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#49057 - Sunday, August 19, 2012 2:43 PM Does loving God help us obey Him or does obeying God help us love
Wayne@purpose Offline
Newbie

Registered: Tuesday, July 17, 2012
Posts: 36
Loc: Houston Texas
1. Does loving God help me obey Him or does obeying God help me love Him?
2. Is this important?
3. Why or why not?
4. Why is love greater than faith?


Law and Prophets:
Deut 7:9 "Know therefore that the LORD your God, He is God, the faithful God, who keeps His covenant and His lovingkindness to a thousandth generation with those who love Him and keep His commandments; (NAS)

Neh 1:5 And I said, "I beseech Thee, O LORD God of heaven, the great and awesome God, who preserves the covenant and lovingkindness for those who love Him and keep His commandments, (NAS)

Dan 9:4 And I prayed to the LORD my God and confessed and said, "Alas, O Lord, the great and awesome God, who keeps His covenant and lovingkindness for those who love Him and keep His commandments, (NAS)

New Testament:
John 14:15 "If you love Me, you will keep My commandments.” (NAS)

John 14:21 "He who has My commandments and keeps them, he it is who loves Me; and he who loves Me shall be loved by My Father, and I will love him, and will disclose Myself to him." (NAS)

John 14:23 Jesus answered and said to him, "If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him, and make Our abode with him. (NAS)

2 Cor 5:14-15 For the love of Christ controls us, having concluded this, that one died for all, therefore all died; and He died for all, that they who live should no longer live for themselves, but for Him who died and rose again on their behalf. (NAS)

Eph 3:17-19 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; and that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled up to all the fulness of God. (NAS)

I John 2:1-6 My little children, I am writing these things to you that you may not sin. And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous; and He Himself is the propitiation for our sins; and not for ours only, but also for those of the whole world. And by this we know that we have come to know Him, if we keep His commandments. The one who says, "I have come to know Him," and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him; but whoever keeps His word, in him the love of God has truly been perfected. By this we know that we are in Him: the one who says he abides in Him ought himself to walk in the same manner as He walked. (NAS)

I Jn 5:2-3 By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and observe His commandments. For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments; and His commandments are not burdensome. (NAS)

II Jn 1:6 And this is love, that we walk according to His commandments. This is the commandment, just as you have heard from the beginning, that you should walk in it. (NAS)

Rev 2:4-5 'But I have this against you, that you have left your first love. 'Remember therefore from where you have fallen, and repent and do the deeds you did at first; or else I am coming to you, and will remove your lampstand out of its place-- unless you repent. (NAS)

1 Cor 13:13 But now abideth faith, hope, love, these three; and the greatest of these is love. ASV


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#49058 - Sunday, August 19, 2012 5:39 PM Re: Does loving God help us obey Him or does obeying God help us love [Re: Wayne@purpose]
Pilgrim Offline

Head Honcho

Registered: Tuesday, April 3, 2001
Posts: 13305
Loc: NH, USA
Originally Posted By: Wayne@purpose
1. Does loving God help me obey Him or does obeying God help me love Him?
2. Is this important?
3. Why or why not?
4. Why is love greater than faith?

1. I say neither. As many of the passages you included demonstrate, loving God is submitting to His perfect will, which we find revealed in the written Word and exemplified in the life of the Lord Christ. To love God is to obey and obeying is demonstrative of love. Perhaps one of the greatest expressions of this truth is the whole of Ps. 119. Notice how this Psalm of love for God begins:

Psalms 119:1-3 (ASV) 1 {aALEPH} Blessed are they that are perfect in the way, Who walk in the law of Jehovah. 2 Blessed are they that keep his testimonies, That seek him with the whole heart. 3 Yea, they do no unrighteousness; They walk in his ways.

"Blessed" here and in so many other places in Scripture is not to be translated nor understood as 'happy', but rather 'to be in God's favor'. We love Him because He first loved us (1Jh 4:19).

2. Loving God in obeying Him is ultimately important if for no other reason than it justifies our confession (Jam 2:24). Our loving obedience reveals that we are loved of God for it is God dwelling within us by His Spirit to work and to will for His good pleasure (Phil 2:13). It is the foundational expression of our love for God that we keep His commandments (1Jh 4:20; 5:2; cp. Jh 21:15-17).

