Summary: Everyone would agree that love is a core virtue. Everyone would agree that a society built upon love will be one that is strong and pleasant to live in. The problem is, we have differing understandings of what love is. For love to be the foundational virt
Love: the Foundation of all Virtues
The Core Virtues of the Christian Life
(Due to the damands of ministry, this sermon is being transcribed from the tape and the complete version will be added soon.)
Every building has to have a foundation. The foundation provides stability, and strength for the structure.
We need a foundation as well. Jesus Christ is the foundation upon whom we build our lives. He provides strength and stability. He holds our lives together when we face the storms of life.
As we begin looking at the core virtues of the Christian life, one virtue provides the foundation for all virtues. It is the core of the core. Without this virtue, the others loose meaning. Love is the foundational virtue of all virtues.
Everyone would agree that love is a core virtue. Everyone would agree that a society built upon love will be one that is strong and pleasant to live in. The problem is, we have differing understandings of what love is. For love to be the foundational virtue of a Christian, let’s turn to the bible to learn what kind of love we need to build a strong foundation in our lives.
The Greeks had for words for love. Eros, Stergo, Phileo, Agape
1 John 4:7-21 (NLT)
7Dear friends, let us continue to love one another, for love comes from God. Anyone who loves is born of God and knows God. 8But anyone who does not love does not know God—for God is love.
9God showed how much he loved us by sending his only Son into the world so that we might have eternal life through him. 10This is real love. It is not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as a sacrifice to take away our sins.
11Dear friends, since God loved us that much, we surely ought to love each other. 12No one has ever seen God. But if we love each other, God lives in us, and his love has been brought to full expression through us.
13And God has given us his Spirit as proof that we live in him and he in us. 14Furthermore, we have seen with our own eyes and now testify that the Father sent his Son to be the Savior of the world. 15All who proclaim that Jesus is the Son of God have God living in them, and they live in God. 16We know how much God loves us, and we have put our trust in him.
God is love, and all who live in love live in God, and God lives in them. 17And as we live in God, our love grows more perfect. So we will not be afraid on the day of judgment, but we can face him with confidence because we are like Christ here in this world.
18Such love has no fear because perfect love expels all fear. If we are afraid, it is for fear of judgment, and this shows that his love has not been perfected in us. 19We love each other as a result of his loving us first.
20If someone says, “I love God,” but hates a Christian brother or sister, that person is a liar; for if we don’t love people we can see, how can we love God, whom we have not seen? 21And God himself has commanded that we must love not only him but our Christian brothers and sisters, too.
God is love. God defines what love is. Love does not define God.
God loves us first.