NOTES AND QUOTES FOR TODAY:
Biblical Ingredients of Genuine Love – I
“By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.” John 13:35
Love is the Law of life. It is the principle of spiritual health; the supreme constructive force of life; the maker of character, the revealer of truth, and the pledge of fulfillment. All things pass away, but, “love never fails.” it lasts!! it is not dependent upon, nor is it affected by anything outside of itself. It is content to bestow itself upon the worthy and the unworthy alike; and in the human heart it moves upward and outward: upward to God, and outward to men. Not everything called love is love. Lust is much of the time is mistaken for love. As one commentator delineated, “….. about the only thing love and lust have in common is that they are both four-letter words.” and how true.
Now, why would that be so important? This is significant because it not only shows, that we are nothing but, absolutely nothing without it. This is highest goal in the life of the Christian. Amidst of all other diversities, love represents the chief fact and the chief doctrine of Christianity, which is derived from the character and example of Christ. If one has not love, he has nothing; and that if one has love, whatever else he may lack, he has what matters most.
Having said this one may ask “what really is love?” Well one thing is for sure, that love is not what Disney, and Hollywood show us!, It is not a feeling ( though it affects our whole being, including our feelings), Nor it is a rise in blood pressure; It is not a flush of emotion! Love is like Solomon writing in his, wonderful love letter back, and forth between him and the Shulamite woman. In chapter 8 of Songs of Solomon, describing love he says “ …..loves is as strong as death, jealousy is cruel as the grave; and the coals thereof are the coals of fire, which has a most vehement flame.” This of course is an interesting expression of the grip (hold) true love has on its subject. Here jealousy is not being used in a negative sense; “cruel” here means “inflexible”!
You know folks no other person than our Lord when you are dead, dead does not give you up! Once death has laid on you, you are caught and you are in its grasp ( in its clutch)! This is the picture; he is saying that love has that kind of inflexible commitment! And it is like the coals of the fire that has the most vehement flame! The fire of God is in it! And that many waters can not quench love! Neither can the floods drown it! Just persists! It is patient! It is persistent! It is permanent!
It will be well for us at once to deserved ,that love here is not to be defined, but just displayed. Though love cannot be defined, it may be described and displayed, by which one can apprehend and appreciate its true nature. The expression, “The Greeks had a word for it,” is true with reference to love. In English we have only one word to express all kinds of love; Greeks have no fewer than three; there are three words in the Greek language which are translated “love.”
1.The first of these is the word “eros,” which desires the other for self, that is for lust, and has to do with sensual desire. The word occurs in the Old Testament (Esther, Ezekiel, Hosea, and Proverbs) but never in the New Testament. So base were its associations that Christianity could find no use for it.
2.The second of these words is “Philo,” which speaks of the love of impulse, of affection, of natural inclination. That word is “Philo” from where we get the words, Philosophy, Philadelphia (brotherly love). It occurs in both testaments. It speaks chiefly of our love for one another, among relations and friends, of spontaneous natural emotion.
3.The third word, “agape,” which occurs so often in the New Testament. Lexicons (Greek dictionary) defines it as an unselfish love, ready to serve; a love that values and esteems; a love that sacrifices self for another, even to the extent of death. Agape loves without being loved. It seeks man’s highest good. This the highest form or expression of love. Christ had it. This “agape” love, is essentially only in God, is displayed perfectly only by God and is derived only from God.
Thus, “love,” and not “affection” is used in the Christian attitude toward enemies. This distinguishes the word, “love” from all that is lustful or merely emotional. It is absolutely unstained by any evil association, which shows the spiritual value of love. It is the fact that “God is love,” is that which gives the word love its heavenly quality.
First Corinthians 12, 13 and 14 , is by far the most concentrated addressing of the topic of “charity” in all of Scripture; the apostle Paul dedicates this three chapters to this matter itself – the matter of love! Love is mentioned nine times in the thirteen verses in 1 Corinthians 13, and in each occurrence the word is translated from the word agape. The last part of this chapter is dedicated entirely to this matter of “Charity”. Now, “charity” and “love” are the same words!
Now, love described in 1st Corinthians 13 by the following characteristics can put (grouped) in to three categories. Verses 1-3 discloses The Pre-eminence of Love – which reveals the value of Love. In this stanza we see a vision of life without Love. Verses 4-7 details the prerogatives of Love – which recounts the virtue of Love. Here we envision Love as a secret strength of charterer. Verses 8-13 declares the permanence of Love – which records the victory of Love. Here we vision Love as a goal of life.
