Category Archives: The Spirit Personnel

The only way to erase ignorance is to get knowledge. The Spirit Personnel is not just a category, but a name for those that are divinely enabled. Those that have strength beyond capacity.

The Spirit is the Holy Spirit. And the Holy Spirit is the Lord. 2 Corinthians 3:17. “The Lord is that Spirit…”

Jesus has called us to be an extension of His ministry on earth. This can only be achieved through the Spirit. Isaiah 61.

Apostle Joshua Selman said. “The anointing does not make the difference. The anointing is the difference.”

The Spirit enables. He teaches. The Spirit comforts. He walks with. The Spirit equips. He enlightens. The Spirit does much more. He dwells in us.

What more can we say then? More than anything, we need the Holy Spirit. To better matters, He wants us to know Him. His goal is a relationship with us. He wants us to build up.

The Spirit Personnel is about posts that are divinely sanctioned. And written to meet spiritual needs. You would find them informational, instructional, and Spiritual.

Blessings await you. Cheers.

 

 

The Spirit-filled Life

THE SPIRIT-FILLED LIFE

Colossians 3:1-3 – The Spirit-filled Life

3:1

If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God.

3:2

Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth.

3:3

For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God.

Before knowing Christ we believed in lies. Our reality is now set with Christ as our focus, and we are given clear vision through the help of the Holy Spirit. In Colossians 3, Paul speaks to the church in colossae, reminding them – and us – that we are now to live with a new kind of mentality.

See also: A Believer in God

We are to depend on Biblical wisdom to define our truth, and “set our hearts [and]…minds on things above, not on earthly things.” Paul is reminding us that even our hearts and minds need to be changed by the gospel. As we depend on the Lord, our lives will be transformed.

Living the Spirit-Filled Life

The Holy Spirit is one person of our triune God and is interchangeable with God. Jesus gave us the Spirit, “Helper,” when He ascended into heaven. Living a Spirit-filled life separates those individuals who are truly changed by Christ’s death on the cross, and those that are not.

Galatians 5 says that if you belong to Christ you will put your old sinful self to death and live led by the Spirit. Living a life led by the Spirit should compel the believer to practice what we refer to as “spiritual breathing.” When one physically breathes, they both inhale and exhale. Spiritual breathing implies an “exhaling” of sin (through confession), and an “inhaling” of Christ (through inviting the Holy Spirit’s help).

See also: The Spirit of Love: Loving your Lover

The Holy Spirit is mystical and mysterious, but is meant to be a helper to all who follow Christ. To not seek understanding about the Spirit is to remain ignorant about what God can do in you and through you. We are to call on the Holy Spirit to help us flee from sin and pursue godliness

How Are We Filled?

  1. Mystical Aspect. We receive the Holy Spirit when we become a Christian. He dwells within all those who belong to Christ.

God sends His Spirit into our hearts when we receive Christ. We will never lose the Spirit’s presence; He cannot be taken from us.

  1. Practical Aspect. We need to remind ourselves of the Truth.

Happens when we read God’s Word and pray.

God’s principles and nature are found in His Word. To the extent that you live a life based on God’s principles is the extent to which you are filled.

Filling occurs when we increasingly allow the Spirit to permeate each area of our lives.

  1. Spiritual Breathing

Exhale (Confess sin and repent)

1 John 1:9 , 2:1

The Roles of the Holy Spirit

  • Helper

John 14:16-21 , 26

  • Parakletos

Comforter, encourager, advocate, helper, one who steps forward on behalf of another or to represent another. In the classical Greek, it took the meaning of legal advisor.

This role of the Spirit seems to be tightly identified with the notion of Christian obedience.

See also: Bible Verses about Power

  • Assurance of Salvation

Romans 8:15-16 – bears witness, produces testimony.

  • Conviction of Sin

John 16:8

If we call ourselves Christians, our lives should be changed by the gospel. However, we cannot do good things on our own. We cannot even know the heart and will of God without His help. For all who have responded to the cross, we have been given the Holy Spirit to dwell in us and to assist us in our life-long pursuit of holiness. We must seek to know God through His Word and allow that to soak into every aspect of our lives. If we are in Christ, we never lose His Spirit. Yet if we are in Christ, we have an obligation to submit to his Spirit.

LOVE: THE LIFE OF A SPIRIT-FILLED BELIEVER

Although God wants every believer to be filled with the Spirit, many Christians are not sure what this means or what it looks like. To help us understand that whatever fills us controls us, Paul cites drunkenness as a negative example of “filling” and tells us to avoid it [Ephesians 5:18-21]. Every believer is indwelt by God’s Spirit, but the extent of His rule is determined by the Christian’s freedom to comply.

The evidence of the Spirit’s control is revealed in a person’s character. Those who have yielded their lives to Christ’s leadership are continually being transformed into His likeness. The degree of surrender determines the level of transformation.

See also: Definition of Love – Impersonal, Interpersonal, & Christian Understanding

Even though good works and faithful service are a result of being filled with the Spirit, they are not necessarily signs of it. Remember, we are talking about character, not what we do. It’s easier to serve the Lord in some manner than to love the unlovable or be patient with difficult people. But when the Spirit is in charge of our lives, He does through us what we cannot do for ourselves.

Each believer decides who rules his life, by either actively surrendering to Christ or deliberately going his own way. Even those who try to avoid the issue by making no choice at all unknowingly opt for self-rule. The fullness of the Spirit and godly character await those who choose God over self.

What are we to love?

As a Spirit-filled believer, we are expected to have the nature of our God which is Love. We are to love the Lord our God with all our heart, and with all our soul , and with all our might (Deuteronomy 6:5, Deuteronomy 30:6, Deuteronomy 30:16, Joshua 23:11, Matthew 22:37, Mark 12:30, Luke 10:27 ). If we love the Lord, we will keep His commandment (John 14:15-24).

  1. We are to love our enemies (Luke 6:27-35, Matthew 5:43-48).
  2. One another (John 13:34, John 15:22).
  3. Strangers (Deuteronomy 10:19).
  4. We are to love wisdom (Proverb 4:6, Proverb 29:3).
  5. Pureness of heart (Proverb 22:11).
  6. We are to love righteousness because God love righteousness (Psalm 146:8)

See also: What Love is and What Love is Not

What are we not to love?

