3.3.1 The object of Christian love
Whom does the Christian love? Paul always assumes that the love that the Spirit produces within Christians will have God as one of its objects. “Moreover, for Paul the primary effect of the New Covenant gift of the Spirit and the highest expression of the new relationship which Christians have with God is precisely their sonship, seen by Paul as a participation in the intimate reciprocal relationship of the the Father and the Son (cf. Gal 4:6), which can only be a relationship of mutual love.”p.137
Paul also has “an immense personal love for Christ (cf. eg. Phil 1:23 [having a desire to depart and to be with Christ]), and that all Christians as such have an intimate and affectionate love for their Lord…”p.137
This dedication to God is the fundamental orientation of the Christian’s being, (cf. 2 Cor 5:15 “that those who live might no longer live for themselves but for him who for their sake died and was raised”). However, this is not different to what was required of a Jew in Deut 6:5, to “love the Lord your God with all your heart…”p.138
However, we have to ask if Paul did actually use the term agapê as directed either towards Christ or the Father?
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The above discussion leads to two conclusions:
Updated 2009-10-20 (build:62) by Andrew Fountain