Daily Archives: March 9, 2021

Trump: Joe Biden is allowing America to be ‘destroyed’ | WND

President Donald J. Trump prepares to sign a plaque placed along the border wall Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2021, at the Texas-Mexico border near Alamo, Texas. (Official White House photo by Shealah Craighead)

Former President Trump on Tuesday blasted President Biden for reversing immigration policy implemented over the past two years in response to the 2019 border crisis.

“When I was President, our Southern border was in great shape – stronger, safer, and more secure than ever before,” Trump said in a statement.

“We ended Catch-and-Release, shut down asylum fraud, and crippled the vicious smugglers, drug dealers, and human traffickers,” he said.

“Our country is being destroyed at the Southern border, a terrible thing to see!”

During his presidency, Trump built miles of border wall, required asylum applicants to wait in Mexico for their cases to be decided and more.

Biden has issued a flood of executive orders that have signaled the border is open for illegal immigrants. Among the results is that unaccompanied children have filled the detention centers built under President Obama that Democrats called “cages” during the Trump administration.

There’s even talk of hauling some to Virginia to house at a military base.

Texas authorities have complained that the federal government is turning loose COVID-positive illegals into Texas cities.

— Read on www.wnd.com/2021/03/trump-joe-biden-allowing-america-destroyed/

Biden DHS Secretary Reportedly Asks For Help With Border Crisis He Said Doesn’t Exist | LifeZette

Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas under President Biden reportedly asked for volunteers to aid with an “overwhelming” number of migrants at the border, a crisis he said days ago did not exist.

According to Fox News, Mayorkas sent an email to staff seeking help with the border crisis.

“You have likely seen the news about the overwhelming numbers of migrants seeking access to this country along the Southwest Border,” Mayorkas wrote.

“President Biden and I are committed to ensuring our Nation has a safe, orderly, and humane immigration system while continuing to balance all of the other critical DHS missions.”

The email references the volunteer force having been used during “a similar migration surge” in 2019.

“Please consider joining the Volunteer Force to again provide needed humanitarian support along the Southwest Border and relief for our CBP colleagues,” he requests.

RELATED: Texas Governor Greg Abbott Sending National Guard To Address Border Crisis

Biden Definitely Has a Border Crisis

What a difference a week makes.

Last Monday, Biden’s DHS Secretary Mayorkas was asked by reporters if there is a crisis developing at the southern border, to which he replied, “No.”

“I think that the – the answer is no,” he claimed. “I think there is a challenge at the border that we are managing, and we have our resources dedicated to managing it.”

He indicated DHS is “working around the clock seven days a week to ensure that we do not have a crisis at the border—that we manage the challenge, as acute as the challenge is.”

From ‘acute’ to obtuse, apparently.

Fox News notes that the border crisis may in large part be a result of President Biden’s own actions.

“The Biden administration has unraveled many of the Trump-era policies – including the Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP) which keep migrants in Mexico for their hearings, and agreements with Northern Triangle countries,” they write.

DHS has been grappling with a dramatic surge in migration in recent weeks as a result, “particularly in unaccompanied children (UACs) and families.”

A Wall Street Journal report indicates despite Mayorkas’ insistence that there is no crisis, arrests of unaccompanied immigrant children at the southern border have “surged.”

RELATED: Former Trump ICE Director Slams Biden Admin’s Claims Of Compassion At The Border

Head in the Sand

Even Rep. Henry Cuellar, a Democrat representing the border state of Texas, seems to think the Biden administration has their head in the sand regarding the border crisis their policies are creating.

“In January, we had 78,000 people that were stopped at the border. In February, I think you’re going to see numbers close to 100,000 individuals,” Cuellar warned in a CNN interview.

“And keep in mind that March, April, May, and June are the peak time so we haven’t even hit the peak numbers right now.”

“What’s happening is that border patrol does not COVID test any of them,” he added. “So if they get on a bus, they can travel anywhere with the permission of the notice to appear.”

Cuellar added that by using “rapid-processing centers” to speed up the process, the administration is “providing an incentive” for illegal immigration.

Texas Governor Greg Abbott just announced that he is deploying National Guard troops to the southern border to address what he also refers to as “crisis.”

“The crisis at our southern border continues to escalate because of Biden Administration policies that refuse to secure the border and invite illegal immigration,” he said.

 

Now is the time to support and share the sources you trust.
The Political Insider ranks #16 on Feedspot’s “Top 70 Conservative Political Blogs, Websites & Influencers in 2021.”

 

This piece originally appeared in ThePoliticalInsider.com and is used by permission.

— Read on www.lifezette.com/2021/03/biden-dhs-secretary-reportedly-asks-for-help-with-border-crisis-he-said-doesnt-exist/

As migrants pour over US border, White House won’t admit Biden’s dealing with a crisis — RT USA News

As migrants pour over US border, White House won’t admit Biden’s dealing with a crisis


Central American migrants at the US-Mexican border crossing waiting to be allowed to apply for asylum in the US.
 ©  Global Look Press / dpa / Stringer

The fruits of Joe Biden’s border policies are already apparent: a tripling of children detained at the border, and crossings set to hit record levels. Yet the administration refuses to acknowledge it has a crisis on its hands.

The number of unaccompanied migrant children detained along the southern US border has tripled in the last two weeks to more than 3,250, the New York Times reported on Tuesday. These children are filling the same Customs and Border Patrol facilities that Biden himself called “inhumane” during his 2020 campaign, and the “overflow shelters” opened by the Biden administration are nearing capacity.

 Also on rt.com

Texas launches ‘Operation Lone Star’, sending National Guard & state troopers to secure border after Biden opened floodgates

On top of the surge in child arrivals, Border agents encountered 78,000 migrants attempting to cross the border in January, the highest number for that month in more than a decade. John Modlin, the interim chief in charge of the Border Patrol’s Tucson, Arizona, sector, told Sinclair reporter Sharyl Attkisson on Sunday that if illegal crossing attempts continue at the rate they’ve been going the last four months, the final tally by the end of this fiscal year will surpass 2018, 2019, and 2020 combined.

This uptick in illegal immigration has been directly linked to Biden’s near-total reversal of former president Donald Trump’s tougher border policies. 

Trump’s ‘Remain in Mexico’ policy was eliminated by executive order, and migrants awaiting their asylum claims in Mexico have now begun heading north to the US. Biden has also modified Trump’s policy of turning back all border crossers during the Covid-19 pandemic, carving out an exception for under-18s, hence the surge in unaccompanied minors highlighted by the New York Times.

Among his flurry of executive orders overturning Trump’s border policies, Biden resurrected the so-called ‘Catch and Release’ program, an Obama-era policy suspended by Trump, under which migrants apprehended at the border would be released in the US, on the condition that they later show up to an immigration court hearing. Unsurprisingly, few ever do, and even those who play by the rules face a wait time of up to 689 days.

 Also on rt.com

ICE to allow detainees to appeal arrest if they feel their detention does not ‘align’ with Biden’s immigration policy

Critics claim that ‘Catch and Release’ effectively invites migrants to make the journey to the US, and Biden has faced criticism even from within his own party for reinstating the policy. “I don’t think, quite frankly, the Biden administration was aware of what’s happening on the ground here,” Texas State Senator Juan Hinojosa told The Hill on Sunday. “The Border Patrol is overwhelmed, they’re throwing their hands up because they don’t know what to do.”

Don’t call it a crisis!

The GOP has used the burgeoning crisis at the border to attack Biden. House Republicans have accused the Biden administration of “ignoring” the situation, while Trump issued a scathing statement on Friday, blaming the surge in migrant activity on “the disastrous leadership of Joe Biden.”

“A mass incursion into the country by people who should not be here is happening on an hourly basis, getting worse by the minute,” Trump wrote.

Biden has not spoken much about the situation. Asked last week whether there was a “crisis” developing, the president replied “No. We will be able to handle it, God willing.”

Biden’s interactions with the press of late have been limited to curt soundbites after events. In his stead, Press Secretary Jen Psaki has fielded the media’s enquiries, but has struck a similar tone. Asked on Tuesday whether the situation amounted to a “crisis,” Psaki said that she doesn’t “think we need to put new labels on what we have already conveyed is challenging.” Last week, she refused to use the term “crisis,” using “challenge” instead.

Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas also used the word “challenge” during a press conference, reassuring reporters that the Biden administration has “our resources dedicated to managing it.”

— Read on www.rt.com/usa/517660-biden-border-crisis-migrants/

Illegal Border Crossings Hit More Than 101,500 in February

McALLEN, Texas—As President Joe Biden rolled back several existing border initiatives, the number of people crossing illegally into the United States skyrocketed.  In February—despite a week of freezing weather—Border Patrol apprehended 101,535 illegal border crossers along the southern border, according to Jaeson Jones, a former Texas Department of Public Safety captain. Another 26,000 people evaded capture, he said.   Jones collected the provisional Customs and Border Protection (CBP) data from internal sources and it has been reviewed by The Epoch Times. CBP told The Epoch Times that the official numbers would be available in the next couple of days.  The February number is almost triple the apprehensions from February 2020, when Border Patrol caught almost 37,000 people, while in 2019, on the cusp of the most recent crisis, the number was almost 77,000.  Many of those crossing are unaccompanied minors, who cannot be turned back if they’re from a country other …

Wyoming Becomes The Latest Republican State To Lift Mask Mandate, Open Businesses | LifeZette

Wyoming Governor Mark Gordon announced his state will become the latest to remove a mask mandate and lift all restrictions on certain businesses such as bars and restaurants.

The order indicates that businesses will be able to “resume normal operations” and most people will be free to choose whether or not to wear masks on March 16.

Gordon continued to urge residents to wear face coverings in indoor public spaces while stating they would continue to be required for students inside school classrooms.

Still, the first step toward normalcy seems to be underway in the Equality State.

“I thank the people of Wyoming for their commitment to keeping one another safe throughout this pandemic. It is through their efforts that we have kept our schools and businesses operating and our economy moving forward,” Gordon said.

“I ask all Wyoming citizens to continue to take personal responsibility for their actions and stay diligent as we look ahead to the warmer months and to the safe resumption of our traditional spring and summer activities.”

RELATED: The Left Melts Down As Texas, Mississippi Free People And Businesses From COVID Restrictions

Wyoming, Republican States Lifting Mask Mandates

Gordon noted the “declining number of active COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations” in Wyoming as well as strides in a vaccine rollout as reasoning for easing restrictions.

Last week, Texas Governor Greg Abbott and Mississippi Governor Tate Reeves announced that their states would also be lifting mask mandates and opening businesses up to full capacity.

Liberal politicians haven’t been too thrilled at the prospect of having states lift mask mandates and open businesses.

“Repealing the mask mandate now endangers so many people, especially essential workers [and] the vulnerable,” Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez said without evidence.

California Governor Gavin Newsom, who routinely ignores mask mandates and business COVID restrictions, called such a move
“absolutely reckless.”

Which is, of course, absolutely asinine.

RELATED: Biden DHS Secretary Reportedly Asks For Help With Border Crisis He Said Doesn’t Exist

One State Has Them All Beat

While the lifting of the mask mandates and onerous restrictions on businesses is a welcome sight to freedom-loving Americans everywhere, one state has even Wyoming, Texas, and Mississippi beat.

South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster (R) recently boasted that his state’s mask mandate never existed.

“Unlike Texas and Mississippi, we cannot lift a mask mandate because we never had one in the first place,” McMaster bragged.

“We gave South Carolinians the freedom to choose for themselves what’s best for their health and family,” added McMaster.

This is exactly how America used to be before blue-state governors decided they were no longer interested in freedom.

