As the title might indicate this is not a posting about the popular Beatles song. It is about the word love as it is used in the scriptures. Last night at OBC we were lead by Mike Holloway (a former elder to OBC) in a study about the word love, especially as it is used in Galatians 5:22. We are doing a 9 part series about the fruit of the Spirit on Sunday evenings throughout the summer.
Mike first established the definition of the word love as it is used in our culture today and as it is used in the New Testament. As you might suspect there are some contrasts. First of all the word love as we use it today is the Greek word eros, which is used to indicate romantic love. This form of the word love is not used in the New Testament. Another form of the word love is the Greek word philia. The city of Philadelphia derives its name from this form, meaning brotherly love. This form of the word love is rarely used in the New Testament. It is often used in the context of friendship. The last form of the word love used in the New Testament in the Greek word agape’. This form is used over 250 times in the New Testament. It is mostly used in the context of charity or love with grace. I would content this form of the word is impossible to do without the Spirit of God. This form of the word is used in Galatians 5:14.
For the whole law is fulfilled in one word: You shall love your neighbor as yourself.
Without the spirit of God within you this form of love in the verb since is impossible to do. You may love out of what you perceive as unselfish motives but without God it is not a work in the purist sense, as used in 1 Corinthians 13.
4 Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant 5 or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; 6 it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. 7 Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
As Mike summed it up by challenging us to do a self-examination of sorts. How are we as believers in Christ doing in this form of love, agape’ love which we are to walk in. Are we loving our neighbors as ourselves? Are we loving the ugly, the repugnant, the undesirable, the unworthy and unattractive? This same love we have experienced from Christ when we were ugly, undesirable, unworthy and enemies of God. He loved us enough to send His son to die on a cross for us. Below is the link to the audio of Mike Holloway’s sermon on the fruit of the spirit which is love.
This is something for us to consider daily. It is a challenge for me to be sure.