Christian Mind and Heart

 

Christian Mind and Heart
(That brings Eternal Life)



The mind is the portion of the brain that reasons on facts to come to logical conclusions.  
The heart is the portion of the brain that senses and expresses the emotions of what it appreciates.  


The conscience, if it exists, is in the mind as the moral guiding principles of right and wrong.
The will expresses the mind alone, or the heart with the mind's assent, directing action..
The mind must lead, or assent to the sentiments of the heart, for the body to carry out the deeds.


In the earthly man the heart leads in seeking its desires, and the mind submits, providing rational.
In the spiritual man the mind leads, and the heart follows in appreciation.


We see the path of the worldly man and the path of the spiritual man are exactly opposite of each other.  This is also identified in the word of God.


1 Jn 2:15 - 17,  15  Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.  (16)  For all that is in the world; the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life; is not of the Father but is of the world.  (17)  And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever.
We are not to love the world, nor the things of the world.  Love lies in the heart of man.  For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh (all that we want to satisfy all our fleshly cravings), the lust of the eye (all that we want as our possessions just to have them), and the pride of life (all that we want of recognition, power, position, riches, influence, and all that puts us above as many of our fellow men as possible, all these also lie as desires in the heart of man, not in his mind.  These also define the three major categories of all sin.  And amazingly they define the first sin that entered the world.


Gen 3:6,  "So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree desirable to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate."
When the woman saw that the tree was "good for food" (the lust of the flesh), and that it was "pleasant to the eyes" (the lust of the eyes), and when she saw that it could "make one wise", (the pride of life), she "took of its fruit and ate", and so sin entered in all three categories.  And all these were sins from the heart.  Her mind rationalized the great benefit of this, and so submitted to the heart, rather than insisting on going to Adam, her appointed head, to get the proper understanding.  And Adam, seeing Eve had already sinned, and presuming there was no rectification possible, joined her knowingly in the sin rather than live without her, and so sin entered the whole world.


And not too long after that sin was very broad in the world, as we read in
Gen 6:5  Then the LORD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.
The sin had become great wickedness to the point that every intent of the thoughts of man's heart were only evil continually.  Again we see that all this sin was the express desire of the heart.  The mind of man was evidently again submitting to the desires of the heart.  While that society ended in a flood in which only eight were saved, evil increased again as man expanded on the earth.  


But also in God's due time, Jesus came upon the earth and introduced a new way of life, a more spiritual way as God had originally designed for mankind.  And this way is the reverse of what man had come to learn in letting the heart lead the mind.  Jesus was tempted by Satan the same three ways as was Eve (Mt 4:1-11), in being tempted to turn bread into stones (lust of the flesh); tempted to rule Satan's kingdoms of the world (lust of the eye); tempted to show his high position by jumping from the temple to be protected by the angels (pride of life).  But in all these things, Jesus overcame, choosing to exercise His mind in quoting scripture back to Satan, rather than consider the leadings of Statan's temptations to His heart..  


As Jesus showed us, the mind should lead and the heart follow.   This is also in scripture for us.


Ro 12: 2  And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.
We are not to be conformed to the world in the sense of being obedient to it in mind, or appreciative of it in heart.  We are rather to be transformed (Greek - 'metamorphosis': as the changing of a caterpillar to a butterfly; a most dramatic and extensive change from one life form to another; from bound to the earth to free in the skies; from human mind and heart to spiritual mind and heart).  We are to accomplish this by the renewing of our mind.  This means we must challenge all the knowledge, understanding, and wisdom we have, and replace it with the certain knowledge, understanding, and wisdom of God.  We must retune the very liberal human conscience to the very finely discerning conscience of the New Man with the mind of Christ.  And we must bring the lusts and pride of life in the heart and the body under the control of this new mind, so that the whole body, mind, heart, soul, and strength, are serving God only, and the heart is expressing the appreciation of this.  We find that this process brings us through developed and applied faith to find that God's will for us is not only good, and not only acceptable, but in time we realize that it is indeed "perfect" for us, and when we achieve that we want nothing else.  We have arrived at perfection and it provides all the contentment which our heart seeks, and complete peace in our lives.  And our heart then expresses its appreciation.


