FAITH, HOPE, AND LOVE
Heading the list in, (Gal 5:22-23) love receives top billing because it is the title of God’s game plan. First Corinthians 13 shows that love is a system and states that love is the supreme Christian virtue.
Now remain [Temporary Spiritual gifts are excluded] faith, hope, and love, these three, and the greatest of these is love. (1Co 13:13)
Given to only a few believers in the pre-canon period of the New Covenant Church Age, temporary Spiritual gifts are gone; only the superior Virtues remain, which are available to all. The Virtues of faith, hope, and love are part of our permanent heritage as Spiritual aristocracy.
Translated “faith,” the Greek noun pistis has a dual connotation. In its objective sense pistis means “what is believed,” Truth. Never in any previous dispensation has Bible the Mind of Christ been committed to writing in a completed canon of Scripture. Pistis also refers, as here, to the believer’s application of Divine Thoughts to experience, the faith-rest technique. Just as “faith” represents an entire system of applying the Word of God, so also “hope” is a system, which is derived from knowledge of God's Word. Hope is absolute confidence in future Divine provisions and blessings. (Rom 8:24-25) At each stage of a person’s life, he not only can enjoy the blessings he has but also can anticipate with assurance or “hope” for the blessings that will come with the next stage of growth. Thus, there are three hopes; together they trace an individual’s advance from being an unbeliever who anticipates Salvation, to becoming an immature believer who looks forward to super-grace blessings, to becoming a mature believer who eagerly awaits the eternal rewards of heaven. The fulfillment of each hope lays the foundation for the next hope. No matter how much God blesses us, we can always anticipate more!
Both faith-rest and hope are subordinate systems that function within the larger sphere, the bottom circle. A believer can Think with Truth and advance from hope to hope to hope.
Faith and hope depend on the Divine system, which empowers us to learn Spiritual Thoughts and sustain our Spiritual momentum. Virtue love is superior to either faith or hope because Virtue love is the characteristic Virtue of the entire Divine system. We will develop the full significance of this Virtue when we study the Doctrine of Virtue love in connection with gates five and six of the Spiritual life.
Even before the Church Age began, Christ encapsulated the entire Mosaic Law in two Commandments: to love God and to love man. (Matt 22:36-40) In the Spiritual life every gate involves Virtue love. In order to describe the basic exercise of Impersonal love in gate two, we must define the overall Concept of Virtue love. We must understand why it is the highest Christian Virtue and the Biblical designation for the Christian way of life.
IMPERSONAL AND PERSONAL LOVE
In English as well as the Greek, “love” is a transitive verb; love takes both a subject and an object. The subject is the one who loves; the object is the one loved, the recipient of love. In the sentence I love you, “I” is the subject, and “you” is the object.
This distinction between subject and object explains the two basic types of genuine Virtue love that exist. I have designated these two categories “Impersonal love” and “Personal love.” Impersonal love emphasizes the subject; personal love emphasizes the object. Impersonal love depends on the honor and integrity of the one who loves; personal love depends on the attractiveness, capacity, and response of the one who is loved.
By “Impersonal” I mean that this love does not require intimacy, friendliness, or even acquaintance with the object of love. A close relationship between subject and object may exist but is not necessary; Impersonal love is simply the consistent function of your own Spiritual life toward other people. Impersonal love can be directed toward friends, enemies, loved ones, strangers the attractive and or repulsive! — in fact, toward the entire human race. (Luk 23:34) In contrast, Personal love requires that you know the object with some degree of intimacy. The object of Personal love must be attractive to you, share basic Divine Thoughts with you, and have capacity to love you in return. (Amo 3:3) Only a select few people qualify as objects of your Personal Esprit de corps love, whereas all mankind can be the object of your Impersonal love. Personal Esprit de corps love, is designed for interaction with a few; Impersonal love is designed to benefit the human race. Personal love is highly discriminating; Impersonal love is non-discriminating. Personal love is conditional; Impersonal love is unconditional. (With the condition we are in fellowship) Personal HUMAN love creates weaknesses. You bring your own problems into any personal relationship, but so does the one you love. The problems, shortcomings, and faults of two people are combined and multiplied by personal love. Your vulnerability to the influence of the one you love can spawn subjectivity and the mental attitude sins of jealousy, self-pity, and bitterness. Personal love in the human race is highly volatile, emotionally charged, and complicated with variables and unpredictables that personal love cannot control. Often turbulent and frustrating, Personal love is never stronger than the integrity of those involved. An enduring Personal Esprit de corps love depends on Impersonal love.
Impersonal Virtue love is the integrity that alone can strengthen, stabilize, and perpetuate Personal love. The only variable in Impersonal love remains under your control: your own mental attitude. Whereas personal Human love may lead to compromise of true norms and standards. Impersonal love for mankind is a result of your Personal love for God; (Mark 12:30-31) Personal love is often a distraction from what is most important, God's Word. Impersonal love is a problem-solver; Personal love can be a problem, if we use for anyone besides GOD ALONE!
|IMPERSONAL LOVEI LoveEmphasizes subjectDemands integrity in subjectRequires no personal acquaintanceDirected toward allUnconditionalVirtueStrongStableVariables under controlDepends on Divine Thinking and The Spiritual lifeProblem solverMandatory||PERSONAL LOVEYou and or themEmphasizes objectDemands attractiveness in objectRequires personal acquaintanceDirected toward fewConditionalVirtue dependentVulnerableVolatileUncontrollable variablesDepends on Impersonal loveProblem makerOptional|
IMPERSONAL AND PERSONAL LOVE
In, (1Co 13:13) Divine Personal and Impersonal love are proclaimed the ultimate Christian Virtue. Impersonal love, furnishes the environment for faith and hope. Impersonal love is mandatory; Personal love is mandatory toward God ALONE; optional toward others. Certainly Personal love toward others is legitimate and potentially wonderful, but it is Virtue-dependent, hinging on the Virtue of Impersonal love, which represents the highest degree of integrity the soul can attain.
LOVE AND INDEPENDENCE
A believer with Impersonal love does not rely on any person, circumstance, thing or self for strength and support; he is sustained by Divine Thinking in his own soul. No variables or unpredictables are involved except those controlled by his own self-determination. Based on his own right decisions over an extended period of time to learn and Think with the Mind of Christ, he can solve or cope with the problems of Personal Esprit de corps love toward members of the human race and maintain a marvelous relationship with another person, or he can be content alone. He functions consistently whether faced with hostility or admiration, antagonism or Personal love. His attitude of Impersonal love does not depend on emotional stimulation, reciprocation, or attraction. He cannot be manipulated by flattery or approbation. This is the genuine and honorable independence of the believer who is Spiritually self-sustaining. He does not depend on the advice of others or on a pastor’s counseling; the Word of God in his own soul gives him the strength and wisdom to live his own life before the Lord. Although genuinely humble and teachable, he is not controlled by what anyone else thinks, says, or does. Impersonal love, generated in the believer’s soul no matter whom he encounters, is the only category of love that can fulfill the Divine Command to love all members of the human race!
