A Follow Up Question

Following up on my last question (I’m going somewhere with this), allow me to ask a follow-up question for your consideration as well:

“If there is no life in Christ apart from love for Christ, how does one come to have a love for Christ?”

Discuss. πŸ™‚

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14 Comments on “A Follow Up Question”

  1. Wow, first again. I think we come to have love for Christ by God giving us a sense of his beauty and value (glory) that causes us to have an affection for him. This sense is called faith, and it’s similar to the five natural senses. Faith is our ability to find God attractive, which is the beginning of love.

  2. D.L. Kane Says:

    This has been wonderful. Can’t wait for the conclusion or “where you are going with this”–but the journey has been profitable, indeed. The answer seems to simple. But, perhaps this is “trick” question–Just to get us all thinking a little.

    Thomas Chalmer wrote: The love of God and the love of the world, are two affections, not merely in a state of rivalship, but in a state of enmity – and that so irreconcilable, that they cannot dwell together in the same bosom. We have already affirmed how impossible it were for the heart, by any innate elasticity of its own, to cast the world away from it; and thus reduce itself to a wilderness. The heart is not so constituted; and the only way to dispossess it of an old affection, is by the expulsive power of a new one. Nothing can exceed the magnitude of the required change in a man’s character – when bidden as he is in the New Testament, to love not the world; no, nor any of the things that are in the world for this so comprehends all that is dear to him in existence, as to be equivalent to a command of self-annihilation.

    But the same revelation which dictates so mighty an obedience, places within our reach as mighty an instrument of obedience. It brings for admittance to the very door of our heart, an affection which once seated upon its throne, will either subordinate every previous inmate, or bid it away. Beside the world, it places before the eye of the mind Him who made the world and with this peculiarity, which is all its own – that in the Gospel do we so behold God, as that we may love God. It is there, and there only, where God stands revealed as an object of confidence to sinners and where our desire after Him is not chilled into apathy, by that barrier of human guilt which intercepts every approach that is not made to Him through the appointed Mediator.

  3. Darrin Says:

    Life in Christ is the life OF Christ, and is granted to God’s elect due to love FROM the Father for us. The love we possess for Him is a fruit of His life implanted in our souls. The means He uses to bring about this love for Him in us, via His Spirit, include the hearing of the gospel, reading of the Word, prayer, ministry of believers, etc.

  4. Dr. Paul W. Foltz Says:

    When the regenerated sinner undergoes Holy Spiriit conviction, leading up to the iinitial
    conversion experience. he not only is shown who and what he is, and the judgment he is under, but The Spirit reveals Christ to his heart as his absolute Lord and all-
    sufficient Saviour. It is then that he sees the beauty of Christ and His love, and falls in
    love with Him.

    Dr. Paul Foltz

  5. Tom Says:

    To know Christ personally IS to love Christ. In other words, you can’t help but love Christ when you come to know him through a personal relationship, and you come to know him that way through divine revelation. Saul knew Christ on the road to Damascus and hated Him and His followers, but after Christ revealed Himself to Saul, Saul came to know Him personally and love Him. Saul was a changed man. He became a passionate follower and ambassador for Christ.

  6. Read a John Piper book!

  7. Ashley Says:

    “We love because He first loved us” (1 John 4:19), so I think it’s first a gift from God and the work of the Holy Spirit in us, and it’s also a natural response in us to love Christ as we come to know and understand his love for us.

    I’ve also been thinking since the last discussion about Christ’s linking of our love for him to obeying his teaching and his Father’s commands in John 14. Love is the cause and obedience the result here, but the Bible also says that obedience keeps us in His love (“If you obey my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have obeyed my Father’s commands and remain in his love.” John 15:10 and “But if anyone obeys his word, God’s love is truly made complete in him. This is how we know we are in him:” I John 2:5) So our love leads to obedience, but our obedience also keeps us in God’s love and completes His love in us, which I think would also increase our love for Him.

    Still thinking it all through :), but I would have to say we come to have love for Christ first through the gift of salvation and the Holy Spirit working in us. But we also remain in that love, and grow in love, through obedience to God’s Word.

  8. D.L. Kane Says:

    Timmy – I guess “where you were going with all this” is Orlando, Florida. (Smiling) Have a profitable time at the conference.

  9. Ha! No, I really am going somewhere with this, but I do have a full week ahead of me with the conference. I’m not pulling your chain or leading down a dead-end road. Thinking through these questions are important to consider what we know to be true about God, the gospel, and salvation and how we live as servants of God and stewards of His gospel as it works in the hearts of men and women.

    Thanks for the feedback. To be sure, I’m reading. πŸ™‚

  10. Steve Says:

    I think our love is a response to the realization of His extravagant love for us. The first time I ever realized what it meant to be loved and forgiven was an experience that I remember vividly to this day. His love for me changed me and I have loved Him ever since.

  11. Tim Says:

    life in Christ happens before love for Christ, but they happen at the same time.

  12. Good discussion on both questions. For this, I would agree from scripture as Ashley has pointed out:

    β€œWe love because He first loved us” (1 John 4:19)

    The question asked and somewhat answered in the comments of the previously question was, “What is love?” We tend to approach love anthropomorphically. That is, we experience love in the fallen world of men where we have an idea of reconciliation and the development of personal intimacy. I believe this may be God’s intent to demonstrate to us in a way meaningful to us His relationship with us as well as internally to himself. Therefore I theorize philosophically that love from an eternal aspect is God’s internal cohesion where he always agrees with himself. I doubt any of us lack internal conflict of some sort, but in our relationship with God as those who have been given the gift of reconciliation through the work of Christ and the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, our conviction works itself out in sanctification as our internal conflicts are to be continually addressed and reconciled as our sins are mortified so that we experience increasing intimacy in the Body of Christ and with God Himself. Therein we learn humility, submission and self-sacrifice even as we support each other in the Body of Christ in the battle for reconciliation in each other’s internal conflicts. Perhaps this is love.

  13. D.L. Kane Says:

    Still dying of curiosity as to “where you were going with this?” πŸ™‚

  14. D.L.,

    Yes! Thanks for reminding me. I will get back to that shortly. Didn’t mean to leave you (and others) hanging like that!

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