  1. We are not to love pleasure (Proverb21:17).
  2. Money i.e we are not to covet after it (1 Timothy 6:10).
  3. We are not to love the world (1 John 2:15).

 

Contributor: Temiloluwa Olaposi

Credit: The Free Bible

The Characteristics of Love

CHARACTERISTICS OF LOVE

The characteristics of love can be seen in the Book of 1 Corinthians 13. It reveals the qualities of love.

Qualities of Love – Characteristics of Love

  1. Envieth not

Love is not jealous (NASV); love does not envy (NIV, NKJV); love envies no one (NEB). Love does not allow us to become filled with jealousy and bitter resentment toward others (Gen. 4:1-8). It causes us to demonstrate a generous spirit, and rejoice at the success and good fortune others enjoy.

See also: Definition of Love – Impersonal, Interpersonal, & Christian Understanding

  1. Vaunteth not itself

Love does not brag (NASV). Love does not boast (NIV). Love is never boastful (NEB). Love does not parade itself (NKJV). This particular Greek word is quite vivid.

Arndt and Gingrich define the rood word as “a windbag.” Love does not seek the praise and applause of men (Matt. 6:14). It causes us to realize the importance of others, and it limits our esteem of self. Love causes us to give of self rather than to assert self.

  1. Is not puffed up

Love is not arrogant (NASV); it is not proud (NIV); love is never conceited (NEB). Pride is a grave sin (Prov. 6:16-19; 16:5). This unbecoming attitude comes from either a haughty over-estimation of one’s own importance, or from a grave inferiority complex. Both problems can be cured by an application of Christianity to our lives.

  1. Doth not behave itself unseemly

Love does not act unbecomingly (NASV); it is not rude (NIV); love is never rude (NEB); love does not behave rudely (NKJV). This general term has broad range of applications. Love does not act in a disgraceful, dishonorable or indecent way. It avoids anything that is unseemly. It behaves with courtesy, good will, and genuine respect of others (1 Pet. 3:8-12). Sometimes we are nice to others, but hard on those in our family. Let us remember that good manners begin at home.

See also: Types of Love – Eros, Phileo, Agape & Storge

  1. Seeketh not her own

Love does not seek its own (NASV, NKJV); it is not self-seeking (NIV); love is never selfish (NEB). Some people appear to be concerned only with themselves. However, love is the antithesis of selfishness. God teaches us to first consider the needs of others (Phil. 2:1-8).

  1. Is not easily provoked

Love is not provoked (NASV, NKJV); it is not easily angered (NIV); love is not quick to take the offense (NEB); it is not touchy (Phillip’s Translation). Some of us are quick tempered; we become irritable over little things. However, where there is love, there is self-control (Eph. 4:26; Col. 3:8; Jas. 1:19-20). The flames of wrath are not easily kindled, nor do they keep burning long in a heart filled with love.

  1. Thinketh no evil – (Characteristics of Love)

Love does not take into account a wrong suffered (NASV); it keeps no record of wrongs (NIV); love keeps no score of wrongs (NEB). Paul uses a technical term in this passage. This Greek word was used in commercial dealings to describe entering debits/credits into a ledger. We must not keep a running account of offenses that we have suffered. Dwelling on such things always leads to bitterness and resentment. Love does not harbor a sense of injury (Prov. 17:9; 1 Pet. 4:8). When God forgives, he forgets. He said, “Their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more.” We should have the same attitude.

  1. Rejoiceth not in iniquity

Love does not rejoice in unrighteousness (NASV); love does not delight in evil (NIV); loves does not gloat over other men’s sins (NEB). It is all too characteristic of human nature to take pleasure in the downfall of others. Love finds no pleasure in sin (Prov. 2:10-14). Love can never be indifferent to moral considerations. Christians should be grieved whenever sin is committed. We recognize that God’s will has been violated, and also understand that someone has been hurt. Sin harms the transgressor and also those with whom he or she is associated.

See also: What Love is and What Love is Not

Other Qualities of Love – Characteristics of Love

  1. Sufferth long

Love suffers long (NKJV); love is patient (NASV, NIV). Love does not quickly become angry at the shortcomings and mistakes of others. In contrast with those who have an explosive temper, love operates with a long fuse. It has an infinite capacity for forbearance (1 Thess. 5:14; 2 Tim. 2:24-25).

  1. Kind. Love is kind (NKJV, NASV, NIV)

Love demonstrates a good natured and considerate spirit. It is expressed through active good-will. Love seeks out opportunities to help others (Matt. 25:34-40; Eph. 4:31-32). As a poet once said, “I shall pass through this world but once. Any good thing, therefore, that I can do, or any kindness that I can show to any human being, let me do it now. Let me not defer it, or neglect it, for I shall not pass this way again.”

See also: Bible Verses about Love

  1. Rejoiceth in the truth

Love rejoices with the truth (NASV, NIV); love delights in the truth (NEB). Love and truth go hand in hand. One cannot truly exist without the other. A love for truth is at the very heart of Christianity (Jn. 8:31-32; 2 Thess. 2:10-12). When the truth is victorious, love shares the gladness of its victory (3 Jn. 3-4).

  1. Beareth all things

Love bears all things (NKJV, NASV); it always protects (NIV); there is nothing love cannot face (NEB). Life can be tough, but those who live by the principle of love will not yield to complaining, grumbling or bitterness. They will bravely withstand the trials of life. Love enables us to endure all manner of adversity (2 Cor. 11:23-28; Jas. 1:24,12).

See also: Love as the Nature of God

  1. Believeth all things

Love believes all things (NKJV, NASV); it always trusts (NIV); there is no limit to its faith (NEB). It is easy to think the worst, but love maintains faith in others. Love looks for the good rather than the evil; it focuses on the bright spots, not the dark shadows. Love is ever ready to make excuses for others; it throws a mantle of kindness over the faults and shortcomings of others.

