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You must be in fellowship prior to your Bible study, so that the spiritual information you receive can become a source, of blessing to your soul and produce spiritual growth.

1 John 4:16-17

16 And [kai] we [hemeis] have known [ginosko] and [kai] believed [pisteuo] the love [agape] that [hos] God [theos] hath [echo] to [en] us [hemin]. God [theos] is [esti] love [agape]; and [kai] he that dwelleth [meno] in [en] love [agape] dwelleth [meno] in [en] God [theos], and [kai] God [theos] in [en] him [autos].
17 Herein [en] [touto] is our [meta] [hemon] love [agape] made perfect [teleioo], that [hina] we may have [echo] boldness [parrhesia] in [en] the day [hemera] of judgment [krisis]: because [hoti] as [kathos] he [ekeinos] is [esti], so [kai] are [esmen] we [hemeis] in [en] this [touto] world [kosmos]. KJV-Interlinear

16 And we have come to know and have believed the love which God has for us. God is love, and the one who abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him. 17 By this, love is perfected with us, that we may have confidence in the day of judgment; because as He is, so also are we in this world. NASB

There is no such final judgment for a believer as there is for the unbeliever, John 5:24. But a believer's life, will be assessed, at the Judgment Seat of Christ, 1 Cor. 3:12-15, 2 Cor. 5:10.

Love here as John is teaching it, is the full and complete instruction of the Word of God. We also call this simply Bible doctrine. You learn this love by means of the eleven spirits described in Isa. 11, and in Rev. 1. We have studied the mechanics of the spiritual life in detail in these passages.

Having love in ones life is not the emotional hugging and kissing that you probably are thinking of. Back in the 60's the popular belief was in love or free love. That became a convenient excuse for 'free' love or sex in other words. This free sex came without commitment, without responsibility, without obligation, without any integrity of any kind. It was simply the popular view of lust fulfilled.

God does not teach this and never has. God is love. God is integrity, truth, honor, responsibility and much, much more.

Only those who pursue their daily study will fulfill this principle which John has stated, 'we have come to know the love which God has for us.' This is spiritual maturity.

You abide (dwell or live) in love when you are obedient to Gods mandate to be filled with the Spirit. Do you remember where that verse is? Being filled with the Spirit is being in fellowship and consequently allowing the Holy Spirit to control your soul. That is the place of your spiritual life and access to God.

John also mentions the day of judgment for believers. That is the Judgment Seat of Christ. When we rise in the Rapture, we will each stand before Him to receive our evaluation. That evaluation will determine the extent of the 'additional' eternal blessings which you will receive.

Your blessings are dependent on the extent of your spiritual life. 'By this, love is perfected.' When you advance to spiritual maturity, then you will qualify for tremendous blessings. If you stand before Christ with no spiritual advancement or with very little, then you will receive no reward.

Make no mistake. Being in heaven will be tremendous and everyone who has believed in Christ will be in heaven forever. However, there will be additional blessings and privileges, and rewards, and promotions and so forth, which will be given out to those who advance in their spiritual life.

To these, all of eternity will be so much more greater. Actually infinitely greater than for those who receive nothing. Review the parables which we have recently studied.

As an example consider the differences between the unbeliever and the believer. The unbeliever will go to the Lake of Fire verses the believer who will go to heaven. The difference between the two is infinite. Likewise, the believer who advances to maturity will be like a billionaire in this life verses a person who is destitute. Both will be in heaven of course, but the rich person will have so much more and they will have it forever.

A lot of people have believed in Christ but it is not real in their lives. A lot of people know and understand the blessings of eternity, but they do not incorporate a daily study in their daily lives. They know, but they just do not accept the truth as their reality. They sort of view it all with a certain degree of indifference, apathy, or procrastination. The priority for a spiritual life is lacking.

Experience in life, and faith are intimately connected (James). Sometimes the one precedes, sometimes the other, John 6:69.

You cannot experience life without Bible doctrine in your soul. Likewise knowing a lot of doctrine does you no good if you do not apply it to your daily life.

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End Of Lesson

Study to show thyself approved (mature) unto God, a workman that needs not to be ashamed, rightly dividing (studying/discerning), the Word of truth.

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