 

Now is the time to support and share the sources you trust.
The Political Insider ranks #16 on Feedspot’s “Top 70 Conservative Political Blogs, Websites & Influencers in 2021.”

 

This piece originally appeared in ThePoliticalInsider.com and is used by permission.

— Read on www.lifezette.com/2021/03/wyoming-becomes-the-latest-republican-state-to-lift-mask-mandate-open-businesses/

Arizona and Montana File Lawsuit To Block Biden Admin Rules Making It Harder To Arrest Illegal Immigrants | LifeZette

Arizona and Montana have filed a lawsuit against the Biden administration for implementing new rules making it more difficult for Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to arrest and deport illegal immigrants.

The lawsuit is an amendment to one filed in February which originally addressed President Biden’s 100-day moratorium on deportations.

The states contend that the administration’s policies would have devastating consequences.

“Meth trafficked into Montana by Mexican drug cartels has wracked our state,” Montana Attorney General Austin Knudsen said. “The problem will only be made worse if the Biden administration continues to allow criminals to stay in the country.”

“Blindly releasing thousands of people, including convicted criminals and those who may be spreading COVID-19 into our state, is both unconscionable and a violation of federal law,” Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich explained.

Added Knudsen, “The Biden administration is failing its basic responsibility to Americans.”

RELATED: Biden DHS Secretary Reportedly Asks For Help With Border Crisis He Said Doesn’t Exist

States Suing Biden For Illegal Immigration Policies

A statement on Brnovich’s website also claims the Biden administration is responsible for a “growing crisis at the southwest border” as they warn “there are caravans of undocumented aliens heading to the southwest border because of these lax DHS policies.”

Guidance issued by the Biden administration last month instructs ICE to narrow arrests of illegals to only three categories: “those who pose a threat to national security; those who have crossed the border since Nov. 1, and those who committed ‘aggravated felonies.’”

“If asked about the poorest policy choice I’ve ever seen in government, this would be a strong contender,” Brnovich said in discussing the Biden administration lawsuit.

Both Montana and Arizona have also filed a motion for a preliminary injunction to block the policy from going into effect while the case is ongoing.

Administration officials have countered that the guidance doesn’t explicitly state that illegal immigrants can’t be arrested or deported, but officers would need approval from higher up if the individuals in question fall outside the three categories.

The policies are “expected to lead to a significant decrease in arrests and deportations,” Fox reports.

RELATED: Texas Governor Greg Abbott Sending National Guard To Address Border Crisis

Lawsuit Against the Biden Administration – Will Others Follow?

Arizona and Montana suing the Biden administration may just be the beginning considering the burgeoning crisis at the border will have an effect on numerous other states, if not all of them.

Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, despite insisting last week that there was no crisis at the border, is now begging for volunteers to help with an “overwhelming” surge of migrants.

PBS NewsHour reporter Yamiche Alcindor said, “You have a White House that is wanting to say that there’s not a crisis at the border, but the numbers don’t lie.”

Texas Governor Greg Abbott is deploying National Guard troops to the border claiming, “The crisis at our southern border continues to escalate because of Biden Administration policies that refuse to secure the border and invite illegal immigration.”

The lawsuit from Arizona and Montana includes declarations from law enforcement officials which “illustrate the harms” these states “will suffer under the new DHS policies.”

 

Now is the time to support and share the sources you trust.
The Political Insider ranks #16 on Feedspot’s “Top 70 Conservative Political Blogs, Websites & Influencers in 2021.”

 

This piece originally appeared in ThePoliticalInsider.com and is used by permission.

— Read on www.lifezette.com/2021/03/arizona-and-montana-file-lawsuit-to-block-biden-admin-rules-making-it-harder-to-arrest-illegal-immigrants/

Texas Gov. Abbott blames Biden for crisis at the Southern border | One America News Network

WASHINGTON, DC – MARCH 24: Texas Governor Greg Abbott participated in a news briefing outside the West Wing at the White House in Washington, D.C. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

OAN Newsroom
UPDATED 4:40 PM PT – Tuesday, March 9, 2021

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) maintained border security is a federal responsibility. However, Abbott claimed Biden is forcing Texas to carry the burden.

The governor visited the Rio Grande Valley on Tuesday to meet with border officials about the recent influx of illegal immigrants and take an aerial tour of the border. During the visit, Abbott said Texas is working to clean up Biden’s mess.

Abbott’s “Operation Lone Star” will beef up enforcement at the Southern border. The Texas National Guard and Department of Public Safety have already been deployed as part of the operation.

“We will work to step up and try to fill the gap that the federal government is leaving open by making sure we deploy every resource, whether it be Department of Public Safety or Texas National Guard, whatever we need to do,” Abbott stated. “Texas is going to fight for the safety and security of our state.”

Abbott blamed the crisis on Biden, saying his administration is paving the way for cartels to enter the country and make money. He added the administration is also allowing infected illegal immigrants to spread coronavirus in the U.S. due to his relaxed immigration policies.

Texas Rep. Chip Roy (R) told OAN he agrees with Abbott.

“This is the Biden border crisis, let’s make no mistake about it,” Roy stated. “He and his administration have adopted policies diametrically opposed to act on their constitutional duty to secure the border.”

Meanwhile, President Trump has referred to the situation as a nightmare. The White House responded by saying it plans to pave its own path forward when it comes to immigration.

“We don’t take our advice or counsel from former President Trump on immigration policy,” White House press secretary Jen Psaki stated.

Back in Texas, officials said Biden’s humanitarian border policy has quickly escalated into a humanitarian crisis.

Even though the governor said Texas is doing all it can to secure the Southern border, he demanded Biden should act and do it quickly rather than endangering the lives of all Texans.

— Read on www.oann.com/texas-gov-abbott-blames-biden-for-crisis-at-the-southern-border/

Record Number Of Migrant Children Sitting In Biden’s Border Patrol ‘Cages’ | ZeroHedge

A record number of migrant children are being kept in Border Patrol ‘cages’ as a surge in migrants continues to overwhelm the Biden administration’s ability to keep up.

As of Monday, as over 3,200 unaccompanied minors were reported in Border Patrol facilities, with nearly half being held beyond the legal three-day limit, according to CBS News, which added that the Office of Refugee Resettlement only has around 500 beds available near the southern border to handle the influx of children entering US custody.

According to government documents obtained by CBS News, nearly 1,400 unaccompanied minors had been held in Customs and Border Protection (CBP) holding facilities for more than three days as of Monday, despite the agency’s legal obligation to transfer these children to shelters operated by the U.S. refugee agency within 72 hours of taking them into custody.

Nearly 170 unaccompanied children stuck in Border Patrol custody are under the age of 13, according to the CBP documents.

Less than three weeks ago, CBP held just nine unaccompanied children past the three-day limit according to one document.

According to one former Department of Homeland Security (DHS) official, the number of children in Border Patrol custody is the highest in the history of the agency.

Last week President Biden was briefed on the need for 20,000 beds to handle the influx of child migrants along the US-Mexico border, while his administration has reportedly been eyeing Fort Lee Army Base in Virginiato help with the surge. A leaked document revealed how the administration is being “overwhelmed” by child migrants, according to Axios.

The Border Patrol stations housing the 3,200 migrant children are different from a migrant overflow facility recently operated by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) in Carrizo Springs, Texas.

Border Patrol stations, which migrants have dubbed “dog kennels” and “ice boxes,” have cinder-block cells meant to temporarily hold adult migrants. CBP is also holding unaccompanied children in a large “soft-sided” facility in south Texas that has more space and accommodations than Border Patrol stations; though it is designed for short-term custody as well. –CBS News

At present, the refugee office is housing over 8,100 migrant children while it works to expand capacity.

According to documents obtained by CBS News, there is an escalating ‘humanitarian, logistical and political’ crisis facing President Biden at the US-Mexico border – which Republicans blame on Biden’s policies and immigration promises.

Meanwhile, Biden has been using a Trump-era policy of rapidly expelling immigrants using a public health law, however they have shielded unaccompanied minors from the expulsions – resulting in the transfer of more than 7,000 children to US refugee agency shelters in February – a record high.

The Office of Refugee Resettlement tells CBS News that they are working “aggressively” to release migrant children into the custody of sponsors – typically family members residing in the United States.

On Friday, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) cited “extraordinary circumstances” and allowed shelters to return to pre-pandemic bed levels as long as they implement enhanced COVID-19 mitigation protocols.

— Read on www.zerohedge.com/political/record-number-migrant-children-stuck-bidens-border-patrol-cages

‘Weekend At Biden’s?’ Handlers Shut Down Yet Another Q&A After Public Appearance | ZeroHedge

For the third time in as many days (the previous two detailed here), President Biden’s handlers abruptly panicked at the prospect of him answering a question from the press.

Today’s debacle takes place in a DC hardware store as double-mask-wearing Biden stares blankly at the store owner during his polite introduction, then becomes distracted by people on an upper level of the store.

As the owner tries to address Biden again, Biden’s handlers suddenly become agitated and one is repeatedly heard saying, “come on press, let’s go, we’re gonna move out.” “Let’s go you guys, come on let’s go,” she repeats herself as one of the reporters tries to ask Biden about “the crisis at the border.”

What are the handlers so afraid of?

Biden’s gaffes – or put more gently ‘senior moments’ are mounting and the world is starting to notice.

It has been 48 days since President biden took office and he has yet to hold a formal press conference, and as Sara Carter reports, even the most liberal White House partisan reporters are growing restless.

White House press secretary Jen Psaki said last week that Biden will hold a press conference “before the end of the month,” but a Washington Post op-ed is calling for Biden to hold a press conference as soon as possible.

“Last month would have been better, and this week would be better than next,” the WaPo editorial board wrote on Sunday.

“Avoiding news conferences must not become a regular habit for Mr. Biden,” the editorial board warned. “He is the president, and Americans have every right to expect that he will regularly submit himself to substantial questioning.”

Each of Biden’s 15 most recent predecessors – including former President Donald Trump – held a full news conference within their first 33 days in office.

Biden’s exchange of questions from reporters at the end of an event are no substitute for a formal press conference, WaPo media critic Erik Wemple said.

“These often perfunctory exchanges are no substitute for formal, solo news conferences at which reporters can ask follow-up questions,” Wemple said.

“Answers are supposed to be more than a couple of words long, and the president’s thoughts on a wide range of issues can be mined.”

We couldn’t help but think of this…

If it wasn’t so sad, it would be funny!

And it’s not just “fair right conspiracy sites” that are questioning President Biden’s health.

new poll conducted by Rasmussen Report found that 50 percent of Americans question President Joe Biden’s physical and mental fitness.

When asked “[how] confident are you that Joe Biden is physically and mentally up to the job of being President of the United States?” 50 percent said they were “not confident” while 48 percent said they were “confident” or “very confident.”

According to Rasmussen, Biden’s unwillingness to host a press conference has helped fuel concerns about his fitness for office, with many believing that he is hiding from the press.

— Read on www.zerohedge.com/political/weekend-bidens-handlers-shut-down-yet-another-qa-after-public-appearance

03/09/2021 — Wretched

WR2021-0309

  • Are you filled with pride?
  • Good wants you to have joy.
  • Too many of us forget to let the good news of God’s kindness affect us.
  • You have no idea what you could be if you would kill the sin of pornography.
  • Culture is saying marriage is not easy.
  • How many Americans wants more than one U.S.?

Download Now (right click and save)

03/09/2021 — Wretched

Beth Moore Follows Dwight McKissic off the Bus, ‘I am no longer a Southern Baptist’ — Christian Research Network

“…because of her opposition to Trump and her outspokenness in confronting sexism and nationalism in the evangelical world, she has been labeled a “liberal” and “woke” and even as being a heretic giving a message during a Sunday morning church service.”