This is confirmed in James in 1:2-4 in which the testing and providence of the Lord in our lives, further develops faith in us, which also introduces us to patience, and with faith growing through patience we come to the point of perfection, where we are complete, entire, and lacking in nothing.  And all this is the work of the mind, followed by the appreciation of the heart.  Both working together to bring us to and keep us in perfect peace!


We see then, that there is a very major difference in how the earthly man pursues his life and the way the spiritual (or new) man pursues his life.  Their method is different.  Their motive is different.  And their goal is different.  Each can reach their goal with their own method, but only one will gain God's approval and eternal life.


Consider how you are living your life, and what goals you are pursuing.  Will your life lead you to a temporary or a permanent goal?  Will your life lead you to eternal life?  We pray it will.  Consider some further scriptures on the mind and the heart of the earthly man and the spiritual man.


Concerning the earthly man:

Human Mind:
Ro l:28  And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a debased mind, to do those things which are not fitting;
Because men would not obey God, God withdrew His understanding from them, and the understanding of man's mind became more and more depraved (Gen 6:5). This led them to listen more to their hearts.


Ro 7: 23 But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members.
The "law in my members" is the lust and pride of life. These war against the understanding and logic of my godly mind and seek to subdue it to the lusts and pride of life.  Without the guidance of the holy spirit, this is exactly what will happen.


Ro 8: 7  Because the carnal mind is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, nor indeed can be.
The carnal mind is the fleshly mind, the mind that follows and supports the desires of the flesh and the eye, and pride.  Such a mind rejects the knowledge, understanding, and wisdom of God, and is filled with submitting to the pleasures the heart anticipates, and it gladly serves the heart.


Human Heart:
Jer 17:
9, 10  "The heart is deceitful above all things, And desperately wicked; Who can know it?
I, the LORD, search the heart, I test the mind, Even to give every man according to his ways, According to the fruit of his doings
.
The heart is deceitful in the sense that it can deceive the mind.  The heart cannot operate the body apart from the mind in which resides the will which controls the actions of the body.  If the heart wants something desperately enough it must convince the mind to support its desires.  If it cannot do this easily, it often resorts to deception by overemphasizing or falsely presenting a reward the flesh will receive.  But God searches the heart for the motives of its desires, and he tests the mind to see if it is seeking and following His truths, and so leading rather than following the heart.  


Mt 12: 34, 35  "Brood of vipers! How can you, being evil, speak good things? For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.  (35)  "A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good things, and an evil man out of the evil treasure brings forth evil things.
The heart is the repository of sentiment, whether it is of appreciation or of hatred.  Whatever fills the heart is what the mouth speaks.  If the heart is full of the appreciation of God, this is what the mouth speaks.  If the heart is full of hatred, or strife, or anger, or jealousy, or envy, this is what the mouth speaks.  The mind also speaks through the mouth, but it can also remain silent.  It need not speak unless there is a cause.  But the heart that is overflowing with good or with evil is hard pressed to not speak out what fills it.


Concerning the spiritual man (the new man):

Mind:
Isa 26:
3  You will keep him in perfect peace, Whose mind is stayed on You, Because he trusts in You.
The mind that stays on the truths of God, and which trusts in God for all understanding and wisdom has also lived these truths and found the beauty of them.  Thus the heart appreciates this, and the man can be in perfect peace because there is no conflict between mind and heart.  Lack of peace is a conflict between mind and heart.  


Mk 12:30, 31  'And you shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.' This is the first commandment.  (31)  "And the second, like it, is this: 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself.' There is no other commandment greater than these."
The highest commandment to love the LORD our God, requires this love be of the mind, the heart, the soul, and the strength.  To love God with all the mind requires that we that we want to know all of God's will so that we can obey it.  To love God with all the heart requires that we appreciate all that He has done for us, and all that we know that He will lead us to.  To love God with all the soul is to obey him with all our being and means, holding nothing back.  To love god with all our strength is to put our full energy into everything He asks of us, giving it our full attention and effort.  (Heb 11:6),  God asks all of us, not just part, and not just part-time.


