As diverse as the English language is, it really falls short when it comes to expressing the Biblical concept of Love. The Greek language has several words to express different types of love, everything from romantic love to brotherly love. In the New Testament, the Holy Spirit introduces a new word for love – Agape. The word has been translated as love or charity, and those unfortunately miss the mark. Agape is divine, or sacrificial love. It is pure love, absent of any selfishness. Or as John explains, it IS God.
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.
1 John 4:7-8 <KJV>
God gave Adam and Eve His Word. They had a choice whether to believe it or not. The very first thing Satan questioned in the Garden was the integrity of God’s Word. Apparently, Eve did not trust His Word, as she reasoned it away and embellished it, leading to her disobedience. Satan had planted a dangerous seed – that God was holding something back. Satan told her that if she simply disobeyed His Word, they would be like gods. Adam and Eve could not have been any closer to God than they were before the fall. They were clothed in His Glory, with full access to Revelation knowledge, and they had a personal relationship with their Creator. They enjoyed the Liberty that comes from the God-kind of Love. There was no lack, and no desire unmet until Satan introduced selfishness. Sin cut them off from Love and gave them a new spiritual father. They were transformed from being God-conscious to self-conscious. Love was replaced by selfishness, and humanity has suffered ever since. (Genesis 3:1-24)
The Root Of All Sins
Sin entered the world when Eve disobeyed God’s Word. Individual sins come from the sin nature, which is inherited from Adam and Eve who died spiritually when they disobeyed God. All sins are rooted in selfishness, which flows from man’s rebellious nature now under the control of the father of lies. They are man’s vain attempts at replacing God. If God says, I will give you the desires of your heart, why would you covet? If God says you shall not lack, why would you steal? If He declares that you should not be afraid, why be afraid? If Jesus says, I came to give you life in abundance, what more could you obtain through your own efforts? Apart from God, there is no Life, Love, Faith, or Hope. (Psalm 23:1-6, 37:1-6, 91:1-16, John 10:10)
God So Loved The World
When Adam and Eve sinned, God could have laid waste to the world and given up on His plan for man. Lucifer’s rebellion led to a cataclysmic devastation of the Earth, leaving it covered in water and in darkness. God had a plan to make things right. It started long before the recreation of the Earth in Genesis 1. Long before man even existed, or Satan rebelled, God was giving Himself, Jesus, as a substitute for mankind. He would completely pay the price for all sin. This was unimaginable Love in action. (Genesis 1:1-31, John 3:1-21, Ephesians 1:1-23, 2:1-22, 3:1-21)
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ:
According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love:
Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will,
To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved.
Ephesians 1:3-6 <KJV>
The phrase before the foundation of the world in Ephesians 1:4, should be translated before the disruption, overthrow, or ruin of the social system. This refers back to Satan’s rebellion and the destruction of Lucifer’s flood. This can be seen in Genesis 1:2 where – the Earth became (correct translation) without form and an empty waste, and darkness was upon the face of the very great deep. The Spirit of God was moving over the face of the waters. (See also 2 Peter 3:5-7, Psalm 104:5-9, Jeremiah 4:23-26, Isaiah 14:12-14, Ezekiel 28:11-17, Luke 10:18)
Why is this important? God’s love for you is Eternal, and was an established Truth long before Adam and Eve sinned, and even before Lucifer rebelled. Somewhere in the dateless eternal past, because of His great Love for YOU, God chose YOU to be Holy in Christ. What does that mean? Long before you were born, before you could ever sin, before you could ever attempt to earn Salvation, or earn God’s Grace through religious activities, or by your own merit, God already chose you. Simply receive the free gift of Salvation, Love Himself, and say, “Thank you Father!”
God is Love. God loves you and chose you. Now, you choose Him. Then, as part of the Body of Christ, you can share the same praise Jesus’ received from the Father, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased.” (Matthew 3:16-17, 17:1-6, Mark 1:9-11)
Love Is Patient, Love Is Kind
If God IS Love, it might be helpful to know what that really means. While the entire Bible is one long Love Letter to Believers, Paul provides a brief description in 1 Corinthians 13.
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]. As for prophecy (the gift of interpreting the divine will and purpose), it will be fulfilled and pass away; as for tongues, they will be destroyed and cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away [it will lose its value and be superseded by truth].