A new Commandment I give to you, that you [Virtue] love one another, even as I have [Virtue] loved you, that you also love one another. (Joh 13:34)
Some Christians are Virtuous, but then again others are among the most arrogant, self-righteous, boorish, obnoxious people on the face of the earth. Believers can have a background, personality, life-style or combination of interests that makes him utterly incompatible with you. According to Divine Commands you must love ALL these believers and ALL believers must Think with the Mind of Christ. (1Co 1:10) Obviously your exclusive Personal love cannot be granted to rude, arrogant believers or to those with whom you have no rapport of Thought. Nor should you burn up your nervous energy trying to do the impossible — Personally love all Christians.
The only love you can possess for most individuals is based, not on their weaknesses, idiosyncrasies, or incompatibility with you, but on the strength of your own Spiritual life. Through Impersonal love your attitude toward everyone will be basically the same, manifested in courtesy, thoughtfulness, sensitivity to the feelings of others, tolerance, and flexibility in nonessential areas of disagreement or dispute. Such attitudes can be consistently maintained toward any person, regardless of how incompatible your personalities or modus vivendi, (Way of life) may be. Virtue love is not condescending, hypocritical, or self-righteous.
Let love be without hypocrisy. Abhor what is evil; cling to what is good. (Rom 12:9)
Impersonal love is not a stoic, artificial, emotionless facade, but rather a gracious attitude consistent with the Divine Thinking in your soul. The policy of Impersonal love is simply this: integrity toward all, no matter who or what they are. Through this attitude your Spiritual aristocracy is revealed as you honorably represent Christ in the devil’s world.
Impersonal love must be directed not just toward other believers but toward unbelievers as well. You need not determine that a person is a Christian before you exhibit Virtue love. This explains God’s Commands that you love your neighbors — everyone in your periphery — and even your enemies.
Jesus answered, "The foremost is, HEAR, O ISRAEL! THE LORD OUR GOD IS ONE LORD; AND YOU SHALL LOVE THE LORD YOUR GOD WITH ALL YOUR HEART, AND WITH ALL YOUR SOUL, AND WITH ALL YOUR MIND, AND WITH ALL YOUR STRENGTH. The second is this, YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF. There is no other Commandment greater than these. (Mark 12:31)
You have heard that it was said, YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR and hate your enemy. But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven; for He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? (Matt 5:43-46)
Personal love for another member of the human race is not a Virtue in itself but must rely on the true Virtue of Impersonal love. The Divine Command to love all mankind; Commands us to develop Virtue.
With people this is impossible, but with God all things are possible. (Matt 19:26)
REBOUND AND THE RELAXED MENTAL ATTITUDE
In contrast to the advanced integrity of the Spiritually mature believer, basic Impersonal love at gate two of the Spiritual life is simply a relaxed mental attitude. Basic impersonal love is the absence of mental attitude sins toward those you know or do not know, toward friends or enemies.
But I say to you who hear, love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. (Luk 6:27-28)
The believer who utilizes rebound to reenter gate one after he has sinned, but who then becomes arrogant, jealous, angry, petty, vindictive, afraid, or filled with self-pity or guilt, has again removed himself from the bottom circle. He has been tempted to sin and has acquiesced. This problem of chain sinning is solved by rebound and an immediate interlock with gate two. The relaxed mental attitude of basic Impersonal love insulates the believer against the temptations of the old sin nature. You must rebound and then start remembering Verses, Principles and Promises (Rom 8:28-32; Rom 14:13) or the lack of stability will continue! When (Gal 5:22-23) states that “the fruit of the Spirit is love,” some believers expect the fruit of the Spirit to appear, as if by magic, as soon as they rebound and regain the filling of the Spirit. When a feeling of love for all mankind does not materialize instantaneously, they assume that something is wrong with the rebound technique. They then resort to remorse, penance, self-effacement, or self-reproach in an attempt to deserve God’s forgiveness and feel restored to fellowship with Him. This common practice among immature Christians is an exercise in futility. First, God forgives us because He IS perfect justice; (1Jn 1:9) the sin we confess in rebound was judged on the Cross. Second, we cannot earn forgiveness. Restoration to fellowship was earned for us by the only One who is qualified to earn it, the Lord Jesus Christ, the One who gave us His Own Spiritual life. Human works added to the work of Christ is blasphemous. (Eph 2:8-9) Third, we are instantly restored to fellowship — the ministry of God the Holy Spirit in the New Covenant Age is not related to feelings or emotion. We may feel wonderful or wretched and still be filled with God the Holy Spirit, just as we may have felt wonderful or wretched when we first believed in Christ yet we were still saved. Emotion is never the criterion of Spiritual status. (Rom 16:18)
Fourth, the love designated as the fruit of the Spirit, is Personal love for God and Impersonal love for all mankind. We need not feel any kind of special inner warmth to manifest the fruit of the Spirit. (The Spiritual life) We must, however, avoid mental attitude sins in order to fulfill the Divine Command to “love one another.” Finally, even freedom from mental attitude sins is not automatic with rebound. God is faithful; (1Jn 1:9) rebound always works; we are always forgiven, cleansed, and free from mental attitude sins when we rebound. But our restoration to fellowship with God may last only a split second. We possess free will, and as soon as we rebound we can choose to sin again. At all times we are solely responsible for our own state of mind. We must interlock gate one with gate two as soon as we rebound, or we will be out of fellowship again. Consistent Impersonal love as the fruit of the Spirit requires us to be continually filled with God the Holy Spirit.
APPLYING DOCTRINE IN REBOUND
Only our volition can resolve the problem of chain sinning. With rebound, the filling of God the Holy Spirit, and the application of Bible Doctrine, God has given us the power to break the momentum of consecutive sinning. Upon rebounding we must use Divine Thinking to resist the temptation to follow one sin with another. Hence, rebound has three stages.
First, we claim God’s rebound Promise by admitting our already-judged sins to Him.
Second, we remember the Doctrine that, because of the Cross, we are completely restored to fellowship.
