The Facet of the Capacity to Love, No. 1
We have been considering the matter of
being a spiritually mature Christian.
that we’re thinking about this in terms of a five-sided
edification structure in our souls—a pentagon of defense. We
have thus far studied three facets of this pentagon. We
began with grace orientation, and explored the fact that God’s way of
dealing with us in this age is on the basis of what He can do for us,
and not on the basis of what we can do for ourselves or for Him.
We studied the facet of the mastery of the
details of life in which we learned that the number one thing in every
Christian’s life must always be doctrine so that it is
“the Word, and the Word, and the Word.”
Everything else, details
which, essential or non-essential as they may be, are nevertheless
details in respect to the supreme calling of the study of the Word of God.
And then we have been pursuing in some detail the facet of a
relaxed mental attitude—a mind free of bitterness and all
other mental attitude sins.
A mind which expresses itself toward God by the practice of the faith rest technique—the
fact that we walk not by sight but by faith on the basis of what God has promised us, on
the basis of what God had explained to us in doctrine, His ways of
operating, on the basis on what God has told us is coming ahead in history in the
Now this whole
building is structure upon the foundation of doctrine in the human spirit.
This morning we take another step and
we are now going to look at another facet which we’ll call the capacity to love. We’ll
be looking at this in some detail. This
capacity will be explored in three
love toward God,
love toward the
opposite sex, and love toward friends. No
Christian can view himself as a spiritually
mature believer until he
has grown to where there is within his being a capacity to love God, to
your own particular man or woman, and to love your friends. This
is not a natural quality or inclination
This is something
to be developed.
you will notice the fourth verse of
the hymn we sang this
morning went, “Were the whole realm of nature mine, that were
present far too
Love so amazing,
demands my soul, my life, my all.” Now
that’s pretty well put. Love
as God has exercised toward us, does demand in response the total love
And there lies
the rub because it
is not within the normal natural capacities of people to love God with
their heart, with all their mind, and with all their soul.
we have a very very important
subject to be looking at,
in the matter of what is love all about. It’s
a very confused issue.
a lot of (nonsense) that is put out
even by Christians on the
subject of love. There’s
a lot of
ridiculous kind of practices that are carried on among Christians under
name of love.
would be well therefore to begin
with the meaning of the
word “love.” We
use it of
course in a
very casual way, very carelessly in a variety of applications. Someone
may come up to you this morning and
say, “I love your dress.” “I
song we sang.”
item of food.”
We sing hymns
with expressions of love in
defines it as “a
strong feeling of affection,” but biblically it is much more
review for a minute what
we have already looked at in
the way of the word “love” in its New Testament use. The
nature of love is to be determined by the
meaning of these words.
When God speaks
of love, He uses a word to describe it that explains it to us. Archbishop
Trent was a very great linguist. He
in his studies of languages discovered a
relationship on the part of the Latin church fathers, particularly a
Jerome who lived at the end of the fourth century and who translated
from Greek into Latin—the Latin Vulgate version which is the
of the Roman Catholic church.
in the study of the Latin writers that there was a relationship between
Latin words whose meaning was clear, and certain Greek words which were
equate with those Latin words.
noticed that there was the Latin
word “diligo.” And
that “diligo” in Latin was the
word for love which was based upon the mental esteem of the object. It
was a word which was a mental expression
and a non-emotional expression.
no emotional qualities implied.
When a person
came up to you
and said, “I love you,” and he said,
it meant, “I esteem you as a
being with my mentality.
And I bear you
no ill will.
I bear toward you
of good will and of blessing that I would impose upon you and wish upon
there was another word for love,
This word had a
distinctive meaning, and this
was the meaning of a word that was (in contrast to
which was mental),
this was emotional.
One line quoted
from Cicero, one of the Latin writers, very clearly distinguishes the
these two words.
He was talking to
friend about another friend.
says, “I do not esteem,” and he used the word
merely esteem the man, but I love
(“amo”) him.” That
something of a passionate warmth of affection and a feeling with which
Cicero said of
his friend, “I
only value this man in my mind and esteem as a friend, but I have a
emotional affection and attachment toward him.”
followed the use in the Latin
Vulgate because he
understood the meaning of Greek words. Whenever
he came to a certain Greek word for
“love,” he knew which of
these Latin words to express it because he know which Latin word
the Greek word meant.