3. See #2

4. Re: 1Cor 13:13... What Paul says regarding our love while we are in this earthly state may surely be used to cast a light upon our state above where it will be love that brings us into the fullest union and communion with God. It is faith's nature to receive, but love gives; and giving is greater than receiving. God's fullest purpose is attained in us when we are filled with love. Hope also looks forward to receiving, but love is full possession and completed joy. And for every new joy which hope receives in heaven love will be the response on our part. When we come to rest on the bosom of God, it will be by love.
_________________________


simul iustus et peccator


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#49069 - Saturday, August 25, 2012 11:05 AM Re: Does loving God help us obey Him or does obeying God help us love [Re: Wayne@purpose]
Wayne@purpose Offline
Newbie

Registered: Tuesday, July 17, 2012
Posts: 36
Loc: Houston Texas
1. Does loving God help me obey Him or does obeying God help me love Him?
I appreciate the response to this question, especially how you connected love with submitting to His will. I believe it is God’s perfect will that these happen together. I also believe loving God helps me obey Him for the following reasons:

a. The word “if” used twice (John 14:15 John 14:23). Grammatically speaking, “if” is identified here as a conditional particle. That is, it mentions conditions or circumstances upon which certain consequences follow. The word “keep”, in John 14:15 John 14:23, means “to attend to carefully, to take care of”. So the question becomes this: Does “loving” Jesus help me want to “attend to obedience carefully” or does “attending to obedience carefully” help me want to “love Jesus”. This is kind of like looking at John 3:16 and asking the question: Did God “send Jesus to die for us” because “He loved the world” or did God “love the world” because “he sent Jesus to die for it”? In the Luke 10:38-42, the word “love” is not used but it is easy to see love causing Mary to “attend to carefully”: “Now as they went on their way, he entered into a certain village: and a certain woman named Martha received him into her house. And she had a sister called Mary, who also sat at the Lord's feet, and heard his word. But Martha was cumbered about much serving; and she came up to him, and said, Lord, dost thou not care that my sister did leave me to serve alone? bid her therefore that she help me. But the Lord answered and said unto her, Martha, Martha, thou art anxious and troubled about many things: but “one thing is needful”: for “Mary hath chosen the good part, which shall not be taken away from her”.

b. The word “love” linked with the word “controls” in 2 Cor 5:14-15. The reason for the control is seen clearly at the end of the verse: “that they who live should no longer live for themselves, but for Him who died and rose again on their behalf”. This is another place where we can see the enabling power of love. It can enable one to essentially “give away his life”. (“He that findeth his life shall lose it; and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it.”)

c. The phrase “the love of God has been perfected” linked to “whoever keeps His word” in 1 Jn 2:1-6. Here, the word “perfected” means to carry through completely; to accomplish, finish, bring to an end: to complete (perfect), i. e. add what is yet lacking in order to render a thing full: to bring to the end (goal) proposed. ‎In other words, the end goal and purpose of loving God is to keep his word. This is because keeping his word brings glory to God. Obedience that brings glory to God can be seen in John 17:4 ( “I glorified thee on the earth, having accomplished the work which thou hast given me to do.”) and in Matt 5:16 (“Even so let your light shine before men; that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.” )

d. The phrase “For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments” in 1 Jn 5:3 and the phrase “And this is love, that we walk according to His commandments” in II Jn 1:6 where the word “that” is a final conjunction denoting “purpose” and “end”. The result being the conclusion that the purpose of loving God is to keep His commandments and walk according to them.

