To Know the Love of Christ

Written by Larry M. Jaynes:

When Jesus Christ walked upon this earth, one of the things that attracted people to himself and his ministry was the love he displayed for the individual. The Bible says that we today, nearly two thousand years later, can still know the love of Christ and have his same love in our lives.

Ephesians 3:17-19:
-17:  That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith {believing faith}; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love,
-18:  May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth {width}, and length, and depth, and height;
-19:  And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fullness of God.

These verses contain more than we can study in a single Bible byte, however, today our focus is on the love of Christ. Verse 17 states that with Christ in our hearts we can be rooted and grounded in love; Christ’s love in us can become an exciting and dynamic foundation for living the Christian lifestyle.

Then, in verse 18, the Word of God shows us the four dimensions of the love of Christ. The love of Christ is the love of God in full bloom that Christ utilized in his daily life while he was here blessing people. This love of Christ does not end at the crucifixion, but currently lives in our hearts just as Christ does. With the love of Christ, we can spiritually perceive the fullness of love, its width, length, depth, and height. “Breadth (width)” indicates his love extending worldwide — to all. “Length” illustrates his love extending throughout all the ages — without end. “Height” shows his love extending up into the heavenlies — beyond the reach of negatives. “Depth” communicates his love extending into our very hearts — profound spiritual wisdom regarding how to apply the love of Christ.

In verse 19 the love of Christ “passeth knowledge,” or, beyond mere human knowledge about love. Love (the love of Christ) does not hurt, stink, or let people down like some of the songs and literature of the day claim, for the love of Christ is first and foremost spiritual and is on a higher plane than five senses love. Christ’s love is greater than most realize because it brings the Christian believer into “all the fullness of God!”

I Corinthians 8:1b:   Knowledge puffeth up, but charity {spiritual love} edifieth.

Human love and man’s basic understanding about love only puffs up the head and pulls on feelings in good and bad ways. But spiritual love is not a “head thing,” rather it is a “heart thing” delivering to the believer spiritual realities, and when applied it will always edify, build up, and encourage with unlimited blessings. The four dimensional love of Christ can always grow greater and greater in our lives.

Christ’s love can become for you endless and boundless and measureless and fathomless as it continues growing in your heart, and it leads you by the hand into all the fullness of God!

Perfecting God’s Love – Within

Written by Larry M. Jaynes:

 I John 4:11: Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another.

What an awesome verse of Scripture, commencing with the word Beloved, for this is God’s point of view of you and me, He recognizes us as His Beloved. The word if is not written to imply a question or a doubt, because the word if in the Greek Text is the word since. Thus, the Scripture reads “Beloved, since God so loved us,” for God has loved us since the world began (Ephesians 1:4).

The words we ought implies another extension of the true depths of love of God, because He is not demanding a reciprocal love back to Him or challenging us to love others, He is simply stating that we ought to love one another. The human love that sometimes manifests itself and that many people have known demands equal love in return to sustain its presence; however, God’s love (spiritual love) is always with us, because God loves us unconditionally and therefore we have continuous access to His love. God simply states that we should learn to share His love towards one another as proof (to us individually) that He indeed loves us.

I John 4:12: No man hath seen God at any time {with his eyes}. If {or Since} we love one another, God dwelleth in us, and his love is perfected in us.

God does dwell within the heart and fiber of the human soul who is a Christian, and when we do love others, we will begin to realize we do have God’s love dwelling within. Not only will we realize that God lives in our hearts, but His love becomes perfected in us, love comes into full bloom and perfection in our hearts as we reach out and love others.

I John 4:16–17:
-16: And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him.
-17: Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as he is, so are we in this world.

God is love, for this is ― as he is, and when our God-given love is made perfect via loving one another (see verse 12 above), we will become, as God is love.

Have we judged ourselves worthy enough to love others with God’s love, or do we simply judge others? With God’s love in our hearts, we have boldness – today – to love even the unlovable! The day of judgment is today, not at the end of the world, but right now. Many believers suspect that the Day of Judgment includes us having to pay retribution for sins committed, but just look at the setting in which this statement sits: our love made perfect is on one end and on the other we find as he is, so are we in this world. The context that the day of judgment is set in – is now – and is to be lived with His love. Do we love today? Has our love been made perfect in this present day of grace? Do we know and believe that we are as he is (and He is love, see verse 16 above), or are we estranged from the Father and His love? Christ has “delivered us from the wrath to come” (I Thessalonians 1:10). No Christian ever has to feel separated from God or His never-ending love (Romans 8:37–39), because God always loves us; recall that we are His beloved, and He desires us to experience the wonderfulness of enjoying the perfection of His love in us by our loving today (period).

In Colossians 3:4 we read that, “When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory.” Note that we will not appear in shame, or to be judged, but we will appear with him in glory. We Christians have a Savior and he assures us of our salvation and relieves us of the unfounded misconceptions of judgments, condemnations, and tribulations ― for he overcame the world for us.

