Galatians 5:22-23 (ESVST)
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self- control; against such things there is no law.
1 Corinthians 13:13 (ESVST)
So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.
These series is all about Love. We will discuss in this order:
1. What is love
2. Love attributes
3. How has God and Jesus loved us
4. What is expected of us
1) What is love?
Of all the attributes a Christian must present or have, love is by far the most important. It is one attributes even greater than our faith and the hope that we have. It us one attribute upon which the whole law and prophets depends. It is one of the virtues or attributes by which people will identify you as a Christian.
Matthew 22:37-40 (ESVST)
And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. 38 This is the great and first commandment. 39 And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. 40 On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.”
Romans 13:8 (ESVST)
8 Owe no one anything, except to love each other, for the one who loves another has fulfilled the law.
So, if you love God and you love thy neighbor as indicated in the verses above, you have complied with the law. This is how important love is. Loving God and thy neighbor are called great commandments. If this was not amazing enough, the bible says our God himself is love!
1 John 4:8 (ESVST)
Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love.
1 John 4:16 (ESVST)
So we have come to know and to believe the love that God has for us. God is love, and whoever abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him.
Our God himself being love, puts a stamp on how important love is. This is how Paul feels about not having love:
1 Corinthians 13:1-3 (ESVST)
1 If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. 2 And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. 3 If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing.
Paul says without love he is just a noisy gong, he is nothing and gains nothing! This really without a shadow of doubt mean that Love is very important. The word love is a Greek word called “agape” as you can see from the Greek dictionary below
g0026. αγαπη agape; from 25; love, i. e. affection or benevolence; specially (plural) a love- feast:— (feast of) charity (- ably), dear, love.
AV (116)- love 86, charity 27, dear 1, charitably +g2596 1, feast of charity 1;
brotherly love, affection, good will, love, benevolence love feasts
In Hebrew, the word for love is “aheb” or “ahab”
h0157. אהב ’ahab; or אהב ’aheb; a primitive root; to have affection for (sexually or otherwise):— (be-) love (- d,- ly,- r), like, friend.
AV (208)- love 169, lover(s) 19, friend(s) 12, beloved 5, liketh 1, lovely 1, loving 1;
The word love has been used 532 times in the whole bible. 169 times in the old testament and 86 times in the New Testament indicating how important the word is. Now that we know how important love is, how does the bible define love?
1 Corinthians 13:4-8 (ESVST)
Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant 5 or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; 6 it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. 7 Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
8 Love never ends. As for prophecies, they will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away.
Instead of the bible defining love as a noun, it defines love as a verb. A doing word. Unlike a worldly definition of love which involves feelings, lust and all sorts of undesired things. God’s love is a verb, a doing word. You show your love by your actions and not by your feelings. It is not how you feel but what you do. I know most ladies will like this type of love. I am sure many of you men will at one time in your life have been told “You say you love me but you don’t show it. How am I supposed to know”. The lady asking this question is more interested in true love which, involves action. Nowadays the word love has completely being replaced by the word lust.
The love of the world is incompatible with the love of God.
1 John 2:15 (ESVST)
15 Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.