Once the effectual working of Romans 12:3–8 has
fully done its job within us, (with the result that our Father has
successfully taught us to "think soberly" as "sons," and to cherish each
other as the "members one of another" that we are, and to selflessly
function together in our "offices" as a body), then the seedling of godly
love within us has become firmly rooted and established.
But more than this, like an established seedling our
godly love is now full of the potential for growth and development.
And in connection with this we should have a strong desire to have our godly
love start to grow and thereby be able to begin manifesting the further
features of our Father’s love in our lives, together with all of their
characteristic expressions of charity.
For the fact of the matter is this: When the selflessness
of godly love becomes firmly rooted, established, and operational within us,
then by its very nature it also starts to become compelling. That is,
it begins to function within us as a powerful motivating force, especially
in the sense that we now want to express our selflessness in more ways, and
we want to find more and more means of doing so in our lives.
So if our godly selflessness is as strong as Romans
12:3–8 is designed to make it, then we should now have a compelling thirst
for more of our Father’s teaching so that we can learn to love as He does
more and more.
An Important Indicator
Now it is important for us to understand the reality of
this, so that we can use it to give ourselves a sonship checkup. For if we
are wise "sons," then we should want to check to make sure that we have a
fittingly strong and earnest desire for our godly love to grow and develop.
Then on the basis of what we find we should determine whether or not we are
truly ready to go on and are fit to acquire the next feature of our Father’s
Therefore let’s look a little more closely at this
compelling thirst that we should have. For not only should it have
naturally developed within us if we are fully benefiting from the effectual
working of Romans 12:3–8, but as we will soon see we really need to have it
before proceeding on into Romans 12:9 and following.
The Motivating Power of Godly Selflessness
As our Father teaches us to love as He does, He works at
progressively producing within us each feature of His love beginning with
its most elemental and foundational feature all the way on to its most
elaborate. And in connection with this, as each feature is successfully
produced within us we should begin to experience within ourselves the
same kind of inner workings that each feature produces within our Father.
Or in other words, we should begin to have the very same kind of motions and
stirrings of love operating within us as operate within Him.
So when by the effectual working of Romans 12:3–8 our
Father has begun teaching us to love as He does, and He has successfully
established His love’s most elemental component within us — i.e. godly
selflessness — then we too should begin to experience the very same kind of
powerful motions and stirrings within our hearts as are produced within His
heart by His own selflessness.
Now with this being so, the first of the powerful motions
and stirrings that we should experience is the compelling desire to want
to selflessly give of ourselves to others in more ways and by more means.
For this is the very motion that first and foremost operates within our
Father in view of His own selflessness.
In fact with selflessness being the elemental and
foundational component of God’s love, it functions within Him like lifeblood
that has both generative power and vital force to it.
It powerfully works within Him both to beget and to give
functional life to all of the other expressive features of His love, just as
is evidenced by the meaning and outworking of His name "Jehovah" in His
program with Israel.
Or to put this another way, since "God is love" His
selflessness is the source, or fount, from which all of the other features
and characteristics of His love spring forth.
Wherefore our Father’s selflessness is a powerful
motivating force within Him. In a sense, therefore, it pulsates and
throbs within Him. Figuratively speaking it vigorously flows through Him and
motivates Him, as it courses within His veins like lifeblood being pumped
from His heart of love.
The Same Power At Work Within Us
Now as our Father teaches us to love as He does, once He
has established godly selflessness within us then it also should begin to
pulsate and throb within us just as it does within Him. For once He has
succeeded in teaching us to "think soberly" about each other and to cherish
each other, and thereby to selflessly serve one another as the "members one
of another" that we are, our Father has made it so that our heart is a
heart of godly love.
Therefore He has made it so that our heart is able to
beat in harmony with His own heart, and to function like His own heart.
With this being so, if we have fully benefited from the
effectual working of Romans 12:3–8 then figuratively speaking our heart
should now be at work pumping godly selflessness through our veins.