(Reformation Charlotte)  Beth Moore is the Southern Baptist Convention’s top lady-preacher and prime merry-andrew of Evangelicalism. Beth Moore, like her spiritual brother, Russell Moore (no relation), has lead the charge in opposing conservative policies in the political realm, primarily railing against the evil orange man, daily.

Beth Moore, following in the footsteps of racist, anti-white heretic, Dwight McKissic–who says he’s “getting off the bus” of the Southern Baptist Convention–has decided to depart the Southern Baptist Convention as she recently announced, according to Religion News Service, that she’s parting with LifeWay. Moore departed the faith years ago when she decided she’d rebel against God and declare that she would preach and teach in contradiction to His Word.  View article →

Related

The Low-Information Evangelical Part 1 By Marsha West

Research

Beth Moore

Progressive (Social Justice) “Christianity”

WATCH OUT! Apostasy Alert — Naming names

Beth Moore Follows Dwight McKissic off the Bus, ‘I am no longer a Southern Baptist’ — Christian Research Network

Beth Moore Frees Herself to Fully Apostatize — Protestia

In what can only be considered a “look at me” formality, lady preacher and theological peabrain Beth Moore has announced that she is no longer a Southern Baptist. Apparently, she has taken gullible Southern Baptist congregations for all she could and is now moving on to even more liberal and gullible pastures.

Moore retweeted an article at Religion News Service announcing her breakup with Lifeway, the publishing arm of the Southern Baptist Convention and peddler of wares from all over the spectrum of fake Christianity. She claims she no longer “identif[ies] with some of the things in our heritage that haven’t remained in the past.” We assume she means the orthodoxy of forbidding women from preaching (1 Tim. 2:12) and the orthodoxy of not engaging in rank false teaching (2 John 9). Perhaps it has something to do with the fact that her Living Proof “ministry” lost 1.9 million dollars between 2017 and 2019. 

While the article links Moore’s departure to pushback by Southern Baptists over her anti-Trumpism, she has notoriously led the charge into full-blown liberalism by the SBC for over 10 years, becoming more and more egalitarian, ecumenical, and brash in her disregard for scripture. Her theological ineptitude and outright horribleness is the stuff of legends, as she has routinely claimed direct revelation from God (like her famous tale of God telling her to brush a guy’s hair instead of witnessing to him), affirming so-called woman pastors and those who affirm LGBTQ+labeling her entire denomination racist, and claiming white supremacy is “running rampant” in the church. She has liked tweetsdissuading believers from sharing the Gospel at BLM protests, claimed the Holy Spirit inspired her to write her book When Godly People do Ungodly Things, and pals around with pathological liars like Kyle J. Howard.

She is a pathetic and embarrassing expositor of scripture and the poster child for what happens when churches and denominations fail to take the scriptural roles of men and women seriously. 

Beth Moore leaving the SBC (assuming it sticks) is not a surprise to anyone paying attention. The SBC is not downgrading nearly as fast as she is, and now her lousy studies aren’t selling. She clearly left the orthodoxy of the Baptist Faith and Message long ago, and her recent inability to draw a moral distinction between Trump and the Democratic Party was just the latest peach on her massive tree of bad fruit.

The discernment ministers at Protestia/Pulpit and Pen called Beth Moore out years ago as not being one of us (you know, not a Christian). She is and has always been a charlatan, bilking gullible Christians out of time, money, and real teaching for years – aided and abetted by the Christ-less hucksters at Lifeway who shelved her pap alongside heaven tourism nonsense and moronic “relevant” teen devotionals. Now apparently SBC women’s ministries will be forced to rely on “menstruation is a parable of the crucifixion” Jen Wilkin for their monthly doses of feminism.

While I am no prophet, I predict that within one year, Beth Moore will come out as fully LGBTQ affirming and adopt the title of pastor for herself in whatever “church” she finds herself. Such is the nature of apostasy.

Beth Moore Frees Herself to Fully Apostatize — Protestia

HR-1: A Threat to Election Integrity — VCY America

Date:  March 09, 2021  
Host: Jim Schneider   
​Guest: Bob Adelmann 
MP3  ​​​| Order

https://embed.sermonaudio.com/player/a/392122896542/

A number of states have refused to clean up their voter roles to eliminate those who are deceased, or moved away.  Then there’s ballot harvesting, those who’ve thwarted identification requirements, election workers filling in missing information on absentee ballots that would otherwise have necessitated the spoiling of the ballots along with the receiving of ballots days after the election.  

Now there’s an attempt to place into federal law the practices that many found to be abusive and that leads to fraud.  Known as HR-1 (‘For the People Act’) this legislation was introduced January 4th, 2021.  

Joining Jim to discuss this issue was Bob Adelmann.  Bob is a former investment advisor and now is a regular contributor to The New American writing primarily on economics and politics.

HR-1 is a massive 791 page document that had 222 co-sponsors, each one a Democrat.  When the vote occurred last Wednesday, all Republicans in attendance opposed it.  With its passage in the House of Representatives, the next step is the U.S. Senate.

When did this start?  Bob named some historic presidents and key years in American history, but in the end he prefers to go back to the Garden of Eden.  So with his 50 years of experience in the fight for freedom, he believes it starts with the father of lies, the great deceiver.  He’s the one propelling this effort.

As the program progressed, Bob commented concerning specifics of the legislation such as:

  • The banning of voter ID and making it a crime for a state election official to reject someone’s registration to vote.
  • Forces states to adopt universal mail-in balloting.
  • Allows former felons to vote before completing their sentences.
  • Allows those 16 and 17 years old to register.
  • It threatens anyone, such as a local election official or poll watcher, who might undertake any questioning of any voter or attempts to establish his/her eligibility to vote.  Maximum penalty?  5 years in prison. 

Bob summarized HR-1 this way: ‘It’s the primary tool by which the Democrats hope to cement forever, control of the election process in the United States, in their favor.’

This is just some of the information from the first quarter hour of the broadcast.  Hear more, including what listeners had to say, when you review this edition of Crosstalk.

More Information

thenewamerican.com

To contact your U.S. senators concerning HR-1, call 202-224-3121.

HR-1: A Threat to Election Integrity — VCY America

March 9 Evening Quotes of The Day

Prayer Is Only Lovely When the Heart Is in It
1 Kings 8:48–49; 2 Chronicles 6:37–39; Psalm 119:145; Matthew 6:5–8; Luke 8:9–14

Prayer is only lovely and weighty as the heart is in it, and no otherwise. It is not the lifting up of the voice, nor the wringing of the hands, nor the beating of the breasts, nor an affected tone, nor studied motions, nor seraphical expressions, but the stirrings of the heart that God looks at in prayer. God hears no more than the heart speaks. If the heart be dumb, God will certainly be deaf. No prayer takes with God, but that which is the travail of the heart.

THOMAS BROOKS

Ritzema, E., & Vince, E. (Eds.). (2013). 300 Quotations for Preachers from the Puritans. Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press.

Declaration of Faith from Calvin’s Will
Deuteronomy 4:31; Acts 4:12; 2 Corinthians 1:3

I testify and declare that I trust to no other security for my salvation than this, and this only, namely, that as God is the Father of mercy, he will show himself such a Father to me, who acknowledge myself to be a miserable sinner.

JOHN CALVIN

Ritzema, E. (2013). 300 Quotations for Preachers from the Reformation. Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press.

March 9 Evening Verse of The Day

1:9 love As Paul explains later, love (agapē) involves putting others before oneself (2:3–4).

knowledge The knowledge that Paul has in mind is not just intellectual but experiential, acquired through acts of love.

all discernment The Greek term used here, aisthēsis, refers to the ability to make decisions for the benefit of others.[1]


1:9 in … knowledge. This is from the Gr. word that describes genuine, full, or advanced knowledge. Biblical love is not an empty sentimentalism but is anchored deeply in the truth of Scripture and regulated by it (cf. Eph 5:2, 3; 1Pe 1:22). discernment. The Eng. word “aesthetic” comes from this Gr. word, which speaks of moral perception, insight, and the practical application of knowledge. Love is not blind, but perceptive, and it carefully scrutinizes to distinguish between right and wrong. See note on 1Th 5:21, 22.[2]


1:9 I pray: Verses 9–11 give the content of his prayer for them. He is desirous that this fervent love will continue to burn hotly but within the splendor of full knowledge and spiritual discernment. Love without knowledge is like water without a channel. Water uncontrolled is disastrous but is productive when controlled. The love that Paul sought for the believers is the highest form of Christian love, based on a lasting, unconditional commitment, not on an unstable emotion. knowledge: The first of two terms on which a directed love is built, knowledge suggests an intimate understanding based on a relationship with the person. Here the focus of this knowledge is God. discernment: Found only here in the NT, the Greek word means moral or ethical understanding based on both the intellect and the senses. The word implies perception or insight into social situations.[3]


1:9. After his prayer of thanksgiving, Paul explains that his request for the Philippians is for their sanctification. First, he specifically prays that their love would grow greatly in the areas of knowledge and discernment. True Christian love is not shallow and sentimental but is grounded in an intelligent and insightful commitment of the will to God as contained in the Word of God.[4]


1:9 Thanksgiving now gives way to prayer. Will Paul ask wealth, comfort, or freedom from trouble for them? No, he asks that their love might constantly increase in knowledge and all discernment. The primary aim of the Christian life is to love God and to love one’s fellow man. But love is not just a matter of the emotions. In effective service for the Lord, we must use our intelligence and exercise discernment. Otherwise, our efforts are apt to be futile. So Paul is here praying not only that the Philippians will continue in the display of Christian love, but also that their love will be exercised in full knowledge and all discernment.[5]


1:9. It was Paul’s prayer that the Philippians’ love for other believers would abound, run over as a cup or a river overflows. But that love should be more than sentimental; it should be knowledgeable and discerning. Having genuine spiritual knowledge (epignosis) of God and depth of insight into His ways enables Christians to love God and others more. (This Gr. word for “insight” [aisthēsis] occurs only here in the NT.)[6]


9 They knew the love of God for them and in them, but Paul prays that their love may abound more and more (cf. 2 Cor. 9:8; 1 Thes. 3:12). Love, however, needs to be more than blind enthusiasm. It needs to be guided by knowledge and depth of insight (cf. Col. 1:9), ‘the gift of true discrimination’ (neb), a sensitivity to the truth of God and the needs of others, and the understanding of one’s situation.[7]


1:9. Having expressed his love for the Philippians, Paul shares his prayer for their pursuit of Christian growth. Having described their love (v. 7), he prays for it to abound. Love is a primary characteristic of Christlikeness. Yet love is more than mere emotion. Love can increase in knowledge and depth of insight. Knowledge is spiritual wisdom found in Scripture. Insight is application of this spiritual wisdom to practical living. Christian love must be rooted in wisdom from God’s Word if we are to love both God and man in greater ways.[8]


1:9 “your love may abound still more and more” This is PRESENT ACTIVE SUBJUNCTIVE which emphasized his prayer that their love would keep growing (cf. 1 Thess. 3:12). Love is the evidence and sign of a true believer (cf. 1 Cor. 13; 1 John 4:7–20).

