Taught of God!

Written by Larry M. Jaynes:

I Thessalonians 4:9:
But as touching brotherly love {philadelphia} ye need not that I write unto you: for ye yourselves are taught of God to love one another.

The one Greek word philadelphia can be translated into brotherly love or brotherly kindness or love of the brethren. The Apostle Paul is stating that he had no need to explain how to love our brothers and sisters or our dear friends, for we have known instinctively how to since childhood because the philadelphia kind of love is an innate quality of life.

The word love in the second phrase ye yourselves are taught of God to love one another is the Greek verb agapao meaning active spiritual love, and this kind of love from God reveals a new, intense quality of love that God Himself teaches to His beloved children. This word for God’s spiritual love is often translated in the King James Version as the word charity, as in I Corinthians chapter 13. When we utilize God’s love, we literally will become pupils of God, being taught by Him the true joys and virtues of how to love others His way.

God’s love is not given to keep to ourselves, or only to be shared with the people we like such as our families and friends (that is philadelphia love), but God’s love is for the benefit of all people. Hebrews 13:1 records, “Let brotherly love continue,” and II Peter 1:7 encourages us to add “charity” which is God’s love along with our “brotherly kindness {philadelphia}.”

God’s pure love teaches believers to reach out and love others, like the unlovable, which includes ― you, as God continues to replenish His love in us so we are never left empty. God’s love NEVER imagines, “we should only love those in our group,” or “only love people who are nice to us,” or “only love people who have taken the right Bible classes,” or “love only those who will love us in return,” no, because God’s love is for everyone and we are His students. “For if ye love them which love you {i.e., “scratch my back and I’ll scratch yours,” is this kind of love}, what thank{s} have ye? for sinners also love those that love them” (Luke 6:32); in other words, God’s love the He teaches will extend out much further than just philadelphia love. Jesus said, “And they shall be all taught of God. Every man therefore that hath heard, and hath learned of the Father, cometh unto me” (John 6:45). So indeed we learn that those who are taught of God to love others do indeed come to Jesus, and with him we come to know and experience him as our continued guide into true spirituality that God’s love reveals.

Believers who will reach out with God’s love will be taught of God to love one another. I cannot think of anything better in this whole world than to be a pupil of God who is receiving His instructions on one of the greatest attributes of God Himself ─ His Love.

I Thessalonians 5:17 encourages us to, “Pray without ceasing.” You see, prayer is a great connecting point that lovingly draws us into a very personal relationship with God our Teacher, which further helps us form a one-on-one connection that facilitates our love for Him to blossom into something very meaningful as we learn to reach out with His love. Christ is our golden thread that helps us make the connection with “the God of love” (II Corinthians 13:11), and it is Christ’s name that we use in prayer to open God’s treasure chest that was always reserved ― for us!

John 14:13-14:
-13: And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.
-14: If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it.

Prayer can be likened to raising our hand in class and asking God how we can love in specific situations, such as, “How can I love this person?” or “How can I possibly love in this particular situation?” and we may be assured of receiving an instructive answer. When we walk out on our believing-faith and we love someone with God’s love, we become “labourers together with God” (I Corinthians 3:9), and so we are never alone in the school of life. In other words, when we take His lessons with us, we will come to know in our hearts that we are with God as we continue reaching out with His inseparable and inspiring love.

We read, for ye yourselves are taught of God to love one another. What grade do you suppose that you would receive from your Teacher at this moment in time? Teachers often give homework to their students so the student will learn the prACTical applications of the assignment that would lead to knowledge and understanding and wisdom. How can we know if we are gaining a passing grade? Well I John 3:14 clearly gives us the answer, “We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren.” Learning to walk in love day to day can be likened to doing a lifelong field study as we walk out on our believing in the assurances of I Corinthians 13:8, “Charity never faileth,” meaning that when we reach out with love we will always receive an A-plus, because love never fails!

I Thessalonians 4:10:
And indeed ye do it {love one another with God’s love} toward all the brethren which are in all Macedonia: but we beseech you, brethren, that ye increase more and more.

