Summary: a sermon on the meaning of love
1 Corinthians 13 - What is Love?
My rendering of the text:
1Although I might use really nice words, and biblical language but do not love, I’m just making noise.
2I can be really good at saying things that seem religious, and even understand what the Bible means, or even to great things that seem really hard to do, but if I do not love like God does, I am of no value to God. 3I could give all I have to feed the poor or make the sacrifice to help others and get hurt in the process, but if I do not love unconditionally, there is no real advantage to doing so. 4Unconditional love means being patient for others, even when they are not. Love means we will do our very best to be benevolent or beneficial to others even when we may feel as though we have our own issues. 5Love like this will not be opposite of godly, it will not even be about what we want or how we feel. Love is not easily exasperated or annoyed. When we love our thoughts are going to be good and not evil.
6Love does not take joy in acting unjust, meaning that when I am wrong I repent and try to honor the Lord. Love takes joy in the truth of God, and this means we want to live and love as Jesus loves us.
7Unconditional love is the protection for our souls to provide shelter when we think the world is against us. (I have felt this many times through the years since my salvation.)
When we love like this we have placed our trust (same believe here as John 3.16) in the Savior. Hope here means we can be confident that God can do all that He has promised.
Love helps us to handle spiritual trials in this fallen world.
8Love never fails and this means that unconditional love does not disappear from us. (Remember - this is about our intentional love.) This is true even though predictions do not always come true or a language comes to an end, or even if we cannot remember a lot of things.
9We really only know very little about God and we certainly can only offer an opinion on what the future holds.
10But when the eternal kingdom is established, that is when all of the imperfection will be gone. (Only then. Until that time we can choose to love or not).
11When we are immature believers we speak spoke out of ignorance because our thinking was not yet developed. But as we grow more spiritually mature, we put away childish things. (We get rid of childish things.)
12Right now we can only see what God has for us and all the world as if we are sitting in the dark. We only know a small portion of what God has for us. But when we reach maturity in the faith we will know just as God knows us.
13So now continue to remain faithful, live with His promise and His love, these three things are important. The most important thing to remember here is to love unconditionally.
Unconditional love is never easy.
There are four Greek words for love that are important for Christians to understand. Pg2
They are agape, phileo, storge, and eros. Three of them appear in the Bible. If we are going to understand the Bible and the biblical world, it is important that we understand what these words mean and how they differ. Lets look at the four Greek words for love.
1) Yileo (Phileo) (This is about people only)
Phileo is the love of companionship and fellowship; an intellectual, emotional bond that occurs between two people. Its brotherly love. This love speaks of affection, fondness, or liking someone. It is an emotion that comes from one’s heart as a response to the pleasure one takes in a person. Phileo is the emotion that responds to kindness, appreciation, or acceptance. It involves giving as well as receiving; but when it is greatly strained, it can (and often does) collapse in a crisis. Phileo is a higher love than eros because it involves OUR happiness rather than MY happiness.
Phileo is drawn out of one’s heart by the qualities in the other, the things you like about them and is quite different than agape (unconditional love). Its liking someone else because you feel they are nice to you, or because you feel they like you, or they appreciate you.
Read: John 21:15-17: 15So when they had eaten breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon, son of Jonah, do you love Me more than these?” He said to Him, “Yes, Lord; You know that I love You.” He said to him, “Feed My lambs.” 16He said to him again a second time, “Simon, son of Jonah, do you love Me?” He said to Him, “Yes, Lord; You know that I love You.” He said to him, “Tend My sheep.” 17He said to him the third time, “Simon, son of Jonah, do you love Me?” Peter was grieved because He said to him the third time, “Do you love Me?” Pg3