Which is the clue
which is so strategic to us today to interpreting what the Bible means
talks about love.
he discovered was this:
Bible speaks of “agapao”
love, it was comparable to the
Latin “diligo.” So
“agapao” is a
You can be in a
position of mentality toward an individual where you bear him
absolutely no ill
will, where you bid him nothing but the best. You
wish him nothing but the greatest. And
yet you have no emotional attachment toward him. You
wouldn’t want to go out to dinner
wouldn’t want to go off on
wouldn’t want to
become comraderies and buddies in some social way.
you don’t dislike him. You
don’t hate him.
don’t have any bitterness toward
don’t have any antagonism. You’re
not competitive with him.
You have no
mental attitude sins toward
You just plain
it was also discovered that when
it came to using the other
Greek word “phileo” in the Greek language that this
comparable to “amo” in
the Latin, because “phileo” conveys the idea of
This has an
emotional quality within love in
contrast to the mental quality of the other. So
mental love is “agape.” This
word connotes a relaxed mental attitude free of any ill will in the
form of any
jealousy, bitterness, vindictiveness, hatred, unforgiving spirit, a
complex, or competition.
love which is founded on an admiration, a veneration, or an esteem,
It means a mind
kindly disposed toward someone.
are concerned for his welfare.
this reason, Christians are told
to “agape” their
In Matthew 5:44,
when the Lord
says, “Love your enemies,” this is the word that is
And you can
immediately see why God could not
tell us to “phileo” our enemies because you cannot
You cannot go to
“I want to direct
your emotions to have a certain feeling.” But
you can tell a Christian, “You should have
a certain attitude of
mind which is free of ill will.” In
21 you have an interesting relationship of these two words. John
21, beginning at verse 15.
where the Lord is asking Peter
as to whether he loves Him.
beginning at verse 15, “So when they had dined, Jesus said to
‘Simon son of Jonah, lovest thou me more than
Now here the word
that Jesus used is the word
for mental esteem, “agapao.” “Do
love me with a mental attitude free of any bitterness and ill will,
than these others?”
Peter says unto Him, “Yea
Lord thou knowest I love
Ahh, but Pete
“Lord, you know I ‘phileo’ you. You
know I’ve got a real affection of
emotional warmth toward you.” Now
apparently, following that disastrous denial on the part of confident
where he simply turned against the Lord right in the face of their
was hard for Peter to say, “I’ve got this supreme
of mental good will
toward you Jesus.”
Because there was
something else about “agapao” love, and that is it
is not a
It is something
God can produce in us by means of the filling of the Holy Spirit. It’s
part of the fruit of the spirit. This
is the word that is used when it says
that, “… the fruit of the spirit is love, joy,
peace,” and so on.
it seems that Peter just could not
rise, after such a
devastating defeat, to say, “Lord, I love you with that kind
So Jesus comes to
second time, and he
says, “Simon, Son of Jonah, lovest thou me?”
Jesus says, “… though
‘agapao’ thou me?” And
Peter again says, “Yes, Lord, I ‘phileo’
The third time,
in verse 17, Jesus comes down
and talks to Peter on his level, because here in the Greek, Jesus says,
Son of Jonah, do you ‘phileo’ me?”
Peter says, “Yes, I ‘phileo’
that was the extent to which Peter could rise on this occasion to
love for the Lord.
it’s very revealing in
Scripture when you know the
difference in the meaning of these words. It
shows something very dramatic about Peter and
about his condition
right at this time following his great defeat. This
man was gun shy.
if you’ll turn there for a moment, you have both of these
This is the
incident describing the
John 11:3 says,
sisters (the sisters of Lazarus, Mary and Martha) sent unto Him saying,
behold, he whom thou lovest is sick.” The
word “love” here is
whom you have an emotional friendship,
your friend Lazarus, is
5 says, “Now Jesus loved
Martha and her sister and
Here it uses the
good will toward
the members of this family, toward Lazarus and toward his two sisters. This
explains (in verse 5) the delay before
verses 6 and 7, that Jesus heard that His friend was sick, but he
days in the same place, and then after that He said to His disciples,
to Judea again,” where Lazarus was. He
Now the delay
would seem a
little heartless and unkind on the part of the Lord, but verse 5 makes
that Jesus didn’t have any mental ill will against this
There was a
reason for his delay, and the
reason was in verse 4.
