Grace Bible Church
Pastor Teacher
Robert R. McLaughlin

Sunday, May 4, 2014

The word for love in JOH 13:34 is agapao which refers to a mental attitude love based upon a maximum amount of doctrine resident in your soul.

There has to be something inside of us that causes us to love God and that something is Bible doctrine.

A major test of how converted we are is how we respond to the needs of people less fortunate than ourselves.

When there is love for God, it results in love for people.

Personal love for God therefore is a virtuous love or a love which demands virtue and you must have virtuous love in order to make personal love for others to succeed.

The strength of personal love toward people comes from your personal love for God which produces impersonal love toward others.

Virtue means right thinking resulting in right action.

Virtue means graciousness and power.

To love people personally demands more ability, more character, more integrity, more grace and more power than anything in life.

One day it’s, I love you!   The next day it’s “I can’t stand you”, (if not verbally, mentally).

Unless you understand the importance of personal love toward God resulting in agape love or impersonal unconditional love for all mankind, you will never be a good lover, personally.
“we have come to know”, he uses the per-act-ind of the verb ginosko which means to know, to become aware, to perceive, to understand, to be conscious of, to comprehend intellectually.

There is no reality in your life until it is reality from thinking or what is in the right lobe of the soul called the heart in the Bible.

Until you have divine viewpoint and metabolized doctrine in your soul you will have no capacity to love and no virtue.

The command for the Christian way of life is virtue first. Not witnessing! Not serving! Not praying! Not doing great things for God……but virtue first.

1. Virtue always meant devotion and loyalty to your family.

None whatsoever – they are loyal to themselves – ie. Arrogance.

They are pre-occupied with themselves – ie. Subjectivity They have no loyalty in life and so virtue always meant that you had developed loyalties in life.

PSA 130:3  If Thou, Lord, shouldst mark iniquities, O Lord, who could stand?

1KI 8:46 For there is no man who does not sin.

PRO 20:9 Who can say, I have cleansed my heart, I am pure from my sin?

ECC 7:20  Indeed, there is not a righteous man on earth who continually does good and who never sins.

PRO 17:17 A friend loves at all times, and as a brother he is born for adversity.

1PE 4:8 Above all, keep fervent in your love for one another, because love covers a multitude of sins.
To the Romans, virtue always meant you had developed loyalties in life.

The Romans also knew that no one could be virtuous unless they accepted authority (beginning with the authority of their parents).
Virtue was a willing acceptance of parental authority which gave unity and strength to the Roman family and eventually it resulted in the Romans conquering the world.

2. Virtue also meant reverence and devotion to the authorities over the Romans at that time.

This included respect and loyalty toward God which was revealed by exact performance of all that God required.

It also meant respect for the laws of establishment and the Roman government.

3. The third meaning of virtue meant justice or faith – to them faith meant to be true to one’s word.
In the Roman business world a man’s word was his bond and they didn’t need signed contracts.

By virtue they meant what we would call faithfulness or the ability to fulfill one’s obligations and keeping one’s word.

4. The fourth meaning of virtue meant virtue through absolute self-control.

5. And then the fifth meaning was consistency or perseverance.

You may break but you will never break me.

Fortune can take away riches but can never deprive of my courage.

In the Christian life virtue is the number 1 priority in God’s system.

God has a system of doing things and in God’s system virtue must be first.

Not only do we learn or come to know but then we need to believe or metabolize that doctrine.

Agape is used here in the sense of “virtue love” and “divine love.”

JOH 3:16  “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life.”

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