Robert R. McLaughlin Bible Ministries
The TREE OF LIFE is a weekly teaching summary.
Tree of Life 05/03/98
The Doctrine of The Mental Attitude.
Tree of Life for 05-03-98
There is great comfort from love according to PHI 2:1. In other words, there is great comfort, relief, guidance, and cheer in our occupation with Christ. When you start falling in love with God through knowledge of His word, you will receive comfort and guidance. And furthermore it will serve to establish impersonal love towards others. Occupation with the Lord Jesus Christ builds within the believer a relaxed mental attitude (RMA). It is this RMA which offers the believer the ability to handle problems in life without losing momentum in the spiritual life.
This phrase found in PHI 2:1 "since there is comfort from love" has caused us to look into a very important doctrine this week, "Category One Love." Category One Love is the believer's personal love toward God. It refers to the believer's capacity to love God apart from emotions. This love is based on knowledge of God from one's thought content of the soul. It is not a tear filled session of feeling what you think God is, but is a constant through process of knowing and trusting in who and what God is. To love God is the most important commandment found in His word, DEU 6:5; 11:13; 10:12.
The third is the love shared between friends and the fourth is impersonal love for all mankind. Without the first category none of the following categories of love function properly. If we are not right with God our relationships with people will never be what they could be. So then, how do we get right with God? This is ascertained through the daily function of the believer's perception, metabolization, and application of God's word. Apart from the worship of God's word it is impossible to love God, HEB 12:2. Since God is invisible, the means of category one love is His word. Because we cannot see, feel, or touch God our relationship with Him must be based on knowing Him by what the word of God, correctly translated from the original languages, tells us about Him. It is the eyes of the soul which sees God, JOB 42:5; EXO 33:20; JOH 1:18. If we believe in Him we will believe in what He says, 1PE 1:8. Category one love takes consistency in both the inhale and exhale of God's word, the inhale being the metabolized doctrine in your own soul and the exhale being the attitude you extend toward others.
Therefore, category one love sets up the standard for grace, PSA 31:23; 119:132. Grace Orientation (G.O.) takes capacity and can only come via personal love for God. Category one love is the basis for super-grace blessings, 1CO 2:9; PSA 37:4-5.JAM 4:6 tells us that as you fall in love with God, the more grace blessings you will receive since your capacity for them is strengthened. Category one love is also the basis for personal and national blessing, DEU 30:15-20. It also motivates combat courage and military victory, Joshua 23:10-11.
The pressures of life are designed by the kingdom of darkness to separate us from God. And, the kingdom of darkness has the freedom to issue these pressures due to the angelic conflict. In face of life's pressures it is category one love which provides the believer with the strength for adversity, HEB 11:27; 12:3. As we come to know God we will be more faithful to Him and allow Him to control our lives. GAL 6:9 encourages us not to lose heart but to consider Him (Jesus Christ) who went before us and modeled the unique spiritual life with its unique divine power. Your spiritual life is put into action through your personal love for God. And remember this love is not an emotional type feeling that makes your eyes swell with tears. Personal love for God; i.e., category one love is knowing God through the indoctrination of His word. Hence, there is a special curse on believers who fail to have category one love, 1CO 16:22. Knowledge of God is procured through a disciplined, daily study from the original languages served to the believer by one of God's many gifts... one's pastor-teacher. If Bible doctrine/the word of God is not abiding in you, you do not have category one love, JOH 5:38-42.
To possess category one love is to care what God thinks of you, not what people think of you! People are sick from the top of their heads to the bottom of their toes, ISA 1:5-6. The Lord Jesus Christ never entrusted Himself to man, knowing exactly what was in man (old sin nature), JOH 2:25. The Lord Jesus Christ also stated, "I do not receive glory from men", JOH 5:41. If a believer really loves God it will be manifested by his desire to hear God's word, JOH 8:47. The more the believer grows to know God, the more he desires to know of Him! It's a power and a lifestyle that grows greater as it is fed. If God is the source of your life you will crave the daily hearing of His word. Just as if you are in love with some man or woman you desire to be with them each day, so it is when the believer is in love with God.
Now, the word used in JOH 8:47 for "hear" is the pres/act/ind of akouei which means to hear in an audience; to listen; to concentrate; to understand, learn, and give a hearing, cf HEB 10:25, which states we are not to forsake the assembling of ourselves together for the purpose of encouragement. This encouragement comes from the word of God, not from people, the phrase encouraging one another is not found in the original manuscripts! If you truly love (based on knowledge of the Lord), you will keep His doctrines, JOH 14:15. To keep in this passage means to guard something that belongs to you, to watch over carefully, to keep, hold, preserve, and pay attention to, hence it also means to retain. Why must His doctrines be guarded in our souls? REV 3:11 tells us why, because they can be taken away from us! The kingdom of darkness knows very well what to bring into your life to tempt you away from your commitment to the word of God, which is God, JOH 1:1. We are therefore never to take the word of God for granted since AMO 8:11-12 tells us there will come a time when it will not be available.
It is doctrine abiding in Christians, not works, which reveals to the Father how much we love him, JOH 14:21. If you guard or keep God's word in your soul, God's love will be in you, JOH 15:10. Loving God therefore means hating worldliness, or rather hating human viewpoint, PSA 119:113. In this passage hate means to have no respect for it and worldliness points to the double minded, divided thoughts which are placed forth from the skeptics of this world. Having God's mind or Bible doctrine is that which produces God's love in a local assembly, PHI 2:2. This unity of mind is that which Paul prayed for in regard to the church at Philippi. Therefore a manifestation of our personal love for God is our ministering to the saints, HEB 6:10. Loving God is revealed in one's impersonal love toward one another, 1JO 4:7. Keeping doctrine is the only way to love with God's love, 1JO 2:5. Therefore witnessing must be motivated by category one love, 2CO 5:14. A good witness is not due to one's emotion toward people, but is based on one's love for God. This divine standard is only possible by way of the filling of the Holy Spirit which empowers the believer to execute God's plan, JOH 19:34. The believer is before all else commanded to love the Lord with all his heart, all his soul, all his mind, and all his strength, MAR 12:29-30. This may seem to be a simple task, but people are visible and God is not. It is therefore much easier to be distracted by that which is tangible than to remain faithful to the invisible. This is why it is imperative to be disciplined in one's intake of the word of God, it is the only way our personal love for God can be cultivated. Our response to God is based on the doctrine we have metabolized in our souls. That is why we are commanded to stop the sin of ignorance in 1CO 15:34 "...and stop sinning, as some have no knowledge of God", the sin mentioned here is having no knowledge of God. Encouragement is derived from what God says to us through His word, not from what people say or may not say to us. JAM 1:5 "But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives to all men generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him." This is not to say all we need do is ask and our souls will be magically pumped up with knowledge of God. But if you ask, God will open a means for you to learn His word. If you truly desire to know God He will allow you to know Him, JER 29:13. And if you truly desire to retain and apply that which you learn of God you can execute the spiritual life, 2TI 1:13 "Retain the standard of sound words which you have heard from me, in the faith and love which are in Christ Jesus." It all depends on your desire to know and love Him. The desire to know God should never be taken for granted since it can be subdued and even squelched by the cares and ways of this world. Hence you are to "Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, handling accurately the word of truth.",2TI 2:15. Handling accurately the word of truth is the only way to love God personally!