“Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends” *
Those Christians chosen by God to answer the “high calling” in being His manifested sons and daughters in these last days must add seven things to their faith “obtained” from Him. The apostle Peter clearly lines them out in his second letter. The last one is agape, the divine love that is God Himself .
When added, these seven attributes make us “partakers of the divine nature.” They insure that we will never be “barren nor unfruitful” in Him. Adding them is the way to “make [our] calling and election sure.” In other words, they are extremely important to study out and incorporate into our being.
Adding “godliness” is adding an increased love and appreciation of God. Adding “brotherly kindness” is loving your fellow man as God does. Adding agape love to them is when the very essence of God’s divine nature, which is Love, is placed by Him into His temple, you and me.
“Love, Love, Love”
The poets and writers know that “love is all you need,” that “love is the answer,” that “nobody gets too much” of it. They herald love’s necessity today as they have since mankind first spoke of their inner feelings. They know that “what the world needs now is love, sweet love.” We hum the tunes and whisper the words of this ancient truth, but how do we tap into and receive into our hearts that divine entity, that attribute of the divine nature that eludes us?
We first look to family for love, to our dear mothers who innately gave of themselves to us. Then to friends and acquaintances we go searching for love and acceptance. Then on to our search for “the one,” the one we will marry, the one who will love us surely; surely they will.
Natural mankind is filled with this longing to be loved. But the very people that he wants love, respect, and admiration from do not know how to give it really. Unconditional love is not man’s forte because it is the divine love that mankind is really craving. For only divine love is strong and selfless enough to forgive mankind’s sins and shortcomings. Besides, the very person that we seek unconditional love from is limited, also, and doesn’t have the capacity to love like that. Most are bogged down in their own pursuit of love for themselves from others in this world.
And so this unrequited love on all sides seethes oftentimes into a bitter bile of dissatisfaction and dismay. The swirl of perceived rejection and angst can begin to flush one’s mind down into the pit of despair.
Consequently, the real need for us all is to forgive those who have not loved us like we thought they should have. But forgiveness only issues from a heart of love.
Alexander Pope, the 18th Century English poet, was right. “To err is human; to forgive divine.” The water of forgiveness can only be drawn from the divine well of Love. Agape love is the fountain of forgiveness. I cannot forgive you unless I love you because forgiveness is fashioned only from a heart of love.
Where Is This Fountain of Love?
But where do we get that divine love? Where is that rarefied pool of love, the “living waters” that we sojourners may drink and fill our hearts for our journey through “the valley of the shadow of death”?
It comes from God, for “God is love” . Everyone knows that; it’s been repeated over and over down through the millennia. Yet, repeating it will still not fill us with this most ethereal of elixirs, agape love.
The key lies in answering this question: How is it that “God is love”? How is He agape love? Why is He love? We begin to sip this life-giving love when we finally see it in action. But not just see it. We must believe it, believe in it, trust it, breathe it, and live it.
For God, who is Divine Love, poured His essence of love into a man. Agape love is the Word, and the Word was God, and Love “was made flesh and dwelt among us” . This Divine Love was incarnated in Christ and dwelt with mankind in the form of our Savior.
When we believe Christ’s story of God’s great love displayed when Christ laid down His life for the salvation of the world, we begin to add His nature of divine love to our spirit. When we believe in His death, burial, and resurrection, then through faith (belief) in Him and this very action of love, we begin to tap into that flow of the Spirit of love. He begins to love that hard to love person in our life through us. It is God who is loving them through us. He is the actor, we are the medium.”
Our belief in His resurrection in us localizes God, who is love. Our belief in His resurrection raises up His Spirit of love in us, the divine Spirit of love. This is how God magnifies and multiplies Himself. He reproduces Himself through His spiritual nature of love manifested through us, His offspring.
Christ showed the greatest love in the universe when He willingly laid down His life for us. Meditating on this revelation of the greatest love witnessed on earth in Christ is the key to exponential spiritual growth. It is the key to understanding the Holy Bible. It is the key to solving all the mysteries of God.
It is when we follow Him in His baptism, when we willingly lay down our selfish lives on the cross with Him, when we are buried with Him, and when we believe that we are risen with Him–then that very same Love–the greatest Love of all–flows through us from Agape Love Himself. Our belief in the greatest Love of all is believing in Christ’s laying down His life and taking it back up again. When we follow Him in this, we tap into that Spirit of Love and add it to His divine nature in us . Kenneth Wayne Hancock [For more information on this topic, I invite you to peruse these articles found here: https://immortalityroad.wordpress.com/?s=additions ]
*John 15: 13
1. II Peter 1: 4-11; Eph. 1: 4. [Agape is the Greek word that is translated in many versions as “charity.” Because of “charity’s” obvious modern connotation, it clouds the true meaning of the passage.]
2. I John 4: 8, 16.
3. John 1: 1, 14.
4. Romans 6: 1-12
*John 15: 13