Let's be reasonable with one another, shall we?

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

If you have love for one another...

35 By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another. (John 13)
I looked up the word "love" that is used in this passage.
It is the word agape¯
Thayer defines it: 1) brotherly love, affection, good will, love, benevolence

So is Jesus saying that people who are kind to one another - who have good will toward one another - benevolence - will be thought of as his disciples? Or is He saying that if you claim to be a follower of his and you don't exhibit this agape, then it will be questionable to "all men" that you really are his disciple?

Either way, we should love one another. Because ... if you bite and devour one another, beware lest you be consumed by one another! (Galatians 5:15)

14 Comments:

  • Rose, is an "Amen" to your "either way" an adequate response? ;-)

    By Blogger Kc, at 1/10/2007 4:13 PM  

  • I think John is simply saying that ALL will know that we are disciples if we agape one another (other disciples). If we don't then how will they know? Actions speak louder than words to those who are spiritually dead.

    Many who are bound by works persevering theology for assurance try to twist this around don't they?

    By Blogger Kris, at 1/10/2007 4:19 PM  

  • Hey, KC, thanks for visiting. I am afraid I haven't been a very good hostess here at RR. Amen and Amen.

    Kris,
    I hadn't thought about the "works persevering theology" when I did this post. I was really thinking about like ... Mother Teresa. She had a lot of love for people and some would say that this is how she identified herself as a Christian. I don't know, though - her thoughts on redemption were all mixed up as the Catholic dogma. Then again, could it be said that she was a disciple evn though she was not born again?
    I was just pondering these things.

    I can grasp the simple idea that "works animate faith." (as Jodie put it in her discussions on James.) I think that is what Jesus is saying, but is not being inclusive in this satement by saying that all who have the works or the love are of the faith.

    Thanks for visiting!

    By Blogger Rose~, at 1/13/2007 11:59 AM  

  • Many who are bound by works persevering theology for assurance try to twist this around don't they?

    Do they twist this one around too? I did not know, honestly.

    By Blogger Rose~, at 1/13/2007 12:00 PM  

  • Rose, I might suggest a possible third answer in addition to these two excellent ones that you have presented.

    Could it be that only true believers have the capacity to love with genuine agape? It is the first-fruit of the Spirit in Gal. 5:22. Perhaps Jesus was saying a true disciple has the ability to demonstrate that level of love.

    By Anonymous Gordon Cloud, at 1/13/2007 2:12 PM  

  • The key to verse 35 is verse 34:

    "A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another.

    Loving like Jesus loves us sets the bar for agapε ... it adds sacrifice to the definition.

    People are worth dying for ... Jesus proved it with His very own life. I think that there is nothing more glorious than sacrificial love ... laying down our lives ... our selfish desires ... our self-centeredness ... our schedules - for poor people ... people in prison ... blind and sick people ... people oppressed.

    This kind of love will make difference.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 1/13/2007 2:36 PM  

  • I stated:
    'Many who are bound by works persevering theology for assurance try to twist this around don't they? '

    You asked:
    "Do they twist this one around too? I did not know, honestly."

    Yes, I have heard some say that if you are not loving your brothers, then you should "examine" your self, you might not be saved.

    Do all of the saints always agape each other all the time? Of course not. But if during those times we are not agaping, like when someone has hurt us and we are dealing with this and at the same time confronted with a statement like: If you do not agape your brothers, then you are none of His, Jesus said that you will know your are my disciple if you have agape for one another. Then our foundation of belief in Christ alone is being chipped away at by this works persevering theology.

    We who hold to free grace believe that faith in Christ or belief in Christ for salvation is all that is required for salvation, this is the solid rock we stand. The same rock Jesus told Peter He would build His church on.

    Piper comes to mind when I think of preachers creating doubt in the minds of those have believed. I think I mentioned before about a statement in a sermon of his where he states that if we will not share the gospel to someone then we are being loveless and therefore it may be that Christ's sacrifice may not been effectual to us.

    This is sounds like good teaching if you hold to works persevering theology. But what does this message portray upon a person who is simply afraid or shy? Its not good for building this person up in the faith is it?

    In fact this type of doctrine to me actually inhibits a believer from casting his hurts on the Lord and agaping his brother. His foundation of being totally accepted by faith is being eroded and doubts hinder him from believing the Lord loves him even when is not loving his brothers.

