What is love: The Apostles

What is love: The Apostles September 13, 2022

Love isn’t something we can put under a microscope and analyze but psychologists and neurologists try to examine it through behavior and MRIs. That’s the best of science: observation.

Despite scientific efforts we still don’t have a good understanding of love.

Brothers Walking - Detroit Image by arthurpalac-1391856 on Pixabay
Brothers Walking – Detroit Image by Arthur from Pixabay

Apostle Paul on Love

The Apostle Paul clarified love very well. “But now faith, hope, love, abide these three; but the greatest of these is love.” – 1 Corinthians 1:13 (NASB)

“Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered, does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.” – 1 Corinthians 13: 4 – 7

“I do not nullify the grace of God, for if righteousness comes through the Law, then Christ died needlessly.” – Galatians 2:21 (NASB)

“Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. The one who does not love does not know God, for God is love.” – 1 John 4:7 (NASB)

Apostle John on Love

Tradition says that the Apostle John continued preaching even when so enfeebled with age as to be obliged to be carried into the assembly; and that, not being able to deliver any long discourse, his custom was to say in every meeting, “My dear children, love one another.”

Tradition says that the Apostle John continued preaching even when so enfeebled with age as to be obliged to be carried into the assembly; and that, not being able to deliver any long discourse, his custom was to say in every meeting, “My dear children, love one another.”

It’s tradition that his last words, when asked for anything for them, was, “My dear children, love one another.”

In other traditions John was asked why he always says this. “Because,” John replied, “it is the Lord’s command, and if this only is done, it is enough.” Love Is Enough. This is the benchmark of faith.

In the Apostle’s own words:* “We know that we have passed out of death into life, because we love the brethren. He who does not love abides in death. Everyone who hates his brother is a murderer; and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him.” 1 John 3:14-15 (NASB)

* There is little general agreement on authorship on John’s letters. Some believe it was John. Other believe that John had others write it for him. Some even believe that people wrote in John’s name in his “spirit.” In this sense spirit would mean in the intent and personality or knowledge of John. Generally the debates add little and simply detract from the message. The message is very consistent with Jesus’ message and the other Apostles.

Takeaway

While we can’t make a strict definition of love that holds for everything, the Apostles agree that it’s essential that we love others, and this is the mark that shows our faith. Love wants and acts in the best interests of others.

Series Links

God has no needs that we can fulfill

The Prophets: God wants us to take care of others

The Sanctity of Life

Jesus On Love

What is love: The Apostles

God Loves Us

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The standard of belief and conduct for Christianity is love. If there is legalism, this is the legal standard above all.

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Our answer is God. God’s answer is us. Together we make the world better.
– Dorian


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