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True Love

Bridled Love  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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Problems at Philippi

The church in Philippi was experiencing several problems in its fellowship, such as pride and fault finding (see 2:1–18 and 3:10–4:1).
Before giving any admonition, Paul tactfully revealed that he was praying that the believers would have understanding in their words and actions.[1]

Antidote to problems: Agape love bridled by knowledge and discernment

The Philippians should have both knowledge and understanding so that, in their Christian lives and in their dealings with one another, they would understand what really matters. They should have the ability to differentiate between right and wrong, good and bad, healthy and dangerous, vital and trivial; but they should also have the discernment to decide between acceptable and right, good and best, and important and urgent.

A different Kind of love

Love that is sacrificial and giving

Here Paul talks about love, the term that could also mean affectionate benevolence and goodwill. It talks not about a mere sentimental feeling, but rather a sacrificial giving.

Love where there is always lots to give

He then says that this agape sacrificial love would abound, or in other words it would be G4052 , would be in excess, would have something to spare, would be superfluous, would superabound and excel.

Love, not spineless sentimentalism

· He says that there should be a also a lever of knowledge. The knowledge mentioned here is G1922 (epignosis) which means to have knowledge that is not mere informational but spiritual and moral, a higher knowledge. It is something that comes from recognition and acknowledgement.
Love without knowledge is squishy and spineless sentimentalism; knowledge without love is meaningless (1 Cor. 13:2).

Love with Balance

So Paul is saying that there should be a balance that comes from spiritual knowledge and acknowledgement of the fact that you are governed by the spiritual laws and not by the worldly lows.
There should be a discernment, the discernment will help us to know things of God as mentioned in 1 Cor 2:12. For this discernment, as mentioned in Heb 5:14, you need to consume solid food of the Word of God, and have your mind renewed. As mentioned in 1 Cor 5:14, a spiritually discerning man, can identify the things of God.
1 Corinthians 2:12–14 NASB 95
Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, so that we may know the things freely given to us by God, which things we also speak, not in words taught by human wisdom, but in those taught by the Spirit, combining spiritual thoughts with spiritual words. But a natural man does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually appraised.
Hebrews 5:14 NASB 95
But solid food is for the mature, who because of practice have their senses trained to discern good and evil.
[1]Meyer, J. C. (2018). Philippians. In I. M. Duguid, J. M. Hamilton Jr., & J. Sklar (Eds.), Ephesians–Philemon: Vol. XI (p. 136). Crossway.

What do we do daily?

So often we hear in our culture “love is love” and we see sometimes so-called Christians supporting it. But the Bible says that if you do something without the knowledge of who you are in Christ and without discernment of what is going on there, that is not AGAPE love.

What was Jesus about?

So often we see people saying that Jesus was all about love and he was with sinners. Yes, he was with sinners, but it was always in the full understanding of who he was. He knew where he wanted the people he was interacting with, at the end. It was not a petty attempt to gain acceptance so that he will be accepted and liked. It was always under the discernment of who he was, who they were, where they are going, and where they need to go.
John 13:1–5 NASB 95
Now before the Feast of the Passover, Jesus knowing that His hour had come that He would depart out of this world to the Father, having loved His own who were in the world, He loved them to the end. During supper, the devil having already put into the heart of Judas Iscariot, the son of Simon, to betray Him, Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into His hands, and that He had come forth from God and was going back to God, got up from supper, and laid aside His garments; and taking a towel, He girded Himself. Then He poured water into the basin, and began to wash the disciples’ feet and to wipe them with the towel with which He was girded.
It says that Jesus was showing love, sacrificial love, but it was in knowledge that “the Father had given all things into His hands, and that He had come forth from God and was going back to God” he went forward and started washing their feet. It was not mindlessly trying to do things for them, so that they would like him, but purposeful with a discernment that there is a need of them to learn this

Love rebuke at Corinth

In 1 Cor 5:1, there is a case where a person was ostracized and left out of the church because he slept with his step mother. So what did Paul do? He did not just merely say let’s love and let it be, but he discerned the problem and then gave strict punishment.
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