Jesus said, “is not unto death, but for the glory of God,
the Son of God
might be glorified by it.” The
had to go to death so that Jesus could demonstrate the power of God
resided in Him, to the glory of God, by raising Lazarus from the dead.
the Scriptures use the words
necessary to make clear that
Jesus had an emotional attachment for his friend Lazarus, but he bore
ill will toward the family as might be interpreted because of his delay. But
it was the result of His waiting so that
God could be glorified.
Verse 35 says
that “Jesus wept.” And
viewing this again, says, “Behold how He loved
here they used the
emotional word “phileo.”
this is the basic meaning of these
words, and you should
have the two clearly in mind.
said, “I give you a new commandment, to love one
He is calling
upon you to do something you
He is not telling
you to have an
emotional attachment to members of the congregation.
might me some people in this
congregation that you don’t give particular care to be
don’t strike it off
anything against them, but your
temperaments are not such, and your interests are not such, or your
life is not such that you might find occasion to be thrown together. It
doesn’t mean you don’t like
them, but God
says, “You’d better love them. You
better see to it that you have a mental quality that is free of any ill
don’t go around
trying to do
in one of your brethren.
trying to undermine somebody.
around trying to do anything that reflects a bitterness on your part
that is a failure for which you can be held accountable.
it’s going to be necessary
for us, in pursuing this
subject of love, to review something else. If
you’ll turn to Ephesians chapter 4. We’re
going to have to have an examination
this morning of the soul in
order for us to understand how the quality of love operates. In
Ephesians chapter 4 beginning at verse 17,
you have the Scripture which explains to us how callouses
develop in your soul.
let’s take a look here. Here
is the soul.
soul has a
It has emotions. And
it has will.
mind has an expression in the way of
The mind also has
expression in the form of conscience in which we have our values and
Now this is the
This is the real
is what leaves you when you die. This
the person that all of us really know
in its particular expression.
I want you to notice what can
happen within your soul
and to your soul.
What can happen
your soul that destroys your capacity to love? The
facet we’re studying is how to be able to
God, the opposite
sex, and your
going to show you
how to destroy the
capacity to love any of those.
says, “This I say therefore and testify in the Lord, that ye
not as other Gentiles walk, in the vanity of their mind.”
we begin with vanity.
is the Greek word “mataiotes.” This
means and emptiness.
this is the key word to describe the first step in developing spiritual
insensitivity in the soul to God or any expression toward God in love. The
unsaved have an emptiness in the mind of
They have no
A Christian can
come to the same
state of soul emptiness.
How does he do
He does it when
he sits and listens
to the Word of God being explained, and he goes negative.
reservations in your mind toward
something that you are taught from the Word of God, if what you are
indeed the truth of God, if you have the slightest bit of reservation
neutrality, you have gone negative. And
when you go negative, there arises (God says) in your mind a certain
There is a low
in the mentality of your soul.
your understanding of this is
going to be difficult
because I don’t know the condition of all of your minds this
It may be that
there are some
whose minds have become so hardened with layer upon layer upon layer of
already developed that you’re going to have a hard time even
to get hold of this that will explain what’s taking place
going to be wondering
around in your
mentality all over the place even though your eyes may be glued up here
we’re going to show you
little bit why, having come to the point of developing callouses on
has set you upon a very very difficult uphill fight from which you may
So if you
haven’t gone too
listen carefully because there is a point where it is almost impossible
return from a hardened status of soul.
negative volition there’s an
emptiness in the mind.
A vacuum is
at the emotions and at
What happens? Well
a low pressure area always wants to
equalize itself and it sucks something else in in order to stabilize. And
when you are not drawing in doctrine
because you have gone negative and you are not exposing yourself to
a daily basis, either through attending church services, listening to
the Word, studying books on the Word, and reading the Word if you have
background to study it on your own, if you’re not daily
because you have gone negative, you’re going to take in
going to take in
falsehood from the world.
going to suck in here human
going to suck in
slavery to the details of life.
going to suck in mental attitude sins of one kind or another. You’re
going to suck in social concepts. A
lot of the things that are destroying the
nation today as being the things that we should do socially and that
rights of people that we should pursue that come from disorientation of
You are going to
be having guilt
going to have
And in general
all the way
down through your being, your mind, your emotions, and your will, you
set up a vacuum and you’re going to be drawing in what is the
mind of guess
is interested in giving you his
Now just get that
This is a subject
we have to go into in more
detail, but Satan is constantly preoccupied in giving you his thinking. He
will never disturb you as long as you are
psyched into him.
