Rev. Thomas Tyree, Jr., Pastor, Grace Bible Church of Costa Mesa, California

Copyright 1995-2014 Rev. Thomas Tyree, Jr., All Rights Reserved


It is interesting to find in our day that modern euphemisms completely distort very wonderful words. For example, it used to be that if a person had a bright outlook on life and was generally up and happy, he or she was referred to as being "gay." Gay also used to be a somewhat popular first name for girls. Today, however, this wonderful word has been used to describe those who adhere to the degenerate sin and evil lifestyle of homosexuality. Also, the phrase "free love" has also been used to cover a wide variety of sexual sins. In contrast to these current distortions, the Biblical concept of love that comes from our spiritual freedom is a wonderful and necessary thing. It is unconditional and in accordance with our own strength of character based on Bible doctrine resident in our souls. This type of free love (impersonal or unconditional) and pure love (virtue or strength of character) is the basis of our peace, unity, acceptance, and forgiveness of fellow Christians.

God’s Unconditional Virtue Love

We must remember that God loves mankind unconditionally as indicated by John 3:16. From this divine unconditional love, God has created human unconditional love. This impersonal love is the result of Christians being Spirit-filled. The Greek nouns AGAPE and PHILOS refer both to our personal love relationship with God which produces Biblical self-respect and our unconditional love relationship with other Christians which produces spiritual autonomy. The Greek noun AGAPE is also used in reference to unconditional love for other Christians as a manifestation of the filling of the Holy Spirit.

"For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. (John 3:16)

The following points summarize how God’s unconditional love is developed in the maturing believer from metabolization and application of the Word of God.

The Spirit-filled Christian (under the control of the Holy Spirit) produces the fruit of the Spirit per Galatians 5:22-23. We must remember that the filling of the Holy Spirit can never be earned or deserved. It is always received following salvation on the grace basis of confession-repentance. Confession is simply naming all of our known sins to the Father and repentance is the change of mental attitude which accompanies genuine confession. This is not promising God that you will not commit the sin again, but is a change of mental attitude in not wanting to commit the sin again. Since unconditional love is produced by the filling of the Spirit, it is divine love, in the sense that divine unconditional love is the basis for the creation of human unconditional love. This unconditional "agape love" is the greatest and the most important of the fruit of the Spirit!

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. (Galatians 5:22-23)

Agape love or unconditional love from the filling of the Spirit is a mental attitude love that is free from arrogance, jealousy, hatred, envy, implacability, bitterness, self-pity, and all the other sins of the mind. This bona fide positive mental attitude stems from the filling of the Holy Spirit. Virtue love causes the mature believer to become spiritually self-sustained.

It is God's will for Christians to remain filled wish the Holy Spirit as seen in Ephesians 5:18. Remember, the means of becoming Spirit-filled is the utilization of confession-repentance whenever necessary, plus our regular consistent intake and obedience to Truth.

Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit. (Ephesians 5:18)

And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us. (Romans 5:5)

It is God's will for Christians to love one another with unconditional virtue love based on 1 John 4:11. This mental attitude love of AGAPE depends upon the strength of character of the subject and not the attractiveness of the object. This virtue love results from the believer being filled with and walking in the Spirit.

Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. (1 John 4:11)

This unconditional virtue love is from the source of God based on 1 John 4:10-11 and Romans 5:5. These passages stress divine unconditional love as the basis for human unconditional love. Unconditional love from the filling of the Holy Spirit cannot be produced by the unbeliever or the Christian out of fellowship.

This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. (1 John 4:10-11)

And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us. (Romans 5:5)

As Christians, we are commanded in the Word of God to love one another with unconditional love. Nowhere in the Bible does it state that we must form and maintain personal love relationships with all Christians. Nowhere in the Bible does it state that we must understand them, approve of the way they look or dress, or what they think, or where they go, or what they say. This is their business. Unconditional love from the filling of the Spirit results in a relaxed mental attitude toward everyone in our periphery. There may be compatibility and rapport in the soul as far as friendship love or romantic love is concerned, but this is not necessarily unconditional virtue love. For friendship and romance to be strong and lasting, they must be based on the virtue of unconditional love.

Right relationships between Christians must be based upon a right relationship with God through His word. The great hindrance to a personal love relationship with God, resulting in unconditional love toward the brethren, is the existence of false doctrine and ignorance of God's Truth in the Bible. This ignorance of divine truth is the reason why so many Christians today are involved in systems of false spirituality such as legalism and the emotionalism of the "Tongues" movement.

Since unconditional virtue love is a mental attitude, false doctrine in the soul distorts, ignores, and rejects the principle of unconditional love from the filling of the Spirit and the means of producing the filling of the Holy Spirit. This is seen in 1 John 1:9.

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. (1 John 1:9)

The dynamics of love are evident in the virtue love of one Christian for another which glorifies God - not man. This love is made mature through the filling of the Holy Spirit as seen in 1 John 4:17.

Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. (1 John 4:7)

When you are filled with the Spirit and possess the operational virtue of impersonal love, your influence for Christ changes, but not your personality. The unconditional virtue love of the mature believer enables him to become spiritually self-sustained. Becoming spiritually self-sustained is simply all of the characteristics of Biblical self-respect amplified.

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