Prepare Ye The Way!

For the Love of the Spirit

Love Is: Part II

Greetings!

For new readers, welcome to Spirit of Love.  For returning brothers and sisters, thanks for coming back.  Since the last post, the blog has signed up a couple of subscribers and we have some comments given in the few posts published so far.  We have also added a new link.  You may find the link and the comments in the right sidebar.  As a brand new blog, I am pleased at the number of visits it has received so far and the encouragement given to the endeavor.

Love is: Part I

Love Is: Part II

In Love Is: Part I, I discussed the genesis of Love.  Through a reading of I John chapter 4 and the Gospel of John chapter 13, we discovered the specific identity of Love, That is, that God is Love and vice versa.  They are one and the same.  Without God there is no genuine love and without love God, by definition, cannot be present.  It was also seen that the agent of Love in the world is the Holy Spirit that was given to the world after the resurrection and ascension of Jesus.

In this post I will examine the characteristics of love.  For our text I will use the often quoted book of I Corinthians, chapter 13 (NIV).

Paul in his letter to the church in Corinth speaks in chapters 12-14 of the presence and proper practice of the Gifts of the Spirit.  In the 13th chapter he tells the church that the gifts must be used in love.  Unless they are practiced in love, for which we have already identified then nature, then the gifts become impotent.

verses 1-3

If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal.  If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing.  If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing.

Here Paul tells us that all these gifts and others that are given to us by the author and supreme being of love, must be delivered with love for others or they are useless.  To make his point he speaks in extremes. EVEN speaking “in the tongues . . . of angels,” is fruitless and amounts to nothing more than a loud and annoying noise.  EVEN giving everything we have to the point of sacrificing ourselves to persecution by burning at the stake gains nothing if the sacrifice is not made in love.

What comes to us only by the Spirit of Love can only be used for the service of our brothers and sisters if it is given in the same spirit in which it was received.  To illustrate this Paul goes immediately on to tell the church at Corinth (and US) what the exact characteristics of this love are.  He states the qualities of love in both negative and positive terms.  He tells us what love is as well as what it isn’t.

verses 4-7

Love is patient, love is kind.  It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.  It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.  Love does not delight in evil, but rejoices with the truth.  It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

Love never ends.  Besides its perfection in quality it is also infinite in duration, and it surpasses the gifts of the Spirit.

verse 8

Love never fails.  But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away.

Paul concludes his definition of love, and so do I, with what I believe to be one of the greatest verses in the bible.

verse 13

And now these three remain: faith, hope, and love.  But the greatest of these is love.

This concludes a two part examination of Love as it is defined by its nature and by its qualities.  We have discussed and discovered

  • That the nature of Love is God.  In this context we may replace the word God anytime we see the word Love,
  • That it was the sacrifice, resurrection and ascension of Jesus that caused the delivery of the Holy Spirit into the world.
  • That Love is experienced and given to the world through the Holy Spirit,
  • That it is present in specific gifts in the lives of men and women to glorify and spread the itself among all of humanity, and
  • That we are commanded to love one another as we have been loved.
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September 21, 2011 - Posted by | Love | , , , , ,

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