January 24, 2009

A Question...

A question was posed today on one of my favorite blogs. The question was: "Is it possible to have life in Christ without love for Christ?"

Ultimately, I would have to say "NO, it is not possible". But, I would want to articulate that fully as to not be misunderstood and that cannot be accomplished in one post..


My brief comment to that post was as follows:

"What is “love? Now that would be an interesting question to ask your readers. First: I think one must clarify what is meant by the word “love”, in this context, before the question can even be understood; let alone answered. We all have different understandings of what “love” means and what love is. Second: It is also interesting that the question is rather “man-centered”, i.e. focused on our standing in Christ as opposed to whether or not our lives can bring Him glory if we do not love Him. A different slant on the question:

“Is it possible for our lives to bring glory to God if we do not have love for Christ?”

“If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing.”

Great thought provoking question–and as you know, one that men have pondered down through the centuries. “What is Love?” Perhaps we need to begin there.

I would love to hear what you think.

Jonathan Edwards wrote:

"The sense of the beauty of Christ is the beginning of true saving faith in the life of a true convert. This is quite different from any vague feeling that Christ loves him or died for him. These sort of fuzzy feelings can cause a sort of love and joy, because the person feels a gratitude for escaping the punishment of their sin. In actual fact, these feelings are based on self-love, and not on a love for Christ at all.

It is a sad thing that so many people are deluded by this false faith. On the other hand, a glimpse of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ causes in the heart a supreme genuine love for God. This is because the divine light shows the excellent loveliness of God's nature.

A love based on this is far, far above anything coming from self-love, which demons can have as well as men. The true love of God which comes from this sight of His beauty causes a spiritual and holy joy in the soul; a joy in God, and exulting in Him. There is no rejoicing in ourselves, but rather in God alone."


3 comments:

FCB said...

I think I would first illustrate this by way of times when we work and play with children; they are drawn to us for various and sundry reasons; it may be they like the game we are playing; we may remind them of someone they love or like, or it may be that we remind them of someone by the way we laugh or talk; but no matter why they come and join in, we appreciate their smiling faces. To try and untie and unravel the knots of why they have joined in, may be unanswerable in the beginning. But as we associate with them their relationship with us will change and grow as they understand more of us. I see God that way as well; He cares not why we come intially, He is more than able to reveal His will for us and we will experience Christ; after all, our relationship with Christ is experiential and will ripen and deepen with each year that passes. He bids us come, not understand all our reasons for coming. I doubt as Matthew had much understanding when the Lord bid "Follow me", but soon he learned and died giving glory to God.
I doubt we will bring glory to God without knowing Christ because Christ is the express image of God, the comprehensible form of God, at best we can demonstrate common graces to our fellow man which he universally gives to all man, which does glorify God and his goodness for man, but reveals but one facet in a many studded diamond.
That's my first blush on an intriguing question.
God bless,
Fred

TruthMatters said...

As I went to bed last night, I continued to ponder this thought provoking question. Measuring love and the legitmacy of it is as difficult and impossible as attempting to describe the fragrance of a violet to someone who has never smelled one. Somethings must be experienced to be understood.

I also turned the question around in my mind: “Is it possible to love Christ, without having life in Christ?” Again it begs the questions, “What is love?” and “Who is this Christ that you think you love?”. There are those who say they love Christ and yet they love a Christ of their own making. Not the Christ of the Bible. (They actually reject and dismiss many passages in scripture that do not line up with the "Christ" that they have created)

I would ask someone “Tell me about this Christ that you love?” , “Tell me why you love Him?” Do “feelings” of love for Christ save us? I think not; and, yet can one be in Christ and not have feelings of love for Him? I think not.

This is a wonderful discussion! May the Lord use it to draw us closer to Him and to enlighten our heart, souls and minds to His beauty and His truth.

Michael said...

God is love ! He is infinite in His love ! His ways are higher than our ways and His thoughts are higher than our thoughts , therefore no matter how great a level of understanding we are given by grace in this life to understand His love , it will still be but a drop in the ocean of His great everlasting love wherewith He has loved us . And just as He has called His own unto Himself through His infinite mercy to do good unto all ; more specifically has He called us to do good unto the household of faith . Therefore to the household of faith , He calls to us to look to His Word to give an answer of the hope that is within us with meekness and fear . Is it possible for the unjust to give glory to Christ ? 1st Cor.15:34 AWAKE TO RIGHTEOUSNESS AND SIN NOT ; FOR SOME HAVE NOT THE KNOWLEDGE OF GOD ... As we proceed through this passage , the scriptures tell us of a various array of glories (see vrs.34-41) the glory of the celestial one and the glory of the terrestrial another , etc... Phil.2:1-11 Tells us to look to Christ who made himself of no reputation , and took upon himself the form af a servant ... he humbled himself , and became obedient unto death , even the death of the cross . Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him , and given him a name which is above every name : That at the name of Jesus EVERY KNEE SHOULD BOW , OF things IN HEAVEN , AND things IN EARTH , AND things UNDER THE EARTH ; AND that EVERY TONGUE SHOULD CONFESS THAT JESUS CHRIST is LORD , TO THE GLORY OF GOD THE FATHER . The scriptures speak for themsevles . Rev. 22:9-13 ....Keep the sayings of this book : WORSHIP GOD ... He that is unjust , let him be unjust still : and he which is filthy , let him be filthy still : and he that is righteous , let him be righteous still : and he that is holy , let him be holy still . AND , BEHOLD , I COME QUICKLY ; AND MY REWARD is WITH ME , TO GIVE EVERY MAN ACCORDING AS HIS WORK SHALL BE . I AM ALPHA AND OMEGA , THE BEGINNING AND THE END , THE FIRST AND THE LAST .