©

 

NASB

 

“real knowledge and all discernment”

 

NKJV

 

“knowledge and all discernment”

 

NRSV

 

“knowledge and full insight”

 

TEV

 

“true knowledge and perfect judgment”

 

NJB

 

“the knowledge and complete understanding”

 

Both of these requests involve full spiritual insight which leads to Christlikeness (cf. Col. 1:9). The first, epignōksō, is usually used in the NT for the knowledge needed for salvation (both a true message to be believed and a person to be welcomed). The second (aisthēsis) was more practically oriented and emphasized lifestyle choices (cf. 2:15). Christian maturity involves all three elements: (1) correct doctrine (cf. 1 John 4:1–6), (2) personal relationship (cf. John 1:12; 3:16), (3) godly lifestyle (cf. 1 John 1:7; 2:6). It also requires perseverance (cf. Matt. 10:22; 24:11–13; Gal. 6:9; Rev. 2:7, 11, 17, 26; 3:5, 12, 21; 21:7).[9]


9. Having thus reaffirmed his great love for the Philippians, Paul is able to proceed as he does; for, though the words which immediately follow imply that perfection had not yet been attained among those to whom this epistle would be read, the very tactful introduction (verses 3–8) has removed every legitimate reason for taking offense.

Verses 9–11 contain the substance of the prayer to which reference was made in verses 3 and 4. This should be compared with Paul’s recorded prayers found in the other epistles of this first Roman imprisonment: Eph. 1:17–23; 3:14–21; Col. 1:9–14. Combining them we noticed that the apostle prays that those addressed may abound in wisdom, knowledge, power, endurance, longsuffering, joy, gratitude, and love. Also, we observe that Jesus Christ is regarded as the One through whom these graces are bestowed upon the believer; and that the glory of God is recognized as the ultimate purpose. Truly, one cannot afford to ignore Paul’s lessons in prayer-life.

Accordingly, in the present section we have:

(1) Its Burden: And this is my prayer that your love may abound more and more. The word love (ἀγάπη) crowds the pages of Paul’s epistles. For its use in Philippians see, besides our present passage, 1:16; 2:1; 2:2. He views this love as being entirely dependent upon and caused by God’s love which it strives to imitate (Eph. 4:32–5:2; 5:25–33). Though it is true that when the apostle speaks about the love which believers should exercise, he generally does so in a context which makes men the object of that love (Rom. 13:10; 14:15; 1 Cor. 4:21; 2 Cor. 2:4, 8; Gal. 5:13; Eph. 1:15; 4:2; etc.), yet no one who has made an earnest study of the closeness of the fellowship, which involves both God and men (see on 1:5), can long cling to the idea that for Paul God would be removed from the range of this object. (See Rom. 8:28; 1 Cor. 2:9; 8:3; Eph. 6:24; 2 Tim. 4:8.) And particularly when, as in the present passage and its context, there is nothing which in any way restricts this object, such rigid limitation seems unjustifiable. The love of which Paul speaks is, accordingly, intelligent and purposeful delight in the triune God, the spontaneous and grateful outgoing of the entire personality to him who has revealed himself in Jesus Christ, and consequently, the deep and steadfast yearning for the progress of his kingdom and for the true prosperity of all his redeemed. This yearning becomes manifest in one’s attitude (humility, tenderness, the forgiving spirit even toward “enemies”), in words (of encouragement, truthfulness, and mildness) and in deeds (of self-denial, loyalty, and kindness). The best description of love is found in 1 Cor. 13.

Now Paul does not pray that the Philippians may begin to exercise this love, but that the ocean of their love may rise to its full height, overflowing its entire perimeter; in fact, that it may thus abound more and more. It is characteristic of Paul that he is never satisfied with anything short of perfection (see Phil. 2:11, 12; 3:13; 4:17; then also 1 Cor. 15:58; 2 Cor. 4:15; 1 Thess. 3:12; 4:1, 9, 10; 2 Thess. 1:3; Eph. 3:14–19; 4:12, 13; Col. 1:9, 10; 3:12–17; and cf. N.T.C. on The Pastoral Epistles, p. 75).

However, fully developed love never travels alone. It is accompanied by all the other virtues. It functions in beautiful co-operation with full knowledge and keen discernment. Though knowledge apart from love leaves its possessor a spiritual zero (1 Cor. 13:2), and though “knowledge puffs up but love builds up” (1 Cor. 8:1), love also needs knowledge, particularly real, full, advanced spiritual knowledge (ἐπίγνωσις) in the sense in which the word is used in Rom. 10:2; and cf. also the related verb used similarly in 1 Cor. 13:12). With the blessing of God such penetrating insight into God’s wonderful, redemptive revelation will produce gratitude in an ever-increasing measure, which, in turn, will increase the supply and enhance the quality of love to God and to the brotherhood.

The apostle prays that as a further ingredient of their love the Philippians may have keen discernment, the taste and feeling for that which in any concrete situation is spiritually beautiful, the aesthetic sense in the sphere of Christian duty and doctrine (αἴσθησις is the Greek word, occurring only here in the New Testament). Love, in other words, should be judicious. This keen discernment or perception, born of experience, is the ability of mind and heart to separate not only the good from the bad, but also the important from the unimportant, in each case choosing the former and rejecting the latter. This is, indeed, necessary. A person who possesses love but lacks discernment may reveal a great deal of eagerness and enthusiasm. He may donate to all kinds of causes. His motives may be worthy and his intentions honorable, yet he may be doing more harm than good. Also, such an individual may at times be misled doctrinally. There must have been a good reason why Paul here stressed the necessity of abounding in love “with full knowledge and keen discernment” (see Phil. 3:1–3; 3:17–19).[10]


Ver. 9. That your love abound yet more and more in all knowledge and in all judgment

Paul’s prayer:—

  1. Its subject matter—“Your love.”
  2. Its burden—“May abound,” &c.

III. Its aim—“That ye may approve,” &c. (G. G. Ballard.)

Definiteness in prayer:—1. Implies a deep consciousness of an intelligently apprehended need. 2. Is becoming when an intelligent being addresses the Divine Intelligence. 3. Is essential, from the very nature of prayer. 4. Affords a fixed ground for the exercise of faith. 5. Emboldens supplication. 6. Inspires hope of a definite response. (Ibid.)

Love:—

  1. God’s love, embraced by faith into the inmost personality of man, is the central force of Christian life.
  2. Christian love. 1. Receives its first impulse from God’s love. 2. Is sustained in activity by its power. 3. Moves in a refluent orbit of increasing circles which continuously grow (Rom. 5:20).

III. Abounding love. As the river, although perfect, perpetuates itself only by its ever-onward flow, as the full ocean at spring tide “aboundeth yet more and more,” so love, in abounding, gathers that true freshness, vigour, and activity, whereby it has power to abound yet more and more. (Ibid.)

Love’s spring tides:—1. Roll to us immediately from the heart of God. 2. Are in harmony with His reign of grace. 3. Bring to us the fullest manifestation of His love. 4. Thrill us with holy excitement though performing monotonous duties, and inspire a holy daring though in view of the fiery trial. 5. Overleap in their impetuous progress every landmark of stern propriety set up by cold conventionalism. 6. Know no limits save “knowledge and judgment” (Ibid.)

Love and knowledge:—Such passages as these have a peculiar value for serious Christians; for one of the great questions of Christian life is, What is it best to pray for? Here Paul gives us a regulating principle for many of our own most earnest prayers.

  1. We see what St. Paul takes for granted as the underlying substance, the raw material of the Divine life of the soul of man—“Love.” 1. He does not pray that their knowledge may abound more and more in love. Whenever knowledge and love are put in competition, the precedence is always given to love. As compared with knowledge love is intrinsically stronger, and worth more practically. To be knit to God by love is better than to speculate about Him. To enwrap other men in the flame of a passionate enthusiasm is better than to analyze rival systems of ethical, social, or political truth. 2. A personal affection for Jesus our Lord is the first step, the fundamental thing in real Christianity. What is it that provokes love? (1) Beauty, and our Lord’s moral beauty acts upon the affections of a true soul just as the son acts upon the petals of an unopened bud. (2) One specific kind of moral beauty—generosity. The generosity of Jesus in giving Himself to die for us appeals even more powerfully than the faultless beauty of His character. “The love of Christ constraineth us.” (3) It is a distinct endowment, an infused grace, shed abroad in the heart by the Holy Ghost. 3. To love Christ is to love (1) God; for God in Him is made apprehendible and approachable. (2) Man, in Him the representative. (3) Thus love to the Saviour is the common source of all that is not spiritual in religion, and most fruitful and creative in philanthropy.
  2. St. Paul would have this love abound more and more in knowledge—ἐπιγνωσις—the higher knowledge. 1. There is a period in the growth of love when such knowledge is imperatively required. In its earliest stages the loving soul lives only in the warmth and light of its object. It asks no questions; it only loves. But from the nature of the case this period comes to an end, not because love grows cold but because it becomes more exacting. It cannot live apart from thought, and sooner or later must come to an understanding with it. It must know something accurately about its object, and begins to ask questions which must be wisely and truly answered, or in its deep disappointment it will sicken and die. 2. How repeatedly this truth is realized in the case of the sons of deeply religious people, and in people who have been deeply religious themselves, but have passed from fervent love to deep despair, because its training in knowledge has been neglected. 3. This law will explain what happened in the Early Church. At first love reigned alone, unenquiring, ecstatic. But when the Gentiles pressed into the fold questions could not be but asked. And so in God’s providence love had to, and did, grow more and more in knowledge. Each of the four groups of St. Paul’s Epistles marks a distinct stage in the doctrinal insight of the Church. Each of the great Alexandrian teachers, Clement, Origen, Dionysius, Athanasius, and Cyril poured a flood of light upon the Christian conscience. The Church passed from the agonies of the Coliseum and the catacombs to define, and to recognize before she defined, the unchanging faith at Nicaea, Constantinople, Ephesus, and Chalcedon. 4. What has been said applies to education. This must begin with the heart. Until a pupil’s affections are won, the true groundwork of the process is not mastered. The repression of love will assuredly, sooner or later, avenge itself. Witness the case of J.S. Mill. (Canon Liddon.)

Love abounding through knowledge:—This climax is unexpected. We should have thought “in fervour, zeal, self-sacrifice.” Instead of that the direction is upward from the heart to the head.

  1. Knowledge reveals character and character draws out love. We can only love a person whom we know to be lovable. This holds especially true of our relations to God. Enmity comes of ignorance of Him. Hence, in Jesus He has given us a revelation of His heart, and to know Christ is to love God. “My people is destroyed for lack of knowledge,” is the epitaph written over the graves of scores of dead Christians. Neglecting the diligent study of the Scriptures they have no nutriment for their love, and it starves.
  2. Knowledge of God brings us into communion with that Divine life which is the spring of all Divine love. If God is love, the more we come into fellowship with Himself the more we shall come into the exercise and experience of His love. But it is only through knowledge that we can come into this experience. (A. J. Gordon.)

Knowledge the basis of love:—

  1. What are we to understand by Christians having the true knowledge of God. This cannot mean perfect knowledge. None but Deity can comprehend Deity. But we may have a true knowledge, and the difference between the two is that the former is a knowledge of all things that are true concerning God, and the latter of some things which are true. And what Christians know is as true as if they knew everything, They know, e.g., God to be self-existent, omnipotent, just, merciful, &c., although they do not know the ground of His self-existence, &c. No man knows everything about anything, but the little he knows is as true as though he knew all.
  2. How Christians gain this true, though partial, knowledge of God. 1. By the light of nature, “The invisible things,” &c. 2. By Divine revelation. Though God cannot tell men in any language all things about Himself, He can tell some things in their language which they can understand.