Try to positively interpret the actions of other people. Love refuses to yield itself to unfounded suspicions. It causes us to give others the benefit of the doubt. Unless you are presented with conclusive evidence to the contrary, believe the best about your fellow man (2 Cor. 7:16; 2 Thess. 3:4; Phile. 1:21).

  1. Hopeth all things

Love hopes all things (NKJV, NASV); it always hopes (NIV); there is no limit to its hope (NEB). We ought not be pessimistic in our view of others. Rather, we should hope for the best in our fellowman. Love never loses faith in others or in God. Hope looks forward. Love refuses to accept momentary failure as final (Lk. 13:6-9). In a crisis, it does not despair. Rather, it anticipates the ultimate triumph of God’s grace.

  1. Endureth all things

Love endures all things (NKJV, NASV); it always perseveres (NIV); there is no limit to its endurance (NEB). in the Greek this was a military term that referred to the ability of an army to sustain an assault.

It described stedfast endurance in the face of difficulties. Love causes us to bravely persevere. It enables us to overcome the difficulties, persecutions, and temptations which befall us. Christianity provides us with the fortitude to overcome the adversities of life (Heb. 12:1-4). Love is patient in tribulation.

See also: Love as a Fruit of the Spirit

  1. Never faileth

Love never fails (NKJV, NASV, NIV); love will never come to an end (NEB). Few things in life will endure, but love is permanent. This beautiful chapter closes with the statement: “And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity” (1 Cor. 13:13). One day faith will become sight, hope will be realized, but love will endure for eternity (1 Cor. 2:9; 1 Jn. 3:1-2).

 

Contributor: Temiloluwa Olaposi

Love as a Fruit of the Spirit

LOVE AS A FRUIT OF THE SPIRIT

This post is on love as a fruit of the Spirit. We could say that all other fruits of the Spirits are products of love – directly or by implication.

Galatians 5:22-23

5:22

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,

5:23

Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.

Love is one of the fruit of the spirit that a believer is expected to have. After salvation experience and the baptism of the Holy Ghost, a believer is now a new creature that has been made whole by the blood of the lamb.

See also: Definition of Love – Impersonal, Interpersonal, & Christian Understanding

He is no longer under the bondage of the old man and his works which is the flesh and the fruits of the flesh, he is no longer under the bondage of sin for whom the Son has set free is free indeed (John 8:36).

The works of the flesh which are stated in Galatians 5:19-21  cannot be produced again in the life of the believer because those who lives as their human nature tells them to, have their mind controlled by the human nature wants but those who lives as the Spirit tell them to, have their mind controlled by the Spirit(Roman 8:5).

See also: Love as the Nature of God

The Spirit of the Lord is now the one in control and this Spirit does not make us slave and cause us to be afraid; instead, the Spirit makes us God’s children.

 

Contributor: Temiloluwa Olaposi

Credit: The Free Bible

Love as the Nature of God

LOVE AS THE NATURE OF GOD

In the beginning when God created the heaven and the earth, He created man in His image and likeness, He put them in the garden of Eden where He had already provided everything man needed and He gave them power to rule and dominate over all living creatures both on land and in the water bodies. – Love as God’s nature.

See also: Definition of Love

He gave man permission to eat of the fruit of every tree in the garden of Eden except the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.(Genesis 1-2)

Satan came in the form of serpent to deceive Eve (the woman God created from Adam’s rib), to eat of the fruit God had commanded them not to eat. Eve was deceived by the devil, she ate the fruit and gave it to her husband also.

After this incident, God’s glory departed from the life of Adam and Eve and they die a spiritual death. Their communion with God was broken and they can no longer relate with God as they used too. They were sent out of the garden of Eden and this started the journey of man’s disobedience which is called SIN.(Genesis 3)

Since the fall of man, God has been looking for ways to reconcile men back to him. During the time of Noah when men began to multiply in the face of the earth, God was displeased with the wickedness of man so he decided to destroy man whom he has created from the face of the earth but Noah found grace in the sight of the Lord.(Genesis 6:8)

The New Generation – Love as the nature of God

So the Lord decided to start a new generation with Noah and his family with the expectation that man will remain loyal to him but the reverse was the case. After the flood as man began to multiply sin also multiplied.(Genesis6-9)

See also: What Love is and What Love is Not

After some years, God took Interest in one of the sons of Terah named Abram which was later changed to Abraham. GOD brought him out of his father’s house to a land He promised to him and his descendant.

God chose Abraham and his descendant (called the people of Israel) to be His own people. He delivered them from captivity, and was with them throughout their journey in the wilderness (pillar of cloud by day and pillar of fire by night).

He took them to the Promised Land and he help them to win all their battles and gave them laws to guide them because he want them to be pure, holy, blameless, righteous and without blemish when they come to his presence.

When they were in the Promised Land, the children of Israelite disobeyed the God that brought them out of the land of Egypt, they did not remember all signs and wonders that took place in the wilderness, they chose to follow and burn incenses to vain gods. This act displeased the Lord and He delivered them into the hands of other nations who turned them to slaves and servants.

See also: Types of Love – Eros, Phileo, Agape & Storge

God through his Prophets told us about the coming of a messiah who will save his people from their destruction and gave them eternal life.(Isaiah 9:6-7) More than 2000 years ago, God sent Jesus his only begotten son to come to this world to die for our sins because he loves us and he did not want us to perish.

Christ (The Anointed one)

Christ came to this world as a man with flesh and blood (1 John 4:8), He performed so many signs and wonders but the same people he fed with 5 loaves and 2 fishes asked Pilate to crucify him.

He died, he was buried and he resurrected. Death couldn’t hold him, the veil of the temple was turned into two giving us the permission to enter into the throne of God with confidence to obtain mercy and grace in time of needs.(Hebrews 4:16)

God’s love was revealed to us through the death of Jesus on the cross because even before we were formed in our mother’s womb, He had paid for our sins.

See also: Bible Verses about God’s Love

God’s love for us is unconditional and His love is forever.  He did not love us because of who we are or because of what we have done or because of what we are going to do (Deuteronomy 7:7, 2 Samuel 12:24).

