Bible Study Notes:

Spiritual Weapons:

# 13 Love, Part 3


These notes are from a transcript of the postings during Bible Study on Thursday Nights at 8 PM at Bible Study Chat at churchusa.com.
You are welcome to join us at any time!


OlePappy - Father, thank you for the new soul saved last night. To You goes the honor and the glory in Jesus name. AMEN The Heavenly Hosts are sing praises

†Watchman† - Jesus, IN Your Holy & Righteous Name, bless us with a fruitful study, IN Your will Father, and cover us with Your Wisdom, understanding & LOVE, ..In Jesus Name, Amen!!

OlePappy - Praise God for the newly saved one here at ChurchUSA

Father God we lift up your name tonight and praise you for your Word. We rejoice in difficulties, sufferings and trials because they are perfecting our faith and love. We praise you Lord Jesus for all the gifts you have given us, especially the precious joy of salvation. Father let your healing virtue be loosed tonight and grant a healing touch to all who are sick and suffering in body.

satan we bind you and rebuke you tonight, declaring you a defeated foe by the blood of Jesus, and come against your plans to deter this study in Jesus Name.

Holy Spirit we look to you as our teacher and ask that you will help us focus on what the Spirit is saying to the churches. In Jesus Name AMEN

Jill - Thanks everyone, May you have a blessed and fruitful study tonight. May the Holy Spirit give you a new revelation of the Word! In the mighty name of Jesus . Amen.

OK, we've been studying spiritual warfare, specifically our weapons, for several weeks now. Some believe there is only ONE weapon, and that is the Sword of the Spirit, the Word of God. And it's true that it is our major weapon. But there is huge arsenal of weapons that are found in the Word. T

We’ve been talking for a couple of weeks about how Weapon # 13 - Love. Romans 5:5-8 And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us.

We discussed the fact that this type of love, agape in the Greek, is not emotion based, therefore we can love those we normally wouldn't "feel like" loving. Godly love, or agape, is shed abroad or poured into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, and this love then shapes our will to be in conformity with God's love, which leads to loving actions, and then to loving emotions. How we FEEL initially is unimportant in this context, it is allowing the love of God to pour in us, through us, and out of us to whomever we meet.

God gives us the POWER through the AGAPE LOVE poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit to love each other. So agape, God's love, is our defensive weapon against fear personally, and is how we take the offensive against discord among the brethren.

We also talked about love being a defense against worry, adversity, condemnation, rejection and intimidation. Last time we talked about how agape can also be used as an offensive weapon as well against the spirit of intimidation or fear.

2 Timothy 1:6-7 Therefore I remind you to sitr up the gift of God which is in; you through the laying on of my hands. For [because] God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.

A spirit of intimidation operates by making us feel discouraged, defeated, and unworthy to fulfill our call and ministry through opposition to what God has called us to do. It causes our spiritual gifts to go dormant or become ineffective by pushing us out of the place that God has given us to minister. It makes us doubt our calling, and "stand down" in the face of adversity.

However, God has given us the ability (power) and the knowledge (sound mind) to defeat the spirit of fear, through His love - without walking in hatred towards those who oppose us via the spirit of intimidation.

Micaiah - o.t. the word "sound mind" is actually disciplined mind in the Greek; love is a choice!

Right Micaiah - agape is a choice! Love also gives us "confidence on the day of judgement" because we are not condemned for our misdeeds. Trusting in Christ's atonement completely casts out the fear of punishment with this knowledge of God's love, keeping it from becoming a "handle" that the devil can and will use to defeat you and hinder your gifts and calling.

Love is made perfect, complete, or mature AMONG us by loving one another. When we allow love to do its full and perfect work IN us, it will flow THROUGH us, and we can walk in love and not hatred, truth and not deceit, in unity and not discord. We are commanded to keep in unity, bearing with one another in love.

And our unity is an offensive measure against satan keeping him from dividing us. If we are steadfast in loving one another, then we can unite and conquer the devil!

Servant - I dare you to pray for your enemies they soon will become your brother or sister
oneway - is it possible to love someone ..but not like the person

Right oneway, because "liking" someone is a response in the flesh, and loving (agape) is a spiritual response because of the love the Holy Spirit pours out in our hearts

The agape of others can heal the devil’s wounds, restore us to joy, encourage us and refresh our hearts through a spirit of acceptance, joy, encouragement and refreshing love.

