Summary: “Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.” (1 John 4:8)

Ten characteristics of Agape love

God is love

“Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.” (1 John 4:8) Jesus said to His disciples, "A new commandment I give to you that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all men will know you are my disciples, if you love one another" (John 13:34-35).

“No force on the planet of earth is greater than the power of God’s love”

Did you know that Deep, meaningful and loving relationships make life most beautiful of all?

Deep within the human heart is a primal desire for love and relationship that echoes the passion of its Creator. These aspirations, that we tend to think are unique to the human spirit, mirror the heart-passion of God, our Creator, who actively seeks intimacy with his creation. This is reflected in His relationship with Adam as they walked and talked together in the garden "in the cool of the day." The effects called fear, guilt and loneliness was first felt when that relationship was broken because of Adam's sin, and there, for the first time, the voice of God was heard throughout the garden, "Adam where are you?" Ever since then, God has sought to bring man back into that cool of the day fellowship with Him.

Therefore the deepest longing of the human heart is to love and to be loved; we know it innately. Our hearts long for love and we want to love back. But this longing to love and be loved often gets people into trouble because they try to fill that longing with things that simply can’t satisfy. As St. Augustine wrote rightly, “our hearts are restless until they rest in God.” The longing for love in our hearts is ultimately a longing for God who is love.

How is it possible to say that our longing for love is a longing for God? A basic philosophical principle is that every desire we experience has a corresponding reality to fulfill that desire. When we are thirsty, there is drink; when we are hungry, there is food. No one needs to teach us that we’re hungry or thirsty; we simply know it. The Word of God describes the only love that can ever truly answer this deepest cry of the human heart. It's found in Romans 8:38-39, "Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord." There it is - an infinite love. God wants you to experience that love more than you can imagine. Jesus said “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled. The problem is that we all occasionally make the mistake of misdirecting our desire for love. It is called “Selfish desire” When we attach our desire for God to something finite, and particularly to something harmful, we are left empty and Every earth-love has ultimately either failed you or failed to satisfy you.

But there is a way, however, to taste God’s eternal love in the here and now. It is through seeking and knowing God. When we open our hearts to God’s love in intimacy, we experience a holy longing to be eternally united with the Lord. When we open our hearts to receive His love, our capacity to love Him and others expands. The Bible tells us that "God is Love" (1 John 4:8). So, what does it mean that God is love? Love is an attribute of God. Love is a core aspect of God’s character, His Person. God’s love is in no sense in conflict with His holiness, righteousness, justice, or even His wrath. All of God’s attributes are in perfect harmony. Everything God does is his passion of love towards mankind, just as everything He does is just and right. God is the perfect example of true love.

There are three unique characteristics revealed to us in the Bible concerning the nature of God. First, "God is spirit" (John 4:24). The very word spirit also means “breath,” and breath is the evidence of life. Throughout Scripture He is called the living God. Paul said “He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation.”, Second, God is light (1 John 1:5), which is the opposite of "darkness." In Scripture "darkness" stands for sin, evil, death; ignorance and "light “stands for holiness, goodness, life, knowledge. Martin Luther rightly labeled Satan "the prince of darkness." God is light, means that He is the sum of all Excellency. Third, "God is love" (1 John 4:8). It is not simply that God "loves," but that He is Love itself. Love is not merely one of His attributes, but His very nature.

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Anonymous Contributor

commented on Aug 29, 2013

wow... this is a sermon? Is it like 5 hours long?

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