BIBLICAL LOVE IS AGAPE LOVE

There are two kinds of love: Eros represents egocentric love, and Agape represents unselfish love. Often, even within Christian circles, love is said to mean something along the lines of feeling good about others and being nice to them. Yet Biblical love is sacrificial, it looks like Jesus on the cross! It is willing to regard others as more important than oneself.

Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. Philippians 2:3

This is why Jesus says that His disciples will be known by others because of their “love for one another” (John 13:35). Yet, at the same time, Jesus defines a disciple as one who denies himself, takes up his cross, and follows Him. (Mark 8:34).

What kind of difference in the world would the church be making if those who profess Christ, by the power of Spirit, were striving to love like this?

How many of our churches look like this? How many of us can say, come to my church and you will see people who are diligently striving to love others as Jesus loves?

In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus lays forth His law of love which includes loving our enemies.

Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you.Luke 6:27

Luke then, adds, “Give, and it will be given to you. They will pour into your lap a good measure—pressed down, shaken together, and running over. For by your standard of measure it will be measured to you in return” (Luke 6:38).

The fact that Jesus provides this illustration demonstrates that the love He advocates has application to the marketplace. It is a love that does right within a society: i.e., it is “just and right.” The Bible calls us to imitate Jesus in this regard!

For you have been called for this purpose, since Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example for you to follow in His steps (1 Peter 2:21).

For more see the article by Rob Dalrymple “Justice without Love is not Justice” Jan. 25th 2021 http://www.patheos.com

BIBLICAL LOVE REPROVES ANYTHING CONTRARY TO GOD’S LAW

Biblical love involves reproving that which is contrary to God’s law. Love speaks the truth even when it is unpalatable. Love corrects and rebukes; and the willingness to rebuke false doctrine is even listed as one of the qualifications required for eldership! (cf. Titus 1:9) Love hates all that is contrary to good. And since love itself is defined as an attribute of God Himself (cf. 1 John 4:8: God is love), anything that contradicts His teachings and commandments is unloving. Consistent with this definition of biblical love, those who promote homosexuality and transgenderism in the name of ‘love’ are actually unloving. Likewise, one of the most loving things a Christian can do is to warn others of God’s coming wrath (Romans 1:1824–27) and to call them to repentance.

“Better is open rebuke than hidden love. Faithful are the wounds of a friend; profuse are the kisses of an enemy.” Proverbs 27:5-6

Forgiveness of sins and eternal life are available to every person who repents of sin and trusts in Christ alone as Saviour, Lord, and supreme treasure. We deny that the Lord’s arm is too short to save or that any sinner is beyond his reach”.6 Or as the Apostle Paul taught:

“Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, … nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, …will inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.” (1 Corinthians 6:9–11)

Paul includes homosexual behaviour as a serious sin. But Christians—including those who were guilty of that—are transformed. They are no longer slaves to sin, but have been forgiven, made a new creation by the indwelling Holy Spirit. He is our counsellor, our comforter and teacher. As we submit to the will of God, He will renew our mind, and give us a mind that seeks after the things of God. We are not to be conformed to this world but to be transformed by the renewal of our minds. We are no longer to walk as unbelievers do, in the futility of their minds, and who are darkened in their understanding due to their hardness of hearts, and who have given themselves over to sensuality (cf. Ephesians 4:17–19). Instead, we are called to conform our values and our thoughts to the Word of God—to put off our old self, and to be renewed in the spirit of our minds in true righteousness and holiness (cf. Ephesians 4:22-24); being renewed in knowledge after the image of our Creator (cf. Colossians 3:10). We are not to engage in hermeneutical gymnastics, twisting the Word of God to fit our agenda. Instead, we are to approach Scripture with humility, submitting our entire lives, mind, and even moral values to God’s word.