2.2.5 Brotherly love and consecration in the new People of God
There is no mention of agapê in Rom 12:1, but it is presupposed as the activity in which the Christian’s faith unfolds (cf. Gal 5:6). Now for Paul, this activity finds wholly adequate expression in brotherly love (cf. Gal 5:13, 6:2).p.101
There is explicit evidence for this in 1 Thess 3:12f: “and may the Lord make you increase and abound in love for one another and for all, as we do for you, so that he may establish your hearts blameless in holiness before our God and Father, at the coming of our Lord Jesus with all his saints.”
God’s ultimate purpose in electing the Thessalonians is to bring them to perfect holiness.
But what consitutes this condition is nothe other than the fulness of brotherly love. Here we wee very clearly the extent to which the notions of the consecration and holiness of the People have been transformed. The Israelite ideal of holiness, ‘holy—holy, hallowed, separate from the peoples of the world and their detestable things, has now been replaced by the christian ideal: ‘holy—perfect in love towards each other and towards everyone’.p.102
From all this we conclude that love is the total formal content of the demand that is addressed to the members of the new holy People as such. …the imperative that is laid upon the People of the New Covenant is grounded in the gift that is bestowed in the New Covenant itself—that is, in the activity of the Spirit, which has become the consecrating, energising power in the hearts of believers.… Agapê, as gift and demand, indicative and imperative, constitutes the holy People of the New Covenant…p.103
Updated 2009-10-20 (build:62) by Andrew Fountain