Unconditional Love – BT9
Horizontal-love for people and Vertical-love for God depends on Vertical-Love from God
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When unconditional-love comes ek out-from-the-interior-of Christians (C) Horizontally for People (P), mathematically shown as C –> L –> P, or even Upwards-Vertically back up to God (C –> L –> G), what is actually happening is God is coming out from Christians (C –> G) because of God being unconditional-love (G = L) and unconditional-love coming ek out-from-the-interior-of God (G –> L) making unconditional-love equal to God (L = G) – see Unconditional-Love – BT8, and this Horizonal-love for People (C –> L –> P) is actually Downwards-Vertical-Love from God to Christians (G = L –> C) flowing through Christians to People (G = L = G –> C –> L –> P) and even Upwards-Vertically back up to God (G = L = G –> C –> L –> G). This is what Christian service actually is – it witnesses God within Christians, giving God’s unconditional-love (God Himself) not only to Christians but through Christians to People and back up to Himself. That’s how Paul could say “For from Him and through Him and to Him are ALL things” (a) so “that God may be all in ALL” (b). <Notes> a) Romans 11:36, b) 1 Corinthians 15:28.
But we’ve seen this from the previous BLOG in 1 John 4:7-8 that says: “Beloved, let us unconditionally-love one another, for this unconditional-love (L) ongoingly exists/is-defined-as ek out-from-the-interior-of God (G –> L) and/thus everyone [who is] routinely unconditionally-loving, [this one] has been begotten ek out-from-the-interior-of God and/coupled [this one] experientially, relationally, ginosko knows God. Anyone who is not in possibility routinely unconditionally-loving, has absolutely in fact not already experientially, relationally, ginosko known God because God ongoingly IS/defined-as/exists-as Unconditional-Love” (G = L).
That’s exactly John’s point: God the Father, Son, and Spirit’s fruit/essence/nature of unconditional-love flowing Vertically-Downwards into Christians (G = L = G –> L –> C), where it produces unconditional-love IN us by the means of the Holy Spirit (a) for others, which is either Horizontal unconditional-love to People (G = L = G –> L –> C –> L –> P), or reciprocally back Vertically-Upward to God (G = L = G –> L –> C –> L –> G). Can you see how the Vertically-Downwards unconditional-love of God is the reason for not only our Vertical-Upwards unconditional-love for God but Horizontal unconditional-love for people in 1 John 4:10-11 “This is unconditional-love: absolutely in fact not that we already have [with ongoing effects] unconditional-loved God but that He already [in the past] unconditional-loved us, coupled/namely (b) sent his Son to be the propitiation (c) for our sins. Beloved, if God already SO unconditional-loved us, we also (b) opheilo are-indebted (d) to presently/ongoingly unconditional-love one another.” <Notes> a) Romans 5:5, 15:30; Galatians 5:22; Colossians 1:8, b) kai often means and-coupled, but can also mean “still, besides, also, moreover, likewise, even, indeed, namely, specifically”, c) propitiation or atonement means sin in our flesh transferred into His flesh on the cross so that at His resurrection His righteousness is transferred to us, d) opheilo: owe, are indebted or obliged to rectify/pay-off a legitimate debt, even of moral responsibility. The NT use of this word it not a “work to remove debt” because that’s what the “propitiation of Christ” did. It is a 1 Thessalonians 1:3 “labor of unconditional-love” act of gratitude or thanksgiving. The next BLOG will talk about this more.
But working backwards through 1 John 4:7-8, John also says: Unconditionally-loving People (L –> P) and God (L –> G) actually proves we really are Christians (C) who have received God’s unconditionally-loving fruit/essence/nature that begot (birthed) us from God, so the whole process from God to Christians to People (G = L = G –> C –> L –> P) or back to God (G = L = G –> C –> L –> G) all depends on God!