The Initial Effectual Working of Its Power
Now just as by the power and force of His own
selflessness our Father wants to abundantly express His love, (which He does
by means of its other features and by all of His charitable dealings with
His creation), so too does our throbbing godly selflessness want to express
itself. It makes us want to be able to express our fledgling love in more
and more areas of our lives, and to be charitable in more and more ways.
And so as our godly selflessness starts throbbing within
us, and as it moves us and stirs us to seek more ways of expressing it,
it naturally works to motivate us to want to acquire the next feature of our
Father’s love and charity. For this is how we will be able to express
our love in more ways.
Or to put this another way, our throbbing godly
selflessness actually causes us to be dissatisfied with only serving one
another in connection with our "offices" as per Romans 12:3–8. By the
strength of its working within us it starts us thinking that we want to do
more for one another in our dealings with each other. It causes us to want
to be even more profitable and beneficial to one another as we find
ourselves cherishing one another even more as the "members one of another"
that we are.
A Compelling Thirst Indeed
So then if Romans 12:3–8 has fully done its job within
us, the throbbing power of our godly selflessness truly should be compelling
within us. It should have us so excited and eager to go on that we are
‘champing at the bit,’ so to speak, to get the growth and development of our
godly love and charity underway.
But This Is Not All
Now not only should the motivating power of our godly
selflessness naturally be at work within us before we embark on Romans 12:9
and following, but it’s really necessary that this be so.
For God’s selflessness is not only the first feature of
His love, it is also the foundational one. Hence as was noted His
selflessness is the source, or fount, from which all of the other features
and characteristics of His love spring forth.
Thus all of the other features of our Father’s love are
actually more pronounced, or more specific functions of His great
selflessness. And all of His responses of charity are specific expressions
of His great selflessness which He generates and manifests as He interacts
with His creation.
Wherefore as our Father teaches us to love as He does,
the very same thing is designed to take place within us. That is, our own
godly selflessness is likewise designed to function as a fount within us,
from which each of the other features of our Father’s love can be caused to
spring forth as He teaches them to us.
Therefore it is all the more necessary that we are fully
benefiting from the effectual working of Romans 12:3–8 before proceeding on.
For we should readily see that if we only have a small or
weak measure of godly selflessness operating within us, it will only be able
to produce and support an equally small or weak measure of the further
features of our Father’s love and charity.
However if we have an appropriately strong measure of
godly selflessness, then it will be able to produce and support equally
strong measures of each of the other features.
Ready To Go On?
Now for the sake of the aim of this series of articles we
will assume that we are ready to go on. (Nevertheless in accordance with
being God’s "sons," each of us has the sonship responsibility to evaluate
how well we are benefiting from the effectual working of Romans 12:3–8, and
thereby determine whether or not we are ready to go on.)
So then as we continue surveying the beginning of how our
Father teaches us to love as He does, let’s now briefly look at Romans
12:9–10 to see the next feature of His love, and to see how He teaches us to
The Next Feature of our Father’s Love
9 Let love be without dissimulation. Abhor
that which is evil; cleave to that which is good.
10 Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in
honour preferring one another; (Romans 12:9–10)
Now fittingly enough our Father begins by exhorting us to
let our godly love be what it wants to be, and to do this by neither
ignoring nor putting off its desire and need to grow. Hence He has Paul
exhort us saying...
9a Let love be without dissimulation. (Romans
And indeed as we have just seen this is exactly what our
godly love so eagerly wants. It earnestly wants to grow so as not to be in a
state of "dissimulation," or in a state of lacking full simulation and
resemblance to our Father’s love. Instead of being in this state our godly
love wants to start acquiring the further features of our Father’s love so
that it can fully simulate it, and can fully manifest this in our lives.
Wherefore it is only fitting that our Father now exhorts
us not to be inconsistent or hypocritical by merely assenting to our love’s
need to grow, but not doing anything about it. But rather when He says...
