Based on Biblical Text 1 John 4: 7-8
Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God. He that loveth not, knoweth not God; for God is love
What is love anyway? To answer that question we can look to one of scriptures love experts, the Apostle Paul. When Paul received word that the new converts at his newly established church in Galatia had steered off the FAITH journey and charted a course based on WORKS, he immediately penned a stern but loving letter to the Galatians. In this epistle, Paul takes the opportunity to teach this fledgling congregation some foundational truths in an effort to repair their “faith structure” in order to support future generations. In this letter we find the well-known scripture outlining the “Fruit of the Spirit.” The first of these Fruits of the Spirit is LOVE.
Love is defined, in the ancient languages, with three separate names. The definitions include Eros, the physical love between a man and a woman. Another is Phileo, the word to describe tender affection. From Phileo the adjective philanthropic is derived. This is defined as love toward mankind. However, the love that rises above all explanation is Agape love. This is defined as the love that God has for all of His Creation. It is an unselfish, unconditional love that surpasses all understanding.
To better understand the essence of Love, we look to John, the Apostle of Love. In our text we find John enjoying a delightful fellowship acknowledging His Heavenly Father as the God of Light, Love, and Life. John is writing to a group of people who were well grounded in apostolic doctrine and well established in Christian truth. John writes lovingly, using phrases such as “beloved” and “my little children” to highlight his great sense of responsibility for their spiritual well being. John longs to get rid of the doctrinal imperfections by making it clear to these believers that the God we serve is a God of Love.
John taught that God is love and that since we are God’s children, we must walk in love. John points out that if we have not love, then God is not in us and we do not know Him.
We tend to think of love in terms of the physical and the emotional, and we have a tendency to forsake the spiritual. The Apostle John explains that God’s love is unconditional; it’s a “giving” love, not a “getting” love. When we give to another, we must learn to give without expectation of return. This kind of love is more than just words; it is action. John want us to see that the best possible expression of unconditional, unselfish love is in the embodiment of Jesus Christ, our Savior. What better example could we ask for? “Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends.” And if we follow Jesus’ example of love, real Christian love, then our love is the “fruit” of Christ’s spirit in the believer. We must remember that love, without action, like faith without works, is dead.
As we approach the Sabbath
Sunday, December 8, 2013, is the Second Sunday in Advent.
Join our Worship Experience at 8:00 and 11:00 am.
Church School begins at 9:45 am.
Scripture Lesson for this Sunday
There is a Word from the Lord!
Sermon Texts Genesis 37:31-36
Sermon Title Seeing Through the Eyes of Faith