I never really understood this “Unconditional-Love = God” (L = G) and “God = Unconditional-Love” (G = L) mathematical symmetry of equality until this vision that started back in Unconditional-Love – BT4, but it explains that “our unconditional-love for People” or “for God” completely depends on “God ongoingly IS defined-as/existing-as Unconditional-Love” (G = L) and His Downwards unconditional-love shown toward Christians through Christ (G = L –> C). However, we can’t get the latter confused with the former. We can’t confuse the cart with the horses or get the cart before the horses. God’s nature and demonstrated unconditional-love is the “horse-power” that pulls the cart!
I’ve heard so many preachers say: “Our horizontal fellowship with others relies on our vertical fellowship with God,” and then they put this all on our shoulders – that our “Upwards-love” is the real problem with our Horizontal-love for people, so “time to get to work on your fellowship with God!” This is just rephrasing the OT commandment to “Love God with all your heart, mind, soul, and strength!” I’ve heard other preachers say: “We are commanded to love others, so do your Christian duty and be obedient to Christ. Get busy loving others.” But this is just rephrasing the OT commandment to “Love your neighbor as yourself.” We are right back to obedience from our own “might and power” to please God – works FOR God.
In fact, many preachers don’t even try to hide their fondness for OT commandments. Paul would call them “false-teachers” (a) because they are “teachers of the Law” (b), even “false brethren secretly brought in to spy our our freedom [from the Law] we have in Christ” (c). However, Paul was recognized as one who spoke against the Law (d), and warned Timothy against such people (e). The NT speaks many negative things against obedience to any part of the Law (or “the different spirit” of the Law – 2 Corinthians 11:4) and those who teach it – see Logos Word of God – BT8. Once you get on any part of that slippery slope, like I have heard so many preachers do, you will slip to the bottom of the slope and be right back into slavery to the Law, a Law that nobody can keep, a Law that made nothing perfect, the Law of sin and death, and thus back to religion! But this is absolutely not NT fellowship WITH God! <Notes> a) 2 Peter 2:1, b) Luke 5:17; Acts 5:34, c) Galatians 2:4, d) Acts 21:28, e) 1 Timothy 1:7.
That is exactly why after writing 1 John 4:7-8 above, John writes vv. 10-11 to keep Christians from slipping on that ‘Law slope: “THIS is-defined-as unconditional-love: Absolutely in fact not that we have unconditionally-loved God (the Law’s upwards unconditional-love FOR God), but that He unconditionally-loved us (the Gospel’s downwards unconditional-love FROM God) and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins (the Gospel). Beloved, since God so unconditionally-loved us (the Gospel’s downwards unconditional-love from God), we also opheilo are-indebted to unconditionally-love one another” – Christ’s only commandment to the SAVED: horizontal unconditional-love to others – Logos Word of God – BT16. The impetus for horizontally, unconditionally-loving others is NOT the Law’s Upward-love FOR God, but God’s Downward-love to us through Christ and IN us by the Holy Spirit. That is what the NT calls koinonia fellowship WITH God.
The apostle Paul understood where the enabling-power of unconditional-love comes from – and it’s NOT from us: “For The unconditional-Love of/belonging-to Christ (a) actually, ongoingly controls, preoccupies, constrains, or compels us (b) because we have judged this: that One has died for all, therefore all have died; and He died for all that those who are presently/ongoingly living might absolutely in fact no longer ongoingly live for themselves but for Him who for their sake died and was raised” (c). “Might” proves we are not forced into this as slaves! As we’ve seen with the word opheilo above for “indebtedness,” there is no way through ‘duty or obligation’ we could repay our debt of sin, but we can respond with a “labor of unconditional-love” (d) act of gratitude or thanksgiving. The next BLOG will talk about this more. <Notes> a) possessive genitive, b) see Surrender Control, c) 2 Corinthians 5:14-15, d) 1 Thessalonians 1:3.