2. Is this important? /3. Why or why not?
I too believe it is important, but for the following reasons:

a. The words “love” and “keeping his commandments” are linked with the word “and” three times in the law and the prophets and once in the NT (Deut 7:9, Neh 1:5, Dan 9:4 and I Jn 5:2-3). The frequency of this pairing, in the same order, over such a broad time span, by diverse writers indicates, at the very least, that the love-obedience connection is close to the heat of God.

b. The phrase “being rooted and grounded in love” preceding the phrase “that you may be filled up to all the fullness of God” in Eph 3:17 where the word “that” is a final conjunction denoting purpose and end. The result being the conclusion that the purpose of loving God is to be “filled up to all the fullness of God”

c. The words of John at the end of 1 John 5:3 which say, “For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous.” and the words of Jesus in Matt 11:29-30 which says, “Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light”. How could taking on His yoke cause “rest” for our soul except it be by God’s Spirit “which is love”? Does not “love motivated” obedience make keeping his commandments easier and does it not also lighten the load? Obedience can not only be harder without love, in some cases it may be unlikely! Consider what Jesus said to the Pharisees and experts of the law in Luke 11:42-46: “But woe unto you Pharisees! for ye tithe mint and rue and every herb, and pass over justice and the love of God: but these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone. Woe unto you Pharisees! for ye love the chief seats in the synagogues, and the salutations in the marketplaces. Woe unto you! for ye are as the tombs which appear not, and the men that walk over (them) know it not. And one of the lawyers answering saith unto him, Teacher, in saying this thou reproachest us also. And he said, Woe unto you lawyers also! for ye load men with burdens grievous to be borne, and ye yourselves touch not the burdens with one of your fingers.”

d. When we realize the purpose of love is to bring God glory through Christ- like obedience, we will be more likely to prioritize our use of time in a way that best increases our hunger for love of God. (Eph 5:15-17: “Look therefore carefully how ye walk, not as unwise, but as wise; redeeming the time, because the days are evil. Wherefore be ye not foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is.)

e. When we realize the purpose of love is to bring God glory through Christ like obedience, we will be less likely to “neglect” the pursuit of love and less likely to use our time pursuing things that are less important. (Titus 3:9: “but shun foolish questionings, and genealogies, and strifes, and fightings about law; for they are unprofitable and vain.”, Luke 11:42-46 “But woe unto you Pharisees! for ye tithe mint and rue and every herb, and pass over justice and the love of God: but these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone.”)

f. The warning in Rev 2:4-5 which says. “But I have (this) against thee, that thou didst leave thy first love. Remember therefore whence thou art fallen, and repent and do the first works; or else I come to thee, and will move thy candlestick out of its place, except thou repent.” and the warning in Rev 3:16 which says, “So because thou art lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spew thee out of my mouth.”

4. Why is faith greater than love?
I especially liked two statements that you made. They are “obedience is an expression of love” and “faith's nature is to receive, but love gives; and giving is greater than receiving”. My thoughts on the greatness of love are as follows:

a. Love is greater than faith because it is the greater gift. (1 Cor 12:31: ”But desire earnestly the greater gifts. And moreover a most excellent way show I unto you.”)

b. Love is greater than faith because all that we do is “nothing” without love. (Cor 13:1-3: “If I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am become sounding brass, or a clanging cymbal. And if I have (the gift of) prophecy, and know all mysteries and all knowledge; and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. And if I bestow all my goods to feed (the poor), and if I give my body to be burned, but have not love, it profiteth me nothing.”)

c. Love is greater that faith because it always produces fruit of the Holy Spirit. (1 Cor 13:4-8: “Love suffereth long, (and) is kind; love envieth not; love vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not its own, is not provoked, taketh not account of evil; rejoiceth not in unrighteousness, but rejoiceth with the truth; beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things. Love never faileth: but whether (there be) prophecies, they shall be done away; whether (there be) tongues, they shall cease; whether (there be) knowledge, it shall be done away.”)

d. Love is greater than faith because it brougth God’s Son to us. (1 John 4:16: “ Herein was the love of God manifested in us, that God hath sent his only begotten Son into the world that we might live through him.”)

e. Love is greater than faith because “God is love”. (1 John 4:8: “He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.”, 1 John 4:16: “And we know and have believed the love which God hath in us. God is love; and he that abideth in love abideth in God, and God abideth in him.”)

