Romans 15:30 “Now I beg you, brethren, through the Lord Jesus Christ, and through the love of the Spirit, that you strive together with me in prayers to God for me,”
Is the love of the Father or the love of the Son the same as the love of the Spirit?
I suppose this is more of a rhetorical question but it does bring up a point that might give insight into God’s nature. Taking a look at scripture, you’ll find some interesting perspective as you look at the nature of God’s love expressed. The love of God cannot be expressed without reflecting on the fullness of God’s nature as revealed in the persons of God.
1 John 3:1 “Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God! Therefore the world does not know us, because it did not know Him.”
What manner of love has the Father given to us? Looking closer at the scripture…He has called us His sons (this is a generic term for everyone, including His daughters). It is reflective of position rather than gender. The son is an heir of the father, a son is born of the Father and contains the elements of His DNA, the son is beloved of the Father, and is placed into a position of honor.
John 17:23 “I in them, and You in Me; that they may be made perfect in one, and that the world may know that You have sent Me, and have loved them as You have loved Me.”
The way the Father expressed His love for us was by sending His Son for us.
John 15:9 “As the Father loved Me, I also have loved you; abide in My love.”
The manner in which Jesus, the Son of God, revealed His love for us was on the cross. It was by His death and resurrection we are redeemed from the death of sin. To those who hear and receive this sacrificial love, they are called children of God. There was and is no greater love than this demonstration of Agape love.
2 Timothy 1:7 “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.”
Power: I believe the revelation of God’s power has not and cannot be fully appreciated by mankind in the flesh. Any demonstration in history where God has revealed a portion of His power has brought awe and wonder. Terror fills the hearts of those who witness it, regardless of their position before Him.
As a young man, I read a book on walking in the Spirit on a very personal level and developed a strong desire to know and have this same type of relationship. For 3 nights I lay on my face, prostrate before the Lord and called out to Him, asking that I might be brought into His presence. On the third night, while sleeping I was awoken by a power I had never experienced before. All I could do was sit upright in fear as this power blasted through every ounce of my being. At the time, I seemed to lose all sense of reason and purpose, I forgot why I had been praying and what I had been praying for, it was then I knew I wasn’t spiritually ready nor had I comprehended what I was asking for. The Lord revealed to me a measure of His power and a taste of what Moses might have experienced in the tent of meeting. I’m not saying I bear any resemblance to Moses, he was and will always be considered a great man of God, far exceeding my ability and position. I would liken it to my love for basketball and playing skills. I enjoy shooting baskets with my kids and playing a pick-up game now and then but I don’t think of myself as Michael Jordan. I can relate in a way to what Michael did on the court because I can see how difficult it is to master that game.
I don’t want to get too far away from the subject at hand and so I’ll leave the story right there, but to try and express the power of God that is available to all who walk in Him, far exceeds anything we can relate to on earth. Maybe if you stood a few feet away from a nuclear bomb going off and survived it, you might gain some insight as to what it means to stand in the presence of the Lord.
Love: The godly love expressed by one who is filled with the Spirit is a manifestation of the Spirit of God working through that person. If we are led by God and follow His direction, we will see this love expressed through our lives. Love is also a key marker for salvation, it always comes through other believers, for the lost, and ultimately toward the Lord.
- Love expressed to others is the primary way we show love to God. 1 John 5:2 “By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and keep His commandments.”
- The Word of God is an expression of His love to us. When we keep His Word, we express our love back to Him. 1 John 2:5 “But if anyone keeps His word, the love of God has been truly perfected in him. By this we know that we are in Him:”
- A component of salvation is a true love for others. If we can’t love others for who they are and not based off how they treat us, we must question whether the love of God has been manifest in our lives. 1 John 3:14 “We know that we have passed from death to life, because we love our brothers. The one who does not love remains in death”
When the Spirit of God is upon an individual, testimony is what follows. Replete throughout the Word of God are examples of people overwhelmed by the Spirit of God…what follows is prophesy, glorifying God in the midst of an assembly, or in the New Testament the preaching of salvation.
Acts 1:8 “But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”
The primary reason why God saves someone and leaves them on this corrupt earth is to be a testimony to the lost, otherwise why allow us to struggle with sin and temptation? If God’s only goal was to save us then immediately upon salvation the saint would be taken into glory, fortunately that isn’t our only purpose.
We are given a new nature but it requires the work of the Holy Spirit in our lives to be transformed into the expression of what this godly nature looks like, and for all who strive for righteousness, this is not easy.
Ephesians 4:20-24 “But you have not so learned Christ, if indeed you have heard Him and have been taught by Him, as the truth is in Jesus: that you put off, concerning your former conduct, the old man which grows corrupt according to the deceitful lusts, and be renewed in the spirit of your mind, and that you put on the new man which was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness.”
Embracing the Spirit of God in your life is an act of love. Recognizing that what He is doing in you is good, (making you more like Christ), is a breaking process of being transformed from darkness to light…
- Breaking old habits.
- Breaking from a worldly mindset to a godly perspective.
- Breaking away from godless friends and influences.
- Breaking away from how we think about ourselves to how God sees us.
- Breaking away from our past and looking to a future in Christ.
The life in the Spirit is the life of godliness and hope. The Lord will continue to guide us through His Spirit if we keep in fellowship with Him. If we quench the Spirit of God in our lives because of sin and rebellion, we lose that element of fellowship by which we move and breath.
Walk in the Spirit and your life will be transformed by God’s power.