 

Micaiah - could you maybe explain the difference between "agape" and "storgeo" (corporate, kind of family love or obligation) and "phileo" love?

In Greek there are more than one word that is translated love in English. The lowest form is eros from which we get our word "erotic". This love is 100% selfish, self-centered, seeking gratification for it's own self with little or no regard for others.

The next love is phileo, which is usually translated brotherly love. This is a 50/50 kind of thing, like friendship or partnership. You are still looking out for your own needs, but also caring for others.

The highest form of love is agape which is the God kind of love, 100% unselfish, sacrificing, putting needs of others before your own.

Micaiah - the garden of Gethsemane.
†Watchmam.† - Without seeking anything in return.

Agape extends itself beyond your wants and needs and considers what is best for the one loved, even if you have to sacrifice to provide it.

Micaiah - so God's love is Holy?
†Watchmam.† - it ..." fills A GAP in Eternity"...agape!
Br. Rich S.F.O. - God's love is perfect!

Yes mic God's love is holy! Insincere love is really a form of selfishness, eros, a sapping of other’s spiritual strength to meet your needs under the guise of love. We must hate this tendency and cling to the REAL agape that the Holy Spirit pours into our hearts. Love must express itself truthfully in actions, not just sweet words.

Our response to persecution and cursing must be in line with agape, loving our enemies and blessing those who persecute us, not striking back when attacked, or getting on the defensive and taking on a posture of blame.

We are commanded to take on an offensive posture of LOVE, using love to bless and not curse those who persecute us. If we take revenge, we are denying God His divine privilege, presuming a right we don't have, and not leaving room for forgiveness and redemption to work. We’re not allowing the agape love of God room to make a change in that person's life that may lead him to repentance and regeneration, which is the only thing in the universe powerful enough to overcome evil.

Let that agape the Holy Spirit has poured out in your heart extend out - do good to them that hurt you, as Jesus commanded. "Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good." There is offensive power in agape having the power to overcome EVIL. By practicing love, by extending that love out especially to those who do not deserve it, by deliberately exchanging acts of kindness for evil offenses - we overcome evil.

Can you be jealous and love at the same time? Being jealous FOR someone to be saved or zealous for God's work is different from being jealous OF someone or envious, which hinders agape and God's grace both in your life and possibly in theirs.

OK, that was a review of what we covered in greater detail with supporting scripture for the last two lessons.

Just a few more points to cover about love as a weapon. And remember that the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh for we do not war IN the flesh. This is a spiritual battle with the forces of darkness and God has provided us with spiritual armor and a huge arsenal of weapons.

2 Corinthians 5:14-15 For Christ's love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died. And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again.

Compels, constrains in the KJV, is sunecho {soon-ekh'-o} to hold together, to keep together any whole, lest it fall to pieces or something fall away from it, to hold together with constraint, to compress, to press together with the hand, to hold completely, to hold fast, metaphorically to be held by, closely occupied with any business, in teaching the word or to urge, impel the soul.

Agape both holds us together in the palm of God's hand and compels us, urges us forward into greater love and peace. Since we are convinced that Jesus died for all, agape compels us to strive to share with all we can this marvelous message of hope and grace.

Paul goes on to say that: 2 Corinthians 5:16-17 So from now on we regard no one from a worldly point of view. Though we once regarded Christ in this way, we do so no longer. Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!

Therefore agape has also compelled us into a new mind set: we no longer regard people from a worldly point of view, but we regard them as Christ regards them - objects of divine love and candidates for divine grace.

So we don't have the "luxury" of hating others - we can no longer consider ourselves socially superior to others, etc., we must view all as men and women, boys and girls for whom Christ died. A totally different way of viewing them from the world.

What does "Though we once regarded Christ in this way [from a worldly point of view], we do so no longer" mean? How could you regard Christ from a "worldly point of view"?

In other words, what are some of the views the world has of Jesus? What do people you work and play with everyday who are not Christians think of Him?

Sherry - A judge maybe
oneway - they think he was just a prophet good teacher and so forth
†Watchman.† - a wise man...but still just a man etc, etc..
Landon - he's just a guy, a prophet, a myth
Quest - As a swear word....
Sherry - Ready to nail one for sin in hell one day
uncaged_dove - people I work with think he is a fairy story, not real at all, a myth
Landon - the resurrection thing was just made up to keep his memory alive, like a 'fish story' from old men
Tracie - A lot of people think Jesus will put up with any sin that they have and they can continue to sin because He's a forgiving person.