Notes:
1. References to the meaning of Greek words came from Biblesoft's New Exhaustive Strong's Numbers and Concordance with Expanded Greek Hebrew Dictionary. Copyright © 1994, 2003, 2006 Biblesoft, Inc. and International Bible Translators, Inc. and from Thayer's Greek Lexicon, PC Study Bible formatted Electronic Database. Copyright © 2006 by Biblesoft, Inc. All rights reserved.
2. All scripture quotes are from the ASV unless otherwise indicated

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#49071 - Saturday, August 25, 2012 2:16 PM Re: Does loving God help us obey Him or does obeying God help us love [Re: Wayne@purpose]
Pilgrim Offline

Head Honcho

Registered: Tuesday, April 3, 2001
Posts: 13305
Loc: NH, USA
You obviously put much time in your response, but unfortunately, I remain unconvinced, i.e., you have not established your premise in regard to the matter of "help". Others may disagree but that's where I stand at this point. grin

Quote:
This is kind of like looking at John 3:16 and asking the question: Did God “send Jesus to die for us” because “He loved the world” or did God “love the world” because “he sent Jesus to die for it”?

I realize this was phrased as a rhetorical question but I think it can be answered most assuredly and only one way:

I have provided a detailed exegesis of the Greek of this passage elsewhere on the Board and therefore I will not repeat it here. But I will simply point out that John 3:16 in the original reads, "For God loved the world in this manner that He gave His only begotten Son... for the purpose that believers would be saved and not perish." The answer is therefore that God's love is exemplified in action; the sending of the Son to redeem His people from their sins. The love of God was not some emotion as some might suggest but which the Westminster Confession and other confessions rightly deny,:

Quote:
I. There is but one only,[1] living, and true God,[2] who is infinite in being and perfection,[3] a most pure spirit,[4] invisible,[5] without body, parts,[6] or passions;[7] immutable,[8] immense,[9] eternal,[10] incomprehensible,[11] almighty,[12] most wise,[13] most holy,[14] most free,[15] most absolute;[16] working all things according to the counsel of his own immutable and most righteous will,[17] for his own glory;[18] most loving,[19] gracious, merciful, long-suffering, abundant in goodness and truth, forgiving iniquity, transgression, and sin;[20] the rewarder of them that diligently seek him;[21] and withal, most just, and terrible in his judgments,[22] hating all sin,[23] and who will by no means clear the guilty.[24] (Chapter 2:1)

The love of God in Scripture is always toward those whom He has determined to save. And this love is always and everywhere expressed in His dispensing of mercy and grace upon them. That God expresses beneficence (Grk: philanthropia, cf. Titus 3:4) toward the reprobate is true indeed. But His eternal love is reserved for the elect, those for whom the Son was sent and for whom He died.

So, I will iterate once again, that our love for God is a reflection of God's love, which is expressed and exemplified in action. One cannot claim to love God and not keep His commandments. And vice versa, one cannot simply keep His commandments (outwardly) and claim to love God. What is the difference, you might ask? The difference is that a true child of God obeys out of a heart of gratitude and empowered by the indwelling Holy Spirit. And, the Spirit is only given to those who are united to Christ. And those only are united to Christ who God first loved with an eternal electing love. That is one of the two points of emphasis in Matt 7:21-23 (subject of this thread). The first is that those only who do the will of the Father; keep His commandments will be saved (cf. Jam 2:20-26). The second point of emphasis is that works in and of themselves cannot save, for they have no merit in and of themselves. What is essential is that Jesus shed His love upon you, i.e., He gave Himself as a substitute for you on the cross and sends His Spirit to call you, regenerate you, and then dwell within you by His Spirit.

It is the Spirit Who "helps" believers in ALL things to increase our faith, our love and obedience to God (Jh 1:12; Phil 2:13). If you want to increase your love of God then the most effective way is to know more about Him. And then take that knowledge and by faith put it into practice. And the result will be seeing God working in you, through you and for you. And finally, this increases your knowledge (Grk: prognosko intimate knowledge) of God. (cf. Col 1:9,10).
_________________________


simul iustus et peccator


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#49072 - Saturday, August 25, 2012 3:11 PM Re: Does loving God help us obey Him or does obeying God help us love [Re: Wayne@purpose]
Wayne@purpose Offline
Newbie

Registered: Tuesday, July 17, 2012
Posts: 36
Loc: Houston Texas
Thanks for the help. I seek the Lords help to establish a better premise for you! Ps 121:1-2