9a Let love be without dissimulation. (Romans
...He exhorts us to respond positively and promptly to
our love’s yearning to be "without dissimulation" by doing what is necessary
so that it can start to grow and can produce the next feature of His love.
Now when it comes to us acquiring the next feature of our
Father’s love, (and as the rest of verse 9 goes on to say), the first thing
we need to do is to make a significant adjustment in our thinking regarding
"evil" and "good." For Paul tells us to...
9b Abhor that which is evil; cleave to that which is
good. (Romans 12:9b)
And so in order for us to do this we once again need to
‘renew our minds’ as per Romans 12:2. But this time we need to renew them
regarding "evil" and "good," so that we can learn to think about them and
respond to them in the very same way that God our Father does.
For the fact of the matter is this: If we are to acquire
the next feature of our Father’s love, "evil" and "good" must impact our
minds and hearts in the very way that they impact His. Hence "evil" must
make a strong negative impact upon us, and "good" must make a strong
positive impact upon us.
And this is because the next feature of His love that our
Father is teaching us to acquire is that of lovingkindness. Which as
we are about to see is a feature of our Father’s love because of how
passionately He ‘abhors evil’ and how fervently He ‘embraces good.’
Hence this means that when we as God’s "sons" learn to
passionately ‘abhor that which is evil’ like He does, and learn to fervently
‘cleave to that which is good’ like He does, then this will work in
conjunction with our godly selflessness, (just like it does in our Father),
to effectually generate and produce godly lovingkindness within us.
And once lovingkindness is generated, it will then be
able to start springing forth from our own hearts in our dealings one with
another, just like it does from our Father’s.
Then this in turn will make it so that our behaviour one
towards another will be able to begin to include the characteristic
expressions and displays of lovingkindness, starting with what Paul goes on
to say in Romans 12:10 when he says...
10 Be kindly affectioned one to another with
brotherly love; in honour preferring one another; (Romans 12:10)
So with godly lovingkindness being what our Father now
wants us to acquire, let’s take a closer look at the issue of lovingkindness
For we need to know exactly what it is. Plus we need to
better understand that it will get generated within us when we learn to
"abhor that which is evil" and "cleave to that which is good" just like our
As its compound name indicates, lovingkindness is
a product of love, and in particular growing and strengthening love. But
more to the point it is the issue of kindness that is generated and produced
by love which not only cherishes another, but which also has developed a
strong and compelling reason for wanting to be very kind to the one it
Now this strong and compelling reason to be very kind has
come about because the one doing the loving has learned something which has
profoundly impacted him. Specifically he has come to see both "good" and
"evil" in a different light, so to speak. And this is because he has learned
to look at them through the eyes of love.
For the fact of the matter is this: when "good" and
"evil" are viewed through the eyes of love, they no longer are simply
thought of for what they mean by definition. And no longer are they words
that provoke little or no emotional response.
But rather when "evil" and "good" are viewed through the
eyes of love they are specifically looked upon, (and they are pointedly
thought about), for what they do to those that one loves, and for the
kind of impact and consequences that they have upon them.
So very simply put when one looks upon "evil" through the
eyes of love, and he thinks about it for what it will do to those he loves,
he clearly sees that it is something that will actually hurt and/or harm
Likewise when he looks upon "good" through the eyes of
love, and thinks about what it will do to those he loves, he clearly sees
that it is something that will genuinely help or profit them, and so
actually contribute to their welfare.
Wherefore when "evil" is viewed through the eyes of love
it becomes disgusting, and hence something to be loathed and avoided as one
deals with those he loves.
While on the other hand "good" becomes precious and
delightful when viewed through the eyes of love. Hence it becomes something
that one fervently desires to express to his loved ones.
Accordingly therefore it is easy to see why
lovingkindness can be described as a quality of growing or increasing
love involving a strong and compelling disposition to do good to one’s
beloved, while at the same time eschewing evil; which therefore makes one
delight in being helpful, profitable, and beneficial to the one that he
Now this is indeed what lovingkind-ness is, and is just
what we need to understand about it. To underscore this, a couple of
descriptive examples from our Father’s own lovingkindness will help us to
understand and appreciate this all the more.