John 3:15–17, and 16:33:
-15: That whosoever believeth in him {Jesus} should not perish, but have eternal life.
-16: For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
-17: For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.
-33: These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.

Walking with the love of God in our hearts today will relieve of us any and all fears about our glorious future to be with God and our Savior. God has made us accepted as His beloved in Christ (Ephesians 1:6), and as members of His family (Ephesians 2:19), and when we reach out with His love, then we will know this with an absolute certainty, and we will enjoy His spiritual love enthusiastically.

Growing up I was afraid of God and the fires of hell like so many others. God in His magnificent foresight must have known that I would not be alone carrying around this unfounded burden of fear, so to bless His children, God simply had the next two verses written to dispel these fears from our lives and He gave us His love to back up His promise.

I John 4:18–19:
-18: There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love.
-19: We love him, because he first loved us.

We have total access to a spiritual love that has been bestowed on us by the Creator of the Universe Who also happens to be our heavenly Father, and now that we have become aware of this love, we may love without fear or hesitation. We may enjoy God’s love, thanking Him for the strength His love gives, for the load His love carries, and for the burdens His love lifts ― His love is simply uplifting. When we actually reach out with love to others, we will experience a totally perfect, fearless lifestyle of love that will assure our hearts in the present tense that our future is going to be simply marvelous!

Have you ever wondered, how can I know for certain if I completely love God, and how will God know that I do love Him? Well, the Bible has a test that will prove your love for God to your heart’s content, and the answer to this assessment is the next two verses:

I John 4:20–21:
-20: If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen?
-21: And this commandment have we from him, That he who loveth God love his brother also.

Whenever we actually reach out with God’s love to others, especially believers, our brothers and sisters in Christ (Galatians 6:10), we may prove to ourselves that we indeed love our God, and as well, this is how we know and believe the compassionate love God has for us individually!

 Colossians 3:14: And above all these things put on charity, which is the bond of perfectness.

God’s Word instructs above all things that we put on charity, which is the love of God, and the Bible says that love is the bond of perfectness. The word bond means that which ties, holds, or binds together, and in this verse we find that love is what holds us together. The word perfectness means total completeness, for there is absolutely nothing greater than having the love of God manifested in our own lives. When believers begin realizing that they have God’s divine love in their hearts (Romans 5:5), and they begin using this love in daily situations, then they will come to experience a genuine reassurance that they are building their spiritual lives on the true bond of perfectness.

In a world where almost everything is imperfect, we can tap into something that is a perfect constant reality, and is our bond of perfectness, for God’s love allows us to enjoy precious moments of total completeness immersed in God’s most perfect love. As we reach out to one another with God’s love, we can come to experience that God’s love is perfected within us.

 John 16:33 (The Amplified Bible):**
I have told you these things, so that in Me you may have [perfect] peace and confidence. In the world you have tribulation and trials and distress and frustration; but be of good cheer [take courage; be confident, certain, undaunted]! For I have overcome the world. [I have deprived it of power to harm you and have conquered it for you.]

I John 4:20–21 (The Amplified Bible):**
-20: If anyone says, I love God, and hates (detests, abominates) his brother [in Christ], he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother, whom he has seen, cannot love God, Whom he has not seen.
-21: And this command (charge, order, injunction) we have from Him: that he who loves God shall love his brother [believer] also.

**Scripture taken from THE AMPLIFIED BIBLE.
The Amplified New Testament copyright (c) 1958, 1987 by The Lockman Foundation.
Used by permission.

Faith, Hope, and Charity (The Longer Version)

Written by Larry M. Jaynes:

Through this study, we will be looking at the words ― faith, hope, and charity to learn how they work together. Our goal is to acquire a further understanding of their meaning in the Scriptures, for they are the footing on which the more abundant life rests. In this first study, we will briefly look at all three words.

I Corinthians 13:13: And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but {and} the greatest of these is charity.

Once I was told by an individual, “charity was the best gift a person could receive from God, and everything else was insignificant in comparison” and he got this idea from the verse above. However, the Bible does not say that charity is the best gift; rather the Bible says the greatest of these is charity. Jesus said, “my Father is greater than I” in John 14:28, and this is the same Greek word that is translated greatest, though no one would say Jesus is insignificant in God’s eyes! Also, the Bible does not teach “faith and hope are not really as good.”

Let us use the earth, the sun, and the moon for a parallel example; the earth supplies the substance that sustains our lives, but still without the moon and the sun, the earth would be about as barren of a planet as you could find. In truth, we need all three to sustain ourselves and flourish in our physical lives; it is the same truth with faith, hope, and charity, we need all three to sustain ourselves and flourish in our spiritual lives.

The reason why charity is called the greatest is because it is a God-given master key for unlocking our faith, and faith opens, reveals, and insures our inner souls of “the hope of His calling” (Ephesians 1:18), which is to be with Christ for all eternity. So with charity, our faith and hope are energized.