Third, we take control of the situation by forgetting that sin and moving on in the plan of God.
Claiming Promises, recalling a logical rationale, and reaching Doctrinal conclusions that enable us to take control of the situation constitute the three stages of the faith-rest drill. Faith-rest, which we will develop in greater detail in our study of gate four, and is an essential technique that adapts to rebound or any other practical application of God’s Word. The ability to avoid mental attitude sins comes from self-discipline in applying the Doctrines we know. There is a pertinent Divine Spiritual thought to neutralize every mental attitude sin! Vindictiveness and implacability are dispelled by taking God at His word when He says, “Vengeance is Mine; I will repay.” (Rom 12:19) Fear is removed by the Doctrine that “Since God is for us, who can be against us?” (Rom 8:31) Arrogance and self-righteousness are excluded when we remember that we are not appointed to judge other people. (Matt 7:1-2; Luk 6:37; Rom 2:1) And we are left with no cause for jealousy since our own blessings are sufficient and perfectly timed for our maximum benefit: we must concentrate on what we have, not on what we have not. (Matt 6:25-34)
Your love must be non-hypocritical; despise the evil, [Including mental attitude sins] adhere to the good; [Stay in fellowship] with regard to your brotherly love, [Esprit de corps Virtue love] be devoted to each other. (Rom 12:9-10)
In place of mental attitude sins, Impersonal love insures the serenity of mind that lays the foundation for toleration, flexibility, courtesy, thoughtfulness, and discretion. These manifestations of integrity, demanded by the royal family honor code, become stronger and more constant as the believer advances in learning Truth under the power of God the Holy Spirit. (1Co 2:4-5) Divine Thinking in the soul is the raw material from which God the Holy Spirit manufactures the fruit of the Spirit. If you are negative toward Doctrinal teaching and refuse to store up God’s Word in your soul, the filling of God the Holy Spirit will be intermittent and will not produce the characteristics of Spiritual maturity. In the absence of Spiritual Thoughts, the old sin nature dominates the inner, Spiritual conflict for control of the soul. By giving God's Thoughts first priority in your life, you rise above the pettiness that engenders mental attitude sins, and you establish yourself in gate two of the love complex. God's Thoughts strengthen objectivity and sustains the relaxed mental attitude.
JESUS CHRIST’S IMPERSONAL LOVE
The perfect example of Impersonal love was the Lord Jesus Christ living in the original New Covenant Spiritual life. Since sin is impossible inside the love complex (1Jn 3:9) and Christ remained in the bottom circle throughout His Incarnation, (Joh 15:10) our Lord never committed a mental attitude sin. He never departed from His Impersonal love for all mankind, not even when being ridiculed by arrogant scribes and Pharisees. (Mark 15:29-32) In addition to being our unique Savior, Jesus was also a man of matchless grace, courage, thoughtfulness, honor, and integrity toward people and circumstances. He possessed a resolute, stabilized mental attitude. Indeed, He reached the first stage of Spiritual adulthood sometime before twelve years of age (Luk 2:40-52) so that His Virtue love rapidly exceeded the basic modus operandi, (Way of operating) of gate two of the love complex and became the functional Virtue of gate six.
During His life on earth, the ultimate demonstration of Christ’s Impersonal love was His stalwart attitude throughout His trials and crucifixion. Certainly no one can duplicate His saving work, but Christ enjoins us to emulate toward others the attitude He sustained toward all of us when He acquiesced to the ordeal of unjust and discriminatory treatment at the hands of evil men.
When anyone loves father or mother [Personal love] more than Me, [Personal love for Christ, which motivates impersonal love for mankind] he is not worthy of Me. [He is not living in the New Covenant Spiritual life as Christ lived in the prototype] And when anyone does not take up his cross [Human old sin nature thoughts and desires] and follow Me, [Putting the Thinking and desires of Christ above our own thoughts and personal desires] he is not worthy of Me. He who has found his life [Human old sin nature life] will lose it, [As a believer; die the sin unto death] and he who has lost his life [Stops living in and by the old nature] for My sake will find it. [The New nature and life that appreciates God His Thoughts and Virtue] (Matt 10:37-39)
Christ does not suggest we stop loving our parents, exhort us to endure literal crucifixion, or teach us to place a premium on suffering. Only His suffering was efficacious — the self-flagellation of religion is an abomination. Instead, our Lord Commands us to obey the plan of God for our lives, setting aside every distraction. For Him the plan of God required death on the Cross; for us the plan of God requires death to the old sin nature.
Now those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. (Gal 5:24)
The growing believer’s Impersonal love establishes his inner strength and separates him from people, organizations, and activities that would clutter his mind with false concepts, dissipate his time and energy, and interfere with his Spiritual progress. Taking up one’s cross occurs in the soul; it is mental separation from the influences of the old sin nature and Satan’s world system.
Do not love the world [Satan’s world system] nor the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the [Virtue] love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life, is not from the Father, but is from the world. (1Jn 2:16)
THE EXAMPLE OF THE CROSS
Christ had been tortured and abused throughout the night in Jewish and Roman courts, but when He staggered from the Praetorium carrying that beam of wood on His lacerated back, He was neither a Jewish nor a Roman criminal. He was the perfect God-Man, the unique Person of the universe. He had been beaten and condemned to death by men who did not deserve to touch the hem of His robe. Throughout His seven trials He refused to utter obscenities or complain against His cruel and unfair treatment. When scourged, He “opened not His mouth.” (Acts 8:32) Our Lord’s valiant courage under the most agonizing pressure is proof that the power of Impersonal love does triumph over evil.
As Christ was nailed to the Cross, He saw around Him wicked men gloating over their apparent victory. Yet He did not lower Himself to their level by denouncing them. He functioned on His own honor and integrity. He did not react to their dishonor. (Luk 23:32-46) Christ remained free from all mental attitude sins even when God the Father, who loved Him and whom He loved, imputed to Him the sins of mankind and became His judge. The pain of Spiritual death and judgment was so excruciating to our perfect Savior that He screamed and kept screaming. (Psa 22:1) He had the power to end His ordeal at any moment, yet He remained on the Cross and bore the punishment until every human sin was paid for in full.