Our Father’s Own Lovingkindness
The prophetic 36th Psalm is a Psalm that extols the
virtues of the LORD’s lovingkindness which the remnant of Israel will
experience during the final installment in Israel’s program. As it does this
it takes the various expressions of God’s lovingkindness and pointedly sets
them in contrast to the way that the "wicked" will treat the remnant in that
Hence regarding the "wicked" the remnant will say...
1 The transgression of the wicked saith within my
heart, that there is no fear of God before his eyes.
2 For he flattereth himself in his own eyes, until
his iniquity be found to be hateful.
3 The words of his mouth are iniquity and
deceit: he hath left off to be wise, and to do good.
4 He deviseth mischief upon his bed; he setteth
himself in a way that is not good; he abhorreth not evil. (Psalm
As the Psalm says, the "wicked" will engage in much
ungodliness, including that which will come from ‘leaving off to be wise,
and to do good,’ as well as from being one who "abhorreth not evil."
But as the Psalm goes on to relate, the LORD stands in
stark contrast to this. For He will treat His remnant with "lovingkindness."
And He will treat them with "lovingkindness" because He has not ‘left off to
do good,’ but rather He fervently delights in doing good. Likewise instead
of being like the "wicked" who "abhorreth not evil," the LORD does abhor it
and so will passionately eschew it.
Hence in that day the remnant will praise the LORD for
His lovingkindness by saying...
7 How excellent is thy lovingkindness, O God!
therefore the children of men put their trust under the shadow of thy
wings. (Psalm 36:7)
Now much the same things about God’s lovingkindness can
also be seen later on in Psalm 107. For it is a Psalm that instructs on the
issue of how God delights in doing good and being profitable, even doting
upon being so, all because of His lovingkindness.
Wherefore the Psalm sets forth a series of specific ways
in which God out of His lovingkindness shows that He is profoundly and
abundantly good. And each example ends with the Psalmist saying...
Oh that men would praise the LORD for
his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men!
But then after completing the series of testimonies to
the issue of how profoundly and purposefully good God is, the Psalmist
concludes his instruction on the issue of God’s lovingkind-ness by saying...
43 Whoso is wise, and will observe these
things, even they shall understand the lovingkindness of the LORD.
In fact in just about every place where God’s
lovingkindness or His lovingkindnesses are spoken about, there is
information in either the immediate or near context which testifies to the
fact that God’s disdain for evil and His delight in doing good is what is
behind His lovingkindnesses.
Therefore the testimonies of our Father’s own
lovingkindness clearly show (1) how that lovingkindness indeed is the
strong and compelling disposition to do good to one’s beloved while at the
same time eschewing evil; which therefore makes one delight in being
helpful, profitable, and beneficial to the one that he loves; and (2)
how that lovingkindness is generated and produced when one who selflessly
loves others looks upon "evil" and "good" through the eyes of his love for
Acquiring Godly Lovingkindness
So then when it comes to us acquiring godly
lovingkindness, we need to renew our minds regarding "evil" and "good" so
that we look upon them just like our Father does. For as Paul says in Romans
12:9b we need to...
9b Abhor that which is evil; cleave to that which is
good. (Romans 12:9b)
Therefore since the effectual working of Romans 12:3–8
has given us ‘eyes of godly selfless love’ through which we should already
be looking upon each other, we now need to use them to look at "evil" and
"good," and in doing so pointedly think about just how it is that "evil" and
"good" materially affect our loved ones.
And as we purposefully engage in such sonship thinking,
(and also as we naturally commune with our Father about this in sonship
prayer), this will effectually work within us to cause us to develop a
genuine godly disdain for "evil."
For when we come to view "evil" through the eyes of our
godly love for one another, it will become disgusting to us, just like it is
to our Father. We therefore will come to "abhor" it and accordingly will
want nothing to do with it, because our godly love for one another will
cause us to be repulsed by it.