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#49073 - Saturday, August 25, 2012 6:08 PM Re: Does loving God help us obey Him or does obeying God help us love [Re: Wayne@purpose]
Pilgrim Offline

Head Honcho

Registered: Tuesday, April 3, 2001
Posts: 13305
Loc: NH, USA
The entire Psalm is worthy of publication. And thanks for making mention of it! grin

Psalms 121:1-8 (KJV) 1 {A Song of ascents.} I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help. 2 My help [cometh] from the LORD, which made heaven and earth. 3 He will not suffer thy foot to be moved: he that keepeth thee will not slumber. 4 Behold, he that keepeth Israel shall neither slumber nor sleep. 5 The LORD [is] thy keeper: the LORD [is] thy shade upon thy right hand. 6 The sun shall not smite thee by day, nor the moon by night. 7 The LORD shall preserve thee from all evil: he shall preserve thy soul. 8 The LORD shall preserve thy going out and thy coming in from this time forth, and even for evermore.

Now, what true believer would not respond in humble servitude and obedience to such a great God as this? What joy and assurance could be measured which a true believer could glean from knowing that his God preserves him as he strives to persevere? A true believer's love for God and desire to conform himself to the will of God as found in Holy Writ is "helped" by the self-revelation of God applied to his heart. BigThumbUp
_________________________


simul iustus et peccator


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#49098 - Monday, September 3, 2012 10:05 PM Re: Does loving God help us obey Him or does obeying God help us love [Re: Wayne@purpose]
Lynda Offline
Member

Registered: Wednesday, July 15, 2009
Posts: 109
Loc: USA
"And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose."
Romans 8:28

"God is faithful, by whom ye were called unto the fellowship of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord."
1 Corinthians 1:9


I think these verses apply to this topic, but I'm way too tired to make further comment. Enjoy!

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#49157 - Thursday, September 27, 2012 12:49 PM Re: Does loving God help us obey Him or does obeying God help us love [Re: Wayne@purpose]
Wayne@purpose Offline
Newbie

Registered: Tuesday, July 17, 2012
Posts: 36
Loc: Houston Texas
A. Sorry for the delayed response. Before I respond to the request (establishment of a premise in regard to the matter of "help"), I would like to comment on one of your thoughts that were expressed above.

“If you want to increase your love of God then the most effective way is to know more about Him. And then take that knowledge and by faith put it into practice”. And the result will be seeing God working in you, through you and for you. And finally, this increases your knowledge (Grk: prognosko intimate knowledge) of God. (cf. Col 1:9,10).”

The word “If” here is unclear. It implies an alternative is possible and/or permissible. Does God give an alternative to the command to “love the Lord your God all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might” (Deut 6:5)? If not, then it should be clear that this is an “expectation of God”. As a result, the “want” is very important because human nature says we do the things that we want to do and avoid doing the things we do not want to do.

The words “take that knowledge and by faith put it into practice” is not clear. To be clearer, I would suggest replacing it with the following steps:
1. Accept “God’s expectations” in this area personally (Deut 6:5). This will provide knowledge for change.
2. Know “why” loving God is important. This will provide motivation for change
3. Take an “inventory” of your heart periodically. How much love is there? This will provide conviction for change.
4. “Pray daily” for a desire to “love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might” . (When praying keep in mind Mark 10:27 and James 4:2). This will provide the power for change,
5. Spend a good portion of you time in the Bible looking for just “two things”. Things that help you know God personally and things that help you know His will for you. This will provide you with a plan for change
6. Attempt to execute the plan being dependent on His grace and knowing it is His power that enables you.


B. Now concerning establishment of a premise in regard to the matter of "help", I offer the following for consideration:

Webster’s definition of the word “help” is as follows: “To furnish with strength or means for the successful performance of any action or the attainment of any object.” The action we would like to perform here is “Obedience to God”. Obedience to God can also be referred to as “Doing God’s will” or “living for the Lord instead of living for self”. One of many verses that links love to obedience is 2 Cor 5:15 which says:

“For the love of Christ controls us, having concluded this, that one died for all, therefore all died; and He died for all, so that they who live might no longer live for themselves, but for Him who died and rose again on their behalf”. NASU

Strongs definition of the word “controls” is as follows:
NT:4912= sunecho (soon-ekh'-o); from NT:4862 and NT:2192; to hold together, i.e. to compress (the ears, with a crowd or siege) or arrest (a prisoner); figuratively, to compel, perplex, afflict, preoccupy:
KJV - constrain, hold, keep in, press, lie sick of, stop, be in a strait, straiten, be taken with, throng.