Majority of people that claims to love someone love them because of something or because of what they could get from them and the examples of such people can be seen in the Bible. Isaac loved Esau because he did eat of his venison (Genesis 25:28), Israel loved Joseph because he was the son of his old age (Genesis 37:3), the children of Israel loved David because he conquered war for them(1 Samuel 18:16), Amnon loved Tamar because of what he wanted from her(2 Samuel 13:15) and so on and so forth. We don’t have to do anything for God to love us, we can’t work for His love.

 

Contributor: Temiloluwa Olaposi

Types of Love – Eros, Phileo, Agape & Storge

TYPES OF LOVE

Yes, there are more types of Love, than just one. This post on the types of love.

The Greeks had four words to describe what we call love, Eros, (romantic love), Phileo, (enjoyment, fondness, friendship), Storge (family loyalty) and Agape (unconditional love with stick-ability). I like to think of them broadly as;

  1. Eros

A love felt particularly within the body (trembling excitement, elation, joy), coloured and underpinned by deep and beautiful procreative urges. C.S. Lewis distinguishes Eros from natural sexual urges and lusts, because Eros is a state of the heart and while it is intimately related to sex, sex can exist, and often does exist, without Eros enlivening it.

See also: Definition of Love

It leads to children, family, joy and laughter. It is good and right, but it is usually not enough to sustain a relationship long term. Eros is an exulted and beautifully idealistic love, usually between a man and woman, but can also be “platonic” and extend to deeply intimate friendships.

Socrates defined Eros as also working with the soul to recall knowledge of beauty , and in that capacity contributes to an understanding of spiritual truth; While Eros can simply be an earthy thing, when Spirit infused and elevated to it’s true position, it speaks deeply of universal mysteries, and is usually most keenly expressed within the most sacred of all relationships, that between husband and wife.

More on Eros – Types of Love

Eros suggests that even sensually-based love aspires to the non-corporeal, spiritual plane of existence; that is, finding its truth, just like finding any truth, leads to transcendence . The elevated buzz of Erotic love is said to naturally fade within a year of its beginning. Perhaps it is too exhausting and all consuming? Perhaps we just get lazy?

I don’t necessarily think it has to fade at all, and part of the purpose of this blog is to record my thoughts and experiences on Eros. And how we can nurture and maintain this beautiful love in our lives.This is the erotic love between men and women which is a sensual love.

It is acceptable within the confines of marriage but outside of this matrimonial union, it is seen as sinful and why Paul told the Corinthians that “if they cannot exercise self-control, they should marry. For it is better to marry than to burn with passion” (1 Cor 7:9 ).

This love is what gets many people, even Christians, into serious trouble because they can commit adultery if left unchecked and not resisted, they can commit adultery of the heart (Matt 5:28), it can lead to an addiction to pornography, and it can become an idol in itself. While this level of love is necessary and healthy within marriage, outside or before marriage it can be totally destructive.

  1. Phileo

If Eros is the love of the body, Phileo is the love of the soul. It is easy love and affection, it is bent towards our natural tastes and preferences. It embodies culture and beliefs. It’s about the friendship you feel towards people like you, with the same interests, social graces, and style. In the scriptures, this kind of friendship love is used to describe many relationships. God is said to have this kind of love for us and Jesus.

See also: Bible Verses about Love

Jesus felt this kind of love for his disciples, parents felt it about their children and children to their parents. It is not then a shallow love, but rich in emotion and feeling, like when your heart beams towards your child when they do something wonderful. However it is also described as a negative shallow love, natural and exclusive and conditional.

Phileo is soul love, and it’s strength and value will depend on the elevation of the soul of the bearer.This is the type of love that David and Johnathan had and was about as intense as it can be outside of the love that God displays. These two men would have died for one other. This love produces a bond that eros and storge love cannot compare with.

More on Phileo – Types of Love

This is the love that Christians are commanded to have for one another (Rom 12; 1 Cor 13). Jesus told the disciples and He tells us today, “This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends.

You are my friends if you do what I command you” (John 15:12-14) . This love is very unselfish and is like the love where soldiers display while under fire trying to save a fellow soldier who is wounded, where in combat a soldier falls on a grenade to save the life of his fellow soldiers, and where someone dies or risks dying for someone or others in order to save or protect their lives.

  1. Agape

Is more of a parental, mature, sacrificial kind of love. The Thayer Lexicon describes agape beautifully when it says “to take pleasure in the thing, prize it above all other things, be unwilling to abandon it or do without it.” In a way it is as idealistic as Eros, in that it is a crazy love that will not let go.

Agape loves, usually at cost to the bearer. Agape puts the beloved first and sacrifices pride, self-interest and possessions for the sake of that beloved. This is the love that God has for us which inspired him to sacrifice His son and for His son to obey and sacrifice himself. It is the kind of love we are commanded to have for one another. It is a love of supreme greatness.

See also: Bible verses about Loving others

Agape love is the most supreme love of all and is an attribute of God and does not come naturally to humans. This type of love is supernatural as Jesus displayed on the cross saying “forgive them for they know not what they do” (Luke 23:34). This love is not as much a noun (a thing) or what is felt but it is displayed by what someone does.

More on Agape – Types of Love

Love is a verb.it is an action.it is what you do like Jesus dying for us while we were still sinners as summed up in Romans 5:7-8 “For one will scarcely die for a righteous person-though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die-but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” How many people do you know or have you heard of that died for their enemies? Jesus did.

In fact “God so loved the world that He sent His only Son that whoever would believe in Him should not perish but have everlasting life” (John 3:16) and it is not a love that condemns but one where “He came into the world to save the world” (John 3:17b).

  1. Storge

This is the love of community and family. Often dutiful, sometimes unfeeling, but very strong none the less. It is a natural, carnal love, but powerful enough to be a real hindrance to spiritual growth, especially when family and culture are holding you down. It is a love that may pull you towards a lesser path.

This is the type of family love that is commonly found in the Bible and is vital to the proper function of families and can sometimes be found in extended families. This is the type of love found in Martha and Mary who lost their brother Lazarus.

