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Love

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The Fruit of the Spirit #1:

Love

Text: Gal. 5:22-23

Thesis: To note what love is to be and how we can demonstrate it to others.

Introduction:

(1)   Years ago, the Beatles released a song entitled “All You Need is Love.”

(2)   For the most part, this sentiment is also expressed in Scripture.

(a)    For example, of faith, hope and love, Paul notes that love is the greatest (1 Cor. 13:13).

(b)   In a different context, Paul writes: “And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity” (Col. 3:14).

(3)   Let us note what love is and how we can express it.

Discussion:

I.                   The Definition of Love:

A.     In English, “love” is difficult to define (e.g., “I love my wife” and “I love steak”).

B.     In Greek, “love” is a little easier to define.

1.      Eros – Sexual love

2.      Phileo­ – Brotherly love

3.      Agape – Biblical love

a.       This kind of love “gives and expects no reward. It does not give for the sake of getting. It does not invest in hope of a dividend. It just gives” (R. Shelly 46).

b.      Example: “God is love” (1 John 4:8).

C.     In 1 Cor. 13:4-8a., Paul defines this kind of love as:

1.      Patient

2.      Kind

3.      Does not envy

4.      Does not boast

5.      Is not proud

6.      Is not rude

7.      Is not self-seeking

8.      Is not easily angered

9.      Keeps no record of wrongs

10.  Does not delight in evil

11.  Rejoices with the truth

12.  Always protect

13.  Always trusts

14.  Always hopes

15.  Always perseveres

16.  Never fails

II.                The Demonstration of Love:

A.    To God –

1.      God must be the supreme object of our love (Matt. 22:37; cf. Deut. 6:5).

2.      When people look at our lives, do they see that God is our number one priority?

3.      Is our love “more than words?”

4.      Are we merely going “through the motions?”

5.      To know God is to love Him.

B.     To Man –

1.      We must also love our neighbors as ourselves (Matt. 22:38; cf. Lev. 19:18).

2.      Who is our neighbor? Everyone … and we are our brother’s keeper!

3.       Loving our neighbor also means that we are to love our enemies (cf. Matt. 5:43-48).

4.      With God’s help, we can love this way.

Conclusion:

(1)   According to John 13:33-34, it is our love that will demonstrate to others that we are true disciples of Jesus.

(2)   Are you seen as a true disciple by your love?

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