Clearly here, love is “furnishing strength or means for the successful performance” of some action. The “so that” in this verse tells us this action is a new way of living. Specifically love controls the Christian such that they who live might no longer live for themselves, but for Him who died and rose again on their behalf.

1 John 4:19 tells us: “We love because he first loved us”. Here, it is clear that God created us to be creatures that respond “to love” “with love”. What better way to express our love to God than to “live for Him”!

Also, we know from life that love is not “self-centered” but it is “centered on others”, For when we read about love in 1 Cor 13:4-7 we see the following plainly: “love is patient”, “love is kind”, “love is not jealous”; “love does not brag” and “love is not arrogant”. We may all have one or more individuals that we love at the present time. At the same time we know there are laws against harming these people. But, if we ask ourselves the question: “What is helping me not cause harm to these people? The answer will be our love for them; not the law. Similarly, if we love God “with all our heart and all our mind and all our strength”, and we are presented with a decision that will offend God, we will not offend Him because because of our love for Him; not because of the Law. This is the way God made us; this is the wisdom of God!

Because of the above, it should not be surprising how God uses love to “empower” the Christian to live an obedience life. Nor should it be surprising how often these two are linked together. The following is a sampling of these links:

In the Law and Prophets:

Deut 7:9 "Know therefore that the LORD your God, He is God, the faithful God, who keeps His covenant and His lovingkindness to a thousandth generation with those who love Him and keep His commandments; (NAS)

Neh 1:5 And I said, "I beseech Thee, O LORD God of heaven, the great and awesome God, who preserves the covenant and lovingkindness for those who love Him and keep His commandments, (NAS)

Dan 9:4 And I prayed to the LORD my God and confessed and said, "Alas, O Lord, the great and awesome God, who keeps His covenant and lovingkindness for those who love Him and keep His commandments, (NAS)

In the New Testament:
John 14:15 "If you love Me, you will keep My commandments.” (NAS)

John 14:21 "He who has My commandments and keeps them, he it is who loves Me; and he who loves Me shall be loved by My Father, and I will love him, and will disclose Myself to him." (NAS)

John 14:23 Jesus answered and said to him, "If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him, and make Our abode with him. (NAS)

Eph 3:17-19 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; and that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled up to all the fulness of God. (NAS)

I John 2:1-6 My little children, I am writing these things to you that you may not sin. And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous; and He Himself is the propitiation for our sins; and not for ours only, but also for those of the whole world. And by this we know that we have come to know Him, if we keep His commandments. The one who says, "I have come to know Him," and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him; but whoever keeps His word, in him the love of God has truly been perfected. By this we know that we are in Him: the one who says he abides in Him ought himself to walk in the same manner as He walked. (NAS)

I Jn 5:2-3 By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and observe His commandments. For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments; and His commandments are not burdensome. (NAS)

II Jn 1:6 And this is love, that we walk according to His commandments. This is the commandment, just as you have heard from the beginning, that you should walk in it. (NAS)

For more insight on the purpose of love, see post entitled “Does anyone want to comment on this summary of Christian Love”.

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#49158 - Thursday, September 27, 2012 3:05 PM Re: Does loving God help us obey Him or does obeying God help us love [Re: Wayne@purpose]
Pilgrim Offline

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Registered: Tuesday, April 3, 2001
Posts: 13305
Loc: NH, USA
Originally Posted By: Wayne@purpose
A. Sorry for the delayed response. Before I respond to the request (establishment of a premise in regard to the matter of "help"), I would like to comment on one of your thoughts that were expressed above.

“If you want to increase your love of God then the most effective way is to know more about Him. And then take that knowledge and by faith put it into practice”. And the result will be seeing God working in you, through you and for you. And finally, this increases your knowledge (Grk: prognosko intimate knowledge) of God. (cf. Col 1:9,10).”