More on Storge – Types of Love

It is the type of love that Abraham had for his son Jacob, the kind that Noah had for his wife and children, and the same kind of love that any father and mother has for their children as well as the children’s love for their parents.

Storge love can also occur between a husband and a wife. It appears to be the same type of love that animal parents seem to display for their young. Storge is a Greek word (στοργή) for family love and frequently used for natural affection.

 

Contributor: Temiloluwa Olaposi

A Believer in God

A Believer in God

1 Thessalonians 1:6-10. A Believer in God.

We all can probably define what a “believer” is. I imagine if we each wrote a definition and a description of what a believer actually is, we would get a lot of similarities, but I imagine we would also get a lot of variation as well.

We would get words like faithfulness and trust and obedience. If we asked for an example of someone who is a believer, we would get “Paul” and “Abraham”. We might be referred to Hebrews 11 for a whole list of believers.

See also: Definition of Love – Impersonal, Interpersonal, & Christian Understanding

But what if we asked for a good contemporary example of a believer? Who would you select? Would someone else think of you? Our goal ought to be to become good examples of what a life of belief is all about.

Inspired by the Holy Spirit, Paul gave us some important thoughts on the matter to consider. He tells us that the first century church at Thessalonica had its share of first rate examples of what it means to believe in God. This description well describes what each of us ought to be, and there is no good reason to settle for less. Far too many of us settle for less; there are many who profess believe but far fewer good examples of what it means to believe. To settle for less is inexcusable!

1 Thessalonian 1:6-10

1:6

And ye became followers of us, and of the Lord, having received the word in much affliction, with joy of the Holy Ghost:

1:7

So that ye were ensamples to all that believe in Macedonia and Achaia.

1:8

For from you sounded out the word of the Lord not only in Macedonia and Achaia, but also in every place your faith to God-ward is spread abroad; so that we need not to speak any thing.

1:9

For they themselves show of us what manner of entering in we had unto you, and how ye turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God;

1:10

And to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, even Jesus, which delivered us from the wrath to come.

Believers Receive the Word – A Believer in God

We need the Word (vs. 6a). We do not need new, cutting edge social theories. There have been so many come only to be later discarded as unworkable. Theories about happiness, marriage, raising children and so forth originate from the same folks who once thought the earth was flat; who once used leeches to heal sickness; who say eggs are unhealthy, then say they’re healthy; then unhealthy, then healthy, according to what decade you live in. We do not need another theory.

Instead, we need the eternal word of life! (John 5:24; Philippians 2:16; 1 Corinthians 15:2, 58) It is a serious matter to reject it!

See also: The Word of God is Everything

The word “received” means to “welcome”; the way you would welcome an honored guest into your home. You are eager to make him/her comfortable and at ease. Not everyone at Thessalonica received the word this way (the latter part of the verse speaks of tribulation brought on believers by those who rejected the word).

Nor are we encouraged to blindly receive the word (Acts 17:11). We should investigate it, weigh it, and make a reasonable decision. But having said that, far more blindly reject the word than blindly receive it.

Believers Accept Both Tribulation & Joy Brought By Faith

Sometimes receiving the word brings a certain amount of trouble. As one is coming to the point of faith, there is a struggle. Jesus said it would often be this way (John 16:33).

Sometimes it is in the midst of turmoil that people enter the kingdom (Acts 14:22b). Sometimes the only way to escape tribulation is to simply ignore the word of the kingdom. Amazingly, it is in the times of tribulation that the 1st century church grew so rapidly.

See also: Bible Verses to use in Times of Trouble, Need & Discouragement

We do not often think of tribulation and joy as partners, but they are in verse 6 of our text. There can both be outer tribulation and inner joy (see also 2 Corinthians 4:16-18). Where does joy come from in such adversity? From the hope that is within us; the confidence, peace and strength (Romans 5:1-5; Philippians 4:7,8; 4:4).

These things belong to the faithful in spite of tribulation. It is a gratifying thing to suffer loss when such tests your faith and your faith rises to meet the challenge, because the loss is temporary, but victory is forever.

Believers Are Good Examples – A Believer in God

The disciples at Thessalonica were models of faith (1 Thessalonians 1:7). The word ”example” means “pattern”. Others are encouraged to look at the Thessalonian faithful and urged to “be like them.” Would it make you feel pretty good to know that the apostle Paul would select you to be an “example” or “pattern” that others should follow? The Thessalonians had earned it! They were not good examples by accident! It is proper to imitate the faith and lives of others if they imitate Christ (1 Corinthians 11:1) It is not enough to “talk” or “think” Christianity. We must “do” it (James 1:22-25).

Believers Sound Forth Their Faith – A Believer in God

The Thessalonians were clear voices of faith (vs. 8). It is the “word of the Lord” that should be “sounded forth”. That’s our business as a church. The Lord Himself is the source of our message (1 Thessalonians 2:13). Churches that deal in politics, drama, the arts, psychology, entertainment…. are in the wrong business.

See also: Thy God My God: The Faith of Ruth

The phrase “sound forth” refers to the sound made by trumpets. It is clear, distinguishable, obvious and noticeable. We do not offer new age fads. We do not offer human creeds changed by the whim of the human mind, consult the opinion polls to determine what we teach, give counsel based on modern trends or on long held traditions of men – We preach the word! (2 Timothy 4:2-4).

Believers Reject the Worthless

Christians view things from a different perspective (vs. 9). The world has a knack for esteeming the worthless and rejecting the precious. Many are overdosing on selfishness and greed, exalting the wicked and wickedness. Love, honor and godliness are often mocked. The family is troubled. It is time to “turn to God from idols”!

This is why cowards do not become Christians. This kind of commitment calls for the courage to refuse to allow the world to have its way with us. It will not tell us how to dress, how to talk, how to live, and what is important.