Faith is the Greek word pistis, and means believing or believing faith and without faith it is impossible to please God (Hebrews 11:6), so faith is significantly important.

Hope is the Greek word elpis, and it means future hope (Romans 8:24–25); it is usually in the context of the hope or anticipation that men and women have for the return of Christ (still a future event), and I Timothy 1:1 says that Christ is our hope. Only the believer has access to the hope of Christ’s return in order to patiently wait with joy to be eternally with our Savior in heaven. Hope encourages the Christian believer to continue standing for God even through any present adversity because the future has rewards for our believing and loving in this current time of grace, so hope is also significantly important.

Charity is the Greek word agapē and means the love of God. The word greatest in I Corinthians 13:13 above would be much better understood if it were translated as the first, or the elder, or the commencement, or the foundation, as this is the proper and greater meaning of the word, because God loved us from before the foundation of the world (Ephesians 1:4). God’s love for us has always existed while faith and hope both have a beginning in our lives, faith comes to the individual by hearing the Word (Romans 10:17), and man had no spiritual faith until he knew Christ (Galatians (3:22–29). And as well, our hope began growing in our hearts from the moment of our salvation when we became the children of God, a hope that we at one time were without (Ephesians 2:2; I Thessalonians 4:13). Thus, as (and when) faith and hope begin living in the heart of our understanding, then charity will magnify itself greater and greater in our lives as a viable part of the spiritual serenity we can enjoy walking with God.

Charity – being the love of God is a part of God Himself, and this part – His love – He has given to all believers (Romans 5:5; 8:36–39), while our hope and believing faith is something we learn to aspire to utilize in our daily living. We learn to believe in the promises of God through our believing faith, and we learn to hope more and more through knowing what the Word says regarding our Savior returning for us.

I Corinthians 13:12:  For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as I am known.

For now we see through a glass, darkly; means that today we do not know it all, even with all the abundance that God’s Word reveals to us. This phrase is in reference to our believing faith, “for we walk by faith {believing faith}, not by sight” (II Corinthians 5:7). The next words, but then face to face is in reference to when we meet Christ face to face, because our hope is in his imminent return. Now I know in part; is again in reference to our believing faith, to believe in what we do know from God’s healing Word. But then shall I know even as I am known is again in reference to our hope, when we will receive all that we have hoped in and anticipated, because then we will have been perfected (Philippians 3:20–21), and we will be enjoying our lives with God and with Jesus Christ through eternity.

Love – God’s love – motivates our endeavors, faith – believing faith – appropriates the promises of God, and hope – Christian hope – anticipates the return of Christ. These three form a complete whole and enhance Christian character in an individual’s life. “And now abideth {or ― remains here for you} faith, hope, charity.”

Philippians 3:20–21 (The Amplified Bible):**
-20: But we are citizens of the state (commonwealth, homeland) which is in heaven, and from it also we earnestly and patiently await [the coming of] the Lord Jesus Christ (the Messiah) [as] Savior,
-21: Who will transform and fashion anew the body of our humiliation to conform to and be like the body of His glory and majesty, by exerting that power which enables Him even to subject everything to Himself.

**Scripture taken from THE AMPLIFIED BIBLE.
The Amplified New Testament copyright (c) 1958, 1987 by The Lockman Foundation.
Used by permission.

The Bond of Perfectness

Written by Larry M. Jaynes:

 Colossians 3:14:
And above all these things put on charity, which is the bond of perfectness.

“Charity” is the Greek word agapao. This is a verb form of the Greek noun agapee, and means love, the love of God applied. God’s Word instructs “above all things” that we put on love, and the Bible says that love “is the bond of perfectness.” The word “bond” means that which ties, holds, or binds together, and in this verse, love is what holds us together. The word “perfectness” means total completeness, for there is absolutely nothing beyond or above having the love of God manifested in our own lives. When believers begin realizing that they have God’s divine love in their hearts (Romans 5:5), and they begin using this love in daily situations, they will come to experience a genuine reassurance that they are building their spiritual lives on the true bond of perfectness.

Mark 12:29–30:
-29: And Jesus answered him, The first of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord:
-30: And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment.

I Timothy 1:5a:
Now the end of the commandment is charity {love} . . .

When we look at Mark 12:29-30 and I Timothy 1:5 we find the first commandment is love and then the end of the commandment is also love. What we have here is a wondrous and godly concept that begins and ends in love. Love is one of the greatest things that God has ever given to us, and this love is “above all things.” In a world where almost everything is imperfect we can tap into something that is a perfect constant reality, and is our bond of perfectness, for God’s love allows us to experience precious moments of total completeness immersed in God’s perfect love.

In I Corinthians 13:8 God says, “Charity never faileth.” God’s love will never let you down, for it is “the bond of perfectness.”