In Deuteronomy 6 Moses is summarizing the commandments that God had given to Israel. He leads off with a command to love God.
Deuteronomy 6:4, 5 ”Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God is one LORD: And thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might.”
When you have a proper love towards God then all the other commandments make sense. However, if you are bitter at God for some reason (which is never a justifiable one), you will probably rebel against all the other commandments too. The foundation to understanding God’s teaching is to love Him with all your heart, soul and might.
The 13th chapter of 1 Corinthians is often called the “Love Chapter.” Paul is talking about the various spiritual gifts that God has given to believers through His Holy Spirit. The apostle concludes his dissertation with chapter 13 saying that for those gifts to be effective we must have and show love. Without love then we will not be able to use our gifts properly.
Here are some various verses from the passage to consider.
1 Corinthians 13:4-7 “Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil; Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth; Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.”
Charity, or love, is longsuffering, kind, humble, thoughtful, forgiving and patient (among many other things). These verses show some of the characteristics of love. When we act in any way contrary to these attributes then we are not showing God’s love to others and therefore are not using the other gifts that God has given us with the effectiveness we could.
1 Corinthians 13:13 “And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity.”
This does not mean that faith and hope have no value, but that their value is increased when we also have love.
Followers of Christ Show Love
John 13:34, 35 “A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.”
Jesus is talking with his disciples at the Last Supper. He had already dismissed Judas and told the disciples that He would be betrayed. This is the last lesson Jesus taught the disciples before He was arrested and taken to trial.
A new commandment, wow! This must be important. However, it was not much different than what He had said about all the other commandments in the past. Jesus’ conclusion about the other commandments was summarized in this statement, “Love God. Love others.” (Mark 12:29-31)
In the book of 1 John the author is writing to the church in general. He was probably living in Ephesus when he wrote this book, but it is not directed to any church in particular. We can certainly apply it to our churches today.
1 John 4:7, 8 “Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God. He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.”
The essence of God is love (this does not preclude His holiness and righteousness). John says to the church that Christians naturally should love one another. If you don’t then you should really examine your spiritual condition before God. Do you know God? Do you have a personal relationship with Him? If you do, then a natural evidence of that is that you love those around you—particularly the people of God within the local church.
John 3:16 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”
God sacrificed His son for us. Not because we deserved God’s Son to die in our place, but because of love. We could do nothing to merit God’s love and forgiveness, but He gives it freely.
Romans 5:6-8 says that it might be possible that someone would be willing to die for a good or righteous person. “But God [when we were not good, nor righteous] commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”
Have you been a partaker of the love of God? Jesus did not die for the righteous, but for sinners. Don’t consider yourself too lost to be saved. You are exactly the reason Christ came to die. God wants to show you His love through His Son.
The Holy Bible, King James Version (KJV)