A Vision of life without Love:
“Though I speak with the tongue of men and of angles, and have not charity; I am nothing….a tinkling cymbal. And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor; and though I give my body to be burned….. it profiteh me nothing.” 1st Corinthians 13:1-3 We are bidden behold a life crowned with powers and services of which a man scarcely dare dream, and yet, for want of love, all is vain and empty. Here the search light of love is thrown upon man’s powers of emotion, intellect and will. Upon which each of these at its best is seen to be valueless without love. Yes, Love should be in possession of our entire emotional nature.
“ though I speak with tongues of men and of angles….” The apostle expounding on that, says, even if any of us speaks with all of the tongues of men, and even if you can speak with the tongues of Angles, but you don’t have charity then you will be sounding like the sounding brass! Or you will be like a tinkling (a smashing) cymbal! Such gift unaccompanied by love makes the exercise to be worthless. Such gifted but loveless man is only “a noisy gong.”
If you have all this capacity of talking to people, but if you don’t love them or just do what you do out of duty, it will amount to nothing! They are not going to listen to you! Words spoken, without love to harmonize them, they would be but jarring and meaningless discords. Love is the one language which has universal meaning, and, like nature, it needs no words. So is Yes, speech without love is noise without melody; language may arrest the attention, Of what use is loveless eloquence? The power to talk is not only worthless, but dangerous, if unaccompanied by love. but only love can satisfy the heart. Love is the fulfillment of the law. The power of expression is not determined by the length of a man’s vocabulary, but by the depth of his heart.
“ ……if I have the gift of prophecy and know all mysteries and all knowledge…” Here four things that are named, to our intellectual rather than our emotional or volitional activity: Prophecy, foresee the future and foretell the future by the Spirit of God; Mysteries, to discern all the counsels of God Knowledge, to possess all insight into truth Faith, to exercise the mastery over life’s difficulties, conceivable; and actually move mountains. One may ask, could these traits be possible without “love”? Yes, they are! Balaam showed that inspirational power is possible apart from love. Caiaphas showed that spiritual discernment is possible apart form love. And we see in Judas much knowledge of divine things apart from love; The apostle by inspiration of the Holy Spirit says, all this notwithstanding, if I be wanting in love, If I have no charity he says I am nothing! A total doom!
“….And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor…”here in he says, if you give everything that you have and give it to the poor; and on top of that if you give your body to be burned up (by way of martyrdom, the body to be consumed!) – if you be someone who has given everything he has , and everything he is; and yet if they have no charity, it profits them absolutely nothing!! It is better to have this grace (love) without gifts, than to have all the gifts without this grace. Love alone is the proof of spiritual life. The absence of love implies selfishness!
Wherever in the same life you find deep convictions and shallow sympathies, you have the possibility of much unconscious cruelty. loveless faith may remove mountains from its own path, only to set them down in its brother’s path. Selfishness can be intelligent, respectable, and even spiritual. The world have had its loveless prophets, loveless scholars, loveless pioneers, people who have had power without grace; but it is not these who are fondly remembered and finally crowned.
To be Continued…………………….
From The Staff of The Peoples Gospel Hour
The Bible reveals two ways which people are following to get into heaven. One way, the true way, is God’s way. God’s way into heaven is the way of peace and truth and righteousness. It is the only way approved of God. This way centers in the Lord Jesus Christ who said: “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by Me” (John 14:6). The Bible declares that there is another way. “There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death” (Prov. 14:12).
There are so many popular ways today filled with lost multitudes all over the land, such as the way of morality, the way of respectability, the way of religion, the way of churchianity, the way of baptism, the way of christening, the way of confirmation, the way of penance, the way of confession, the way of “doing the best I can”, the way of self, the way of education, the way of philosophy, the way of false isms and cults that crowd the street. Little wonder then when we speak to people about the way of salvation, that so many have asked, “How can I know which is the true way? There are so many different ideas and so many religions.”
But there is ONE difference between God’s way of salvation and man’s way, and that difference is found in a Person, the Lord Jesus Christ. You will notice that man leaves Christ out of the center of his way. You will discover that the modern false cults and isms demote Christ to a mere man and add something to what He has already done for your salvation and mine. We become children of God through a supernatural birth. Jesus said to Nicodemus: “Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God” (John 3:3). Jesus also said, “Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again” (John 3:7)
“May the Lord bless you, and make you a blessing!” – The PGH Staff.