Right, good answers. I also had some thought about it from the point of view of the three kinds of love. Right Tracie, that's a kind of false grace.

Regarding Him from the point of view of eros, some come to Christ out of a need for self-gratification. They will "love" Jesus as long as they feel that Christianity is meeting their needs. They are attracted to the idea of prosperity, and will give to the Church as long as they perceive they are getting a substantial return. They will also work for the kingdom as long as they get the glory and applause. This is one worldly way of looking at Christ.

Tracie - That's the truth OldTimer
Solomon† - The way I see it , it doesn't really matter if anyone has a different point of view on love, God's word is truth, and His truth is what we must live by, God's word says, isn't this correct???

Right Solomon, but it helps to examine the false views so we can get a better perspective on the true. Right now we're discussing what the verse means to regard Jesus from a worldly viewpoint.

Solomon† - Oh, I understand, there are many false views about many things in the Bible!!!

Regarding Him from the point of view of phileo, some come to Christ because they need a friend, and are seeking a 50/50 kind of arrangement. They will "love" Jesus until persecution comes, and then they feel that He is not "keeping His end of the bargain". So they will fall away. This is another worldly viewpoint.

Landon - that's just uneducated people, if they were educated, they would not believe that way OT, plain and simple

Regarding Jesus with point of view of agape, we see Him, not only as giver of all good things, personal savior and friend, but as Lord of Creation, worthy of all praise, not for what He gives, but for Who He IS. When we love Jesus this way, we are not offended when things don't go our way, but are fully convinced because of Who He is, that He will keep His promises to us, and either in life or death, we are resolved to stay.

If we are in Christ, if we are walking in agape, everything in our life is transformed into a new creation. And as we shower agape on others, it becomes more than a weapon, but a means of transformation for the human spirit.

1 Peter 1:22 Now that you have purified yourselves by obeying the truth so that you have sincere love for your brothers, love one another deeply, from a pure heart. AMEN

micaiah - 1 John 3:16 also shows agape love.
Landon - Love him for who he is...its pretty simple…he is Lord, and Savior…best friend and father, King of all kings, he is love. That's easily understood is it not? we dont have to know who WE are, all we really need to know is who He is.

I Corinthians 2:8 None of the rulers of this age understood it, for if they had, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. However, as it is written, "No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him", BUT God HAS revealed it to us by his Spirit.

So God has revealed to us by His Spirit WHO Jesus is - of course we learn more and more as we grow in the grace and the knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ. Peter also describes a progression into agape, as follows:

2 Peter 1:5-7: 2 Peter 1:5-7 For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, love.

OlePappy - God is so good...just when you least expect it, He shows you
Servant - he is everything that no human can be

We start with faith in the Lord Jesus Christ which leads us to goodness (good works) as a response to that faith. "Make every effort" in the NIV is "diligence" in the KJV, from the Greek spoude {spoo-day'} meaning haste, with haste, earnestness, diligence in accomplishing, promoting, or striving after anything, to take an earnest interest in. So we need to give utmost importance to the things that Peter lists here, and abound in them.

Then as we grow in Christ, we begin to desire more knowledge of the Word, which leads us to desire more self-control, so that we can defeat sin in our lives and become more like Jesus. This takes perseverance - we must keep on trying and overcome the obstacles that the enemy throws in our way. As we progress in faith and knowledge, we become more like God (godliness) and begin to love our brothers in spirit and in truth.

Brotherly love here is philadelphia in Greek, meaning the special bond that Christian brothers and sisters share. After that we learn to love everyone as God does - which brings us into agape. So if you feel discouraged by all this talk about agape, and feel like you'll never "measure up", take heart. You may still be struggling with brotherly love, but God knows your heart and will develop agape in you as you continue to persevere for Him.

We could spend a lifetime learning about agape, God's love for us, to us, in us and through us! But I hope these lessons have encouraged you to let that agape flow freely into your heart. We've only scratched the surface of the power of the God kind of love.

We've learned that love is a DEFENSE against all kinds of things: worry, adversity, condemnation, rejection and intimidation, to name a few. Love also casts out fear when it is perfected or matured in us and among us. Love is what allows us to keep the spirit of unity in the bond of peace – making a pre-emptive strike against satan's schemes to "divide and conquer".