Ro 14: 5 One person esteems one day above another; another esteems every day alike. Let each be fully convinced in his own mind.
Our knowledge, understanding, and wisdom need be only what we prove to ourselves.  It is something in which each of us has to be fully convinced in our own minds.  It cannot be proven to us by anyone else.  Faith is very personal to each person.  While we may agree with others on many things, we only have it as our own faith through our own proving in scripture and experience.  Only in this way can our faith have integrity in understanding and in application.  Scripture agrees.  
2 Tim 2;15, Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth..   1 Thes 5:21  Test all things; hold fast what is good.  1 Jn 4:1, Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of God.  Ro 14: 22  Do you have faith? Have it to yourself before God. Happy is he who does not condemn himself in what he approves.


Phs 2:3, 5  Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself.  (5)  Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus,
Pride, rooted in selfishness, and lodged in the heart, is the major enemy of the new man, the spiritual man.  It seeks always its own will and way.  And pride always resides in the heart, for its basis is stronger appreciation of self than of anyone else, including God and Christ.  As is usual in sinful humans, the mind may support the heart it its pride, but it does not hold it.  But for a Christian, pride is to not exist at all.  The heart is to have no preeminence in itself, and most especially not in pride, for this is total enmity with God.  Rather the mind is to control,  and we are to have lowliness of mind like Christ, who thought he was in the form of God did not seek to be even equal with Him, but lowered himself to be a human, and when found acceptable as that, he lowered himself even further and submitted to the death of the cross.  This is to be the mind in us; the mind of Christ, so that we submit fully to God, to the life of service he has planned for us, even unto death.  For like Christ, our reward is not in this life in any form, but only after we have successfully lived this life in conformity to God's will, can we find our reward in the future spiritual life.  Any who seek to hold onto this life will loose it, and only those who loose this life for Christ's sake will find their life eternal in heaven with him.  (Mt 10:39).


Titus 1: 15  To the pure all things are pure, but to those who are defiled and unbelieving nothing is pure; but even their mind and conscience are defiled.
Those who live a life submitted to defilement with the world and with not believing the word and commandments of God for themselves, have minds that are themselves defiled, and even the conscience, the moral value gauge of the mind is defiled, so that they can no longer reason clearly.  The mind can no longer lead them to salvation.  It is committed to following the lusts and pride of the heart.   Only the mind that is pure in the knowledge and wisdom of God (James 3:17, 18) can live a life in which all is pure, for such a life is the sole decision of the mind, with the full agreement of the conscience, and with the deep appreciation of the heart.  Only such a life is lead by God's spirit, and is found pleasing to God, and will be kept in faith to eternal life.


Heart:
Psa 19:
14  Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart Be acceptable in Your sight, O LORD, my strength and my Redeemer.   Psa 139: 23  Search me, O God, and know my heart; Try me, and know my anxieties;  (24) And see if there is any wicked way in me, And lead me in the way everlasting.


What beautiful concerns for the one who seeks to please God.  We saw before that the mouth speaks out of the abundance of the heart.  And here the one who loves God asks that He would help that all upon which the heart meditates would be acceptable to God, and if this is always so, then certainly all the words the mouth speaks will also be acceptable to God.  This is not only a concern for outward expression, but for inward purity that no outward expression could ever be wrong.   And it is a concern to find any hidden evils and identify them and root them out from the heart, and to know any hidden concerns and overcome them.  And in the Christian, since the heart follows the mind, a heart that is pure indicates a mind that is also pure, and thus the actions of the person will also be as pure as the meditations of the heart.  This is really a plea that the heart be watched carefully to never be in danger of running ahead of the mind of Christ in us.


Psa 51:10  Create in me a clean heart, O God, And renew a steadfast spirit within me.
This plea is much like the one above, but is an earlier expression in the life of faith.  It knows that the cleanliness is not fully there yet, and the spirit is not yet always stable to keep the heart from falling back to its own ways.  So it pleads for assistance to move always toward the cleanness (purity) of heart, and to have the strength to keep progressing and never fall back.  It is a wise plea, for it recognizes the potential deceitfulness of the heart, and it knows that it needs assistance and strength to overcome all deception.  