Believers Wait for Jesus

“Waiting” is not simply biding our time! (vs.10). It is a “wait” of busy preparation as we “make all things ready” on a personal level for His coming. The Day will come when the trumpets of God will announce the end of the final hour (1 Thessalonians 4:16-18). All worldly plans and ambitions will be rendered null and void forever. Tongues that mocked will confess Jesus as they watch those whom they once mocked rise to meet the Lord in the air, bright shining as the sun. And then, judgment. And then, eternity. For the believer, an eternal victory!

Contributor: Temiloluwa Olaposi

 

 

What Love is and What Love is Not

What Love Is and What Love is Not

Have you ever wondered about what Love is? Or, are you wondering now about what Love is not? This post is about what Love is and what Love is not. Know fully that God is love.

  1. Love is God

Or better put, God is love. Love is not just one thing we can say about God, it is His very nature. We get a taste of God’s love for us through his sacrifice by giving us his only Son, Jesus Christ to bear our sins for us.

There is no greater love than this, “that a man lay down his life for his friends,” Jesus tells us in John 15:13.

  1. Love is God given

God created man and then worked to create a suitable partner for him. He knew that Adam could not live alone, but needed a mate for him to share his love with.

God put Adam into a deep sleep and took a rib from his side and created woman. Out of Adam, God created another perfectly made so they could love one another.

  1. Love is Commitment

During the creation of Eve, in Genesis 2:24, a man is supposed to leave his father and mother and cleave to his wife. The verb ‘cleave’ means to adhere strongly to or become very strongly involved with or emotionally attached to (someone).

See also: Definition of Love

Therefore, the love from a husband to his wife should be a strong unbreakable bond, cleaving to one another. Commitment to one person is a large undertaking and should not be ‘tested’ or ‘tried’ and easily broken if it ‘doesn’t work out’.

  1. Love is Holy

A husband’s love for his wife is supposed to be an example of Christ’s love for His Church. He should be willing to give himself up to her, so that he might sanctify her, make her holy.

He should love his wife as much as he loves his own body. Wives are also to be subject in everything to their husbands, just as the Church is subject to Christ. It is not master/slave relationship, but mutual love and respect for each other which binds their love and makes them holy.

  1. Love is Faithful

Joseph could have had Mary stoned for coming home pregnant after she was betrothed to him. Instead, he loved her so much that he did not want her to die, so he decided to quietly divorce her.

When he fell asleep while praying, he came to understand that she did not sin, but was carrying the Son of God. Joseph also demonstrates faithful love by taking care of his wife in finding a place for her to give birth, listening to God to bring his family to Egypt, and finally bringing them back to Nazareth when it was safe to come home again.

  1. Love is not Lust

Lust is a very strong sexual desire for someone or something. It is of the flesh, and of the eyes and of the world, not of the Father (1 John 2:16). It is a power that draws a person into submission of something of this world, like sexual desires, gluttony, pride, power, and draws them away from the love of God.

Lust is always selfish, it always hurts God first, then the person with the desire, and the others who are left behind.

  1. Love is not Free

Love is not free or simple, but it is an open communication and relationship with another person. God gives us the freedom of free-choice, to choose to love or choose to lust. With freedom, comes great responsibility, and like the military quote, “Freedom isn’t free.”

See also: Bible verses about Loving others

It may cost you your heart, your time, your money, and even your life. Galatians 5:13 states, “For you were called to freedom, brethren; only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love be servants of one another.”

  1. Love is not Sinful

We were made out of love and made pure, but sin entered into our world because of pride and greed of God’s power. Sin is not love. There is no such thing as a “little white lie” that won’t hurt anyone.

We will not try to deceive, lie or go behind their back to satisfy our own selfish needs. Sin always causes separation. Just as Adam and Eve were separated from God because of their sin, we become separated in our relationships because of sin. If we love someone, we will be honest with them, at all costs.

  1. Love is not Torture

In our “free society” we have deceived ourselves into thinking torture is an acceptable form of love, or that if we love someone, it is ok for them to sexually torture us. Some feel like if they don’t feel pain, they can’t feel anything.

Torture is an infliction of severe pain on someone else as a punishment or for the pleasure of the person inflicting the pain. That is not love. Dominating someone else for your own pleasure is not love. Inflicting pain upon something that is supposed to be pleasurable is not good.

  1. Love is not Worthless

The greatest gift we are given or that we give to another is love. Love is not a temporary arrangement, it is not something to try out and see how it works out. It is not to be given one night and left behind the next day. The payment for love is our heart, our whole heart. We cannot give someone half our love. Sometimes our heart is returned to us broken when that person doesn’t accept our love.

See also: Bible verses about Love

If anyone understands a broken heart, it is God. God gave us all that he had, his whole Heart in our Lord Jesus Christ, and we returned him to God broken. Jesus’ sacrifice was not worthless, it was everything!

 

Contributor: Temiloluwa Olaposi

Definition of Love – Impersonal, Interpersonal, & Christian Understanding

DEFINITION OF LOVE: Impersonal Love, Interpersonal Love, & Christian Understanding of Love

Love can be said to be a widely misunderstood word, even though there could be so many explanations on it. Not to worry, this post is on the definition of Love, and more.

Etymological Meaning of Love

From Middle English love, luve, from Old English lufu, from gem-pro *lubō, from ine-pro *lewbʰ-.

The verb is from Middle English loven, lovien, from Old English lufian, from the noun lufu.(English Dictionary)

Love is a variety of different feelings, states, and attitudes that ranges from interpersonal affection (“I love my mother”) to pleasure (“I loved that meal”). It can refer to an emotion of a strong attraction and personal attachment .

See also: Types of Love – Eros, Phileo, Agape & Storge

Love can also be a virtue representing human kindness , compassion, and affection—”the unselfish loyal and benevolent concern for the good of another”.  It may also describe compassionate and affectionate actions towards other humans, one’s self or animals.

Non-Western traditions have also distinguished variants or symbioses of these states ; words like storge, philia, eros , and agape each describe a unique “concept” of love.

Love has additional religious or spiritual meaning—notably in Abrahamic religions. This diversity of uses and meanings combined with the complexity of the feelings involved makes love unusually difficult to consistently define, compared to other emotional states.

