A More Excellent Way, Part III
Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails. I Corinthians 13:4-8
God's love is called by the Greek name, agape which means: a sacrificial and selfless kind of love as described in the above mentioned scripture. God is love and although many claim it is unconditional, it does in fact have conditions in regards to salvation. If there were no conditions the world would all be saved, but because there are, one must be born again to receive the benefits of His eternal reward.
We often mistake other kinds of love with agape, such as philia love which is brotherly love, or eros love where we get the word erotic, or sensual love. Man is born with these fleshly kinds of love but to receive agape love there has to be a transformation of his total being by the power of Holy Spirit. For one to have God's love one must have His Spirit residing in him. In order to walk as Jesus walked we are to exhibit agape love to a world that is in need of our help instead of bashing those we deem unworthy or look down upon because they don't measure up to our standards.
The Word says that because of lawlessness many people's love would grow cold and lawlessness is rampant throughout the world and with it: terror, murder, war, rape and theft of all kinds which exhibit the nature and character of Satan, who comes to rob, kill and destroy all that is good. In spite of all these things the body of the living Lord Jesus must rise above it all and show the world the love that God has given us, for as He loved us, we are to love the people of this world.
For the love of Christ compels us, because we judge thus: that if One died for all, then all died; and He died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves, but for Him who died for them and rose again. II Corinthians 5:14,15
Your servant in Christ, Tim Laughlin