As a result of the anguish of His soul, He will see it and be satisfied; By His knowledge the Righteous One, My Servant, will justify the many, As He will bear their iniquities. (Isa 53:11)
When Christ was bearing our sins, no member of the human race deserved to be the object of His Personal love. Only Christ was impeccable; everyone else is a sinner and contributed to His agony on the Cross. Personal rapport with anyone was impossible, and He endured the Cross alone, in the strength of His Spiritual maturity; He took up His Cross, He switched from Personal to Impersonal love, mentally separating Himself from the entire human race, including those He had Personal and Esprit de corps love with during His Incarnation. (Joh 19:25-27) Under Divine judgment Christ concentrated exclusively on the Word of God in His soul, and He Commands us to emulate His concentration on God’s Word and to remember Him and follow His example. (Heb 12:2-4)
In the Communion service, or Eucharist, we focus our minds on Jesus Christ in a tribute, an auld lang syne, to the One we Personally love. (Luk 22:19) The bread represents the Person of Christ; the cup, His work of Salvation on the Cross. As we partake of the bread, we remember the Personal love of Christ: His love for the Father that motivated Him to obey God’s plan in every detail “unto death, even the death of the Cross.” (Php 2:8) As we partake of the cup, we concentrate on His Impersonal love: His integrity as He “endured the Cross, having disregarded [Thinking little of] the shame” of being imputed with the sins of ALL mankind and judged by the Father in our place. (Isa 53:10; 2Co 5:21; Rom 8:3; 1Jn 2:2) Impersonal love for all mankind, and Personal love for God, enabled Jesus to remain undaunted against those who were reviling and mocking Him, those who would never appreciate His saving work on their behalf, who would live out their lives in unbelief, die, and spend eternity in the Lake of Fire. He was fully aware of their arrogant and adamant hostility against Him, yet He died in their place without harboring a single mental attitude sin, without succumbing to the temptation to retaliate. (1Jn 2:2; 1Pe 2:22-23) Christ demonstrated a perfectly relaxed mental attitude as He operated on His inner resources of Truth even when the sins of Judas Iscariot, Pontius Pilate, Herod and the priests of the Sanhedrin came up for judgment on the Cross. Perhaps more startling to us, when the sins of Hitler, Stalin, and Mao Tse-tung were imputed to Him and judged, Christ’s Impersonal love kept Him on the Cross without complaint.
SEPARATION AND IMPERSONAL LOVE
When our Lord Commands, “Take up your cross and follow Me,” He means, “Develop Impersonal love. Live on the basis of your own integrity from the Word of Truth in your own soul. Do not let the pressures of life distract you from living according to God’s game plan.” By the order “take up your cross,” Christ is not advocating a martyr complex or self-sacrifice, as some Christians assume; He is advocating personal control of the old sin nature's thoughts and desires.
And they went on to another village. As they were going along the road, someone said to Him, "I will follow You wherever You go. And Jesus said to him, The foxes have holes and the birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay His head. (Luk 9:57-58) (God's will must become more important than our human security. Luk 12:29-31)
And He said to another, Follow Me. But he said, Lord, permit me first to go and bury my father. But He said to him, Allow the [Spiritually] dead to bury their own [Physically] dead; but as for you, go and proclaim everywhere the kingdom of God. (Luk 9:60) (God's will must also be more important than tradition, sentiment, or social acceptance. (Joh 15:19)
Another also said, I will follow You, Lord; but first permit me to say good-bye to those at home. But Jesus said to him, No one, after putting his hand to the plow and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God. (Luk 9:61-62) (Truth must be more important than what your family thinks you should do. (Luk 18:29-30) So then, none of you can be My disciple who does not give up all his own possessions. (Luk 14:33)
“If because of the Sabbath, (Heb 4:9-11) you turn your foot From doing your own pleasure on My holy day, And call the rest a delight, the holy day of the LORD honorable, And honor it, desisting from your own ways, From seeking your own pleasure And speaking your own word, Then you will take delight in the LORD, And I will make you ride on the heights of the earth; [Be a Spiritually mature believer] And I will feed you with the heritage [Mature Truth] of Jacob your father, For the mouth of the LORD has spoken. (Isa 58:13-14)
As members of the royal family of God, we are in the world but not of the world. Our Spiritual heritage is heavenly, not earthly, yet God preserves us alive in the devil’s world after Salvation to represent the absent Christ. God does not totally separate us from the devil’s kingdom but intends that we advance to Spiritual maturity and become imitators of God and ambassadors of Christ in whatever circumstances we find ourselves. (Eph 5:1; 2Co 5:20) God is glorified by our lives in the devil’s world when we can be prospered with phenomenal blessings of super-grace in the midst of the failures, pseudo-blessings, pseudo-happiness, and misery that characterize Satan’s counterfeit systems.
The devil’s world has a pull greater than any force of gravity to draw the believer away from fellowship with God. Regardless of our dedication or altruism, we cannot improve Satan’s evil system; we can only avoid his influence by opting for the power of God’s perfect system. God alone can successfully oppose evil. He will eradicate evil in His perfect time, but our human old sin good contributes nothing to the Divine plan. (Isa 64:6) Indeed, Satan sponsors human old sin nature good, and the old sin nature produces human good. The quickest road to evil is always through human old sin nature good. We must depend on Divine power, which alone produces intrinsic Divine good. (Rom 8:28)
God’s purpose for our lives on earth requires that we mentally separate ourselves unto Him. As we grow in grace and in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ, we renew our minds with the Mind of Christ. (2Pe 1:2; Rom 12:2; 1Co 2:16) Simultaneously we separate ourselves from satanic distractions that would swerve us away from God’s plan. Impersonal love, which depends on the subject, never the object, is the requisite attitude toward anyone or anything that would prevent us from fulfilling our Spiritual destiny. Impersonal love obeys the Divine Commands to avoid reversionism, (2Th 3:6-15; 2Ti 3:5; Heb 13:13) perversion, (1Co 5:10) emotionalism, (Rom 16:17) negative volition, (Matt 10:34-40; 1Jn 2:15-17) social life, business, marriage etc., with carnal believers and unbelievers, (2Co 6:14) idolatry, (2Co 6:15-16) distracting social life, (1Pe 4:3-4) and crime. (Prov 1:10-19)
We must separate ourselves from Satan’s nefarious, multifaceted systems, but always our emphasis must be separation unto God, not separation from the world. Each believer must stress the function of the Word of God in his own soul and his own Christian integrity, not the object he wishes to avoid. We must focus on Divine Thinking, not on the false thinking we intend to leave behind. In this manner we avoid the arrogance of self-righteous crusading, which itself is a subtle satanic trap. The proper Spiritual priority places God's Word before the influence of any personal relationship, even beneficial relationships. (Matt 10:37; Rom 12:1-3) As a result of Spiritual growth, we leave behind entanglements that would impede our continued advance. (2Ti 2:4) Loyalty to the Truth supersedes but does not eliminate loyalty to people and organizations. Separation means, first, to avoid distractions by switching from Personal to Impersonal love in mental separation. Then, only if necessary and if possible, physical separation is a drastic measure to avoid satanic influence by removing yourself from a relationship. In most cases mental separation is sufficient without the unwarranted major surgery of abruptly removing yourself from those who were once close friends, loved ones, or associates. If you retreat from every situation that puts pressure on you, you will be continually running from one problem to another without making any progress in the Christian life. Often pressure is designed to teach, and you accelerate your Spiritual growth by remaining under pressure, exercising Impersonal love, and waiting on the Lord! Impersonal love insulates you from false influences, even when you are in their presence, while also eliminating instability, bitterness, hostility, malice, subjectivity, revenge, and arrogance. Impersonal love is not swayed by any relationship but continues to operate with capacity for life under all circumstances. Impersonal love is civilized separation, in contrast to the boorish, arrogant behavior of those Christians who call attention to themselves by self-righteously “taking a stand” against the world!