III. Their true love for God is founded on their true knowledge of God. They do not love or worship an unknown God. Knowledge not ignorance is the mother of their devotion: which will appear if we consider—1. That if Christians should love God for what is not true concerning Him, they would love a false character of God, which would not be true, but false love—the same as loving a false god, which is the essence of idolatry. 2. It is the knowledge which Christians have of the real and supreme excellency of God that lays them under moral obligation to love Him supremely. The more they know of God the more they feel themselves bound to love Him with all their heart. Improvement: If Christians have some true knowledge of God from His works and Word, then—1. They may have some true knowledge of every doctrine that God has revealed. 2. There is a propriety in preaching upon any doctrine that God has revealed. 3. Christians have no right to disbelieve any doctrine because there is something mysterious in it. If we disbelieve on this ground, we must disbelieve everything. 4. Those who have gained this certain knowledge ought to contend earnestly for the faith once delivered to the saints. 5. There is no excuse for religious errors. (N. Emmons, D.D.)

The importance of Christian knowledge:—

  1. The subjects which Christianity presents are the most important and sublime in the universe.
  2. Just conceptions of the truth of God are indispensable to the possession of true holiness. What is holiness but obedience to truth; truth desired, loved, obeyed? But how is truth to be obeyed unless it is known? It is an unchanging law of our being that the heart is affected through the medium of the understanding.

III. Without the spirit of theological research it is impossible to make rapid advances in the divine life. Christians have much to learn of God that they may desire greater manifestations of His glory; of themselves, that they may be stimulated to greater attainments; of their obligations, that they may press after perfect holiness. There are, of course, instances in which growth in knowledge does not secure growth in grace; but that is because truth does not make its appropriate impression on the mind, and is opposed by sin. But the clearer our views of God the more fervent our love of Him; of sin, the more self-abasing our repentance; of Christ, the stronger our faith; of duty, the stronger our desires to perform it.

  1. The attainment of religious knowledge is the source of pure and elevated enjoyment. Of all the prospective emotions the desire of knowledge is the most exalted. The pleasures of intellect transcend those of sense. How much purer and higher the felicity consequent on advances in the knowledge of God. The veriest infant in the school of Christ finds his understanding satisfied, his heart filled with love at the discovery of every new principle in the Word of God.
  2. Religious knowledge widens the sphere of Christian usefulness. A well-informed Christian possesses a weight of character and a power of moral feeling, which exert the best influence. Such a man is always ready for action. If the spirit of His master rests upon him in proportion to his intellectual attainments, he will instruct the ignorant, &c. The Church has sustained no small detriment from the ignorance of good men.
  3. The character of our age furnishes a reason for solicitude in relation to the doctrines of the Bible. There is a strange apathy to the truth. It is an age of business, and not of investigation. Conclusion: 1. Ministers ought not to be reproached for instructive preaching, and for not yielding to the demand for sensationalism. 2. The love of truth is the conclusive test of Christian character. 3. Rest not in intellectual attainments in religion. (Gardiner Spring, D.D.)

Knowledge and judgment:—These are the limits which define the course of love, and thus deepen it.

  1. Advanced knowledge is derived from—1. Experience. 2. Attentive study of—(1) The Divine perfections. (2) The gospel mystery. (3) The Divine claims. (4) The principles of Christ’s teaching, which should pervade all Christian conduct.
  2. Moral perception. 1. Results from the full exertion of every moral sense. (1) There are many things in Christian life which cannot be formulated, but must be felt to be known. (2) Grace awakens the moral senses. Love makes them delicately sensitive to spiritual things. Christian life appeals to them. Experience comes in the exercise of them. (3) This experience produces a profounder knowledge and a deeper love by intensifying spiritual perceptions, because—2. It is a medium of communication with the unseen and eternal. 3. As a medium of communication with God it makes the soul superior to, and independent of, the senses. When these close at eventide, the moral senses only open wider for the morning sun. 4. It robes the soul with a halo of light more assuring and glorious than “the glory cloud” emitted. 5. It imparts to the soul that delicate tact and instinct which almost instinctively perceives what is right, and almost unconsciously shrinks from what is wrong. 6. It is indestructible by death, and shall be an imperishable avenue for the soul’s perpetual advance in knowledge. (G. G. Ballard.)

Love inseparable from Christian life:—Goethe says, “We hear of a particular regulation in force in the British naval service. The whole cordage, from the strongest to the weakest, has a red thread moving throughout it, which cannot be twisted out with out undoing it all. In this way even the smallest parts are recognized as the property of the Crown.” Love in the Christian character, we may say, is that which is woven into every part of it, is that which cannot be removed without destroying the whole, and is that which is enduring and indestructible evidence that the character is owned by Him who is King. (J. Hutchinson, D.D.) Love: its critical function:—Love abounding in all discernment distinguishes the wrong from the right, just as a good ear distinguishes a false and imperfect note from the true. (Webster and Wilkinson.)

The training of love:—As we train the bodily senses of sight, and touch, and hearing to discriminate accurately, and bring them by exercise, voluntary or involuntary, to exquisite precision and almost unfailing accuracy, so our love must be trained to be itself a universal spiritual sense, at once the eye and the ear and the hand of the heart, seeing and hearing and touching in things Divine, with a sure and delicate feeling that seldom needs correction. (W. B. Pope, D.D.)

Regulated love:—The chariot in ancient warfare had its two occupants, the warrior and the charioteer: the one could not engage the enemy unless the other held the reins and guided the course. So love, the true, the only commissioned soldier in that warfare whose every triumph is peace, can fight towards victory only when knowledge directs and controls every movement that is made. (J. Hutchinson, D.D.)

Advancement in knowledge must be constant:—Spain once held both sides of the Mediterranean at the Straits of Gibraltar. So highly did she value her possessions, that she stamped on her coin the two Pillars of Hercules (as the promontories of rock were called); and on a scroll thrown over these were the words, ne plus ultra, “no more beyond.” But one day a bold spirit sailed far beyond these pillars, and found a new world of beauty. Then Spain, wisely convinced of ignorance, struck the word ne from the coin, and left plus ultra, “more beyond.” How many a man, whose conceit is great, thinks he has reached the limits of knowledge, when further investigation would open to him a continent of truth before unknown. (Bp. Simpson)

The excellence of love:—We have many servants who regard their work as drudgery, and though they do their duties, they do them with no regard for our interests: but the old-fashioned servants were of another kind. If you have any such, you will prize one of such above a thousand others. They love their master, and they identify themselves with his interests. Old John did not want orders, he was a law to himself, he served from love. When his master one day spoke about their parting, he wanted to know where his master was going, for he had no idea of going himself: he was part and parcel of the household, and was worth his weight in diamonds. You may well say, “I would give my eyes to get such a servant as that.” I dare say you would. Our Lord Jesus gave Himself that He might make such servants out of us. (C. H. Spurgeon.)

Love rich in purse:—A poor widow contributed to the Dorpatian Branch of the Russian Bible Society a rouble; and, to the question whether that sum was not rather too much for one in her circumstances, she answered, “Love is not afraid of giving too much.”

Intelligent love:—Blind love fails in any sphere of action. A true-hearted boy, who finds his mother suddenly made a widow, and his young sisters and himself fatherless, and sees want coming on with fierce visage and rapid steps like an armed man, is impelled by his love to the dear ones around him to rush at once into the midst of the struggle of life; and in the place, and with the weapons, of a full-grown man, give the enemy battle. The love and the zeal are most beautiful and admirable, yet those among the onlookers who have experience of the world’s difficulty cannot but fear that the young hero may soon be brought home from the battle-field wounded and bleeding and despondent. He needs training. His love must have the knowledge of men and things along with it, before it is likely to reach its aim. So with Christian love generally, going forth to do work for God and man in the world. Having talents entrusted to us by God to lay out for Him, we must strive—by the study of our powers and opportunities, temptations and dangers; by the consideration of present circumstances, and by cautious forecast; by carefully looking in and out, and at all things in the light of God’s Word—to become wise and successful spiritual traffickers. (R. Johnstone, LL.B.)

The love of God without knowledge:—The affections of the human soul are certainly not devoid of heavenly aspirations; but what if they do not clearly know God? Then, like the vine stretching up its tendril fingers and finding no support, and so falling back again to creep upon the earth from which it sprung, the heart that fails to find God, only loves the world the more desperately and hopelessly. Blessed be God, therefore, for the Cross of Christ, that trellis for the heart’s affection. It is this by which the soul learns to know the love of God; and upon it the renewed affections climb higher and higher; beneath it they strike their roots deeper and deeper; upon its arms they reach out farther and farther; evermore increasing in love by increasing in knowledge. (A. J. Gordon.)

The knowledge of Christ the mainstay of brotherly love:—Two burnished reflectors can radiate the brightness from one to the other if there be a light between them. But, if each only reflects from the other, there can be no illumination: because neither furnishes any supply of light. So two Christians, reciprocating each other’s affections, will make but a poor exhibit of brotherly love, unless they have Christ between them as the centre and source of their life. And there is just as little to admire in mutual fellowship among Christians, unless Christ be in the midst of them as the centre of that fellowship. To exhort one another, to comfort one another, and to love one another, are all most solemn duties. But where will be the profit in them unless Christ be the central theme, and His grace and glory be the central objects of our admiration and praise? The cherubim stood with “their faces one toward another;” but the mercy-seat was between. And it was upon faces bending in eager gaze upon those “things which the angels desire to look into,” that the glory of God was reflected. If we get cheer and brightness from looking into each other’s faces, and communing with each other in the services of God’s house, it will be because Christ stands in the midst of us, the object of all our meditations and the fountain of all our joys. “This is eternal life, that they might know Thee, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom Thou has sent.” “I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord.” (Ibid.)[11]


9. Such heartfelt desire to see the Christians at Philippi cannot be immediately fulfilled in view of the apostle’s circumstances; and the only outlet of his feelings is in the form of a prayer, which ranks as one of the outstanding prayers of the apostle for his churches. Almost every word must be carefully weighed if the greatness and range of the petition are to yield their richness.

It is a prayer that love for fellow-believers may develop in the qualities of knowledge and depth of insight. The first word generally conveys the idea of a mental grasp of spiritual truth, but the biblical sense of knowing God in an intimacy made possible through his self-disclosure and received by faith is the main thought here. A better knowledge of God and his ways will promote greater harmony within the fellowship, and give the Philippians a clearer understanding of their mutual relationships as fellow-believers. Aisthēsis, translated in niv as depth of insight, can be understood also as ‘perception’, ‘discrimination’, or even ‘tact’; it is the employment of the faculty which makes a person able to make a moral decision. (Cf. the cognate word in Heb. 5:14, ‘moral faculties’.) It is used in the lxx to translate ‘wisdom’ and ‘knowledge’ (especially in Proverbs e.g. 1:4, 7, 22; 3:20; 5:2), but is found only once in the New Testament.

