Personal love for God must come before impersonal unconditional agape love for all mankind.


October 13, 2019

Grace Bible Church
Pastor Teacher
Robert R. McLaughlin
October 13, 2019

Joh 15:2 — Pruning.
JOH 15:4 — Abiding,
Joh 15:9-10, Agape love.

They are on the way from the upper room to the Garden of Gethsemane and it is along the way that Jesus gives the discourse on the true vine.

We began our detailed study of John 15 with the phrase; “I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinedresser.” = This is the seventh of what is referred to the eight “I am’s” in the Gospel of John.

Some are analogy, and some relate specifically to who He is and what He does.

We have a reminder of the “Great I am”  passages where our Lord revealed to us the importance of the unity that we should  have as we understand the different functions that our Lord provides for us all.

Because of sin man is separated from the true source of life; Joh 10:10  “The thief comes only to steal, and kill, and destroy; I came that they might have life and might have it abundantly.

Man has limited pleasures but unless he is in right relationship to God he cannot understand what real life is as God intended it to be which is an abundant life.

Joh 8:12 = Light is illuminating; it shines forth and shows us the truth.

Our Lord is claiming He is the truth here, the one who illuminates or gives guidance and light in the darkness of sins and sorrows in the devil’s world.

This was in the midst of a heated controversy with the Pharisees and Jesus referred to the fact that he knew Abraham because He was before Abraham.

The significance of this is seen in the Greek language where Jesus uses the imperfect tense of ginomai which means that Abraham came into existence.

There was a time when Abraham did not exist, and he came into existence and he died.

The present tense of the Greek verb ginomai is to keep on being emphasizing His continuous existence, that Jesus Christ is the eternal second person of the Trinity and he always existed.

EGO EIMI (I keep on being) is the Greek translation of the name of God from the Old Testament.

When Moses was conversing with God at the burning bush he said, “By what name are you called, that the people might know that I have come from you?” And God said, “I AM who I AM.”

The Lord’s name in the Old Testament is known as the sacred tetragrammaton, YHWH or JHWH, which comes from the Hebrew verb meaning “existence.”

A Tetragrammaton is the Hebrew name of God transliterated in four letters as YHWH or JHVH and articulated as Yahweh or Jehovah.

They considered the name of God, like Jehovah or Yahweh, so holy that they would not even pronounce the name but instead they would call JHWH or YHWH = Adonai.

When our Lord said,  “I AM” He was claiming for Himself all of the attributes of YHWH or JHWH because He is Lord, or He is Adonai.

In Joh 8:59, the Jews understood that He was making that claim that He was  the Great I Am, so they immediately reached down to pick up stones to kill Him.

Notice that our Lord was not afraid of the stones that they threw at Him and they didn’t stop our Lord from fulfilling His ministry to them and us; Joh 10:6-11.

“and he (the sheep) shall go in and out and find pasture.

He shall go in and out and find pasture”  refers to the fact that in a sheepfold there is only one way in and one way out.

Our Lord Jesus Christ Jesus is claiming that He is the only way; He is the door for the sheep, and He is the only way of salvation.

“going in and going out” — it gives us a picture of the Christian life and that feeding on the Word of God is based upon a right relationship with Jesus Christ.

All men who truly have the gift of pastor-teacher must answer three basic questions from our Lord; Joh 21:15-17.

In Rev 19:9, there is the Marriage Supper of the Lamb which takes place after the Rapture and before the Second Advent.

Marriage Feast — Mat 22 which takes place on earth after the Second Coming with Old Testament saints and all others invited.

He used a present-active-indicative of verb agapao which is a reference to impersonal unconditional but also virtuous love.

The Lord was asking Peter if he had that type of impersonal unconditional virtuous love, which emphasizes the virtue of the subject and not the object.

The Lord was saying you cannot serve Me without this virtue or this impersonal unconditional virtuous “agape love.”

To say we just have impersonal unconditional virtuous love for the Lord is blasphemous.

He is worthy of all of our personal or phileo type of love, which is a personal type of love that one has toward another who is deserving of our love and attention.

We do not love the Lord because of who and what we are but who and what He is!

Impersonal unconditional virtuous love cannot be extended to our Lord because He is worthy to be loved personally as well as the fact that agape love stresses that mental attitude love that agape functions under.

One can be a love (phileo) that is personal and attractive because the one who is being loved is worthy of that love they are receiving.

The other hand, the other type of love (agape) is a mental attitude of love that normally the mature believer can love with, especially if it’s a love for doctrine and truth.

Love toward our God and our Lord ultimately begins with agape love but grows into a personal love or a phileo type of love, because He is worthy to be loved personally, because of who and what He is.

Personal love for God must come before impersonal unconditional agape love for all mankind.

1JO 3:10  By this the children of God and the children of the devil are obvious: anyone who does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor the one who does not love his brother.

1JO 3:14  We know that we have passed out of death into life, because we love the brethren. He who does not love abides in death.

You cannot or do not love God if you despise another believer; 1JO 3:15  Everyone who hates his brother is a murderer; and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him.

Peter is a little angry and disturbed by the questions that our Lord is asking him especially in light of the fact that he is plagued by guilt because of his denial of our Lord.

One of the saddest expressions that we could ever have from the rest of the disciples or apostles is when we read that “all the disciples said the same thing too.”

Joh 21, the Lord said to Peter, “do you agape me?”

Peter said, “you know I phileo you.”

