there is any encouragement in Christ, if there is any consolation of love, if there is any fellowship of the Spirit, if any affection and compassion, 2make my joy complete by being of the same mind, maintaining the same love, united in spirit, intent on one purpose.  3Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves; 4do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others.  5Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus.”

The Lord elevated His disciples to a higher position than that of servants.

  • The slave is told and expected to execute the master’s commands while often remaining ignorant of his reasons.
  • Yet, the level of friend is one of equals in some respects.
  • A servant is not told his master’s mind, purpose or plans; a friend knows his friend intimately.

Friends inform each other and trust each other.

  • Jesus had been teaching His disciples, and in these verses He introduced the friendship relationship with them.
  • Those who treasure His Words and abide in His love are His friends.
  • By His grace, those who grasp hold of His teachings are enlightened as His friends.

In the New Testament the supreme example of a friend was Jesus.

  • His example of love crosses all cultural boundaries.
  • To the Jews, He represented one who loved His disciples as He loved himself.
  • To the Greeks and Romans, He was the one who laid down His life for His friends.

Christians will always be the Lord’s servants, but when they love as He commanded, He shares with them as friends.

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