Prov 3:5  Trust in the LORD with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding;  (6)  In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths.
This speaks to the heart and to the mind.   We are to trust the Lord with ALL our heart, in its meditations, in its desires, and in its purity, and see that it is fully conformed to God's will.  And we are not to lean on the understanding of our own minds, but to have the mind of Christ that always fully trusted God to lead him in all his words, and doings.  This is the plea to have God direct us every step of our way, acknowledging always His lead and His providence and taking these as the direction in our life on a daily basis, rather than taking our own lead in which we are sure to direct ourselves out of His paths.  How sad it would be to create our own paths and our own providences, rather than accepting His as the daily rule for our lives.  Remember too the peace that comes with following the Lord's leading in all things, as we reviewed above.  "Thou will keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on thee."  These are two great guarantee scriptures of promise for us.  Why would we neglect these and seek our own way.  A true Christian never would!


Prov 4:23: 23  Keep your heart with all diligence, For out of it spring the issues of life.
This is a strong scripture concerning our hearts.  It brings to mind the importance of the heart, for out of it spring the issues of life. While we have shown that the mind must lead the heart, and therefore the mind is to be the primary guiding force in our Christian lives, still the heart plays the important role of confirming the directions of the mind.  For the heart in the true and mature Christian express the appreciation, joy, and thankfulness of the Christian for all it has received from God, including the way in which the mind is leading it.  And it expresses respect, honor, and glory to God for all these things.  If such loving expressions are not forthcoming, then the mind is not directing correctly, or the heart is not in full accord, and the perfecting of the Christian is not complete.  Without this completeness, eternal life will not be gained.  In this sense, the issues of life lie in the heart, for the heart expression is needed to give confirmation of the perfection that is developed throughout in the sanctification process.  Therefore the heart must be "kept" safe, or "guarded" as in some translations, so that it achieves the full expression that it should, and so that it never falls back from this.


Conversely the human heart can never achieve such expression as would be found acceptable to God and glorifying to Him for it only seeks its own pleasure, and so there could be no life available to such.  This would apply equally to a prospective member of the bride now or to any member of mankind in the coming kingdom on earth.


Mt 6:21  "For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
This is a strong principle.  Whatever is of greatest value to us is where our heart is found expressing itself.  The heart is the sentiment of our being and it naturally gravitates to what is of greatest value to us.  In sinful man the high things of God cannot be known by the mind, so the heart leads the mind to follow in lustful and prideful pleasures to create the highest values it can perceive for itself, and those which provide the greatest reward it can imagine, that being to the senses of pleasure, and to the position of power above others, namely lusts and pride.


But for the mind that can know the high things of God, there is another path to be taken.  And the lead in this must be taken by the mind, for only the mind can gain the knowledge, the understanding, and the wisdom, and set the course of the moral compass of the conscience.  With the mind leading, and the heart forced to abandon its earthly pleasures, the heart slowly comes to appreciate the higher values that the mind first understands.  And the heart slowly sees not only the worth of these, but also the higher pleasures of joy, peace, and contentment of these.  And it comes also to appreciate the God who has provided all these and made them available to the mind.  In this way, the heart comes to express the appreciation it has for the way the mind is working out the will of God in the body and the life, and the heart now following, more beautifully expresses these highest appreciations than it ever could express any thing of the earth.  Such earthly things have become like trash by comparison.  And the heart that reaches this high plane, no longer wants to return to any lower place, and is then permanently captivated with the love and appreciation of God, and finally that heart is 'given' to God as in Prov 23:26 "My son, give me your heart, And let your eyes observe my ways", and then the Christian has reached perfection.  The treasure has been found.  The mind is content.  The conscience is content.  The heart is content.  The soul of the Christian is content.  And God is content.  Full peace and perfection exist between the creator and the creature.  Eternal life can begin.


1 Tim 1:5  Now the purpose of the commandment is love from a pure heart, from a good conscience, and from sincere faith,
This scripture brings a new and wonderful connection of four most fundamental aspects of Christian development through sanctification.  They are love (agape; God's perfect will), a pure heart (sentiment of appreciation), a good conscience (the moral compass of the mind, defined by all of God's principles), and faith (the basis of our relationship with God) from which and upon which this path of sanctification progresses.  