These two Christian qualities were necessary in a community where a tendency to disunity and fault-finding was present (see on 4:1ff.), and needed to be put right. So Paul makes this his earnest prayer before proceeding to admonition and correction. Christians, it seems, are slow to learn this valuable lesson: the most effective way to influence another is to pray for that person, and if a word of rebuke or correction has to be spoken let it be prayed over first, and then spoken in love.[12]


9. This I pray that your love. He returns to the prayer, which he had simply touched upon in one word in passing. He states, accordingly, the sum of those things which he asked from God in their behalf, that they also may learn to pray after his example, and may aspire at proficiency in those gifts. The view taken by some, as though the love of the Philippians denoted the Philippians themselves, as illiterate persons are accustomed very commonly to say, “Your reverence,”—“Your paternity,” is absurd. For no instance of such an expression occurs in the writings of Paul, nor had such fooleries come into use. Besides, the statement would be less complete, and, independently of this, the simple and natural meaning of the words suits admirably well. For the true attainments of Christians are when they make progress in knowledge, and understanding, and afterwards in love. Accordingly the particle in, according to the idiom of the Hebrew tongue, is taken here to mean with, as I have also rendered it, unless perhaps one should prefer to explain it as meaning by, so as to denote the instrument or formal cause. For, the greater proficiency we make in knowledge, so much the more ought our love to increase. The meaning in that case would be, “That your love may increase according to the measure of knowledge.” All knowledge, means what is full and complete—not a knowledge of all things.[13]


1:9 / This is my prayer: which catches up “I pray” in verse 4 (although a different Greek word is now used), may mean “I am praying at this moment” (which was no doubt true in any case) or (more probably) “I pray for you regularly, and this is what I pray for,” that your love may abound more and more. For Paul, “the fruit of the Spirit is love” before all else in the lives of which he takes possession (Gal. 5:22); “God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit” (Rom. 5:5). If such love increases among the Philippian Christians, it will remove those threats to their unity of heart and purpose that arise from occasional clashes of personality and temperament. Paul returns to the subject in 2:2, where he urges his readers to make his “joy complete by … ‘having the same love.’ ”

This love, he trusts, will be accompanied by knowledge and depth of insight. Paul was not blind to the dangers of emotion uncontrolled by intelligence. He was resolved, by his own account, to pray and sing “with my spirit, but … also … with my mind” (1 Cor. 14:15), and he was equally concerned that he and his converts should love in spirit and mind alike.

It is love that fosters the growth of true knowledge and discernment or spiritual perception. “Knowledge,” divorced from love, “puffs up,” whereas “love builds up” (1 Cor. 8:1). But if love is indispensable, knowledge and depth of insight are necessary. The truth of the gospel is liable to be subverted where ignorance and faulty judgment provide a foothold for the unsound teaching against which the Philippians are put on their guard in chapter 3.[14]


That their love would abound (v. 9)

This may seem to us to be a very strange request in the light of what we have already noted, that is, that the Philippian church was already characterized by love. We can be sure that Paul is not now denying what he has already stated. He is rather affirming that love is a grace in which we can always advance. No matter how much we love, we can love more.

He is also praying for them to abound in a certain type of love, that is, love with knowledge and discernment. He will soon find it necessary to warn them about the ever-present danger of false teachers (3:2, 18–19). The Philippians would make themselves easy prey for such teachers if, in the interest of being loving, they were uncritically to accept everything that these teachers were presenting.

We should be keenly aware of this danger. How often the church today has refused to stand against doctrinal error because someone argued that we must be loving! And, of course, love was understood to mean being agreeable and tolerant.

No one believed more firmly in love than Paul, and yet he did not hesitate to rebuke a fellow apostle for compromising the truth (Gal. 2:11–21). Paul did this because he understood that love and truth are not enemies. The most loving thing we can do is stand for the truth in a loving way.[15]


1:9 Having expressed his gratitude to God for the Philippians in 1:3–8, Paul now turns to the content of his prayer for the Philippians in one long sentence that encompasses 1:9–11. Cutting through the complicated structure of this sentence, the central request is that their love would abound in knowledge and all discernment (1:9). The purpose of praying this is so that they would be able to approve what is excellent/essential (1:10a). As a result they will become progressively more Christ-like in anticipation of the day of Christ (1:10b–11a). On that day the fruitful holiness of God’s people will result in God receiving praise and glory (1:11b).

He begins simply by stating and it is my prayer. Paul has already mentioned thanking God and praying for the Philippians (1:3–4), but now he indicates the content of those prayers. The central request is that your love may abound more and more. He does not specify whether the love he speaks of is their love for God or others, because he means his readers to include both.87 Elsewhere Paul extols the love that God has shown for His people in the death of His Son (e.g., Rom. 5:5–8; 8:35–39) as well as love for others (e.g., 1 Cor. 13:1–13). Love has the pride of place when indicating the defining marks of a Christian. It is greater than either faith or hope (1 Cor. 13:13) and stands at the head of the list of the fruit of the Spirit (Gal. 5:22). Jesus told His disciples that people will recognize them as His followers by their love for each other (John 13:35). Of course, we are only able to love others because God has first loved us, and our failure to love others calls into question our claim to love God (1 John 4:7–21).

Paul prays that their love would abound more and more. The verb translated abound (perisseuō) is a Pauline favorite. Despite human rebellion in Adam, God’s grace abounds for many through Jesus Christ (Rom. 5:15; cf. Eph. 1:7–8). Believers are to abound in the work of the Lord (1 Cor. 15:58). As Christ’s followers we share abundantly in both His suffering and His comfort (2 Cor. 1:5). In 1:26 this same verb refers to how the Philippians’ grounds for boasting will abound when Paul visits them. Even more significantly, he uses the verb in 4:12 and 4:18 to speak of experiencing abundance in light of the Philippians’ gift. But the closest parallel to Philippians 1:9 is 1 Thessalonians 3:12, where Paul prays that God would ‘make you increase and abound in love for one another and for all, as we do for you.’ Far from being a static reality, biblical love is something that grows over time and overflows into our thoughts, words and actions more and more.

The kind of love in view here abounds with knowledge and all discernment. In mentioning knowledge Paul likely anticipates 3:8–11, where he testifies to the ‘surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus’ (3:8) and his desire ‘that I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death’ (3:10). This particular word for knowledge (epignōsis) may stress ‘a degree of thoroughness or competence.’ But here it likely speaks of knowing Christ to such a degree that one’s thoughts, attitudes, actions and words are transformed into greater conformity to God’s will.

Biblical love also abounds with all discernment. Other English versions translate this word ‘insight’ (niv), ‘understanding’ (nlt) or ‘judgment’ (kjv). Part of the difficulty is that this Greek word (aisthēsis) appears nowhere else in the New Testament. It does occur frequently in Proverbs, where it most often has the sense of insight or knowledge (e.g., Prov. 1:22; 2:10; 3:20). If it refers to discernment, the idea is of making necessary distinctions between right and wrong, good and bad, wise and foolish, etc. (cf. Heb. 5:14). But if it speaks of insights, the emphasis rests on a level of understanding that penetrates beneath the surface to the complexity of something along with its implications. The fact that the very next verse indicates the purpose of this growth of love is for the purpose of enabling the Philippians to approve the essential things may slightly tip the scales towards seeing a reference to discernment. By adding the word all Paul stresses the totality of the discernment.

Paul’s desire for the Philippians’ love to increasingly abound in knowledge and discernment/insight indicates at least three important truths. First, although love must have some basis in basic knowledge, its depth, consistency and endurance in some sense depend on growing intimacy with the person or object loved. This point is worth emphasis in a day where mysticism often beckons away from biblical reality. Knowledge is not the enemy of love for God, but a necessary condition for its existence. In a healthy marriage, a husband’s love for his wife (and vice versa) deepens as he grows in his knowledge of her. The same is true of our relationship with God; as we grow in our understanding of Him and His ways, our love for Him, His gospel, His people and the world will deepen as well.

Second, the fact that Paul prays for this growth in knowledge and insight/discernment implies that it is God who must grant these realities. While it is our responsibility as believers to pursue growth in knowledge and discernment/insight through the available means such as the preaching of God’s Word, reading/studying the Bible and helpful Christian literature, these activities are insufficient in and of themselves to produce the kind of knowledge and discernment/insight Paul speaks of here. Apart from the supernatural work of God’s Spirit to use those efforts, the only kind of knowledge gained from those activities is the kind that makes a person arrogant (cf. 1 Cor. 8:1). Bockmuehl summarizes the thought well here: ‘Christ, it seems, has no place for love that is selfish, indulgent, and lacking in discrimination—nor indeed for knowledge that does not express itself in love.’ How essential it is then to pray that God will grant us knowledge and discernment/insight that works itself out in tangible acts of love for God and others.

Third, for Paul, love is not a synonym for naïveté. Popular depictions of Christian love as gullible credulity, easily taken in by false teachers, parasites, and hucksters, find no basis in the teaching of the apostles. Paul knew that a loving congregation could be a very vulnerable congregation, unless their love were tempered by a vigorously Biblical sense of knowledge and discernment such as is offered in Proverbs and the rest of the apostles’ writings. The apostle shows this in his stinging rebuke of the sloppy notions of grace shown in Corinth (1 Cor. 5:1–2, 6, and context), and in his lament about their willingness to embrace teachers who were both false (2 Cor. 11:4) and abusive (v. 20). If knowledge is not the enemy of love, neither is wise discernment.[16]


At the beginning of his thanksgiving (v. 4), Paul told the Philippians that he prayed for them on a regular basis, and that he made those prayers with joy. Now, flowing directly out of his own longing for them “with the affection of Christ Jesus” (v. 8), he tells them what that prayer consists of.

First, he prays (item 1) that “your love may abound more and more.” Many years earlier, where an existing love also needed some further prodding, Paul prayed similarly for the Thessalonians that their “love [might] increase and overflow” (1 Thess 3:12). In that case he specified the direction of the love for which he prayed: “for each other and for everyone else.” The linguistic and contextual similarities between these two prayers suggest a similar direction to the love for which he now prays—that their love for one another abound all the more, a concern that is expressly picked up in 2:2 (“that you have the same love [for one another]”).

“Love” is such a common word to us that it is easy to miss Paul’s concern. As used by Paul, and following the lead of the Septuagint, “love” first of all points to the character of God, and to God’s actions toward his people based on that character. God’s love is demonstrated especially in his “forbearance” and “kindness” (1 Cor 13:4), manifested ultimately in the death of Christ for his enemies (Rom 5:6–8). Thus its primary connotation is not “affection,” as in the preceding phrase about Christ (v. 8), but rather “a sober kind of love—love in the sense of placing high value on a person or thing,” which expresses itself in actively seeking the benefit of the one so loved. And this is what Paul now prays will “abound13 yet more and more” among the Philippian believers. The rest of the prayer, after all, emphasizes “love” not as “affection” but as behavior, behavior that is both “pure” (stemming from right motives) and “blameless” (lacking offense).

On the other hand, both the present tense of the verb and the qualifier “yet more and more”15 indicate that Paul is not by this prayer “getting on their case,” as it were, for something they lacked. Quite the opposite. His concern is that they not let behavior motivated by “selfish ambition or vain conceit” (2:3) undermine the very thing that has long characterized them, to which 2 Cor 8:1–6 bears eloquent testimony. The problem is similar to that occasionally experienced by families, where love is sometimes more easily shown toward those on the outside, who are known very little and with whom one does not have constant association. But actively to love on the inside, those with whom one is in constant relationship and where one’s own place in the sun is constantly being threatened, that can be another matter. Thus he prays that the love that has long characterized them will continue “still more and more” toward one and all.

Second (item 2), he prays for a similar increase “in knowledge and depth of insight.” The single preposition controlling both nouns suggests a very close relationship between them. The first word (epignōsis) is probably the key. Its primary sense is not so much “knowledge about” something, but rather the kind of “full,” or “innate,” knowing that comes from experience or personal relationship. The second word (aisthēsis), which occurs only here in the NT, is more difficult to pin down. In secular Greek it denotes moral understanding based on experience, hence something close to “moral insight.” This is the sense which the translators of the LXX picked up, for whom it becomes a near synonym for “wisdom” (sophia) or “insight/understanding” (sunesis). Very likely, therefore, this phrase is something of an abbreviated equivalent of the similar phrase in the (roughly contemporary) prayer in Col 1:9 (“that by means of all of the Spirit’s wisdom [sophia] and insight [sunesis] you might be filled with the knowledge [epignōsis] of God’s will”).