We use love as an OFFENSIVE weapon when we overcome evil with good. We also use love in this way to help a brother or sister who is wounded and needs our help. Agape of others can heal those wounds, restore to joy, encourage and refresh hearts. Agape defeats the devil's plans to destroy the wounded, discourage, tire and make them give up.

Love is a compelling force in our lives, urging us to share Christ with those who do not know Him. Love also constrains us, keeping us from doing or saying things that would destroy someone else. Love changes our mindset and we no longer look at things from an earthly point of view. And love NEVER fails!

And remember to test your love by the list in I Corinthians chapter 13 occasionally, and strive to get a higher "score" each time you take the test. Remember most of all the best measure of love is what Jesus said:

John 13:34 "A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another."

uncaged_dove - OT I am still a little unsure how you can be on that path and not be a doormat--or would you describe Him so because He laid down His life?? surely not.. OT if your enemy strikes you, turn the other cheek, now he knifes you... and you are filled with agape, and also dead--is this the way to live?? sorry but making it very crass why I am confused
Servant - uncaged we are so used to how the world acts that when we try to act like Jesus wants to it seems wrong his ways or not our ways

I don't know of a scripture that requires us to be stabbed to show love dove. I'm sorry but I just don't see how being loving = doormat.

anna - At the same time, I feel that people take "martyrdom" too far and accept society's treatment for the wrong reasons.

The Holy Spirit is our teacher and guide. He is the one that pours the agape into our hearts and guides us into all truth.

†Watchmam.† - The world looks at it as being a "doormat"...But the GOD of the Universe is wiser than the world, it is how He overcomes evil and convicts them of there sin and shows them a pure heart, that they might repent and be saved.
uncaged_dove - no OT no scripture requires it, but I am saying that if I respond with love to someone with a knife in his hand, I will be dead--and the world teaches, dodge, fight back--and stays alive. Jesus did not mean for us to succumb to the ungodly--but that is what the self-control lead to doesn't it?

Humility is not being spineless or a jellyfish. It is strength under control. Similar to a race horse, who is mighty and swift, yet obedient to the jockey. In the same way, believers are strong in spirit but obedient to God.

jazz - OT I think you are right. if we are spineless how can we stand up for what we believe in?

Well if I were confronted with an attacker, I'd pray REAL quick to find out what God wanted me to do. There's such a thing as dying for your faith, and such a thing as being fearful and stupid.

†Watchmam.† - THATS why it says to " be wise as a serpent and harmless as a dove. God will give you the wisdom and the Spiritual ARMOR so that you can withstand the fiery darts of the wicked.....and IF you are killed....this world is not your home ANYWAY...you are an eternal being ...where it counts...in God's Heaven...

But I believe in the Lord's protection so I don't waste time worrying about it.

jazz - I Corinthians says that love does not delight in evil but rejoices in the truth! So to do that we can't just be doormats

Any more questions about God's love? The point is we can't possibly cover it all in a few short lessons. Take some time and review what we've discussed, look up love in a concordance and meditate on it. And again, it's a growing/learning process. As we practice agape, it becomes easier to understand and do and we can move to higher and higher levels of it.

jazz - those levels get awful hard OT with some people

Amen jazz, but just think what good character they cause you to develop! Praise God for that opportunity.

jazz - Well then my character must REALLY be developing
†Watchmam.† - Old Timer, Praise God...Its what I've been needing to hear, I get so riled up at the devils when they come in, and I know its a spiritual warfare, but I was not using the right weapons, thanks to Jesus, for a good lesson

Father God may the seeds of truth planted here tonight on your awesome love take root and produce a great crop of agape love in us all. Help us to be more patient, kind, loving and good and glorify your Name in all we do AMEN

Praise the Lord for His marvelous love! Jesus we lift your Name on high! We worship and adore you tonight!

Father God manifest your love in our lives today. Cleanse us from anything that is blocking your agape from flowing to us, in us, or through us. Let agape be poured out in a fresh and abundant way in Church USA. Let there be an awesome presence in every chat room and message board. Let us put aside our differences and let the power of love mold us and guide us into your will. In Jesus Name. AMEN.

Remember, whenever God gives us a revelation, the devil tries to steal it from us. Guard your hearts and meditate on what you've learned!
And put it into practice.

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Original lesson 11/12/98
Revised: May 02, 2001