Without going into a complete proving, agape love is "the perfect will of God for everyone".  It is God's desire that all men would be sanctified; made holy or perfect;  (1 Thes 4:3).  God Himself IS agape (1 Jn 4:8, 16).  In 1 Jn 5:3 we read, "For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments."  And in Jn 14:21, 23, 24, Jesus says, "He who has My commandments and keeps them, it is he who loves Me. And he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and manifest Myself to him."  (23)  Jesus answered and said to him, "If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him.  (24)  "He who does not love Me does not keep My words; and the word which you hear is not Mine but the Father's who sent Me."


All these words 'love' are from agape.  This as we all know is also the highest commandment we are given.  We must love God.  We must love those in the world.  We must love our brethren.  We must love our enemies.  The original verb in all these commandments is the Greek word 'agapao' meaning that we must DO the perfect will of the father for everyone.  While all other types of love reside in the heart, whether of the spiritual or the earthly type, agape love alone resides in the mind.  For it is a  need of the intellect to understand what agape asks of us, and it is a decision of the will to carry out the doing of God's perfect will in our own lives, and towards others.  This is a love for the perfect righteousness that is God's will, and it is factual, not sentimental.  But its possession results in a joy, pleasure, and peace such as no other love can give.  It is the highest of all loves.


In our text scripture of 1 Tim 1:5, this 'agape love' of doing the Father's perfect will, must come from a 'pure heart', that is a pure appreciation of what the love will accomplish for the others.  It must come also from a 'good conscience', the moral compass of the mind which identifies the principles God uses to bring His perfect will to everyone.  And it must come from a 'sincere faith'.  


Faith is all God brings us to know of Himself, His Son, His plan for mankind, and our part in it, including the character changes that must occur within us and in our lives.  We must have all this, and then fully live it as the focus our lives to be sincere and faithful in what God has revealed to us, and to which He holds us responsible.  


But note, the scripture refers to the "purpose" of the commandment.  From this we understand that while the commandment is to agape love; the purpose of the commandment is that these four traits be developed in us.  The agape love, the pure heart, the good conscience, and the sincere faith must be worked out in us even as each of them develops their own fruitage in us.  We see that these are inter-dependent in that they only work perfectly in unison with each other, and all to the bringing of God's perfect will in us, and in our ability to bring it to others.  This agape love will only be real, complete, and perfected when it comes from a pure heart, a good conscience, and a sincere faith.  Without them, the love itself cannot be perfect.


As we seek to more and more perfectly obey this commandment we develop these other traits also.  When we realize the inter-relationship between them, we can work the more clearly and diligently to bring our lives into conformity with these so they can be the more quickly developed in us.  How wonderful it is when the Father reveals these deeper truths to us, so that we can more quickly and more sincerely serve Him.


Heb 4:12  For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.
The word of God is of course the inspired word that we have in the bible.  It is this that will divide our soul from our spirit, and our joints from the marrow.  The soul is our entire being, and the spirit is what motivates us in our lives.  We used to be under the spirit of the world or the flesh.  But now we are to be under God's holy spirit.  And this spirit should direct the use of our being, separating it from what formerly motivated us.


Our joints, symbolically, are what give us flexibility in our support system.  This support system is our faith, and the joints what give us flexibility to apply ourselves to our given tasks.   Whereas the old faith structure, whether of the "law" or of the world or flesh, appeared inflexible, and written in specific requirements and unable to accomplish any good, this new faith we follow is written in the spirit of God's principles, and thus gives us a motive and a goal, but not any specific formula for accomplishment.   It is left to be flexible to best fit the need of the circumstances.  The marrow in the bone is what produces the 'blood' that gives life to our being, including our support structure.  This is as the spirit of God which gives us understanding, not only of the many technical details of faith that provide the framework of our being (the bones), but also gives us direction in applying this faith in the most profitable way to ourselves and to others, through the joint system that permits our physical action in the world..  