In verse 10, we learn that God’s assignment is to keep your God-given love active, to increase more and more, and to further discover how far-reaching the charity you have received will be applicable in your own life. With your intent focused toward acting on what you are being taught, you will begin to master the love of God. God instructs in Colossians 3:14, “And above all these things put on charity, which is the bond of perfectness.” We have read that, “Charity never faileth,” which means that there is enormous profit and personal benefits to be gained in the use of God’s love and thus, Jude 1:21 encourages “Keep yourselves in the love of God,” and I John tenders some of the benefits for being respectful students with the outreach of God’s love.

I John 2:5, 4:7, 12, and 16:
-5: But whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in him.
-7: Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God.
-12: No man hath seen God at any time. If we love one another, God dwelleth in us, and his love is perfected in us.
-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.

I Thessalonians 4:11 then goes on to instruct, “And that ye study to be quiet.” Often we as students of the Word are either too talkative or living in a daydream and unable to realize the instruction that comes from our heavenly teacher: “Be still, and know that I am God” (Psalms 46:10). When we learn to focus on His lessons throughout our days we will be good students who practically apply in our lives the instruction “let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth” (I John 3:18).  The context of this word study in I Thessalonians 4:11 is to follow through with all that you are learning about the love that God is teaching you, first by His example of loving you Himself (John 3:16), as you become a well-versed student in the prACTical applications of His love. The word quiet means to live and conduct your own life with tranquility on life’s path, being content, and the contentment comes to God’s children as they continue on their assignment of loving ― that ye increase more and more.

Colossians 2:7 shows that we may become, “Rooted and built up in him, and stablished in the faith, as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving.” As ye have been taught relates to your lovely assignment that commenced with the foundational truths that God loves you, that Jesus loves you and that as you reach out and love one another while becoming good students, you will find yourself abounding therein with thankfulness!

The Psalmist prayed (as we can), “Teach me thy way, O LORD, and lead me in a plain path” (Psalms 27:11), and the plain path is to live a lifestyle that is being continually built up on love ― so we may be in love with God. Paul taught us thatif any man love God, the same is known of him” (I Corinthians 8:3), meaning the same love is known of him or her because he or she will become known to God and Christ as lovers in the spiritual sense of the word.

I Peter 3:10:
For he that will love life, and see good days, let him refrain his tongue from evil, and his lips that they speak no guile:

The greater teaching that comes from God is that as we learn from Him to love others, we will be experiencing the compassionate love God has for us individually, in that He, in love, sent His only begotten Son for our salvation which is the greatest act of love ─ ever. A great reciprocal response for receiving this wonderful gift is for us to love in return as we are Taught of God!

In conclusion we allow His words to teach:

Psalms 119:96-100 (The Amplified Bible):*
-96: I have seen that everything [human] has its limits and end [no matter how extensive, noble, and excellent]; but Your commandment is exceedingly broad and extends without limits [into eternity].
-97: Oh, how love I Your law {The Word}! It is my meditation all the day.
-98: You, through Your commandments, make me wiser than my enemies, for [Your words] are ever before me.
-99: I have better understanding and deeper insight than all my teachers, because Your testimonies are my meditation.
-100: I understand more than the aged, because I keep Your precepts [hearing, receiving, loving, and obeying them {as an obedient student with the ultimate goal ― to enjoy love in the university of life’s outreach programs}].

John 3:16 (The Amplified Bible):**
For God so greatly loved and dearly prized the world that He [even] gave up His only begotten (unique) Son, so that whoever believes in (trusts in, clings to, relies on) Him shall not perish (come to destruction, be lost) but have eternal (everlasting) life.

I Corinthians 3:9 (The Amplified Bible):**
For we are fellow workmen (joint promoters, laborers together) with and for God; you are God’s garden and vineyard and field under cultivation, [you are] God’s building {i.e., His classroom}.

