“What Is Love?”
“Love endures long and is patient and kind; love never is envious nor boils over with jealousy, is not boastful or vainglorious, does not display itself haughtily.
It is not conceited (arrogant and inflated with pride); it is not rude (unmannerly) and does not act unbecomingly.
Love (God’s love in us) does not insist on its own rights or its own way, for it is not self-seeking; it is not touchy or fretful or resentful; it takes no account of the evil done to it [it pays no attention to a suffered wrong].
It does not rejoice at injustice and unrighteousness but rejoices when right and truth prevail.
Love bears up under anything and everything that comes is ever ready to believe the best of every person, its hopes are fadeless under all circumstances, and it endures everything [without weakening].
Love never fails [never fades out or becomes obsolete or comes to an end
And so faith, hope, love abide [faith—conviction and belief respecting man’s relation to God and divine things; hope—joyful and confident expectation of eternal salvation; love—true affection for God and man, growing out of God’s love for and in us], these three; but the greatest of these is love.” I Corinthians 13:4 – 8a; 13 AMPC
There are 4 Greek words that are translated into English as Love. When reading the New Testament in the bible it is important to understand what is being said, what is meant in the context and the message that is being imparted.
Sadly, the overuse of the word “Love” in modern speech has meant a watering down of its meaning. Like the word “Sorry” it has become trite. You will hear people say: “I Love this or that favourite TV Show”. “I Love Ice-Cream!” “I Love Dr. Marten shoes!” By dumbing down the English language, and reducing the common vocabulary, the real power behind that word and the full message regarding the Love of God, personified in Christ Jesus, is sadly undermined.
The 4 Greek words for Love found in the New Testament are:
- Érōs: ἔρως Sensual, erotic, passionate love.
- Philia: φιλία Brotherly love, the relationship between true friends and the regard of equals.
- Storge: στοργή The love of a parent for their child. The relationship between Tutor and Pupil.
- Agapé: ἀγάπη The God quality of Love, Unconditional, Benevolent, It is the personification of God Himself, in Jesus Christ
For this reason, if we are going to live the Walk of Love, the imitation of Christ in this life, it is essential for us to study Love, in its different forms, and through our relationship with God, the Father, Son and Holy Spirit guiding us.
“Beloved, let us love one another, for love is (springs) from God; and he who loves [his fellowmen] is begotten (born) of God and is coming [progressively] to know and understand God [to perceive and recognize and get a better and clearer knowledge of Him].
He who does not love has not become acquainted with God [does not and never did know Him], for God is love.” I John 4:7 – 8 AMPC
“But the fruit of the Spirit [the result of His presence within us] is love [unselfish concern for others], joy, [inner] peace, patience [not the ability to wait, but how we act while waiting], kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such things there is no law.” Galatians 5:22-23 AMP
“For God so greatly loved and dearly prized the world that He [even] gave up His only begotten (unique) Son, so that whoever believes in (trusts in, clings to, relies on) Him shall not perish (come to destruction, be lost) but have eternal (everlasting) life.
For God did not send the Son into the world in order to judge (to reject, to condemn, to pass sentence on) the world, but that the world might find salvation and be made safe and sound through Him.” John 3:16 -17 AMPC
“And you shall love the Lord your God out of and with your whole heart and out of and with all your soul (your life) and out of and with all your mind (with your faculty of thought and your moral understanding) and out of and with all your strength. This is the first and principal commandment.
The second is like it and is this, You shall love your neighbor as yourself. There is no other commandment greater than these.” Mark 12:30 AMPC
Love is the most powerful force in the universe. That’s because Love, agapé (ἀγάπη) gr; the highest form of Love; Unconditional Love; benevolence; divine Love; is not the mere emotional ‘feeling’. No, ἀγάπη, the agapé Love of God is much more. It is a living personality; it is the manifestation of God Himself.
“By this shall all [men] know that you are My disciples, if you love one another [if you keep on showing love among yourselves].” John 13:35 AMPC
Jesus declared that this Love, the kind of Love that he had displayed throughout his life and ministry; the ἀγάπη, the agapé Love of God, should the trademark that would indicate, to any observers, that they had been with Jesus, Yeshua. Not through standing and preaching AT them. But, living the expression, the imitation of Christ to the whole world around us.
The Fruit of the Spirit is LOVE. This LOVE is expressed as:
Longsuffering (Patience, Stability under pressure)
Temperance (Self Control)
As Christ’s disciples in this day and age, we need the fruit of LOVE to be flowing from us more than perhaps at any other time in history. The LOVE walk is not something we study once and then move on. The Walk of LOVE is something that we will return to again and again throughout our lives as we continue to grow in Him.