It is also by this word that we are to find the way to identify the thoughts and intents of our own heart.  God can read the thoughts and intentions of our heart at any time.  But we have more difficulty with this ourselves, though we need to see ourselves as He does so that we will not be deceived.  This in fact is "godliness"..  This scripture gives us confidence that we can come to the point where we will be able to read these things in ourselves, and from this understanding then be able to bring ourselves more into conformity to the will and purposes of God.


So the source of all our direction is to be the word of God, revealed to us by his holy spirit, and applied to all the providences with which He brings us into contact.  These providences challenge our understanding of what to do.  The answers are found in the word in the principles of righteousness.  Then the method of application of the solution is also provided in scripture in the principles of teaching the mind and heart how to approach others to cause them to want to hear and draw closer to God.  As Paul said, "I have become all things to all men, that I might by all means save some."  (1 Cor 9:22).  So we too are to do.


We pray we have stated enough of the scriptures to give a clear understanding of how the Christian must grow and develop in mind, including conscience and will in order to control his life, his body, his heart, and live as God intends him to live to reach His perfect will.  With this the heart too will learn and express appreciation to God.


General admonishment scriptures
Here are some additional scriptures that point out some of the characteristics and attitudes that will be in the Christian's life as a result of the mind being in control.  All these ask obedience.  It is up to the mind to agree and have the will obey.  These are given without comment, as all can see how the mind must be involved in pursuing these admonishments and bringing them to fruition in our lives so the heart can rejoice at their appreciation.


Mat 6:31-34 "Therefore do not worry, saying, 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?'  (32)  "For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things.  (33)  "But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.  (34)  "Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.  


2 Tim 2:15 , Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.


1 Thes 5:21,   Test all things; hold fast what is good.


Ro 6: 13  And do not present your members as instruments of unrighteousness to sin, but present yourselves to God as being alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God.


Col 3:12-17,  Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering;  (13)  bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do.  (14)  But above all these things put on love, which is the bond of perfection.  (15)  And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to which also you were called in one body; and be thankful.  (16)  Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.  (17)  And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.


2 Cor 13: 5  Examine yourselves as to whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Do you not know yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?;


1 Cor 9:26, 27, Therefore I run thus: not with uncertainty. Thus I fight: not as one who beats the air.  (27)  But I discipline my body and bring it into subjection, lest, when I have preached to others, I myself should become disqualified.


Phs 3:13, 14,  Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead,
(14)  I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.


Jn 13:34, 35, "A new commandment I give to you, that you love (agapao) one another; as I have loved (agapao)  you, that you also love (agapao) one another.  (35)  "By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love(agape) for one another."


James 5:19, 20, Brethren, if anyone among you wanders from the truth, and someone turns him back,  (20)  let him know that he who turns a sinner from the error of his way will save a soul from death and cover a multitude of sins.


Heb 10:24,  And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works,


2 Tim 2:24-26, And a servant of the Lord must not quarrel but be gentle to all, able to teach, patient,  (25)  in humility correcting those who are in opposition, if God perhaps will grant them repentance, so that they may know the truth,  (26)  and that they may come to their senses and escape the snare of the devil, having been taken captive by him to do his will.


Gal 6:10, Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all, especially to those who are of the household of faith.


Mt 5:44, 48  But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you,  (48)  "Therefore you shall be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect.


Phs 1: 9-11,   And this I pray, that your love may abound still more and more in knowledge and all discernment,  (10)  that you may approve the things that are excellent, that you may be sincere and without offense till the day of Christ,  (11)  being filled with the fruits of righteousness which are by Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God.


Phs 4:8  Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy; meditate on these things.


Summary.
We have entered a race to be Christ's bride.  We can no longer think or live as does the world.  We must no longer be led by the earthly heart, but by the spiritual mind, directed by God's holy spirit, and work out His agape love in us; His perfect will for us and for all mankind.  We must bring our mind and body under His control.  We must perfect our conscience.  We must accept and fulfill all providences which He permits in our life.  We must be sincerely and diligently faithful in all things.  We must want this life to be in us for it to happen, and we must prosecute it diligently to achieve it.  Only then can the heart learn to rejoice in what has been God's good, acceptable, and perfect will worked out in us, His agape love.  And only then can we have access to the eternal life promised to us.  May God be with us all in this endeavor, to His own glory and praise forever.

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