THE INTEGRITY OF GOD / DIVINE LOVE
In designing the power system that would sustain Christ’s humanity on earth, God patterned Virtue love after His own Divine attribute of love.
According to all that I am going to show you, as the pattern of the tabernacle and the pattern of all its furniture, just so you shall construct it. (Exo 25:9)
The outside of the Tabernacle was plain leather ram's skins. (Heb 10:5; Exo 36:19) (The Human body of Christ)
The Inside Pure Gold, Silver, Beauty. (Exo 39:35-40) This is an illustration of the copy of God's Nature — the Spiritual life that Christ perfected by staying in fellowship — and we reach Spiritual maturity by staying inside the same system!
For by these He has granted to us His precious and magnificent Promises, so that by them you may become partakers of the Divine Nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world by lust. (2Pe 1:4)
We have come to know and have believed the love which God has for us. God is love, and the one who abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him. By this, love is perfected with us, so that we may have confidence in the Day of Judgment; because as He is, so also are we in this world. (1Jn 4:16-17)
God is much more than love. He is a Person; His essence consists of many attributes, all of which exist together in complete consistency and integrity. The function of one attribute never compromises any other. God’s love is perfect, but His love is also perfect in its relationship with His sovereignty, righteousness, justice, eternity, omniscience, omnipotence, omnipresence, immutability, veracity, and all other characteristics of His essence, A case in point: God never blesses us on the basis of His love. God’s love motivates Him to prosper us, but any Divine blessing given to imperfect man must be compatible with God’s justice.
Justice and righteousness are the two Divine attributes that directly influence all God’s blessings to us. Together these two attributes have been traditionally designated the holiness of God, (Isa 6:3) but holiness has become an obscure term. Integrity is a more definitive and meaningful word. Righteousness is the Principle of Divine integrity; justice is the function of Divine integrity.
God’s justice is not an arbitrary or overhasty attribute but invariably operates according to the absolute standard of His perfect righteousness. What righteousness demands, justice executes: if righteousness disapproves, justice condemns; if righteousness approves, justice blesses. Hence, grace involves far more than “unmerited favor,” as grace is commonly defined. Grace is the policy of the justice of God for blessing mankind.
Since our sinful status at birth violates God’s Standards, He cannot treat us on the basis of His Personal love. Instead, every action that God takes toward sinful man must be endorsed by His justice to avoid compromising His righteousness. Because justice is the guardian of the essence of God, Divine justice, not Divine love, is man’s point of contact with God. Justice, not love, is the source of all Divine blessings. Toward us, Divine justice takes precedence over Divine love.
Under grace the justice of God has accomplished everything necessary to make us acceptable to His righteousness. This is the Doctrine of propitiation; (Rom 3:25; 1Jn 2:2, 1Jn 4:10) as the foundation for the Doctrine of justification. (Rom 3:28; 2Co 5:21) Propitiation means that on the Cross Jesus Christ satisfied the righteousness of God the Father on our behalf. Justification is the Doctrine that, at the moment we first believed in Christ, God credited to us His own absolute righteousness and declared us to be totally acceptable to His integrity! By imputing Divine righteousness to us, God has made our position so absolutely, eternally secure that He blesses us on the Principle of His impartial fairness. Divine righteousness, resident in us, deserves blessing! (Not Us) The approval to bless us has come from the most exalted authority, the supreme court of heaven. Nothing can overturn that decision. Divine righteousness in the essence of God gives approval for justice to bless Divine righteousness in us. This judicial verdict is executed by God’s absolute justice, which gives us the right blessings at the right time.
Timing is essential. Even when we are Spiritually mature, timing must be right. God has a plan for each believer’s life and knows each individual’s capacity; too much prosperity at the wrong time can destroy a person more quickly than intense adversity. (1Co 10:13) Only through the filling of God the Holy Spirit and Thinking with Truth can we keep pace with God’s timing! In grace, therefore, God gives us every blessing that we have the capacity to receive and appreciate. He has already given us the means for developing capacity: Spirit & Truth. If grace were based on love instead of justice, God’s plan would be reduced to favoritism, maudlin sentimentality, and competition for Divine approval; the Spiritual life would become a hollow shell of superficiality.
LOVE BASED ON INTEGRITY
When we understand God’s policy of grace, we are confident that when He prospers us His entire essence is involved, not just His love. Divine love does not and cannot function independently of His integrity. But the connection between God’s love and God’s integrity has escaped most Christians today. Tragically, believers have created God in their own image, ascribing to Him their own superficial, emotional love. The Bible tells us that God is love, but that does not imply that He is sentimental about us. He does not bless or reward us for our human good works or sincerity in wanting to please Him. These are man’s illusions, not God’s plan. God blesses us only according to His own game plan, and He disciplines us when we depart from His plan. God never changes: only man changes. Blessing or discipline from God perfectly reflects changes in man while the justice of God remains consistent. God is completely impartial; His standards are absolute; His love comes to us only by way of His integrity.
God’s love, therefore, possesses all the strength of His integrity. Likewise, in fellowship, our Espirt de corps love for a few, derives its strength from our Spiritual maturity, and our Spiritual growth is demonstrated in our Impersonal love for all.
Beloved, [Members of the royal family] let us love one another, [Impersonal love] for love is from God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. (1Jn 4:7)
Love is from God because He is the source of Virtue love and because His love is the pattern for all genuine love. As John continues to explain Christian love, he specifies “everyone who loves,” referring to believers only, those to whom the epistle is written. Unbelievers are never addressed as “beloved.”
