3.3.2 The object of Christian love in the light of the New Covenant (A)
At the end of the last section the question was asked concerning why Paul speaks so rarely about our love (agapê) for God. The most common answer to this question is that:
However, John speaks frequently of man’s love for Christ, and for the Father but is just as insistent on man’s relationship of receptivity.
So Paul is no as concerned about the object of agapê as about its source. It’s value is independent of its object. “This is because at the well-spring of all christian love man is immediately united with God.”p.143
Genuine, authentic, Christian love for one’s neighbour that is totally selfless is only possible when God is in posession of the person and the person is wholly surrendered to God.
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Paul’s primary concern is not so much that the Christian loves his neighbour, or loves God, but that the Christian “loves (and must love) with a heart that God’s own love has transformed.”p.144
This differs immensely from a contemporary attitude that a love for the needy and destitute is of more value because of the object of the love. Paul never urges the churches to start community aid programs in the cities, although no doubt he would see this as a good and Christian enterprise.p.144
Updated 2009-10-20 (build:62) by Andrew Fountain