Summary: Jesus said love God and love others. How are we doing.

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Love: What Is It 1 Corinthians 13


In The Grace of Giving, Stephen Olford tells of a Baptist pastor during the American Revolution, Peter Miller, who lived in Ephrata, Pennsylvania, and enjoyed the friendship of George Washington. In Ephrata also lived Michael Wittman, an evil-minded sort who did all he could to oppose and humiliate the pastor. One day Michael Wittman was arrested for treason and sentenced to die. Peter Miller traveled seventy miles on foot to Philadelphia to plead for the life of the traitor.

¡§No, Peter,¡¨ General Washington said. ¡§I cannot grant you the life of your friend.¡¨

¡§My friend!¡¨ exclaimed the old preacher. ¡§He¡¦s the bitterest enemy I have.¡¨ ¡§What?¡¨ cried Washington. ¡§You¡¦ve walked seventy miles to save the life of an enemy?

That puts the matter in different light. I¡¦ll grant your pardon.¡¨ And he did. Peter Miller took Michael Wittman back home to Ephrata¡Xno longer an enemy but a friend.

1. 4 Different Kinds of Love?

What is Love? The early Christians faced a problem similar to the one we face today in that the surrounding society was so corrupt that ¡§Love¡¨ often equaled sheer lust. There are four meanings of the word love in the Greek language.

A. Physical Love (¡§eros¡¨)

The very common Greek family of words from which English derives the word erotic is not even used in the New Testament due to its bad connotations in pagan society. This love for physical attraction when it¡¦s between married couples.

B. Family Love (storge)

This is love for relatives, especially love between parents and children.

C. Affectionate Love (philia)

This kind of love is called brotherly. It¡¦s taken from the church located in Philadelphia speaking of warmhearted, spontaneous affection, liking, attractive appeal, and friendship.

D.Love of Choice (agape)

Each time Paul uses the word Love in 1 Corinthians 13, the Greek word is agape. The writers of the New Testament borrowed the term from Greek society and endowed it with a meaning more descriptive of Christ and His church.

„à Agape love is self-giving love, involving the direction of the will, seeking the highest good of the other person wanting that person¡¦s best and doing what we can to help him or her reach it. T.W. Hunt describes love as a ¡§deep, tender feeling of affection toward a person.

„à Human love sometimes says, ¡§I love you if,¡¨ or ¡§I love you because,¡¨ agape say¡¦s ¡§I love you anyway.¡¨ It is an act of the will. Just a note LOVE will always involve the emotions, it¡¦s primary source is the mind prompted by the indwelling Holy Spirit. Love is a verb. 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 describes 15 characteristics of agape.

2. What Love Is

A. Love Is Patient verse 4a

„à Love practices being patient or long-suffering, literally, ¡§long-tempered¡¨ a long fuse makrothurmeo). It means being patient with people.

„à It¡¦s the ability to be inconvenience or taken advantage of by a person over and over again and yet not be upset or angry. You stay sensitive to people even when they get between us and our goals. Patience never retaliates.

„Ã Jesus was incredibly patient with His disciples, who were pretty slow to catch on. Look how He related to James and John:

When the disciples James and John saw this, they asked, "Lord, do you want us to call fire down from heaven to destroy them?" [55] But Jesus turned and rebuked them, [56] and they went to another village. Luke 9:54-56

„Ã The Christian who acts like Christ never takes revenge for being hurt or insulted or abused. He refuses to pay back evil for evil (Rom 12:17), but if he is slapped on the right cheek, he will turn the left (Matt 5:39).

„à Paul said that patience was a characteristic of his own heart (2 Cor 6:6) and should characterize every Christian. Stephen¡¦s last words were ones of patient forgiveness: Lord, do not hold this sin against them!¡¨ (Acts 7:60) He was absolute extreme.

„à The supreme example of patience, of course, is God Himself. It is God¡¦s patient love that prevents the world from being destroyed. It is His patience and long-suffering that allows time for men to be saved (2 Pet 3:9). As he lay dying under the painful, crushing blows of the stones, his concern was for his murderers rather than for himself. He was long-tempered, patient to the absolute extreme.

B. Love Is Kind verse 4b

„Ã Just as patience will take anything from others, kindness will give anything to others, even to its enemies. Being kind is the counterpart of being patient. To be kind means to be useful, serving, and gracious.

„à It is active goodwill. It not only feels generous, it is generous. It not only desires others¡¦ welfare, but works for it. When Jesus commanded His disciples, including us, to love their enemies, He did not simply mean to feel kindly about them but to be kind to them. ¡§If anyone wants to sue you, and take your shirt, let him have your coat also. And whoever shall force you to go one mile, go with him two¡¨ (Matt. 5:40¡V41).

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