Love is not one of the many attributes assigned to God; it is the very essence of God’s being. God is Love. If God be true love, then the only conclusion is our inclusion. Every attribute of God must be interpreted in the context of who He is as Agape Love. This is known as the Agape hermeneutic. This is why even the Scriptures must be interpreted by the Word of God because they are not the same. Jesus told the people “You study the Scriptures diligently because you think that in them you have eternal life, but they testify of me” (John 5:39). The very fact that they could not recognize who He was the evidence that they had misinterpreted the Scriptures.
John the Theologian tells us that if we do not have an all-inclusive embrace of humanity, then we do not know God. The starting point of the Gospel is the primacy of God as love. From His true nature as love, we were brought forth into being. Love loved us into being in order to love us. The revelation of the paternal heart of God is what will introduce humanity, the new man in Christ, into life and immortality, victory over death. If we veer away from agape love in an attempt to interpret any aspect of God’s attributes, we’ve misinterpreted it.
For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, 15 Of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named – Ephesians 3:14-15
Paul here refers to the wisdom and the scope of God’s plan unveiled before him. He was overwhelmed by the all-inclusiveness of God’s cosmic dispensation. God created all things. It should not surprise us therefore that He has plans for all things. Mankind’s attempt to sketch a picture of God in the midst of darkness is what is human religion. To show us what He really looks like, God sent His Son who assumes flesh, the image of God, the Invisible made visible. We now know what God looks like. He is the Father of all heaven and of all the earth.
Some may disagree with this, saying until one is “born again” one cannot be a child of God. I agree with that 100%. But in the microcosm of being born, the child does not decide to be born. When Jesus told Nicodemus, “Ye must be born again”, He was saying He is the cause. He was describing what would happen at the resurrection. At the resurrection of Christ, He took what was of man and engendered it into the nature of God. He is the first born because humanity is born again within His humanity. Everyone who belongs to the human nature that Jesus Christ partook of was included in His crucifixion, death, burial, quickening, raising and seating. So, you must be born again.
Our commission is to open the eyes of men to what happened in Christ and what they are today in Him. This is why Paul said that God is the Father of the whole family, all-inclusive. This is the apostolic aspect of the message of Christ that is lost: the catholicity, universality of the Gospel. The work of Christ affects everyone whom He represented. But we only partake of the benefit of what He did through faith. the only faith efficacious unto salvation is the faith of God Himself which is transmitted to us through the Gospel.
Humanity is not classified as in and out but as those that are in the light and those that are in darkness. But being in darkness does not mean they are not included. The ignorance called darkness is not mere absence of knowledge. It is the darkening of their understanding that alienates them from the life of God which is already in them (Eph. 4:17-18). In Jesus Christ, the Logos of God, is life and the life in the Logos is the light of men (John 1:1-4,9).
The true light in whom was the life, who is the Logos from whom we proceed, who is the life in every man, needed to enter the world. Every man does not participate in the life because they do not all see the light. He became man to reveal the light that is in us. What is true in Him is true in us. The darkness is disappearing for the true light has now come. When we behold the true light, we see the love between the Father and His Son and we are included in that close circle of love.
That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man; – Ephesians 3:16
We have received the Spirit. The Spirit is the interchange between the Father and the Son. All that the Father is is given to the Son. All that the Son receives of the Father is reciprocated by the Son to the Father. What happens between them is the Spirit. When you receive the Spirit, you have received the interchange between the Father and the Son. So, your inner man is fortified, reinforced by the Spirit. We need to become explorers of the inner man because the world on the inside is greater than the world in the outside.