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?
The more we look into the attributes of God, the more we see the elements of how He works which gives us insight into God’s nature. To gain a right perspective we must look at the nature of God’s love and how it is expressed. I don’t believe we can fully appreciate the measure of God’s love, it’s just too vast, but even an attempt at measuring what we know cannot be done without first reflecting on the fullness of God’s nature as revealed in the persons of God.
When considering the persons of God, we must look at each aspect of the godhead and consider what it means.
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 general term that includes 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 elements of His DNA, the son is beloved of the Father, and is placed into a position of honor.
The world claims that the Bible diminishes the value of women and this couldn’t be further from the truth. The elevation of all of God’s people into a rightful inheritance is given regardless of gender. The love of God extends to all who have loved the Son and have embraced His death and resurrection.
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 was by sending His Son that His people might be redeemed from sin and death.
John 10:30 “I and the Father are one.”
The Father is in a position of authority. He is the One who sent the Son to die for the sins of mankind. The works and teaching of Jesus came from the Father. The Father brings discipline, He establishes justice, He demands perfection, He is the giver of every good gift, and He is the One who bestowed glory upon the Son and still does today.
Any blessing that God’s people enjoy, they have received from the Father.
If we want to get to know the Father, we must get to know the Son. When we pray, we direct our prayers towards the Father as Jesus instructed.
The only way a person can approach the Father is through their association with the Son.
John 15:9 “As the Father loved Me, I also have loved you; abide in My love.”
The manner in which the Son of God has revealed His love is through the cross. It was by His death and resurrection His people are redeemed from the scourge of death. To those who hear and receive Jesus’ sacrificial love, they will be called children of God. There was and is no greater love than this, Jesus’ demonstration of agape love was given by the Father through the Son to those whom He has called and responded in repentance.
John 1:3 “All things were made through him, and without him was not anything made that was made.”
Everything we know and see in creation was first formed by the Son of God. He is the first and the last, He is why the Kingdom of God exists at all, and He is the revelation of the Father to the world.
If anyone desires to be saved from death and Hell, they must receive the Son as Lord and Savior. When the Son of God ascended into Heaven He sent His Spirit upon those who love Him.
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.”
To understand and know the power of God, you must first embrace the love of God.
From all I’ve heard and read, the revelation of God’s power has not and cannot be fully appreciated by mankind in the flesh. Every example in history where God has even revealed a portion of His power has brought a response of awe and wonder. Terror fills the hearts of those who witness it, regardless of their position.
As a young man, I once read a book on walking in the Spirit and on a very personal level I developed a strong desire to know and have this same type of relationship with God. For three 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 that day and I’ve never forgotten it.
The power of God that is available to all who walk in Him far exceeds anything we can relate to on earth. Maybe if a person stood a few feet away from a nuclear bomb going off and survived it, they might gain some insight as to what it means to stand in the presence of the Lord.
God’s power was displayed at creation and was demonstrated among the people of Israel, but personally His power was made perfect in Jesus Christ.
The godly love expressed by one who is filled with the Spirit is a manifestation of the Spirit of God working through that person. For those who are led by God and follow His direction, the will see His love expressed through their lives. Godly Love is a key marker of salvation, it always comes through a believers life, both for the lost and ultimately toward the Lord.
*Love expressed to others is the primary way believers show love to God. 1 John 4:7-8 “Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God. Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love.”
*The Word of God is an expression of His love toward us. When a believer keeps His Word, he expresses his love back to the Lord. 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 indwells within a saint, their testimony shows evidence of the change that has occurred. Replete throughout the Word of God are examples of people consumed by the Spirit of God, revealing spiritual gifts, glorifying God in their lives, or in the 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.”
When God saves someone and leaves them on this corrupt earth, is it only to be a testimony to the lost? The Lord has shown that He can testify of Himself, there have been many examples of people personally hearing Jesus call them to salvation. If God allows people to stay in this corrupt world, there must be a greater purpose for redeeming them. If God’s goal was to only save someone then you’d think that upon salvation the saint would be taken into glory, but fortunately that is rarely what happens.
God’s people are given a new nature but it requires the work of the Holy Spirit to transform their lives into the expression of what a godly nature looks like. For all who strive for righteousness, they know the journey can seem long and difficult but the Lord rewards those who remain faithful.
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 is to know and live in the power of God’s love. To recognize God’s hand moving shows discernment, insight that comes from walking in the Spirit. If someone want to be more like Christ, the work of the Spirit is to lead them in humility and obedience, a process that moves them from darkness to light, from immaturity to spiritual maturity, and from a position of weakness into a position of God’s power.
Practically, submitting to the Spirit’s leading might resemble several attributes, like…
*Breaking old habits.
*Breaking away from a worldly mindset into a godly perspective.
*Breaking away from godless friends and influences.
*Breaking away from how the world used to define you and how God now defines you.
*Breaking away from your past and looking forward to a future in Christ.
The life in the Spirit is the life of godliness and hope. The Father sent the Son to redeem His people, the Son in turn sent the Spirit to empower them for His work. The Lord will continue to guide His people by His Spirit as they walk in fellowship with Him. It’s possible to quench the Spirit of God through sin and rebellion, losing the element of fellowship by which God’s people experience true life. Repenting of the sin restores that relationship and they continue on in victory.
To love the Spirit of God is to love God’s presence as He leads and directs the faithful follower. The Spirit brings correction, teaching, knowledge of the Word, and even speaks on His people’s behalf in prayer. For those who follow the Spirit’s leading, the fruit of the Spirit shows forth in their lives.
It takes practice to quiet the heart and mind and listen to the Spirit of God—He is often waiting for you to listen.
If you hear Him, and walk in His guidance then your life will be transformed by God’s power.