    I agree with your post completely, either way we should love one another because...

    I just can't figure out why men cannot seperate the foundation of Christ alone from the requirements of fellowship or discipleship.

    So after all my thoughts on this and your making clear (which was clear if I had read your post more carefully) your intentions of the first question. I would say, no, Jesus is not saying all who do good will be thought of as His disciple.

    The answer to your second question to me would be a resounding yes.

    I am too long winded today. We are iced in here in Okla. and cabin fever is setting in. LOL

    I do love Rose's reasonings, your reasonings do teach and make me think alot. Have a great weekend and blessings to your new child.

    By Blogger Kris, at 1/13/2007 3:17 PM  

  • Rose,

    You said, "I am afraid I haven't been a very good hostess here at RR."

    Finally we have a point of contention! I will argue that NO ONE could do better than you here! ;-)

    BTW I agree with Gordon concerning ability and with Kris as well. I think that Jesus explained in this verse what distinguishes His disciples from others in the eyes of the world. It is only by our love for one another and by no other means. I believe 1st John is an exhortation to discipleship and self-examination but should never be used as a means for judging our brethren, especially considering the fact that it would be necessary to judge the heart of another in order to determine whether they truly love. This might also help us understand why the tares are allowed to grow with the wheat.

    By Blogger Kc, at 1/14/2007 6:12 AM  

  • Could it be both?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 1/15/2007 11:53 PM  

  • Hi Rose! I think I'll come over to your spot here now and then once I get back from VA. I started noticing other sites on Brians side bar tonight so I think I will be poking around more in cyberdom once I get back and will enjoy reading even beyone Brians good thoughts. Hmm. When I saw the part about how to know if certain kids are yours...the first thing that came to my mind was that I would know by watching which ones came right to you. That's communication. That's knowing. That's hearing YOU not someone elses mother...

    By Anonymous pemendez, at 1/17/2007 12:02 AM  

  • Thanks for visiting, Gordon. I think you are absolutely correct about believers only having that capacity.

    Ya know, you gave me an idea for a new post. I just need to find the time and concentration to execute it.

    Hi BOB,
    Great thoughts!
    Greater love has no man than this ...

    Kris,
    I am glad you enjoy this blog. Thank you for saying so. WHile I have not officially put this blog on a break, things really are slow around here!
    I am going to address your comment in a short post, God-willing, later today.

    KC,
    I just am not answering the comments as quickly as I like to. Do unto others ... I am not doing unto others as I like done unto me as far as my commenters are concerned. That is why I said I am a poor hostess currently.
    I agree with your comment and think you have added much to the conversation. :~)

    Jonathan,
    Could it be both?
    Perhaps, but I would tend to think that the MISCONCEPTION in my first scenario would not be a legitimate understanding of what Jesus is saying. (eg: Mother Theresa)

    I have a feeling that if we understand something of the inclusiveness or exclusivess of His intention in saying this, the meaning would be clearer. I need to look closer at it. I think Gordon's thought may hold a key:
    only true believers have the capacity to love with genuine agape.

    Pemendez,
    Thanks for visiting! You are welcome anytime! I appreciate your thoughts.

    By Blogger Rose~, at 1/17/2007 11:57 AM  

  • "I just need to find the time and concentration to execute it."

    I learned to focus at concentration camp.

    Sorry

    I

    just

    could

    not

    help

    myself.

    By Blogger Joe, at 1/17/2007 4:09 PM  

  • Hi Rose,
    This is another great post!

    Kris said,"I just can't figure out why men cannot [separate] the foundation of Christ alone from the requirements of fellowship or discipleship."

    If people would only read their Bibles allot of this mess would be nonexistent. I can't figure that one out either except that there are popular propagators of this sordid Spirit quenching persuasion that have made inroads into our churches. I think men love to have a part and take credit for what they can not accomplish.

    Christian had to discover the hard way that Mr. Legality did not point him in the right direction.

    Keep on loving them anyway,
    Brother John

    By Blogger J. Wendell, at 1/19/2007 6:28 AM  

  • Thanks Rose & John.

    By Blogger Kris, at 1/19/2007 10:42 AM  

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