Thus, even though the phrase grammatically modifies “that your love may abound more and more,” and may indicate the “manner” in which he hopes that love will abound, more likely the grammatical link is with the verb (“I pray”) alone, so that conceptually Paul has moved in a new direction with the prayer. This seems to be verified by the clause that follows, which again grammatically should modify the whole of the preceding clause, but in fact seems to be related singularly to the prepositional phrase (“in knowledge and depth of insight”). If this be the case, then Paul is now praying a second thing, that along with an ever-increasing love they may also experience an ever-increasing knowledge (of God and his will) and moral insight. An increased knowledge of God is what is needed in order for them to “walk worthy of the gospel” and in the one Spirit to contend for that gospel as one person (1:27).[17]


9 Paul’s twofold thanksgiving for their partnership is balanced by a twofold petition for their continued spiritual growth (cf. Col 1:9–11): that their love abound more and more “in knowledge and depth of insight.” He acknowledges the love of the Colossians, Thessalonians, and Philemon in the thanksgiving sections of his letters to them (Col 1:8; 1 Th 1:3; 2 Th 1:3; Phm 5), but his prayer for the Philippians’ love to increase is unique (cf. 1 Th 3:12; 4:9–10). His passionate appeal for love to permeate their communal life (2:1–2; see also 1:16) suggests that he regards a lack of love to be behind the friction at work between Euodia and Syntyche (4:2–3) that could rip apart the church’s fellowship.

It may seem unusual to pray that love increase in “knowledge” (epignōsis, GK 2106) and “depth of insight” (aisthēsis, GK 151). Insight (or feeling) without knowledge is nothing. Knowledge without love also is nothing (1 Co 13:2), but love without knowledge and insight is dangerous. Christian love is not blind or mindless, and Paul prays for them to abound in love that is instructed and morally discerning.[18]


Love

And this I pray, that your love may abound still more and more in real knowledge and all discernment, (1:9)

Anyone who is in the least familiar with the New Testament knows that love—of God for men and of men for God and for each other—is at the very heart of biblical Christianity. The God of Scripture not only loves but is love (1 John 4:8, 16). “Love is from God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God … and the one who abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him” (1 John 4:7, 16). God loves fallen humanity so much that “He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life” (John 3:16). Love is an absolute and pervasive attribute of God’s essential nature and a critical reality in the gospel of Jesus Christ.

No one understood the importance of love better than the apostle Paul. Because he loved the Philippian believers, he continually prayed for them. As with all those under his care, the apostle’s constant concern for these saints was for their spiritual growth, for which growth in love was essential. He expressed that same concern for growth to the Galatians: “My children, with whom I am again in labor until Christ is formed in you” (Gal. 4:19). The responsibility of apostles, prophets, evangelists, and pastor-teachers is

the equipping of the saints for the work of service, to the building up of the body of Christ; until we all attain to the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a mature man, to the measure of the stature which belongs to the fullness of Christ.… [And] speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in all aspects into Him who is the head, even Christ” (Eph. 4:12–13, 15).

The Greek word agapē (love) is used so uniquely in the New Testament that ancient Greek literature, even the Septuagint (the Greek translation of the Old Testament), sheds little light on its meaning in the New Testament. In both Testaments, however, love is the virtue that surpasses all others; indeed, it is the prerequisite for all the others. When a Pharisee asked Jesus, “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?” He replied by quoting Deuteronomy 6:5 and Leviticus 19:18. “ ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the great and foremost commandment. The second is like it, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ On these two commandments depend the whole Law and the Prophets” (Matt. 22:36–40).

Paul also speaks of love in the opening sections of several other letters. Writing to the churches at Ephesus, Colossae, and Thessalonica, he commends believers for their love for each other and for fellow believers everywhere (Eph. 1:15; Col. 1:4; 1 Thess. 1:3; 2 Thess. 1:3). Later in Colossians he speaks of love as “the perfect bond of unity” (3:14). In 1 Corinthians, he elevates love above hope and even faith (1 Cor. 13:13). A few verses earlier he declares that love actually encompasses the other two, because love “believes all things [and] hopes all things” (v. 7). In fact, apart from genuine godly love, every other virtue and activity, no matter how seemingly biblical and sincere, amounts to nothing (vv. 1–3).

In the present verse, Paul mentions or implies at least five distinct but interrelated characteristics of Christian agapē love. This love is divine, de facto, decisive, dynamic, and discerning.

First, as the statement And this I pray implies, the love Paul wrote about is divine in its nature and in its origin. Paul petitioned God to provide the Philippians with more of the love that comes only from Him. He clearly agreed with his fellow apostle John that “love is from God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. The one who does not love does not know God, for God is love.… In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins.… We love, because He first loved us” (1 John 4:7–8, 10, 19).

Godly love is produced only by the working of the Holy Spirit in the hearts of those who belong to Him. “The love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us” (Rom. 5:5). It is the first and foremost of the fruit of the Spirit (Gal. 5:22–23). Believers are taught by God Himself to love. “Now as to the love of the brethren,” Paul explained, “you have no need for anyone to write to you, for you yourselves are taught by God to love one another; for indeed you do practice it toward all the brethren who are in all Macedonia. But we urge you, brethren, to excel still more” (1 Thess. 4:9–10).

Like God’s general love for mankind (John 3:16–17) and His electing love for believers (John 17:23; 1 John 4:16), biblical love is a choice. It is based solely on the intent of the one who loves, not on any merit of those who receive it. The only exception, of course, is the believer’s love for God, who is uniquely and supremely deserving.

Illustrating biblical love in the Sermon on the Mount Jesus declared,

You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven; for He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? (Matt. 5:43–46)

It is therefore clear that agapē love is not based on emotional or sentimental, much less physical, attraction. That is not to say that Christian love is without feeling or sentiment. It is inevitable that believers’ love for others, even those who do not love in return, will produce an emotional attachment (cf. Rom. 9:1–4; 10:1). Paul’s love for fellow believers, especially those like the Philippians, who loved and cared for him so much, was profoundly emotional. But that emotional attraction was not the basis of his love for them. On a volitional level, he also loved the immature, bickering, and ungrateful believers in Corinth.

Second, this love is what might be called de facto. The Philippians were already showing love for Paul and each other. That is why the apostle could say he wanted their love to abound still more. Scripture reveals that all genuine Christians possess godly love, because the Holy Spirit places it in their hearts (cf. Rom. 5:5; Gal. 5:22; 1 Thess. 4:9–10; 1 John 4:7–8).

Love of fellow Christians is a sure mark of saving faith. “By this all men will know that you are My disciples,” Jesus said, “if you have love for one another” (John 13:35). Expanding on that truth, John later wrote: “We know that we have passed out of death into life, because we love the brethren. He who does not love abides in death.… If someone says, ‘I love God,’ and hates his brother, he is a liar; for the one who does not love his brother whom he has seen, cannot love God whom he has not seen” (1 John 3:14; 4:20).

Third, genuine love is decisive. As mentioned above, it is a love not based on feelings, but is rather a conscious, intentional choice to show kindness and generosity. In obedience to the Lord’s command, believers willingly choose to express the love He has placed within them. They do so whether others are lovable or not, and whether they respond or not. Believers unselfishly love others because that is the way God loves and because that is how He commands them to love. By obeying the Lord’s command to “love one another, even as I have loved you” (John 13:34), believers become “imitators of God, as beloved children” (Eph. 5:1).

Jesus gave that command in the Upper Room, not long after He had washed the disciples’ feet, a menial and unpleasant task normally performed only by servants. The Lord went on to explain:

You call Me Teacher and Lord; and you are right, for so I am. If I then, the Lord and the Teacher, washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I gave you an example that you also should do as I did to you. Truly, truly, I say to you, a slave is not greater than his master, nor is one who is sent greater than the one who sent him. (John 13:13–16)

Jesus also illustrated this volitional, decisive, and sacrificial love in the parable of the Good Samaritan (Luke 10:30–35). The Samaritan helped the stranger who was beaten and robbed because the man needed help, not for his own self-satisfaction, self-fulfillment, or feeling of enhanced self-worth. To love our neighbor as ourselves is to do all we can to meet our neighbor’s needs in the same way and to the same extent that we would want our own needs to be met under similar circumstances. It is to apply the Golden Rule: “In everything, therefore, treat people the same way you want them to treat you, for this is the Law and the Prophets” (Matt. 7:12).

Again Jesus is the supreme example of sacrificial love. In John 15:12–13 He declared: “This is My commandment, that you love one another, just as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends.” “Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children,” Paul wrote; “and walk in love, just as Christ also loved you and gave Himself up for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God as a fragrant aroma” (Eph. 5:1–2). Husbands are specifically commanded to “love [their] wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her” (v. 25).

Paul gives perhaps the richest summary of godly love later in Philippians:

Therefore if there is any encouragement in Christ, if there is any consolation of love, if there is any fellowship of the Spirit, if any affection and compassion, make my joy complete by being of the same mind, maintaining the same love, united in spirit, intent on one purpose. Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves; do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others. Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men. Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. (2:1–8)

That kind of willful, humble, self-giving love is much needed in the church today, which is all too often influenced by the world’s corrupted concept of love. People care little about beneficent, selfless love (not to mention godly love); the world’s concept of love is one that plays on self-interest, even when promoting causes that are meant to help others. Tragically, even in the church people are sometimes asked to give to the Lord’s work because doing so will make them feel good about themselves.

Fourth, godly love is dynamic. It has the capability to abound. Love is not mere emotion or feeling, and as it grows it always finds increasing expression in a righteous character and humble service. Abound is from perisseuō, which has the basic idea of overflowing in great abundance. In this verse, the present tense indicates a continual progress. Love is to grow and abound throughout the life of a believer. Jesus used the verb in the parable of the sower, explaining that “to you it has been granted to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it has not been granted. For whoever has, to him more shall be given, and he will have an abundance; but whoever does not have, even what he has shall be taken away from him” (Matt. 13:11–12).

Because of its divine nature, this dynamic love energizes the fulfilling of divine law. Jesus declared that fulfilling the two supreme commandments to love God and men is the foundation of the whole Law and the Prophets (Matt. 22:37–40). In similar words, Paul said, “He who loves his neighbor has fulfilled the law. For this, ‘You shall not commit adultery, you shall not murder, you shall not steal, you shall not covet,’ and if there is any other commandment, it is summed up in this saying, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfillment of the law” (Rom. 13:8–10).

The second law of thermodynamics states that all matter and energy in the universe are in a constant state of entropy, a process of continual degradation and deterioration. That law of physics has a counterpart in the Christian life. There is a residual and destructive principle of spiritual entropy that pressures God’s people to slip backwards. To avoid doing so, believers must diligently study and obey His Word, come before Him in prayer, and trust in His continuing grace and power to make them grow and abound in love.

Paul described his own struggle with that residual principle in Romans 7:21–25:

I find then the principle that evil is present in me, the one who wants to do good. For I joyfully concur with the law of God in the inner man, but I see a different law in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin which is in my members. Wretched man that I am! Who will set me free from the body of this death? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, on the one hand I myself with my mind am serving the law of God, but on the other, with my flesh the law of sin.

In Ephesians he called this continuing propensity to sin “the old self, which is being corrupted in accordance with the lusts of deceit” (Eph. 4:22; cf. Col. 3:9). For that reason the apostle reminded the church at Corinth that only “God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that always having all sufficiency in everything, you may have an abundance for every good deed” (2 Cor. 9:8). It is also for that reason that he prayed for the Thessalonians that “the Lord [may] cause you to increase and abound in love for one another, and for all people, just as we also do for you” (1 Thess. 3:12; cf. 1 John 3:11).

