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Galatians 5:14 & Leviticus 18:19 by Robert Dean
Series:Galatians (1998)
Duration:1 hr 4 mins 47 secs

The Role-Model for Impersonal Love
Galatians 5:14; Leviticus 18:19

 

What are the characteristics of impersonal love? (cont.)

 

  1. Intensity. God's love is intense. This is defined as a zealous determination to achieve the goal of salvation despite all obstacles. God is omnipotent and is able to accomplish whatever is necessary to fulfil His perfect plan for the human race.
  2. Steadfast loyalty. God is loyal to His promises to man and strongly desires all men to come to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ. Though not all will be saved He has made a perfect provision to save one and all—doctrine of unlimited atonement. Therefore God does not reject and condemn man at the moment of sin or at the moment of birth when he inherits Adam's original sin and a sin nature, but God is patient and gives man a life long enough to make a decision for or against Him.
  3. Consecration. This means to be set apart. Jesus Christ is solemnly set apart for the high purpose of being the exclusive means of salvation for the church. As such He is loyal to God the Father, motivated by personal love for God the Father, and therefore set apart to bring every believer to maturity.
  4. Dedication. Jesus Christ is dedicated to the task of service, sacrifice, salvation and sanctification.

 

Remember, man's point of contact with God is not the love of God; it is the justice of God. God's righteousness had to be satisfied before love could be a factor. Because of man's loss of righteousness God had to deal with man on the basis of impersonal love, not personal love. That means the issue is who and what he is, not who and what man is. All of these characteristics that we have seen exemplify this impersonal love of God so that he could bring man into a relationship, solve the sin problem, and once again have personal love for man. God's personal love for the believer is never based on who we are or what we do.

 

Remember, God established five divine institutions. Divine institutions were principles set up by God in the created order that apply to believer and unbeliever alike. They were given for the preservation, protection and perpetuation of the human race. The first is human responsibility—we are responsible for the decisions that we make. We are held accountable for those decisions. The second is marriage, and this is for believer and unbeliever alike. Third, is the family. The fourth is civil government, established in the covenant with Noah at the end of the flood. But there were not distinct nations at that time; that does not come about until after the tower of Babel at which time God establishes the principle of nations or national identity as opposed to internationalism.

 

Marriage is for believer and unbeliever alike and there are many unbelievers who can have happy and successful marriages. But in the New Testament marriages is taken to a higher level for the believer and we have some new principles given in Ephesians 5. God establishes Christian marriage which has a unique role to play as a witness in the angelic conflict because it was through marriage, the marriage of Adam and the woman in the garden of Eden, that caused the fall of the human race into sin. Marriage failed in the garden and it is through Christian marriage on the basis of principles outlined in God's Word through the spiritual life of the church age that a Christian husband and a Christian wife can have aspecific witness together in the angelic conflict that goes beyond the individual witness of either one. So it is a whole new dynamic and a new level of mandate. There is a recognition that there is an authority or leadership structure within the marriage. In human responsibility the authority is volition, in the family it is the parents, in civil government the authority is the executive or legislative branch. There is always an authority structure. The same thing is true in marriage. 

Ephesians 5:22 NASB "Wives, {be subject} to your own husbands, as to the Lord." The model is not whether the man is a winner or a loser, not whether he is worthy or not; it is his office. One of the hardest things to learn in life is respect for the office when the person in the office is not worthy of respect. The issue is obedience to the Lord, not obedience necessarily to the husband. [23] "For the husband is the head of the wife, as Christ also is the head of the church, He Himself {being} the Savior of the body." The husband is directly under Christ as his authority and Christ is the one to whom he is accountable. [24] "But as the church is subject to Christ, so also the wives {ought to be} to their husbands in everything. [25] Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her." The kind of love that is mandated of husbands is exemplified in the characteristics of divine impersonal love (listed above). It is first and foremost impersonal love because if personal love is not built on impersonal love then sooner or later personal love will crumble in the adversities of life. "…and gave Himself up for her" emphasises the element of sacrifice, sacrificing your agenda and what you want for what is best for her. [28] "So husbands ought also to love their own wives as their own bodies. He who loves his own wife loves himself; [29] for no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ also {does} the church, [30] because we are members of His body." For the men, this is their pattern; an example of how they are to love their wives.

Summation: Ephesians 5:33 NASB "Nevertheless, each individual among you also is to love his own wife even as himself, and the wife must {see to it} that she respects her husband." We have two categories here. Man is the initiator; the wife is the responder. What happens when he initiates in a wrong way the wife has to watch out that she doesn't become a reactor to his wrong behaviour on the basis of the sin nature. That is going to destroy her spiritual life. When he is operating wrongly the wife's response needs to be focused on God and the Lord Jesus Christ. That is why she is to be subject to her husband as to the Lord. What characterises the initiator is that he is aggressive in his love, he is loyal, he is dedicated, and he is a servant. The responder has respect, honour, consideration and deference. But remember, whether you are initiating as the husband or responding as the wife this has to be built on an understanding of grace and grace orientation. Part of grace orientation is humility. Humility involves teachability, learning, listening, talking to one another. As humility is developed you begin to develop a relaxed mental attitude. This means that whatever happens when there are slights and offences, real or perceived rejection and you don't react to that, you can maintain a relaxed focus. Ultimately the focus for both the husband and the wife is on God and the Lord Jesus Christ.

Galatians 5:14 NASB "For the whole Law is fulfilled in one word, in the {statement,} 'YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF'." Then Paul gives a contrast. [15] "But if you bite and devour one another, take care that you are not consumed by one another." Biting and devouring one another is mental attitude sins given over to sins of the tongue. When we give ourselves over to mental attitude sins it destroys your spiritual life and will destroy those around you.