Love in its various forms acts as a major facilitator of interpersonal relationships and, owing to its central psychological importance, is one of the most common themes in the creative arts.

Love may be understood as a function to keep human beings together against menaces and to facilitate the continuation of the species.

Definition of Love – Distinct Meanings

The word “love” can have a variety of related but distinct meanings in different contexts. Many other languages use multiple words to express some of the different concepts that in English are denoted as “love”; one example is the plurality of Greek words for “love” which includes agape and eros . Cultural differences in conceptualizing love thus doubly impede the establishment of a universal definition.

Although the nature or essence of love is a subject of frequent debate, different aspects of the word can be clarified by determining what isn’t love (antonyms of “love”).

See also: The Characteristics of Love

Love as a general expression of positive sentiment (a stronger form of like) is commonly contrasted with hate (or neutral apathy ); as a less sexual and more emotionally intimate form of romantic attachment, love is commonly contrasted with lust; and as an interpersonal relationship with romantic overtones, love is sometimes contrasted with friendship , although the word love is often applied to close friendships. (Further possible ambiguities come with usages “girlfriend”, “boyfriend”, “just good friends”).

Abstractly discussed love usually refers to an experience one person feels for another. Love often involves caring for, or identifying with, a person or thing (cf. vulnerability and care theory of love ), including oneself (cf. narcissism ).

Change over time – Definition and Meaning of Love

In addition to cross-cultural differences in understanding love, ideas about love have also changed greatly over time. Some historians date modern conceptions of romantic love to courtly Europe during or after the Middle Ages, although the prior existence of romantic attachments is attested by ancient love poetry.

The complex and abstract nature of love often reduces discourse of love to a thought-terminating cliché. Several common proverbs regard love, from Virgil ‘s “Love conquers all ” to The Beatles’ ” All You Need Is Love “. St. Thomas Aquinas , following Aristotle , defines love as “to will the good of another.”

See also: What Love is and What Love is Not

Bertrand Russell describes love as a condition of “absolute value,” as opposed to relative value . [ citation needed ] Philosopher Gottfried Leibniz said that love is “to be delighted by the happiness of another.”

Meher Baba stated that in love there is a “feeling of unity” and an “active appreciation of the intrinsic worth of the object of love.” Biologist Jeremy Griffith defines love as “unconditional selflessness”.

Impersonal Love

A person can be said to love an object, principle, or goal to which they are deeply committed and greatly value. For example, compassionate outreach and volunteer workers’ “love” of their cause may sometimes be born not of interpersonal love but impersonal love, altruism , and strong spiritual or political convictions. People can also “love” material objects, animals, or activities if they invest themselves in bonding or otherwise identifying with those things. If sexual passion is also involved, then this feeling is called paraphilia.

Interpersonal Love

Interpersonal love refers to love between human beings. It is a much more potent sentiment than a simple liking for another. Unrequited love refers to those feelings of love that are not reciprocated. Interpersonal love is most closely associated with interpersonal relationships. Such love might exist between family members, friends, and couples. There are also a number of psychological disorders related to love, such as erotomania.

See also: Love as the Nature of God

Throughout history, philosophy and religion have done the most speculation on the phenomenon of love. In the 20th century, the science of psychology has written a great deal on the subject. In recent years, the sciences of psychology, anthropology , neuroscience , and biology have added to the understanding the concept of love.

Christian Understanding

The Christian understanding is that love comes from God. The love of man and woman— eros in Greek—and the unselfish love of others (agape), are often contrasted as “ascending” and “descending” love, respectively, but are ultimately the same thing.

Christian theologians see God as the source of love, which is mirrored in humans and their own loving relationships. Influential Christian theologian C.S. Lewis wrote a book called The Four Loves. Benedict XVI wrote his first encyclical on “God is love “.

See also: Love as a Fruit of the Spirit

He said that a human being, created in the image of God, who is love, is able to practice love; to give himself to God and others (agape) and by receiving and experiencing God’s love in contemplation (eros).

This life of love, according to him, is the life of the saints such as Teresa of Calcutta and the Blessed Virgin Mary and is the direction Christians take when they believe that God loves them.

In Christianity the practical definition of love is best summarized by St. Thomas Aquinas, who defined love as “to will the good of another,” or to desire for another to succeed. This is the explanation of the Christian need to love others, including their enemies. As Thomas Aquinas explains, Christian love is motivated by the need to see others succeed in life, to be good people.

The quote of Jesus on Love for Enemies

Regarding love for enemies, Jesus is quoted in the Gospel of Matthew chapter five:

“You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven.

He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.

If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? And if you greet only your own people, what are you doing more than others?

Do not even pagans do that? Be perfect, therefore as your heavenly Father is perfect.” – Matthew 5: 43-48

You may like to see: Bible Verses about Love

Tertullian wrote regarding love for enemies: “Our individual, extraordinary, and perfect goodness consists in loving our enemies. To love one’s friends is common practice, to love one’s enemies only among Christians.”(Wikipedia)

 

Contributor: Temiloluwa Olaposi

Credit

Wikipedia

Seven Facts about Jesus that will Sustain You

This post is about #7 seven facts about Jesus you should know.

SEVEN FACTS ABOUT JESUS

The Bible speaks of many things about the second personality of the Godhead – Jesus.

The first chapter of the book of John speaks of Him as the Word which was with the Father from the very Beginning.

He became flesh, came to earth, died for our sins, was buried, and he resurrected and ascended.

He has therefore granted our power to become the sons of God. This in itself is the Grace of God.

Without much ado, here are seven facts about Jesus that will sustain your faith. Never forget these facts, for they are too true and real to be false.

    1. Jesus is the creator.
    2. He is above all.
    3. His name is above all.
    4. His blood guarantees our liberation.
    5. Jesus is the great healer.
    6. He his faithful to His promises
    7. He saves.

1. Jesus is the creator.

John 1:3_AMP. “All things were made and came into existence through Him; and without Him was not even one thing made that has come into being.

The Bible clearly States that all things were made by Jesus, and nothing was made without Him.