As long as you
phased in to his thinking, he will not bother you.
never bothers a church where people are
phased into him.
And he will take
closest Christian friends and he will become the agent through them as
what happens here in the story, you can see why your Christian friends,
those good Christian workers that you’ve known for so long
come to a
position where Satan is using them to bring discouragement to your own
and to your own life.
you remember when Peter came up to
the Lord and rebuked
Him, and Jesus was telling was telling him about what was ahead for Him
dying on the cross?
And the Lord
to this godly man Peter, and says, “Get thee behind me
You obviously can
that Satan is
not going to come to you through someone who is a distant unrelated
you know how Satan is going to
going to get
somebody who’s an old
comrade of arms to go over to the traitor’s camp, to be a
deserted, to be a
disappointment to you.
that’s close enough
you that you want to throw your hands up and say, “Oh,
And if you are
disoriented in your soul, you
will say, “Oh, boy.” But
you are not
disoriented, you will pity the person who has gone to the rebel camp,
will understand that the person has become wormy in his soul, as hard
may be for you to say.
for the Lord to turn to Peter that he esteems so highly, and say,
are wormy in your soul.
Get thee behind
Satan wants to bring his thinking
into your being.
He wants to bring
emotions into your
He wants to bring
his will into
And the minute
negative toward the Word of God, you have set up the condition and
You will set up
the condition for a
low pressure system.
walk as the other
in the emptiness of their minds.” Why? Because,
verse 18, “… having the
understanding darkened.” You go from
vanity to a condition of darkness, and the word is
This means an
intensive blackout of your soul
from the stuff that has been sucked into it when you went negative
Word of God.
what is it that is darkened?
the understanding,” which
is the word
“noia” is from the word
for mind—“noos,” the thinking part of our
is a preposition meaning
So what this word
that the thinking part of the mind is darkened. You
come to the point where you cannot think through
can’t think straight.
can’t think straight about God. You
can’t feel straight in your emotions
your emotions toward God because all areas of your soul are hit. And
you cannot express yourself through any
facet of a capacity of your soul toward God because there is now upon
You are literally
you’re insensitive to
anything that God has to say to
For this reason,
you can’t love
When you have the
can’t love God.
particular man or particular woman. You
can’t love your friends. You
cannot have the capacity for love when this condition exists in your
So what do you do? You
make a substitute (pseudo) love. And
our churches are full of Christians who
are going around with their mouthful-of-teeth smile, and it’s
Smiles and words.
pretense of one fake personality with the
other fake personality.
incapable of loving.
your soul is calloused, you will
not love and you will
not have happiness.
much you stand up and sing, “Oh, how I live Jesus.” It’ll
destroy all of the other
the facets of your soul, of your spiritual maturity structure. You
will not be able to master the details of
Nor will you be
able to have
a relaxed mental attitude, and you will not be oriented to grace. Why? Because
you’re calloused in your soul, and
you’re sitting in a room of
pitch black darkness.
What direction do
How do you know
stumbling around like
So you make moves
think are in the right direction, and you think you’re
but you see, Satan always comes
looking like you.
bother you when you look
in the mirror and see yourself, and there’s the devil telling
You like yourself
and you think it’s
Or else he comes
close Christian and gets to you that way.
the result of all this:
Vanity is a low
darkens the thinking through part of our mind being alienated from the
Now we are
And the Greek
word is “apallotrioo.” It’s
in the perfect tense which means
estrangement (because it’s perfect tense) happened in the
when you went negative toward doctrine and now it (the condition)
It is something
that is just
It will happen to
you if you go
don’t have to do
more about it.
thing that you
here you are.
are estranged from God your heavenly father. And
that’s horrifying to contemplate. You
started with vanity in your mind that developed
a darkness over your
thinking, over your understanding. That
resulted in an alienation from God your father, and the life which it
the life of God, which is our walk by means of filling with the Holy
the next thing is that the reason
for this is why you’re
in this condition.
