The Spirit and Love and Illumination

THE SPIRIT AND LOVE. God is love (1 John 4:8, 16) and He abundantly imparts it to the believer through the Holy Spirit. For instance, the source of the Colossians love is identified as the Spirit. “And he [Ephaphras] has told us about your love in the Spirit” (Colossians 1:8).

This hope does not disappoint, because God’s love has been poured out in our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us (Romans 5:5).

Note that the verb “has been poured out” indicates a present status resulting from a past action. When we first believed in Christ, the Holy Spirit poured out God’s love in our hearts, and His love for us continues to dwell in us. At regeneration, the Spirit gives not only Himself fully, but also God’s love without measure. Once introduced, the gift of the Holy Spirit along with God’s love continues as indicated by “was given” (doyentov dothentos) in the aorist tense. Any doctrine that suggests that the Spirit only brings God’s love and then He leaves until believers are obedient and empty enough to deserve Him and His indwelling is erroneous.

The Holy Spirit pours God’s love (agaph agape) into the life of the believer. All Christian graces are traced to the Spirit’s presence and power, and the greatest of His powers is agape.

Since love is a gift of the Spirit, it is an extension of the Spirit’s work. Whenever love transforms human relationships, it is evidence of the Spirit’s work. In Romans 12:9-21, the apostle Paul sets forth how the love of God is to transform the believer’s relationships. He defines agape in his first letter to the Corinthians.

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails (1 Corinthians 13:4-8 NIV).

According to Jesus LOVE is spelled L-A-W. He said, “If you love Me, you will keep My commandments” (John 14:15).

I will place My law within them and write it on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be My people (Jeremiah 31:33).

I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I will remove your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. I will place My Spirit within you and cause you to follow My statutes and carefully observe My ordinances (Ezekiel 36:26-27).

Under the New Covenant, love replaces the control of the sinful nature in the believer.

What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death? I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, with my mind I myself am a slave to the law of God, but with my flesh, to the law of sin (Romans 7:25).

For when we were in the flesh, the sinful passions operated through the law in every part of us and bore fruit for death. But now we have been released from the law, since we have died to what held us, so that we may serve in the new way of the Spirit and not in the old letter of the law (Romans 7:6).

“The new way” of the Spirit is agape. In the Bible, love is spelled L-A-W. Jesus said, “If you love Me, you will keep My commandments” (John 14:15). The Spirit’s ministry provides a new way of life through the love of God that He has poured out into our hearts.

“Love” is the first-fruit of the Spirit, flowing from Christ’s love, which has been poured out by the Holy Spirit into the believer, who is being rooted and firmly established in love. When the believer comprehends all the vastness of Christ’s love, he is moved to make it the pattern for his love.

THE SPIRIT AND ILLUMINATION. Not only is the human heart and mind depraved, but also Satan blinds the minds of people so they cannot apprehend God’s truth.

But if, in fact, our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing. Regarding them: the god of this age has blinded the minds of the unbelievers so they cannot see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God (2 Corinthians 4:3-4).

Consequently, the Spirit must illuminate or reveal the message of God to the mind in order for a person to be saved. The saved receive the mind of Christ so they can know the mind of the Lord so He can instruct them through the Spirit of God. The Holy Spirit is able to create impressions within the Christian’s mind as He searches the deep things of God (1 Corinthians 2:1-16).

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