This implies that even our enemies were made by Jesus, including Satan – their master. So, a Christian should never be afraid, should he? Definitely not.

2. He is above all.

John 8:23_AMP. “He said to them, You are from below; I am from above. You are of this world (of this earthly order); I am not of this world.

Let’s see another scripture.

John 3:31_AMP. “He Who comes from above (heaven) is [far] above all [others]; he who comes from the earth belongs to the earth, and talks the language of earth [his words are from an earthly standpoint].

Continues…

He Who comes from heaven is [far] above all others [far superior to all others in prominence and in excellence].

I want us to believe strongly in our heart that Jesus Christ is above everything, physical, spiritual or imaginary.

Eph 4:10_ESV. “He who descended is the one who also ascended far above all the heavens, that he might fill all things.)

Jesus is the commander-in-chief of everything, existing and to come.

3. His Name is above all.

Philippians 2:9-11_

ESV. “Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name,so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth,and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”

The name of Jesus is above every other name in heaven, on earth, or underneath the earth. It is a very beautiful name.

Oh, I want to learn to call that name. It was made available unto you by the blood of Jesus himself. What an amazing name this is!

4. His blood guarantees our liberation.

Rev 1:5_AMP. “And from Jesus Christ the faithful and trustworthy Witness, the Firstborn of the dead [first to be brought back to life] and the Prince (Ruler) of the kings of the earth. To Him Who ever loves us and has once [for all] loosed and freed us from our sins by His own blood…”

We have our liberation through the blood of Jesus. Anytime you feel things are not right around you, call on Jesus.

He hears you when you call on Him, and he saves. Trust me, it works.

He cares about our deliverance. This is the reason for His coming to earth. Psalm 3. Jesus delivers from physical enemies! Consider the case of the adulterous woman who was brought to Jesus. Also, He delivers from sorrow and death – He has done it be before, he can do it again.

5. Jesus is the Great Healer.

Before you visit a doctor, talk to Jesus. When doctors do their best and they fail, don’t hesitate to run to Jesus. He is the Lord your healer.

Jesus healed so many people with different manners of diseases when he was on earth. He still heals, because He still lives.

Luke 4:40_”ESV:Now when the sun was setting, all those who had any who were sick with various diseases brought them to him, and he laid his hands on every one of them and healed them.

What manner of man is JESUS!

6. He is faithful to His promises.

When you are sure that Jesus’ promises stands unshaken, you have nothing to worry about.

All the promises of God are fulfilled in Jesus, isn’t that amazing? Yes! And even Jesus himself has made a lot of promises for us, and He will surely fulfil them.

John 14:14_AMP:[Yes] I will grant [I Myself will do for you] whatever you shall ask in My Name [as presenting all that I Am].”

7. He saves.

This is the absolutely the most amazing fact about Jesus.

John 3:16_AMP. “For God so greatly loved and dearly prized the world that He [even] gave up His only begotten (unique) Son, so that whoever believes in (trusts in, clings to, relies on) Him shall not perish (come to destruction, be lost) but have eternal (everlasting) life.”

Jesus saves from sin. He saves from curses, anxiety, depression, frustration, addictions, etc.

He is willing and ready to save you today, but would you let Him?

How do you let Him? By confessing your sins and accepting His Lordship over your Life.

Very simple, that’s it. Do it right away. He loves you, more than anyone does. Certainly, more than you love yourself.

In conclusion, now that we know who Jesus is to us, we should give our lives totally to Jesus Christ.

2 Cor. 7:1_”Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.”

Let us examine ourselves and return to the Lord, so that all the promises of Jesus may be fulfilled in our lives.

GOD BLESS YOU.

Aftermath: Plan for the coming

Introduction

The later verses of the book of Judges Chapter 9 tell the story of a man fighting against a city. After Abimelech had fought hard and had conquered the city of Thebez, all the men and women in the city took to their heels and fled to take refuge in a tower that was located within the city. They raced to the tower, got into it, shut the door and went to stay on the roof.

And Abimelech, having seen that all the people raced to the tower, he came to the tower and stood before the locked door, seeking to burn it down with fire. But while he yet stood there, a certain unknown woman threw a piece of millstone from the top of the tower, it landed disastrously on the head Abimelech, and caused his skull to brake severely.

Planning for the coming

It was a catastrophic scene, Abimelech had to ask his armour bearer to pull a sword and slay him, so he wouldn’t be said to have been killed by a woman. And that was how Abimelech died poorly.

The story of this man makes a serious view about how many Christians today live their lives in jeopardy. Though Abimelech died according to the will of God, he wouldn’t have died if he had not so much stayed by the door.

Don’t live behind the wars

Millions of Christians around the world today live like Abimelech, we stay behind the door. We ignore the potential to sustain a serious relationship with God. We do not look seriously into finding out how to include Him in our daily activities.

And when the devil comes with his acts and pranks, we stand and begin to pray seriously. Then when it seems our request is not met, we feel depressed and really frustrated. The truth is that it doesn’t really work that way.

When Jesus wanted to provide food for thousands of people, he barely lifted the little he had, gave thanks and divided it. As I suppose, everything Jesus did to perform the miracle couldn’t have cost a minute, very different from what Christians do today.

Jesus works miracles

Consider also the raising of Lazarus from death; just a statement did the job. The apostles took this up from Jesus, Peter healed Tabitha by simply praying and saying ‘Tabitha arise.’ And that was it, the woman arose from dead. The early disciples were able to do all this because they had secured a prior relationship with God.

Here’s the truth, many conditions we find ourselves as Christians do not require hours of prayer. Many of these circumstances only require a word from us.

Be wiser than the Devil

When you have headache is not the time to start praying and shaking, it is the time to state a word. The time you feel fever is not really the time to start searching God’s word, it is the time to give a command to that evil spirit. When you stay too much by the door, you get injured before you attack.

The only way to avoid staying by the door is to have a sustained prior relationship with God. Set the time you stay with God right, observe it day after day. Bring the Spirit into your daily activities; He is ever ready to help.

Pronounce a word

So that when the devil comes, like he would always, you would have the courage to pronounce a word and command effect almost instantly.