When Jesus or the apostles talk about love they generally use a special Greek word called agape, which in older versions is translated “charity”, according to Thayer’s Lexicon agape means “brotherly love, affection, good will, love, benevolence”. Agape involves doing good to another and having their highest welfare in mind. It is love without a lot of self-interest involved. There were over thirty Greek words for love, unfortunately most of these words were entirely unsuitable for Christian use since many had strong sexual connotations, or involved frenzied psychological states. So the Bible authors selected a little used word for the highest form of love known to man -agape and filled this word with rich meaning.
READ 1 Corinthians 13:1-8
If I speak the languages of men and of angels, but do not have love, I am a sounding gong or a clanging cymbal.If I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so that I can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. And if I donate all my goods to feed the poor, and if I give my body to be burned, but do not have love, I gain nothing.
How important is “love” to our value as a human being?
- Love is patient; love is kind.
How does “love” treat other people?
- Love does not envy; is not boastful; is not conceited; How does “love” think about others? What attitudes does it NOT have?
- Does not act improperly; is not selfish;
How does “love” regard the needs and feelings of others?
- Is not provoked; does not keep a record of wrongs;
How does “love” react to irritating minor daily incidents?
- Finds no joy in unrighteousness, but rejoices in the truth;
How does “love” react to lies, scams, schemes and deceiving and tricking others
- Bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
How does “love” handle the tough times?
- Love never ends (Love never fails)
In what important way is “love” different from things such as admiration, lust, passion and liking…
- 1 John 3:16-18 HCSB This is how we have come to know love: He laid down His life for us. We should also lay down our lives for our brothers. (17) If anyone has this world’s goods and sees his brother in need but shuts off his compassion from him–how can God’s love reside in him? (18) Little children, we must not love in word or speech, but indeed and truth;
How is the love of God to be reflected in the love Christians have for each other? What is wrong with ignoring the obvious needs of others?
- 1 John 4:7-12 HCSB Dear friends, let us love one another, because love is from God, and everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. (8) The one who does not love does not know God, because God is love. (9) God’s love was revealed among us in this way: God sent His One and Only Son into the world so that we might live through Him. (10) Love consists in this: not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins. (11) Dear friends, if God loved us in this way, we also must love one another. (12) No one has ever seen God. If we love one another, God remains in us and His love is perfected in us.
Who is the Source of love? (v.7,8)
How was love revealed to us? (v.9,10)
What should we do as a result? (V.7, 11)
How does love change or improve us? (V.7,12)