Why are you
Because of the
has now developed in you.
This is the
incapacity to learn.
As a matter of
fact, this is a preposition that is used in such a way with the
it means “through.” Through
ignorance that is in you.
Now how did
this ignorance come there?
Well the only
real protection you and I have is Bible doctrine in our soul which we
protection for a young person.
only protection for that young kid you send off to college in reference
and everything else.
And if he is
ignorant in doctrine, he’s in a bad way because
we’re leading up
final stage is … the
blindness of their heart.
Now the word
“blindness” is not really
It should say
“heart” is the
Because of the
The Greek says
The hardening of
The hardening of
Why are you
Because you are
Why are you in
darkness stumbling around in
your soul incapable of having capacity to love? Because
there is a hardening that entered your soul. And
when did the hardening come in?
At the point that
you were resistant to the
Word of God.
here is your soul.
Here is your mind. There
upon it a callous.
Here is your
and there develops a callous.
your will and there develops a callous that grows and grows and grows
And gradually you
sensitive and less sensitive and less sensitive in all phases of your
it comes to expressing yourself. On
one hand toward, and on the other hand toward man because you express
in your soul toward God and toward man.
how are you going to express
anything toward God when
How are you
express anything toward man when you’re insensitive?
subject is love.
the world needs is love, sweet
it’s the thing it knows
because it all starts here in the soul. And
if you don’t understand this, you
don’t understand anything about
how you work.
And until you get
this and until you can read Ephesians 4:17-18 and follow through and
step-by-step what’s happening, you’ll never grasp
we’re not going to go into
the verses which follow which
tell how we express this insensitivity … , giving ourselves
lasciviousness to work all uncleanness with greediness and so on. That’s
The soul begins
with negative volition for
doctrine that you hear and your mind rejects. Negative
volition creates an emptiness in your soul
which acts as a
This vacuum sucks
doctrine and human viewpoint into the facets of your soul.
false concepts cause a blackout upon
your soul so that you become spiritually ignorant and thus you become
from the life which God has for you and you cannot express spiritual
And all this
spiritual ignorance is
because you let callouses develop in the first place.
we’re interested in talking
about the capacity to
On the basis of
let’s take a look at our friends the Jews once more of the
these Jews, as you will recall, is that they had spent one year coming
Egypt and they are wondering in the wilderness. During
that year they had received training from God
to prepare them to
faith rest to go into the land and take it. Now
apparently they had been taught doctrine during
this year by Moses
and taught promises and taught prophecy. And
they had the experience of great needs and
crises such as the need
for water and passing through the Red Sea and so on, that God provided
so they had before their physical eyes the same evidence that doctrine,
promises, and prophecies were confirming for the eyes of their soul. Later
the performance of these people
revealed that most of the congregation had gone negative toward the
Word of God
and had gone negative toward what they had seen, and so they had
condition that we have here of callouses on the facets of their soul.
was the picture of Israel after a
insensitive to God
because the only way your soul can function with God is that you let it
From God, through
that He has put up, inhale doctrine. And
then you let it on the other side exhale doctrine.
that’s a useful way of thinking about it. This
exhale will be toward God and it will be
But you inhale
the Word of
been very interested to
observe how much resistance
there is at the point of how we inhale the Word of God.
talked to a lady this week again. She’s
kind of one of those forceful Christian
In the course of
conversation I had indicated that part of the problems of the very
were talking about in that conversation were due to the fact that
not being taught the Word of God, and that the breakdown is within the
kinds of psychological devices in order to try to get their lives
she said, “Oh, do you mean
that I have to learn from a
pastor-teacher if I’m going to learn anything about the Word
that’s the basic
procedure until you
come to the point where you have enough doctrinal background that you
can go it
alone, and you won’t go too far alone even then.
order is to have a pastor-teacher under
whose instructions you sit and learn. “Oh,”
she said, “you’re
limiting the Word of God.”
I thought now that is about the
most stupid asinine
statement anybody could make.
because I’m a gentleman, I didn’t tell it to her. I
just thought it.
is the very thing I’m talking
It is to enter
into the Word of
God which is forceful and powerful and quick and living.
this inane woman is saying, “You’re
limiting the Word of God,” because I was telling her that she
can’t sit around
with her … other ladies, and sit around and chit-chat with
their miserable no-good bum husbands that they have at home so that
pray for each other.