The enabling-power of unconditional-love that gives us “self-control/mastery” (a) and that “preoccupies, constrains, controls, or compels us” to “live for Christ” instead of just ourselves, is absolutely not “our unconditional-love FOR God” (Upwards-love) but instead “Christ’s unconditional-love FOR us (Downwards-love), giving Himself FOR us” – that’s the meaning of the possessive genitive: “The unconditional-Love of/belonging-to Christ.” Again, this supernatural Unconditional-Love is the nature/essence/definition of Jesus (J = L), who clearly is God according to the NT (G = L = G = J) that is shown as Downward-love to Christians (G = L = G = J = L –> C). However, once it really is IN us by the indwelling Holy Spirit, then it supernaturally-enables us to unconditionally-love God with Upwards-love (G = L = G = J = L –> C –> G) and people with Horizontal-love (G = L = G = J = L –> C –> P). <Notes> a) another “flavor or facet” of The Unconditional-Love of the Spirit from Galatians 5:22-23.
As Christian musicians, the NT writers knew that the source of Christian unconditional-love FOR God or others was NOT within flawed men’s “might and power”, no matter what our motivation, because that is exactly the expectation and flaw of the palaios “old, antiquated, worn-out, useless” covenant. Instead the source is the very fruit/essence/nature/definition of God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Just as the previous BLOGs reveal, unconditional-love is NOT part of creation ‘outside of God’ but the singular nature of God! “ALL THINGS are from, through, and to Him” because it turns out that His very nature of “Unconditional-Love” is what “holds all things together.” The ‘unifying-force’ isn’t a WHAT at all, but the WHO of God. Our ability to Upwards-Vertically love God and Horizontally-love people ALL comes “from and through Him.” It really all comes down to dechomai receiving-welcoming and lambano seizing-for-yourself the Unconditional-Love that is God. And really that’s what Romans 1:17 means: “the righteous-ones shall indeed zoe genuinely-live by trusting-relying-faith from one step of trusting-relying-faith to another, from beginning to end,” as this common Greek idiom “faith to faith” translates.
You can’t give away what you don’t possess. God flows out unconditional-love to us “from Himself” because He is infinite Unconditional-love. This comes into us through Christ as His Spirit when we dechomai receive-welcome and lambano seize-for-ourselves this free grace-gift of salvation through surrendering-repentance, confession, and water-baptism. But it doesn’t stop there! Every time we come into intimate koinonia fellowship with God and we are “routinely filled with the abundant-fullness of God by the means of the Spirit” per Ephesians 3:19 and 5:18, which is the definition of Spirit-baptism, we get more of God and His unconditional-love. This is the only way to live the Christian ‘walk’ by routinely getting filled up WITH God and this is the only way we can experience and give away unconditional-love, the very nature of God. Jesus was correct in John 15:4-7 that ONLY if we meno abide/cohabitate/remain IN Him will we be able to produce much fruit to glorify God, and in Matthew 19:26 and Mark 10:27, “WITH God all things are possible.” See A 11-21-2021 Vision about Meno abiding. It’s not about following the Law to “Love God” or “Love your neighbor” nor is it even about the NT commandment “to ongoingly unconditionally-love one another as I have you.” It all comes back to that trusting-relying-faith connection to the Lord, the first and only other NT commandment – see Logos Word of God – BT15!
Lord, keep us close to You for we know that nothing good comes from our flesh and only “God is good.” We want to love You and others more, but we know that our “might and power” of Zechariah 4:6 just won’t cut it. We need Your Spirit to supernaturally-enable this within us, by flooding us with Yourself, Your unconditional-love. Fill us! Baptize us! We just want You. We know that “ALL things” flow from You!
Spiritual Education, Unconditional Agape Love, Forgiveness instead of Judgment, Emotional Healing, Living like Christ, God is Love, Love flows from God into Christians by His Spirit, Love flows out of Christians back up to God, Love flows out of Christians to other people, Christians are simply channels of God’s love, God’s love is the power that pulls the horses that pulls the cart, Loving proves you know God who is Love, Propitiation/Atonement of Christ transferring our sin to Christ to receive His righteousness is how God loved for us, Our indebtedness to love isn’t supposed to be another work of the Law but a labor of gratitude, Love is defined by what comes FROM God not we do FOR God, Only fellowship with God will produce Love for others