Furthermore, everyone who loves [The believer’s Impersonal love] has been born from the source of God [Initial entry into the bottom circle at the moment of Salvation] and has come to know God [Impersonal love is visible evidence of the believer’s Spiritual maturity. Jer 9:24] When anyone does not love, [With Virtue love] he has not come to know God, because God IS love. (1Jn 4:7-8)
Capacity for Virtue love involves Spiritual Thought, emotion, physical and Spiritual expressions from Truth in the soul. Knowledge of Truth builds our integrity, which is our capacity for love, and orients us to the Reality of God’s essence. In God’s essence His attribute of love is the pattern for human love. God’s attribute of love shows us in terms of absolute, ultimate Reality the difference between Impersonal and Personal love and the true superiority of Impersonal love. These distinctions are clarified by understanding the three categories of God’s love. His Personal love is classified according to its objects: Divine Personal love directed toward Himself, God the Son, God the Holy Spirit, the elect angels and humans that are going to be with him forever and toward His Thoughts and Virtue.
GOD’S LOVE FOR GOD
God’s love for His Own essence explains (1Jn 4:8) “God is love.” Only God is said to be love. We may love someone or something or may be in love, but we never are love. Human love is always related to an object. “God IS love” means not only that His love is an attribute of His essence, an integral part of Who and What He IS, and that Divine love is the quintessence of love, but also that His love does not require an object. Before God created the universe, He loved just as He loves today and will love forever. God is immutable and eternal, and as an attribute of His perfect Divine essence, His love always existed. We may or may not have capacity to love, depending on our integrity. Our love for another person can grow or disappear. We can fall in or out of love, but God does not. Our love fluctuates; His does not. God’s love remains eternal and changeless because He is eternal and changeless. Changes in us do not create changes in God’s love. His love does not depend on us or any other object.
God’s integrity supports and guarantees His love, but His love also is directed toward His own integrity. This tremendous inner affinity within the attributes of God is expressed in the statement that God IS love. He loves Who and what He IS. God perfectly fulfills His Own uncompromising Standards; therefore, He loves His Own righteousness and justice. (Psa 11:7; Psa 33:5; Psa 37:28)
In man, total self-love is arrogance because we are imperfect and sinful; in God, total self-love is legitimate because He is absolutely worthy. God would compromise His integrity if He loved anything less than perfection, (As with the believers personal love) but He would also be compromised if He failed to love what is perfect, His Own essence. If God did not love Himself, there would be no reason for us to love Him, but when we share His Thinking we come to share His Own respect and love for Himself!
Remember the former things long past,
For I am God and there is no other;
I am God, and there is no one like Me,
Declaring the end from the beginning
And from ancient times things which have not been done, Saying, “My purpose will be established, And I will accomplish all My good pleasure.” (Isa 46:9-10)
God knows Himself to be beyond comparison with any other being, and in the interest of absolute Truth He claims all glory for Himself. The purpose of God’s game plan is His Own glorification through blessing us. Indeed, only omnipotent God is capable of glorifying Himself as He deserves, which explains why human old sin nature good is unacceptable to God. (Psa 39:5) Our residence and function inside His power system enables God to demonstrate the utter superiority of His Divine nature — the Spiritual life in us and to be glorified to the maximum in our lives.
SUBJECTIVE AND OBJECTIVE DIVINE LOVE
God exists in three separate and distinct personalities, each having identical Divine attributes from eternity past: the Father, (1Co 8:6; Eph 1:3) the Son, (Joh 10:30; Joh 14:9; Col 2:9) and the Holy Spirit (Isa 11:2; Exo 31:3; Acts 28:25; Prov 1:23) The Godhead is One in essence, Three in Personality (Isa 6:8-9) We have been created in the Image of God. Body, Soul and Spirit, and these three are one! As believers we share His Body Soul and Spirit!
So we, who are many, are one body in Christ, and individually members’ one of another. (Rom 12:5)
He who does not love Me does not keep My Words; and the Word which you hear is not Mine, but the Father's who sent Me. (Joh 14:24)
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. (Gal 5:22)
Our body has life, our soul has life, and our spirit has life, and they are one! (1Th 5:23) When the essence of God is in view, God is said to be One; (Deut 32:39) when the individual Members of the Godhead are in view, God is said to be Three! (Luk 3:22; 2Co 13:14) The Doctrine of the Trinity introduces a distinction in describing God’s love: God’s love for God is both subjective and objective. God’s subjective love is the love of each Member of the Trinity for His Own integrity. God’s objective love is each Person’s love for the equal integrity of the other two Members of the Trinity. This means that God the Father subjectively loves His Own righteousness and justice with maximum love, but since God the Son and God the Holy Spirit possess identical righteousness and justice, He also loves them with maximum objective love. Likewise, the Son loves His own integrity as a matter of subjective love and loves the integrity of the Father and the Holy Spirit with objective love. So also, the Spirit loves Himself subjectively and loves the Father and the Son objectively. Subjectivity is different in God than in man. The attributes of God’s essence guarantee that God’s subjective Thinking is perfect, just as His objective Thinking is perfect. In human beings subjectivity is a breeding ground for evil. A subjective person, whether believer or unbeliever, is preoccupied with himself. Subjectivity cuts him off from God’s game plan. Therefore, the self-occupied person is arrogantly divorced from Divine Reality and in opposition to the Truth. God is the author of Reality, the designer of the Spiritual life which is patterned after His Nature. God IS Truth! (Joh 14:6; 1Jn 5:6)
We can learn Truth and Think with Truth, but God IS Truth. We comprehend Truth in three categories: the Divine laws of establishment, the Gospel, and Bible Doctrines. Every category of Truth is an aspect of God’s perfect purpose and design. The Divine decrees, through which God established the existence of every detail of Reality, are based on all the attributes of Who and What He IS, which He has objectively revealed in the written canon of Scripture. God’s Veracity guarantees His absolute freedom from compromise, contradiction, or falsehood in all He Thinks, says, or does. (Deut 32:4) His omniscience knows all things from eternity past, throughout history, and forever. His knowledge is not restricted, nor is His span of concentration limited, as is ours. Concentration is a human attribute, but God never needs to exclude one subject in order to focus on another. He is constantly occupied with all things at once! He cannot be distracted, lose His perspective, or become divorced from Reality. Since He is a Person, God is conscious of Himself, and when He Thinks about Himself, as He always does, He is Thinking the Truth. God’s subjectivity is legitimate, necessary, and perfect, just as His self-love is legitimate, necessary, and perfect.
