Fruit of the Spirit: Love
Love is a word that we seem to throw around the way we might throw a pillow.
I love this food…
I love this sweater…
I love this house…
I love this car…
I love, I love, I love….
As we begin our study on the fruits of the spirit, the first fruit mentioned is love.
So, what does the Bible say about love?
What does love really mean?
Love is defined these three ways according to dictionary.com:
- A profoundly tender, passionate affection for another person
- A feeling of warm personal attachment or deep affection, as for a parent, child or friend
- Sexual passion or desire
As there are three definitions for love, there are also three types of love mentioned in the Bible. These are:
- Eros derives from the Greek term meaning longing and desire, which is taken
from the Greek god of love. This love is the erotic love of a man and woman and based on the strong feelings the couple has for one another. This term is associated with sexual love and for that reason considered the most selfish of loves. Sadly, it is easy for this love to become possessive, but that was not God’s plan. God designed this type of love for was designed for a healthy marriage.
- Philos is the unique love one has for a friend, companion, or family member. This is the love one shows towards someone close to them. Usually this is the type of love fellow Christians show to one another, but be careful because a wedge can easily be dug to pull two people apart.
- Agape represents the love God towards his son, Jesus Christ, as well as for his believers and human beings. This is the most perfect of all kinds of love. This is the most unselfish of love, not determined by feelings, but by actions and behaviors. When I say my desire is to share His Kind of Love with others, this is the love I refer to.
The love described in the fruit of the spirit is the agape love. God longs for us to love others the way He loves us. Paul best described this love in the love passage.
“Love is patient, love is kind. love is not pompous, it is not inflated, it is not rude, it does not seek its own interests, it is not quick-tempered, it does not brood over injury, it does not rejoice over wrongdoing but rejoices with the truth. It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails.” 1 Corinthians 13
So, what does scripture say about love?
- God is love, and whoever remains in love remains in God and God in him. 1 John 4:16
- but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Romans 5:8
- But you, O Lord, are a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness. Psalm 86:15
- A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” John 13:34-35
- But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be children of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked. Luke 6:35Do you show the love described by these scriptures with your co-workers, friends, family and loved ones?
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