G – BUILDING BLOCKS FOR LIFE – 7
Nobody would deny that love is the quality that binds all of the virtues together. Col.3:14 So, after naming moral excellence, knowledge, self-control, perseverance, godliness, and brotherly kindness, we come to the seventh building block—love.
1 Pet.1:7 God has given us precious and magnificent promises and He wants us to escape the sin that is in the world so that we may partake of the divine nature and have these promises. 1 Pet.1:4 This is the reason we are to work with diligence in our faith to develop these seven qualities. 1 Pet.1:5
Love began with God. 1 Jhn.4:10 The fact that he sent His son to die for us shows the great love He has for us and the whole world. Jhn.3:16 As we want to know God, only through love can we accomplish this. 1 Jhn.4:8,16 The love of God surpasses our humanness. It is more than we can fathom, but with faith, we know the love of God is with us as we love Him. Eph.3:19; Rom.8:38,39
Love of human beings many times comes and goes. God’s love is everlasting. Jer.31:3 The highest expression of love is God’s love for man whom He created. The highest expression of man is our love of God and mankind. God loves His Son and Jesus expressed this in Jhn.17:24. God delights in His Chosen One. Isa.42:1 God not only loves His Son but He loves those that love His Son. Jhn.17:23 The Greek word for love in Jhn.16:27 is an intense love of a Father to a Son, so if we believe in His Son, He loves us with this intensity of love.
God also has a great love for the world. 1 Tim.2:4 As God looks upon their sin and their disobedience, His love reaches out with a desire that they be saved. Rom.5:6,8 This isn’t just “them”, it is also “us”—me.. Eph.2:1 Why would God let His Son die for us when we were full of sin? Because of love. Eph.2:4 God’s love is not generic. His love is a very individual love for each person. Gal.2:20 God loves us so much that He calls us His children. 1 Jhn.3:1
Whatever love man has, it comes from God. 1 Jhn.4:19 As we became Christians, we were born again. We were born into God’s family and became His child. We know God; then because we love, we love God as our Father. 1 Jhn.4:7 Christ’s love for us compels or drives us to live for Him. It causes us to have this strong urge to submit our lives to Him. 2 Cor.5:14 Do we have that kind of love?
Love is the supreme virtue. 1 Cor.13:13 If we have this deep, sincere love, the other virtues will come more easily. Col.3:14 Love is that bond or glue which binds us, not only to our Lord, but also to our brothers. We cannot say we love God and then not have this love for our brother. 1 Jhn.4:21
Love surpasses traits that might seemingly make us important. Paul uses himself as an example to the Corinthians. The same applies to us. We might know languages and even the language of angels. No love—no importance. We might have great knowledge and even understand things that others don’t comprehend. No love—no importance. We might surpass many in a great, strong faith. No love—no importance. We might be able to give great amounts of money to help others. No love—no importance. We might even give our life over to death as a martyr. No love—no importance. Paul ends this discussion by saying—no profit. 1 Cor.13:3
Many of the Jews held their genealogies as something of great importance and they would argue about these things even after they become Christians. Paul explained love to them in a way appropriate for us as well. 1 Tim.1:5 Our love for our brothers should not contain some hidden agenda but come from a pure heart, a good conscience, and a sincere faith.
Jesus taught forgiveness very strongly. Matt.6:14,15 So if we have the proper love for our brother, this love will cause us to forgive and forget the slights, insults, and whatever they may have done against us. Above all, this love will cover these sins. 1 Pet.4:8
Just as all things are given to us by God, so the ability to love comes from God. We want to know God. Love is the road to this knowledge. 1 Jhn.4:7 Loving our brother is an important part of loving God. 1 Jhn.4:11,12 So how do we show that we love God and our brother?
We can’t love God and not try to please Him. 1 Jhn.2:3,5 Then how do we show love to our brother? 1 Jhn.3:16 We even show love to our enemies and the unlovely. Our Lord did. Rom.12:20 We are told to serve one another in Gal.5:13. If there is some possibility that we might be causing our brother to stumble, we cease or give up whatever that might be in honor of him. Rom.14:20 This is to be done in love.
Love is the first virtue mentioned in the list of the fruit of the Spirit.Gal.5:22 With love, the rest of the fruit will grow just as in our 2 Peter scripture. Love sums up the virtues to build a Christian life in Christ. Christians show their love to the world by the love they have for one another. In this way the gospel can become appealing to those of the world for everyone wants and needs to be loved. Jhn.13:35
We can talk about loving God. We can tell our brothers that we love them. What we do and the attitudes we show really says what is in our heart. 1 Jhn.3:18 Love must be shown to everyone in everything we do. 1 Cor.16:14