The word “If” here is unclear.

The "if" was in regard and contrast to what you wrote. grin It is not to be miscontrued as standing as some option which a believer can choose to do, although surely one must make an effort, due to the remnant influence of the old nature, and as enabled by the indwelling Spirit.

Originally Posted By: Wayne@purpose
The words “take that knowledge and by faith put it into practice” is not clear. To be clearer, I would suggest replacing it with the following steps:
1. Accept “God’s expectations” in this area personally (Deut 6:5). This will provide knowledge for change.
2. Know “why” loving God is important. This will provide motivation for change
3. Take an “inventory” of your heart periodically. How much love is there? This will provide conviction for change.
4. “Pray daily” for a desire to “love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might” . (When praying keep in mind Mark 10:27 and James 4:2). This will provide the power for change,
5. Spend a good portion of you time in the Bible looking for just “two things”. Things that help you know God personally and things that help you know His will for you. This will provide you with a plan for change
6. Attempt to execute the plan being dependent on His grace and knowing it is His power that enables you.

Personally, and no offense intended, I much prefer how the inspired apostle Paul put it in the passage I referenced:

Colossians 1:9-10 (ASV) "For this cause we also, since the day we heard [it], do not cease to pray and make request for you, that ye may be filled with the knowledge of his will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, to walk worthily of the Lord unto all pleasing, bearing fruit in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God;"

Study (God's inspired written Word) to show thyself approved... depending upon the Holy Spirit to grant you understanding and wisdom (right application of the knowledge), thus applying this God-given knowledge in every facet of your life, with the sole desire to please God... and in so doing, you will be blessed with an increased intimate knowledge of God. The end result of increasing your knowledge of God through His inspired Word, putting it into practice as the Spirit grants wisdom in its application results in a life well-pleasing to God (bearing fruit), which then produces a greater love for God. The process is cyclical.

Originally Posted By: Wayne@purpose
B. Now concerning establishment of a premise in regard to the matter of "help", I offer the following for consideration:

Webster’s definition of the word “help” is as follows: “To furnish with strength or means for the successful performance of any action or the attainment of any object.” The action we would like to perform here is “Obedience to God”. Obedience to God can also be referred to as “Doing God’s will” or “living for the Lord instead of living for self”. One of many verses that links love to obedience is 2 Cor 5:15 which says:

“For the love of Christ controls us, having concluded this, that one died for all, therefore all died; and He died for all, so that they who live might no longer live for themselves, but for Him who died and rose again on their behalf”. NASU ... [cut]

Sorry, but you lost me when you used a faulty translation and definition of the word sunechei (2Cor 5:14) [2 Corinthians 5:14 (ASV) "For the love of Christ constraineth us; because we thus judge, that one died for all, therefore all died;"]. BAG (Bauer, Arndt and Gingrich), p. 797a has the primary meaning of this world as, "urge on, impel". A secondary meaning of "hold within bounds, control", i.e., to retrain in a negative sense. From the context of the passage, it seems more than clear to me that the meaning the Spirit through Paul intended is "to urge on" or "impel", which the vast majority of English translations render as "constrain(s)(eth)", which shows they too agreed with this understanding of the word.

Thanks for sharing nonetheless. bigglasses
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#49159 - Thursday, September 27, 2012 5:39 PM Re: Does loving God help us obey Him or does obeying God help us love [Re: Pilgrim]
Wayne@purpose Offline
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Registered: Tuesday, July 17, 2012
Posts: 36
Loc: Houston Texas
OK then, what do you think now?
Does loving God help us obey Him?

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#49160 - Thursday, September 27, 2012 8:31 PM Re: Does loving God help us obey Him or does obeying God help us love [Re: Wayne@purpose]
Pilgrim Offline

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Registered: Tuesday, April 3, 2001
Posts: 13305
Loc: NH, USA
Originally Posted By: Wayne@purpose
OK then, what do you think now?
Does loving God help us obey Him?