God’s love for God is subjectively internal within the essence of each Member of the Godhead and objectively external between the Members of the Godhead. This establishes the pattern of Virtue love as a transitive verb with a subject and an object. At the absolute source of love, both the subject and the object are equal. Both are God. This love relationship between the three Members of the Trinity is the most exclusive relationship in the universe. The entry requirements are infinite, absolute and perfect — impossible for sinful man to meet. As fallen mankind we simply do not qualify for the same love that the Members of the Trinity merit. Our beggarly human old sin nature morality, by which we attempt to please God, is not only a blasphemous insult to His superior Standards but is an arrogant attempt to intrude on God’s Virtue love and God’s plan. No wonder the Scriptures say, “By grace are you saved... not of works, lest anyone should boast.” (Eph 2:8-9) No wonder we are dependent on the interlocking system of Virtue love, the system of power — that God has ordained. We have no entrance with God apart from the system He has given us!
GOD’S LOVE FOR MAN
The second category of Divine love is directed outside the Godhead toward imperfect man. As in God’s love for God, Divine integrity is involved, except that now the integrity resides only in the subject, not in the object of love. Hence, God’s love for man is classified as Divine Impersonal love and, toward those who fulfill His plan by staying in fellowship, Divine Personal esprit de corps love. This further establishes the pattern for Virtue love. inside the Divine dynasphere. Divine Impersonal love emphasizes the subject; Divine personal love emphasizes the object. Divine Impersonal love emphasizes the integrity of God; Divine personal love emphasizes the Spiritual condition and positive volition of the object. Divine Impersonal love is unconditional, directed toward all; Divine Personal love is conditional, directed toward the few who execute God’s game plan (Rom 9:13; Acts 26:17-18)
|Divine Impersonal Love||Divine Esprit de corps Personal Love|
|Emphasizes subjectIntegrity of God UnconditionalToward all||Emphasizes objectPositive volition of manConditionalToward a few|
GOD’S IMPERSONAL AND PERSONAL LOVE FOR MAN
The criterion for God’s Virtue love, both Impersonal and Personal, is always His Own absolute integrity: He loves only what His righteousness approves. Each Person of the Godhead loves absolute Divine righteousness, but how can God direct that same love toward imperfect human beings whom His perfect righteousness rejects and His justice has condemned? God cannot compromise any Divine standard without destroying His integrity. If His integrity is destroyed, so is His love. This is a critical issue for man to understand. God cannot be God if He loves the unworthy, yet He is said to love all mankind, (Joh 3:16) whom He condemns at birth. (Rom 5:19) The solution is found in Divine Impersonal love, which depends exclusively on the absolute character of God. Perfect God can create only that which is perfect. When He created Adam and the woman, the human race was a fitting object for Divine Personal love. As perfect humanity Adam was not equal with God, but neither did he violate God’s integrity. No conflict with Divine righteousness and justice existed with man in the perfection of the Garden, with the result that Divine love was God’s point of contact with man. Adam and the woman were blessed from God’s love rather than from His justice. Grace is the policy of God’s justice in blessing sinful man, but man had not yet sinned. There was no need for grace until the Fall of man. (It was just God's good pleasure to do so. Php 2:13)
When Adam chose to sin, God condemned him. Divine justice, the executor of Divine righteousness, became God’s point of contact with man in place of Divine love. The emphasis in God’s relationship with Adam shifted from the object, man, to the subject, God, whose righteousness and justice are absolute, immutable, and eternally worthy of Divine love. At the Fall of man, God switched from Divine Personal love to Divine Impersonal love. Divine Impersonal love never relies on the merit of its object. Instead, the integrity of the subject established grace as an entirely new Divine policy, under which the justice of God initiated a plan to save fallen man.
For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world; but that the world should be saved through Him. (Joh 3:17)
...Believe in the Lord Jesus and you shall be saved... (Acts 16:31)
THE EXTENT OF GOD’S IMPERSONAL LOVE
Can perfect God love imperfect, condemned, depraved, unregenerate man? Yes, but only with Impersonal love. We are born Spiritually dead because of Adam’s Fall, (Rom 5:12) but from the moment of physical birth every human being is the beneficiary of the integrity of God. Our lack of merit does not prevent God from designing and executing a plan to save us without violating His own Standards. Under the Principle of grace before judgment, God delays final judgment to permit us the opportunity to believe in Christ and receive eternal life.
Or do you disparage [By maliciously judging each other] the riches of His generosity [God’s Impersonal love, His “kindness” to man based solely on His Own integrity] and clemency [Delay in judgment] and patience, [His consistency regardless of our recalcitrance] not knowing that the kindness of God brings you to a change of mind. (Rom 2:4)
God delayed mankind’s final judgment so that He could extend to us His kindness, and Virtue love. An impassable barrier stood between man and God.
God cannot tolerate sin (Rom 3:23; Jer 17:9) He cannot cancel the penalty of sin; (Rom 6:23) nor can He ignore the problem of our physical birth and Spiritual death. (Eph 2:1) Our position in Adam, which makes us objects of Divine condemnation, and we by ourselves cannot suddenly become pleasing to God. (1Co 15:22) God’s absolute righteousness can never accept our relative righteousness, (Isa 64:6; Rom 9:30-33) nor can any attribute of God’s essence be compromised. (Isa 46:9; Rom 8:8; 1Ti 6:16) This barrier was removed by the work of Christ on the Cross so that only the Cross now stands between man and God. Only one issue remains: our volition. God cannot force our free will without compromising His integrity; He cannot arbitrarily save us. We must freely believe in Christ to be saved and avoid the Last Judgment. (Joh 3:18)
If God preempted our volition in Salvation, He would destroy His own plan. He would cancel the very purpose of THE EARTH: that each individual might choose to have a personal relationship with Him. Therefore, in Impersonal love God does everything except make the decision for us! Positive volition is the only missing link, the only factor needed to complete our reconciliation with God. We are born totally abhorrent to God, but a single decision of non-meritorious faith in Christ closes the gap and establishes us as God’s beloved sons forever. The mechanics of Salvation demonstrate the tremendous scope of God’s Impersonal love, the absolute “riches of His generosity.” Without violating His integrity or relying on the unworthy objects of His Impersonal love, God marshaled all His infinite genius and power for our advantage, “not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.” [A change of mind concerning the Word of Truth] (2Pe 3:9)
THE ALL AND THE FEW IN EACH PHASE OF GOD’S PLAN
God has provided everything for the eternal Salvation of every unbeliever and the maximum prosperity of every believer in both time and eternity. If an unbeliever rejects God’s saving grace, he remains the object of only Divine Impersonal love until he dies, when the delay in judgment runs out. (Heb 10:27) When the unbeliever accepts the work of Christ, he becomes the object of Divine Personal love just as Adam was the object of God’s Personal love in the Garden. But God’s plan for the royal family gives us a higher position after Salvation than Adam enjoyed before the Fall. God’s game plan is to make us like His Son. (Heb 2:10-11) This is the Doctrine of sanctification.