The dynamic of godly love also abounds in real knowledge, namely, the true and infallible knowledge expressed in God’s Word. Any love that is not grounded and growing in the truth and standards of Scripture falls short of genuine biblical love. Real knowledge is much more than mere factual information about God’s Word, or even the acknowledgment of it as true and infallible. Real knowledge produces holiness through sincere devotion and obedience to the infallible Scriptures. It was because the faithful believers in Rome lived righteously that Paul could say to them: “And concerning you, my brethren, I myself also am convinced that you yourselves are full of goodness, filled with all knowledge and able also to admonish one another” (Rom. 15:14). Virtue is inseparably linked to the real (true) knowledge of God’s truth. “For the fruit of the Light consists in all goodness and righteousness and truth [knowledge]” (Eph. 5:9). Likewise, Peter declares: “Since you have in obedience to the truth purified your souls for a sincere love of the brethren, fervently love one another from the heart” (1 Peter 1:22). “Fervently” is from ektenōs, which carries the basic idea of stretching, straining, or going to the limit, and figuratively speaks of great sincerity, earnestness, and fervor. Obedience to God’s Word, the only source of real knowledge, purifies the soul and enables one to love to the limit.

Biblical love involves obedience to the Word. “If you love Me,” Jesus said, “you will keep My commandments.… He who has My commandments and keeps them is the one who loves Me.… If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our abode with him.… If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love; just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love” (John 14:15, 21, 23; 15:10; cf. 1 John 3:24).

No impulse or feeling that leads one to disobey Scripture can be approved and blessed by God. Such “love” not only does not reflect godly love but also is the antithesis and enemy of it. For example, people who try to justify an immoral affair by claiming the Lord led them to fall in love with the other person repudiate God’s Word. Scripture clearly condemns all sexual immorality without exception, including that of romantic attraction.

Fifth, godly love is discerning. It not only abounds in the life of one who has a true and accurate knowledge of God’s Word but also does so in all discernment. Aisthēsis (discernment) is the source of the English word “aesthetic.” But the meaning of aisthēsis is almost the opposite of “aesthetic,” which largely has to do with personal taste and preference. Paul calls believers to put aside personal tastes and preferences and to focus rather on achieving mature insight and understanding. Aisthēsis appears only here in the New Testament and refers to a high level of biblical, theological, moral, and spiritual perception. It also implies the right application of that knowledge. In other words, discernment is the understanding and appreciation of the real knowledge of God’s revelation that produces holy living. Unlike the way that worldly love is often characterized, biblical love is far from blind. On the contrary, it is wise and judicious. It understands “the mind of Christ” (1 Cor. 2:16), has knowledge, and makes wise assessments, which provide clear directives for holy living. It is a biblically knowledgeable and discriminating love that is under the control of a Spirit-controlled mind and heart. It is the kind of love that can fulfill Paul’s admonition to the Thessalonians: “Examine everything carefully; hold fast to that which is good; abstain from every form of evil” (1 Thess. 5:21–22).[19]


[1] Barry, J. D., Mangum, D., Brown, D. R., Heiser, M. S., Custis, M., Ritzema, E., … Bomar, D. (2012, 2016). Faithlife Study Bible (Php 1:9). Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press.

[2] MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (2006). The MacArthur study Bible: New American Standard Bible. (Php 1:9). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

[3] Radmacher, E. D., Allen, R. B., & House, H. W. (1999). Nelson’s new illustrated Bible commentary (p. 1546). Nashville: T. Nelson Publishers.

[4] Sapaugh, G. P. (2010). The Epistle of Paul the Apostle to the Philippians. In R. N. Wilkin (Ed.), The Grace New Testament Commentary (p. 895). Denton, TX: Grace Evangelical Society.

[5] MacDonald, W. (1995). Believer’s Bible Commentary: Old and New Testaments. (A. Farstad, Ed.) (p. 1961). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.

[6] Lightner, R. P. (1985). Philippians. In J. F. Walvoord & R. B. Zuck (Eds.), The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures (Vol. 2, p. 650). Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.

[7] Foulkes, F. (1994). Philippians. In D. A. Carson, R. T. France, J. A. Motyer, & G. J. Wenham (Eds.), New Bible commentary: 21st century edition (4th ed., p. 1250). Leicester, England; Downers Grove, IL: Inter-Varsity Press.

[8] Anders, M. (1999). Galatians-Colossians (Vol. 8, p. 208). Nashville, TN: Broadman & Holman Publishers.

[9] Utley, R. J. (1997). Paul Bound, the Gospel Unbound: Letters from Prison (Colossians, Ephesians and Philemon, then later, Philippians) (Vol. Volume 8, pp. 166–167). Marshall, TX: Bible Lessons International.

[10] Hendriksen, W., & Kistemaker, S. J. (1953–2001). Exposition of Philippians (Vol. 5, pp. 59–60). Grand Rapids: Baker Book House.

[11] Exell, J. S. (n.d.). The Biblical Illustrator: Philippians–Colossians (Vol. 1, pp. 21–25). New York; Chicago; Toronto; London; Edinburgh: Fleming H. Revell Company.

[12] Martin, R. P. (1987). Philippians: An Introduction and Commentary (Vol. 11, pp. 71–72). Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press.

[13] Calvin, J., & Pringle, J. (2010). Commentaries on the Epistles of Paul the Apostle to the Philippians, Colossians, and Thessalonians (p. 31). Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software.

[14] Bruce, F. F. (2011). Philippians (pp. 36–37). Peabody, MA: Baker Books.

[15] Ellsworth, R. (2004). Opening up Philippians (pp. 19–20). Leominster: Day One Publications.

[16] Harmon, M. S. (2015). Philippians: A Mentor Commentary (pp. 95–99). Great Britain; Ross-shire: Mentor.

[17] Fee, G. D. (1995). Paul’s Letter to the Philippians (pp. 97–100). Grand Rapids, MI: Wm.B. Eerdmans Publishing Co.

[18] Garland, D. E. (2006). Philippians. In T. Longman III (Ed.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Ephesians–Philemon (Revised Edition) (Vol. 12, pp. 194–195). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan.

[19] MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (2001). Philippians (pp. 40–46). Chicago: Moody Press.

The Cumulative Case for Christianity: Death by a 1,000 Paper Cuts — Cold Case Christianity

Following Dateline’s airing of our latest cold-case (“The Wire”), I received a number of concerned emails from viewers who felt there simply wasn’t enough evidence to be certain Douglas Bradford killed Lynne Knight. I think I can see their point. Dateline has done an excellent job chronicling four of our investigations, but our cases are nearly impossible to adequately represent in the limited time Dateline has to tell the stories. Why? Because our cases are complex, layered, cumulative, circumstantial cases. While I’ve written often about the nature of circumstantial evidence, one of the most important evidential concepts related to our cold-cases is the role of cumulative arguments. When a large quantity of evidence points to the same suspect, the cumulative impact of this evidence can be powerful. Many of the individual facts and evidences may seem unimportant or trivial on their own, but when assembled as a set, their collective weight becomes unbearable. All my cold-cases are built in this way. We assemble dozens of facts, details, inferential statements and evidences and show the jury how the collective set of evidence implicates our suspect. I’ve often referred to this process sarcastically as “Death by a Thousand Paper Cuts”.

Defense attorneys typically respond to cumulative cases by focusing on those few pieces of evidence they believe to be the most damaging for their client. They then try to show how any number of other, unrelated causes might also explain these specific items of evidence. They want jurors to focus on the individual pieces rather than the collective set. In essence, they hope jurors will see the “trees” rather than the “forest” (and hopefully only a few of the trees, at that!) In the end, defense attorneys explain the evidences by way of many unrelated causes rather than by the simpler explanation: their client is the one causal factor who can account for all the evidence in the case. In many ways, it’s an “Ockham’s Razor” exercise. When one causal factor explains all the evidence in the case, that cause is the simplest (and most reasonable) explanation.

If you want to be a good Christian Case Maker (or you simply want to examine the case for Christianity for the first time), you’ll need to understand the power of cumulative cases. The Christian worldview is established in a collective manner: the reliability of the eyewitness Gospel accounts is built on more than one line of evidence. In fact, eyewitnesses are established based on four separate categories of evidence, expressed with four important questions: Where the eyewitnesses really present to see what they said they saw? Can their statements be corroborated or verified in some way? Have the eyewitnesses been honest and accurate over time? Do the eyewitnesses possess a bias or ulterior motive disqualifying them? These questions must be considered collectively. In addition to this, the case for each category is also made cumulatively. The issue of corroboration, for example is established on the basis of several unrelated lines of evidence including archaeology, ancient Jewish writings, ancient non-Christian Greek writings, geographic internal evidence, linguistic internal evidence, correct use of proper nouns, and the unintentional eyewitness support I describe in Cold-Case Christianity.

None of these individual elements corroborates the Biblical account on its own. They must be considered collectively. When a skeptic tries to attack the insufficiency of any single line of evidence for the Christian worldview, they are (like defense attorneys) asking the jury to ignore the implications of the collective case. They hope people will focus on a “tree” rather than the “forest”. They typically do their best to argue for an alternative explanation (or several alternative explanations) for each of these evidential facts. But the more reasonable explanation is much simpler: Christianity, if true, can explain all the evidence as the only causal factor. I’ve tried to illustrate the depth of the cumulative case for Christianity with a simple illustration (available as a free, downloadable Bible Insert on the homepage at http://www.ColdCaseChristianity.com):

Cumulative Case for the Reliability of the Gospel Accounst Bible Insert

When our cases are covered by Dateline, only a few evidences ever make the final edit. As a result, I often get notes from viewers who can’t understand how the jury convicted our suspect (even when some of these men later confessed to the crime!) But our juries never seem to struggle with their decision. Instead, they typically convict rather quickly. When jurors come to understand the power of a collective case, the decision is easy. The Christian worldview is also established cumulatively. If we can learn to communicate the strength of collective cases such as these, we’ll become better Christian Case Makers. If you’re examining the case for Christianity for the first time, don’t stop at the “tree-line”. Go deep. Look at everything. Assemble and assess the cumulative case.

For more information about the nature of Biblical faith and a strategy for communicating the truth of Christianity, please read Forensic Faith: A Homicide Detective Makes the Case for a More Reasonable, Evidential Christian Faith. This book teaches readers four reasonable, evidential characteristics of Christianity and provides a strategy for sharing Christianity with others. The book is accompanied by an eight-session Forensic Faith DVD Set (and Participant’s Guide) to help individuals or small groups examine the evidence and make the case.

J. Warner Wallace is a Dateline featured Cold-Case Detective, Senior Fellow at the Colson Center for Christian Worldview, Adj. Professor of Christian Apologetics at Talbot School of Theology, Biola University, author of Cold-Case ChristianityGod’s Crime Scene, and Forensic Faith, and creator of the Case Makers Academy for kids.

The Cumulative Case for Christianity: Death by a 1,000 Paper Cuts — Cold Case Christianity

March 9 Afternoon Quotes of The Day

“Jesus Is Our Divinest Symbol”
Colossians 1:15–17

Jesus is our divinest symbol. Higher has the human thought not yet reached. A symbol of quite perennial, infinite character: whose significance will ever demand to be anew inquired into and anew made manifest.

THOMAS CARLYLE

Ritzema, E. (Ed.). (2012). 300 Quotations for Preachers. Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press.

Partaking in God’s Glory
Romans 8:17; Colossians 1:27; 2 Thessalonians 2:14; 1 Peter 5:1; 2 Peter 1:4

Although He Himself is sufficient unto Himself in an infinity of glory, yet He seeks glory also in His saints, not that His own may be increased, but that He may partake it with them.

BERNARD OF CLAIRVAUX

Ritzema, E., & Brant, R. (Eds.). (2013). 300 quotations for preachers from the Medieval church. Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press.