Loving God IS obeying Him. He is the sovereign LORD of all that is and thus I bow before Him. He is the transcendent GOD of all before whom, by grace, I stand in inexpressible awe and strive to please according to His revealed will. There is no loving God without obedience. And there is no real obedience without it flowing from a heart of loving respect and gratitude. And there is no true love for God until one comes to know how sinful they truly are and how holy God is. And even that is His work in a sinner's heart.

But a redeemed sinner's love for God is not like one's love for another human who is on the same plane. It never even approximates an "all too familiar" relationship. To love God is to worship Him as the King of Kings and LORD of Lords. A love of the the saints, of the adopted sons and daughters, who have been washed in the Lord Christ's blood is for a heavenly Father with humility, awe, and reverence.
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#49167 - Saturday, September 29, 2012 11:59 AM Re: Does loving God help us obey Him or does obeying God help us love [Re: Wayne@purpose]
Wayne@purpose Offline
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Registered: Tuesday, July 17, 2012
Posts: 36
Loc: Houston Texas
“Loving God IS obeying Him”

I appreciate your love for the scriptures and devotion to Christ. I am equally impressed with your knowledge of the scriptures along with your ability to be humble. (The latter two are easy to get out of balance.) However, when it comes to equating love and obedience I believe more than the end result (“Loving God IS obeying Him”) needs to be considered. For example, we need to consider a focus that will help us get to this end result.

Premise: A “love focus” will always leads us to obedience but “obedience focus” will not always lead us to love.

1.Example of love always leading to obedience:

•Rom 13:10 Love worketh no ill to his neighbor: love therefore is the fulfilment of the law. ASV
•Matt 22:40 On these two commandments the whole law hangeth, and the prophets. ASV


2.Examples of obedience not leading to love:

•Luke 11:42 But woe unto you Pharisees! for ye tithe mint and rue and every herb, and pass over justice and the love of God: but these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone.ASV
•1 Cor 13:1-3 If I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am become sounding brass, or a clanging cymbal. And if I have (the gift of) prophecy, and know all mysteries and all knowledge; and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. And if I bestow all my goods to feed (the poor), and if I give my body to be burned, but have not love, it profiteth me nothing. ASV
•Phil 1:15 Some indeed preach Christ even of envy and strife; and some also of good will: ASV

3.Example of love being more important than obedience:

•Gal 5:6 For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision availeth anything, nor uncircumcision; but faith working through love. ASV
•Gal 5:22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, ASV
•Rev 2:2-4 I know thy works, and thy toil and patience, and that thou canst not bear evil men, and didst try them that call themselves apostles, and they are not, and didst find them false; and thou hast patience and didst bear for my name's sake, and hast not grown weary. But I have (this) against thee, that thou didst leave thy first love. ASV



Reasoning: If our focus is to grow in love, and we do grow in love, obedience will follow. This is because the Spirit of God is love and greater is he that is in us than he who is in the world. However, the same is not true for obedience. If our focus is on obedience, we will often not end up with love. We will normally end up with a "works orientation" and a "self righteous attitude"; just like the Pharisees did. This is because the battle that takes place in Romans 7 is not winnable without love.


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#49173 - Saturday, September 29, 2012 1:03 PM Re: Does loving God help us obey Him or does obeying God help us love [Re: Wayne@purpose]
Pilgrim Offline

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Registered: Tuesday, April 3, 2001
Posts: 13305
Loc: NH, USA
Here is my position in a nutshell:
  1. There is no true love of God without obedience. (Matt 7:21; 12:50; Lk 6:46; 11:28; Jh 14:21-24; Eph 6:6; Heb 13:21; 1Pet 4:2; 1Jh 3:2,3; 21-24)
  2. There is no true obedience without it flowing out of gratitude (love). (Ex 20:6; Deut 7:9; 10:12,13; Ps 19:7-11; Dan 9:4; Jh 14:15; 1Jh 3:1ff; 4:20; 5:2)
  3. True love for God and obeying the law (will) of God are inseparable. (Ps 1:1-6; 2Jh 1:6)
  4. Thus an imbalanced "focus" on either love or obedience will result in a distortion of the harmony which they should have and diminish the quality of both. One who is truly regenerated by the power of the Spirit, truly converted unto Christ through repentance of sin and faith in the person of the Lord Christ, WILL continually strive after holiness out of a heart filled with love for God.
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