And have their
little Bible studies with women teaching women, and all the other trite
goes with it.
And she could see
immediately that if she had to be responsive to the direction of an
a church that it was really closing in on her little playhouse life. And
so she was coming up with some sweet
little cliché like “limiting the power of
she didn’t know the first
thing about how the power of God was to be released.
only way the power of God can work
through the Word of God is to know the Word. And
that’s something more than reading on the
says, “Well, do you mean
that somebody can read the
gospel and not be saved?” I
yeah, people can read the gospel out of the Bible and they can be
I said, “I notice that isn’t always the
eunuch, when Phillip asked him,
“Do you understand the
gospel that you just read?” He
“How can I unless somebody explains it to me?”
could see that she hadn’t thought of that. So
you need people explain the gospel to you
yourself straight on how
you’re going to get
you’re not able to sit
church where the Word of God is being taught—and
pretty hard to find a
place where that’s being done. And
mean being done on a doctrinal explanatory basis. There
are plenty of places … that have good
doctrinal statements and that are preaching the Word, but
the smokescreen of your personality away from you so that you can see
you’re not able to sit
there then you’d better get yourself on tapes.
if you’re a college student then
you’d better wake up, that you
can’t go week by week and have the areas of your soul open to
drawing in all
kinds of chaff and sustain yourself as a Christian, you’re
to be the
biggest dummy and dope when it comes to what your university and
campuses have to shell out of anybody imaginable. You
will have no point of orientation and of
being able to evaluate and operate on divine viewpoint.
the people of Israel were just
in this very
Doctrine in our
souls is the
only thing that God uses through which we can understand and love Him. There
were a few like Caleb and Joshua who
did go positive and these were able to love God. Their
souls were sensitive.
and exhaling the Word of
God and so they could respond.
typical Christian of today who talks about loving God has very little
flowing through his being and he doesn’t love God at all. He
has to substitute some fake experience and
expression and he calls that loving God because Satan creates strong
toward any means that may come for you to secure a flow of doctrine
is the picture here of the
He is heavy with
callouses on his soul.
touch with God and he doesn’t
have any capacity to love God or people. And
if we don’t inhale doctrine, we’ll
legalism, our doing instead of
our human viewpoint culture, and the whole bit.
the ten spies came back, you will
remember, and they
soul right here, loaded with callouses. And
so they saw the giants, and because they were
dark in their souls,
how did they respond?
Caleb and Joshua
saw the giants and they said, “Oh, boy, the bigger they are
Caleb and Joshua
fortified cities and said, “Boy, that’s going to be
they going to be
when we come running around a right-end play right smack into the city
saw, they said, “Boy, this is really going to be an exciting
the other dopes, because they were
wondering around in the darkness of their soul that their callousness
created saw the giants and they started crying. They
said, “We can’t take it.” Just
to give you a little clue as to how serious
spiritual things is, Numbers 14:37 tells us that even those men who did
up the evil report upon the land died by the plague before the Lord. These
ten men dropped dead right there in
front of the congregation.
a little later what effect this had on the congregation.
really wowed them because you remember
that these were all number one boys. God
had told Moses to pick the chief, the number one, the prime area leader
Pick the guys
give me any of your
second-rate mediocre men.
So they were
all people who were of capacity personalities. And
there they dropped dead because of the callouses.
was an unbeliever and he went
negative to the
And that day when
finally handed the sop to him and identified and Jesus reached out and
At that moment,
light was still filtering in his soul closed off. And
Judas was dark.
He went out and
He then repented
of what he
He in effect
He took the money
and made restitution.
here’s where we’re going to
story up next week.
you as a Christian, I want to tell
you right now, that
when you make your confession of sin, it doesn’t make any
to what has
Now there is a
make a change, and we’re going to tell you about that next
could make no change, so he went out and he committed suicide. In
that moment, John 13:30 says when he took
that sop, in that moment, Satan moved in. He
had the man under full control.
Then it was the
sin unto death.
There was nothing
further that could be done for him.
you permit a buildup of callouses
on your soul to take
place, it is very difficult, and it takes a lot of time, to remove the
going to tell you next
week how to remove the damage.
John E. Danish, 1971
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