Peter used the present active indicative of the Greek verb phileo which means that Peter kept on loving the Lord personally because of who and what the Lord was.

Our Lord said do you have impersonal unconditional love  for Me, and Peter said, “Lord you know I love you personally.”

He [Peter] said to Him, “Yes, Lord; You know that I love [phileo] You.”

Peter doesn’t even say that he loves the Lord more than the disciples, instead he is focusing in on agape verses phileo love.

He is saying, “Lord I agape the disciples but I phileo you.”

That’s not a bad policy — agape for all – phileo for a select few.

Agape love — impersonal for all;

Phileo — personal for a select few.

Eros — passionate love that has both soul and physical compatibility.

Storge — love is for the family.

This is a command for all pastors to produce the action of the verb which is to feed new believers.

“lambs” is the noun arnion which refers to baby sheep, lambs and therefore, analogous to the new believers.

The Lord is saying to Peter, “if you really love me personally you’re qualified to feed new believers.”

Arnion refers to the freshmen in the Christian life.

  1. New Converts
  2. Ignorant Believers
  3. Carnal believers or cosmic believers who have repented.

 

No man can function as a pastor-teacher with his eyes on people.

Prin: Do not let other people drag you down to their level.

Secondly, the motivational virtue for the gift of pastor teacher must come from personal love for TLJC.

If people are more important than the Lord, the pastor becomes a people pleaser and therefore a loser-pastor.

Iconoclastic arrogance is when a person elevates another person to a place where they become like and idol and then when the idol lets you down, which inevitably will happen because of the unrealistic expectations we place upon others.

More than anything in the world, iconoclastic arrogance demonstrates the fact that people are divorced from reality because they will not take the responsibility for their own decisions.

 

(1)  An excessive admiration or personal love creates an idol out of a person.

 

(2)  This is followed by the idol showing their feet of clay (doing something wrong).

 

(3)  When the idol does something wrong (real or imagined), there is a reaction by those who created the idol.

 

(4)  Then iconoclastic arrogance seeks to destroy the image the person has created.

Because of lack of impersonal love for all mankind on the one hand and lack of occupation with Christ on the other hand.

 

The illusion created by arrogance becomes the delusion destroyed by arrogance.

Arrogance takes an ordinary person and from deluded idealism or romantic illusion fashions this person in his mind into an ideal of perfection.

The idol of perfection created by this arrogance can be a spiritual image, a personality image, a hero image, a romantic image, or a beautiful image.

The arrogant reaction of disillusion or disenchantment becomes vindictive, implacable, bitter, hateful, and motivated to revenge and to destroy that person.

Iconoclastic arrogance destroys friendship, romance, marriage, business, professional relationships, Christian fellowship, and a spiritual leader of some kind.

JOH 21:16   He said to him again a second time, “Simon, {son} of John, do you love Me [pres-act-ind of agape]He said to Him, “Yes, Lord; You know that I love [phileo] You.” He  said to him, “Shepherd My sheep.”

JOH 21:16….And Peter said to Him, “Yes, Lord; You know that I love [phileo] You.”

gain, the Lord said, “Do you agape me”?

Peter said, “you know I phileo you.”

 

You have two entirely different words in the verse and yet the English translates both words exactly the same.

If God the Holy Spirit intended for the words to be the same, He would have used the same words.

In John 21:16 the Living Bible says Jesus repeated the question: “Simon, son of John, do you really love me?” “Yes, Lord,” Peter said, “you know I am your friend.”

The word “shepherd” is the pres-act-imp of poimaino which means to rule or clobber which is how the pastor-shepherd must function with some of the believers.

This time he used the accusative plural of probation which is translated sheep and it refers to the sophomores in the Christian life.

With arrogance, a little knowledge is assumed to be omniscience, all knowledge.

When there is this high opinion of self-knowledge there is the rejection of the authority of the pastor-teacher.

JOH 21:17  He said to him the third time, “Simon, {son} of John, do you love [phileo] Me?”

Peter was grieved [distressed] because He said to him the third time, “Do you love Me?” And he said to Him, “Lord, You know all things; You know that I love [phileo] You.” Jesus said to him, “Tend My sheep.

The pastor must possess “personal love for TLJC” to be effective in the teaching of Bible doctrine.

Secondly, the pastor that truly loves the Lord will feed doctrine to the Lord’s people.

Prin: No pastor can survive in the ministry apart from occupation with the person of Jesus Christ.

Peter said to the Lord, “Lord, You know all things; You know that I love [phileo] You.” Jesus said to him, “Tend My sheep.”

The word for “tend” is the pres-act-imp of bosko which is the command to moderately and prudently feed my humble sheep which is a reference to the seniors or the mature believers.

Poimaino means you have to kick or use that stick a shepherd carries.

“You know you’re getting old when You feel like it’s the morning after, and you haven’t been anywhere.”

”Your little black book only contains names ending in M.D.”

You look forward to a dull evening.

Your knees buckle and your belts won’t.

Your back goes out more than you do.

You know all the answers, but nobody wants to hear them.

Your try to straighten out the wrinkles in your socks and discover you aren’t wearing any socks — those are feet – your feet.

At the breakfast table you hear snap, crackle, pop and you’re not eating cereal.

Your back goes out but you stay home.

When you wake up looking like your driver’s license picture.

It takes two tries to get up from the couch.

When your idea of a night out is sitting on the patio.

When happy hour is a nap.

When you’re on vacation and your energy runs out before your money does.