Likewise when we view "good" through the eyes of our
godly love for one another, we will come to treasure it as the very thing,
(and as the only thing), that we want to give to each other at all times.
Hence like our Father we too will start to genuinely
"cleave to that which is good," not wanting to do any thing but "that which
is good" in our dealings with one another.
Our Godly Lovingkindness in Action
Now once the renewing of our minds regarding "evil" and
"good" has us ‘abhorring that which is evil’ in our dealings one with
another and ‘cleaving to that which is good,’ the corresponding expressions
and manifestations of godly lovingkindness are able to begin to spring forth
from our hearts.
Wherefore as ones who now ‘cleave to that which is good,’
(and so have begun to dote upon being helpful, profitable, and beneficial to
one another as "the members one of another" that we are), our godly
lovingkindness should have us starting to become emotionally and
passionately concerned for each other’s sonship welfare.
Hence we should begin to have just as much care and
concern for each other’s "godly edifying" as we have for our own.
With this being so, and since we are collectively "sons"
of our Father, we should have the strong desire to start drawing closer to
each other so that we can be the kind of help, profit, and benefit to one
another that we want to be.
In accordance with this Paul goes on in Romans 12:10 and
exhorts us saying...
10a Be kindly affectioned one to another in
brotherly love; (Romans 12:10a)
And indeed this is now exactly what we should be doing.
For since out of godly lovingkind-ness we are now doting
upon being helpful to one another; and also since each of us is a "son" of
our Father, which means that we are brothers in our sonship; we should now
love each other as brothers. That is, we should love each other as
ones who are mutually interested in each other’s sonship life, and who
mutually care about each other’s sonship welfare.
Hence by being "kindly affectioned one to another in
brotherly love" we purposefully draw closer to one another for the express
purpose of sharing our sonship lives. For this is what the "brotherly love"
of "sons" entails.
Therefore with brotherly affection we should want to
spend more and more time together in the fellowship of our mutual sonship
education and living, because of our sincere desire to be helpful and
profitable to each other when it comes to supporting and advancing each
other’s sonship education and life.
Indeed such should be the case with us as the effectual
working of Romans 12:9 causes godly lovingkindness to start springing forth
from our hearts, and we ‘being kindly affectioned one to another in
brotherly love’ put into practice our earnest desire to contribute to each
other’s sonship life and welfare.
Even More Lovingkindness
Moreover as Paul goes on to say in the rest of Romans
12:10, out of our lovingkindness we also should be...
10b ...; in honour preferring one another; (Romans
For when out of godly lovingkindness we put into practice
our desire to share in and profitably contribute to each other’s sonship
life, our godly selfless love for each other should make it so that we
actually start to take more pleasure in seeing others make progress in their
sonship education and living than we do in ourselves.
Hence as we fellowship with others in their sonship
education and living, and in doing so we are mutually honoured with
opportunities to participate in operations of our Father’s business, then
out of our godly selflessness and lovingkindness we should prefer to have
the honour go first to another rather than ourselves.
Successfully Established in Godly Love and
Now when both Romans 12:3–8 and verses 9–10 have done
their jobs within us, (and thereby both godly selflessness and
lovingkindness have been successfully produced within us), then we need to
understand and appreciate that our Father has succeeded in accomplishing the
first stage in the process of teaching us to love as He does.
For by first producing godly selflessness within us
together with its basic charitable expressions, our Father has established
the fundamental and foundational feature of His love and charity in us. But
then by making it so that godly lovingkindness and its basic charitable
expressions successfully spring forth from our godly selflessness, He has
succeeded in ‘starting the fount,’ so to speak, from which all of the other
features of His love and charity will be able to come forth.
The Further Features of Our Father’s Love
Now with this being so, as our Father’s teaching proceeds
on He has Paul set forth information whereby the further features of His
love and charity can begin to be produced within us. And so as the doctrine
in Romans 12:11ff testifies, God provides for us to acquire such features of
His love as merciful tenderheartedness, and gentleness and meekness, to name
just a few.
