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What is…
affection

a fond caring; an attraction

Christian affection for the Kingdom of God

Regenerate followers of Christ are exhorted to set their affections on things above, following God’s commands, rather than man-made religions and sinful Earthly pleasures.

Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth. —Colossians 3:2 KJV

If you have died with Christ to the elementary principles of the world, why, as if you were living in the world, do you submit yourself to decrees, such as, “Do not handle, do not taste, do not touch!” (which all refer to things destined to perish with use)—in accordance with the commandments and teachings of men? These are matters which have, to be sure, the appearance of wisdom in self-made religion and self-abasement and severe treatment of the body, but are of no value against fleshly indulgence.

Therefore if you have been raised up with Christ, keep seeking the things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth. For you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is our life, is revealed, then you also will be revealed with Him in glory.

Therefore consider the members of your earthly body as dead to immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and greed, which amounts to idolatry. —Colossians 2:20-3:2 NASB

Lack of true spiritual affection for God

A distinction was made by God in regard to what was true and false affection, of the Israelites, for Him (Ezek. 33:30-33 NASB).

…with their mouth they shew much love… —Ezek. 33:31 KJV

Based on what they SAID, they seemed to have great affection for God, but their affection for God was superficial and false, for they failed to do what God commanded. They seemed excited to hear God’s words, “but they do not practice them.” Rather they went after their own “lustful desires” and their hearts were devoted to personal, Earthly gain.

“But as for you, son of man, your fellow citizens who talk about you by the walls and in the doorways of the houses, speak to one another, each to his brother, saying,

‘Come now and hear what the message is which comes forth from the Lord.’

They come to you as people come, and sit before you as My people and hear your words, but they do not do them, for they do the lustful desires expressed by their mouth, and their heart goes after their gain.

Behold, you are to them like a sensual song by one who has a beautiful voice and plays well on an instrument; for they hear your words but they do not practice them. So when it comes to pass—as surely it will—then they will know that a prophet has been in their midst.” (NASB)

Evil affections

In the King James Bible, mention is made of “vile affections” (Romans 1:26) and “inordinate affection” (Col. 3:5).

Homosexuality

For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature… —Romans 1:26 KJV

ESV: For this reason God gave them up to dishonorable passions. For their women exchanged natural relations for those that are contrary to nature…

NASB: For they exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen.

For this reason God gave them over to degrading passions; for their women exchanged the natural function for that which is unnatural [literally “against nature”], and in the same way also the men abandoned the natural function of the woman and burned in their desire toward one another, men with men committing indecent acts [literally “the shameless deed”] and receiving in their own persons the due penalty of their error. —Romans 1:25-27 NASB

Inordinate affection

Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry: For which things’ sake the wrath of God cometh on the children of disobedience —Colossians 3:5-6 KJV

ESV: Put to death therefore what is earthly in you: sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry. On account of these the wrath of God is coming.

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Article Version: September 26, 2017