Sanctification is a technical, Theological term that refers only to the royal family. (1Co 1:2; 1Co 1:30) Heb 10:19-20) We are set apart as sacred or consecrated to God; we belong to God under a unique, eternal contract. Faith in Christ affixes our signature to a royal contract under which we share the sanctification of Jesus Christ, the “Holy One from God.” (Luk 4:34; Joh 6:69) The death, burial, resurrection, ascension, and session of Christ fulfilled and therefore abrogated the old contract or Old Testament of the Mosaic Law. (Rom 10:4; Gal 4:4-5) We live under a new grace contract, the New Testament, which we fulfill in fellowship with God. (Gal 5:14-25)
Sanctification is accomplished in three phases: positional, experiential, and ultimate. At the moment of faith in Christ, the believer is placed into union with Christ — positional sanctification and retroactive positional death. (1Th 5:23; Rom 6:3) As the believer functions in Christ’s Spiritual life and acquires the Mind of Christ, he reaches Spiritual maturity — experiential sanctification and experiential death. (Joh 12:24-26; Joh 17:17) And in heaven the believer receives a body like Christ’s resurrection body —ultimate sanctification and ultimate death to the old sin nature. (1Jn 3:2; 1Co 15:53-54)
This plan is based on God’s integrity and the work of Christ, not on any merit in the human race. We are the beneficiaries of God’s plan. God loves us because of Who and What He IS, because of the provisions He has made, because on the Cross His justice fulfilled the demands of His righteousness. This is grace! After Salvation the justice of God remains the source of all our blessings. We were saved by grace; we are always under grace, whether objects of God’s Impersonal love or objects of His Personal love.
In each phase of God’s plan — phase one, Salvation; phase two, the believer in time; or phase three, the believer in eternity — a different category of people is specified. All members of each category receive Divine Impersonal love; a few in each group qualify for Divine Personal love by obeying God’s will.
|God’s Impersonal Love for the All||God’s PersonalLove for the Few|
|PHASE ONESalvation||ENTIRE HUMAN RACEUnlimited Atonement||BELIEVERS IN CHRISTImputed Righteousness|
|PHASE TWOBeliever on Earth||ALL BELIEVERSLogistical Grace||MATURE BELIEVERSSuper-grace|
|PHASE THREEBeliever in Heaven||ALL BELIEVERSResurrection Body||MATURE BELIEVERSEternal Rewards|
OBJECTS OF GOD’S IMPERSONAL AND PERSONAL LOVE
In phase one God offers Salvation to all mankind from His Impersonal love, but only the few accept Christ as Savior and come under God’s Personal love. In phase two all believers on earth are sustained and protected by God’s logistical grace from His Impersonal love, but only the few utilize logistical grace, advance to maturity, and become recipients of super-grace blessings motivated by His Personal love. In phase three all believers in heaven possess the resurrection body, but only the few receive special rewards, decorations, and honors as the most eminent eternal aristocrats.
DIVINE LOVE IN SALVATION
The category in view in phase one of God’s plan is the entire human race. The Doctrine of unlimited atonement declares that Christ died for all mankind. (Rom 5:6; 2Co 5:15; 1Ti 2:6; 1Ti 4:10; Tit 2:11; Heb 2:9)
And He [Jesus Christ] is the propitiation [He satisfied God the Father] for our sins, and not ours only, but also for the entire world. (1Jn 2:2)
For God so loved the world [With Divine Impersonal love] that He gave His uniquely-born Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life. (Joh 3:16)
God manifests Impersonal love toward everyone He imputed human life to, evil men, like Stalin and Hitler, and presented them with repeated occasions to be saved. (Rom 11:32; 2Pe 3:9) The Cross is a conditional possibility for ALL. In contrast, God reserves His Personal love for only those few who believe in Christ and thus fulfill the conditions of the Gospel. In each generation a different proportion of all living people will trust in Christ, but those few, whatever their number, are the objects of Divine Personal love with reference to phase one.
The work of Salvation exacted a terrible price, the Spiritual death and judgment of Christ on the Cross. No unbeliever has ever earned or deserved Salvation, but if God has accomplished the most for those He Impersonally loves, He can do only much more than the most, for those special few He Personally loves. God imputed all man’s sins to Christ on the Cross in behalf of the entire human race, but God goes much farther for those who believe in Christ: to them He imputes Divine righteousness.
One of the most remarkable Bible Doctrines is that God credits His Own righteousness to every believer. We possess forever the very Principle and Standard of God’s integrity, the quality that God has respected, honored, and loved throughout all His eternal existence. We could receive no more valuable or significant blessing. Now the same phenomenal love that has always existed between the Members of the Trinity is directed toward us. God loves His own righteousness; He has given us His righteousness; therefore, He loves us!
He [God the Father] made Him [Christ] who knew no sin [Impeccable in the Spiritual life] to be sin on our behalf, [The judgment of all human sins in Christ] that we might become the righteousness of God in Him. (2Co 5:21)
For by one man’s disobedience [Adam’s original sin] many [The entire human race] were made sinners, so by the obedience of the One [Christ submitting to the Spiritual death and judgment of the Cross] shall many be made righteous. [Imputed righteousness at Salvation] (Rom 5:19)
And he [Abraham] had believed in the Lord, and He [The Lord] counted it to him for righteousness. [Abraham received God’s righteousness at the moment of Salvation] (Gen 15:6)
So I stand convinced that neither death nor life, neither demons nor rulers of demons, neither present things nor future things, neither powers, neither height [Nothing in heaven] nor depth [Nothing in hell] nor any other created thing shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. [In union with Christ we share His righteousness] (Rom 8:38-39)
As Spiritual royalty each believer possesses a double portion of Divine righteousness. The righteousness of God the Father is imputed to us at Salvation, as it is to every believer of all other dispensations. (Gen 15:6) But we also share the righteousness of God the Son through our royal position in union with Christ. (2Co 5:21) We are included in the dynamics of “God is love,” not because of who and what we are, but because of Who and What God IS, because of His integrity!