1 Corinthians 13:4-8 <AMP>
If Love never fails, God, who is Love, will never fail. If Love is patient and kind, God is patient and kind – desiring all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the Truth. Since Love is ever ready to believe the best of every person, God is eager to wipe out your transgressions for His own sake, and He will not remember your sins. (Isaiah 43:25, 1 Timothy 2:4)
There is a vital Truth in Isaiah 43:25, God blots out your sin for HIS OWN SAKE. He desires to fellowship with you as if sin never existed. That is true Love. It is forgiving AND forgetting your past, and instead, joyfully looking forward to a glorious future in Jesus. You might see yourself at the bottom of the pit of life, covered in the mud of sin, but God sees you as His child. He sees you as a new creation in Christ, and desires the very best for your life, if you will believe His Word. Everything starts with trusting in Jesus. Allow the Lord to make you alive in Christ, and lead you in the way you should go. By continually feeding on God’s Word, the incorruptible seed, you will know His Truth and be lifted out of the pit and seated in Heavenly places. You can’t earn any of this. It is all about Grace, and Love Himself. (Psalm 113:1-9, Proverbs 3:1-6, Isaiah 1:16-20, 2 Corinthians 5:12-21, Ephesians 2:1-10, 1 Peter 5:5-7)
How About A Musical Interlude?
There is no fear in love [dread does not exist], but full-grown (complete, perfect) love turns fear out of doors and expels every trace of terror! For fear brings with it the thought of punishment, and [so] he who is afraid has not reached the full maturity of love [is not yet grown into love’s complete perfection]. We love Him, because He first loved us.
1 John 4:18-19 <AMP>
What is fear? It is the opposite of faith. Faith is trusting God to do what His Word says He will do. Fear is trusting the words of the enemy. Its as simple as that – trusting in Love Himself, or the father of lies. There is no fear in love because if you are spiritually mature, knowing God who is Love, there is absolutely no reason to be afraid. Selfishness manifests because of fear. People are afraid of being hurt, being left behind, having less than their neighbors, being alone, or not being loved. There are literally thousands of ways fear manifests in the lives of people. However, in the mature Believer who knows Love, there is no fear. They are free to love others, and themselves, as God loves them. What is the difference between Love and selfishness? Love exalts others. (John 15:9-15, Romans 12:1-21, 13:7-10, Galatians 5:13-16, Ephesians 5:1-2, 2 Timothy 1:5-7, 1 Peter 4:8-10)
And he answering said, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbour as thyself.
Luke 10:27 <KJV>
God is Love. He loves YOU! And Love never fails. Believe and practice Love, imitate Jesus every day, and in every way. Life can be very good, if you follow God’s Love plan for success.
Confess this often – There is no fear in Love!
Faith Building Exercise
Say these out loud every day until you believe them in your spirit. They will build your faith. Look up these verses and read them as they appear in your Bible. You can always trust God’s Word because He cannot lie.
I love the Lord who is my strength. The Lord is my rock, my fortress, my deliverer, my God, and my strength in whom I trust. He is my buckler, the horn of my salvation, and my high tower. I will call upon the Lord who is worthy to be praised, and He will save me from my enemies.
The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters. He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever.
Thy mercy, O LORD, is in the heavens; and thy faithfulness reacheth unto the clouds. Thy righteousness is like the great mountains; thy judgments are a great deep: O LORD, thou preservest man and beast. How excellent is thy lovingkindness, O God! therefore the children of men put their trust under the shadow of thy wings. They shall be abundantly satisfied with the fatness of thy house; and thou shalt make them drink of the river of thy pleasures. For with thee is the fountain of life: in thy light shall we see light. O continue thy lovingkindness unto them that know thee; and thy righteousness to the upright in heart.
God’s unfailing love is better than life itself. Praise the Lord! I will praise Him as long as I live, lifting up my hands to God in prayer.
He satisfies me more than the richest feast. I will praise Him with songs of joy.
God loves the world so much that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. I believe in Jesus, in Love Himself, and enjoy Eternal Life.
I love Jesus and keep His Words. They dwell in me.
Some Reading Suggestions For Easter and Love:
Do You Believe In Love – A blog post on finding Love that is worthy of your faith.
The Disciple Whom Jesus Loved – The Disciple Whom Jesus Loved
Search for Other Christian Web Sites.