In fact throughout the remainder of Romans our Father
teaches us to acquire and put into operation all of the main features of His
love and charity.
But what’s more, when through the effectual working of
His teaching each of the main features of His love gets successfully
generated within us, our Father then sees to it that they also become
fully operational. For throughout the balance of the first level of our
sonship education He works to see to it that we are able to fully
exercise and fully develop each feature of His love, so that each one
of them is able to become well established within us and also well
manifested by us.
For this reason as we continue to proceed on in the
curriculum for our sonship education, (and so deal with the teaching and
edification that is set forth in I Corinthians, II Corinthians, and
Galatians), we receive from our Father a number of fitting and very
practical instructions, injunctions, exhortations, and the like regarding
walking in love. By these He not only exhorts us to walk in love one toward
another, but He also has designed them to make it so that we appropriately
exercise and sufficiently develop each feature of our godly love and
Then as we heed them, like Paul says in I Corinthians 14
we will be able to...
1 Follow after charity,... (I Corinthians 14:1a)
And as we "follow after charity" each its characteristics
will be able to properly develop within us, which in turn will enable us to
fulfill the exhortation...
14 Let all your things be done in charity. (I
Now it is only when each feature of godly love is
properly developed within us, (and we are also well established and
experienced in exercising them in the details of living our sonship lives),
that our godly love and charity will be in the position to "increase" and
"abound." Or in other words, it will be in the position to fully mature
In fact when our godly love is fit to "increase" and
"abound," then as is set forth especially in Ephesians, Philippians, and
Colossians, our Father provides for the mature and the extraordinary
functions of His love and charity to develop and become operational within
For example in this particular portion of our sonship
curriculum our Father provides for us to be able to operate upon "the love
of Christ, which passeth knowledge," like Paul speaks about in Ephesians 3.
Also beginning in Ephesians our Father not only provides
for our brotherly love for one another to increase and intensify, but by
what He teaches us He enables us to become so closely "compacted" and "knit
together in love" that we are able to collectively produce one of the body
of Christ’s most mature and extraordinary functions, i.e. "the edifying of
itself in love."
Moreover as Paul describes in Philippians 1, our Father
also makes the provision for our love to "abound yet more and more in
knowledge and in all judgment" with the result that we will acquire
the mature godly capacity and ability to "approve things that are
These are but a few of the mature functions and
exceptional operations belonging to our godly love and charity when our
Father works to make it "increase" and "abound."
The Main Focus in This Study
Though our Father works at teaching us to love as He does
in all its fulness, and He does this throughout the entire scope of our
sonship education, the simple aim of this three-part expansion study has
been to focus upon how He begins the whole process. For our desire has been
to supply a bit more information whereby each of us can intelligently answer
the question, Are you being "taught of God to love one another"?
As such our primary objectives have been (1) to make sure
that you have a basic understanding and appreciation for how our Father gets
this process underway beginning in Romans 12:3ff; and (2) to briefly amplify
upon how through the effectual working of Romans 12:3–8, and then 9–10, our
Father generates the foundational features of godly selflessness and godly
lovingkindness within us and makes them operational in our dealings with
each other; and then (3) by doing these things urge you to judge whether or
not the foundational issues of godly selflessness, lovingkindness, and
brotherly love are sufficiently established and operational within you, so
that like the Thessalonians it can be said of you:
9 But as touching brotherly love ye need not that I
write unto you: for ye yourselves are taught of God to love one another.
(I Thessalonians 4:9)
This once again is our desire. But also in accordance
with our Father’s desire to teach us to love as He does in all its fulness,
we hope for the following as well:
12 And the Lord make you to increase and abound in
love one toward another, and toward all men, even as we do
13 To the end he may stablish your hearts unblameable in holiness
before God, even our Father, at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ with
all his saints. (I Thessalonians 3:12–13)