I John 3:18-19 and 4:7 (The Amplified Bible):**
-18: Little children, let us not love [merely] in theory or in speech but in deed and in truth (in practice and in sincerity).
-19: By this {spiritual love of God} we shall come to know (perceive, recognize, and understand) that we are of the Truth, and can reassure (quiet, conciliate, and pacify) our hearts in His presence.
-7: Beloved, let us love one another, for love is (springs) from God; and he who loves [his fellowmen] is begotten (born) of God and is coming [progressively] to know and understand God [to perceive and recognize and get a better and clearer knowledge of Him].

*Scripture taken from THE AMPLIFIED BIBLE, Old Testament copyright (c) 1965, 1989 by the Zondervan Corporation.
Used by permission.

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

Colossians – Revealing Our Completeness

Written by Larry M. Jaynes:

In the Epistle of Colossians, we can discover the completeness that God has given to us through all that Jesus Christ accomplished.

We have been made spiritually complete so that we walk with God as we enjoy His presence in our lives. Colossians helps correct wrong practices that people sometimes fall into and shows the way back to right believing in the spiritual power that God has given to every believer in Christ.

Colossians 1:27-28:
-27: To whom {believers} God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory:
-28: Whom {Jesus Christ} we preach, warning every man, and teaching every man in all wisdom; that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus:

Noting what Paul wrote in Ephesians 3:4 is interesting: “Whereby, when ye read, ye may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ.” The mystery in a nutshell is that the Jews and Gentiles who believe today become equal members in the body of Christ. Paul wrote that by reading we may understand this mystery of the one body.

Whereas in Colossians 1:27 we have the next spiritual step, for it continues on and connects us to the spiritual side of life because God Himself reveals the riches of the mystery, “which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.”

What it really is to have Christ in you is not my job to explain, nor is it anyone else’s, because only God can reveal to the heart of our understanding what it is to actually have Christ in us, what it means to our lives, and what the riches of the glory of the mystery is, and it is all based upon God making it known to us.

Paul then goes on to say that he preaches Jesus Christ. Why? Because as the preached Word of God reveals Jesus Christ, Christ then reveals his heavenly Father to us, and as the Father becomes known, He then reveals to our lives the greatness of the mystery and the riches of the mystery, showing us individually that we absolutely have completeness because we have received Christ within.

The word “warning” in verse 28 above does not have anything to do with impending danger of any kind, but rather it means to admonish, exhort, and to prepare one to receive something quite wonderful. Paul in his teaching ministry as an Apostle prepared believers with the teaching of the mystery of the one body of Christ so that each member would be able to become more intimately acquainted with their heavenly Father Who would then reveal the riches of having Christ within.

Paul’s masterful teaching presented God’s heart so that God could begin revealing that in Christ Jesus we have a heavenly standing in God’s household. Then God Himself could further reveal the dynamic realities of walking daily with the spirit of Christ within.

Colossians 2:10 reads “ye are complete in him.” We are spiritually completely, completely, complete in Jesus Christ, and it is God Who will show to the heart of our understanding this spiritual reality.

The preached Word always reveals Jesus Christ who is the living and incarnate Word, and the living Word always reveals God Who is the source of the Word. As we come to experience the learning process that it is our heavenly Father Who reveals to our understanding the “riches of the glory of this mystery, which is Christ in you,” then we will know without any doubt that we have been taught of God (I Corinthians 2:7-14).

“It is written in the prophets, And they shall be all taught of God. Every man therefore that hath heard {what God teaches}, and hath learned {to the point of believing} of the Father, cometh unto me” (John 6:45). “Cometh unto me” represents coming to know with godly insights the spiritual riches of having “Christ in you.”

Colossians 2:6-7:
-6: As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him:
-7: Rooted and built up in him, and stablished in the faith, as ye have been taught {by the preached Word, by knowing Christ, and by hearing God’s still small voice}, abounding therein with thanksgiving.

As we become more rooted and spiritually built up in Christ, we will become established in the faith, and this will effortlessly cause our lives to abound with thanksgiving to God Who is the source and giver of the riches of Christ within.

God gives us Our Completeness, allowing us to have fellowship with Jesus Christ and inspiring our fellowship with one another, so we may abound daily in thankfulness.