by Shawn Brasseaux
“We love Him [God], because He first loved us” (1 John 4:19 KJV).
“He who loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love” (1 John 4:8 KJV).
In 1 Corinthians chapter 13, the word “charity”—a KJV word meaning “the labour of love” (1 Thessalonians 1:3)—appears nine times.True love, God’s pure love, is the type of love described in this portion of the Bible.
God’s love is the same love that is found in the heart of every member of the Church the Body of Christ! As the Apostle Paul wrote, “the love of Christ constraineth [propels, drives] us” (2 Corinthians 5:14). What drives us to preach “Christ crucified?” The fact that God loved us enough to die for us! We love Him so much in return we cannot help but spread the Word and the Gospel of His Grace. We cannot help but love other Christians—God’s love is the “glue” in the Church the Body of Christ.
Paul had the gift of tongues (the ability to speak intelligent human languages he never formally learned), and the gifts of knowledge and prophecy (the ability to understand all revealed Scripture and proclaim it without benefit of the written Word of God). Without love, it was all done in vain. Paul could give all that he had to the poor, he could die as a martyr, and he could have faith, but without LOVE motivating him, it was all for nothing (1 Corinthians 13:1-3)! [Note: According to verses 8-13, these temporal spiritual gifts of tongues, knowledge, and prophecy have since fallen away upon the completed revelation of Scripture. See 2 Timothy 3:16,17.]
God’s love is solid, firm, and reliable: UNCONDITIONAL LOVE. How is God’s love unconditional? His grace, His unmerited favor toward us, allows for Him to love us no matter how pitiful or disobedient we are. (But, remember, God’s love cannot violate His justice—He must deal with sin). We do not deserve eternal forgiveness, but He is offering it to us all—knowing that most will forever reject Him. The epitome of love, GOD DYING FOR US, BEFORE WE HAD THE CHANCE TO SIN. God died for us, His enemies (Romans 5:6-8; Romans 8:6-8; Hebrews 2:9). But, praise God, He rose again!
Here is how God defines His love (found in 1 Corinthians 13:4-8). We should be allowing God’s love in us to influence how we respond to the lost world around us (let us always make an effort to better represent the life we claim to have in Christ Jesus):
- verse 4 – “charity suffereth long” (God’s love is longsuffering and patient)
- verse 4 – “charity is kind” (God does not want you to serve Him in fear; cf. 1 John 4:18)
- verse 4 – “charity envieth not” (God’s love does not covet)
- verse 4 – “charity vaunteth not itself” (God’s love is not boastful)
- verse 4 – “charity is not puffed up” (God’s love is not prideful or arrogant)
- verse 5 – “charity doth not behave itself unseemly” (God’s love does not act inappropriately or unruly)
- verse 5 – “charity seeketh not her own” (God’s love is not selfish)
- verse 5 – “charity is not easily provoked” (God’s love is patient)
- verse 5 – “charity thinketh no evil” (God’s love is not quick to falsely accuse)
- verse 6 – “charity rejoiceth not in iniquity” (God’s love hates evil)
- verse 6 – “charity rejoiceth in the truth” (God’s love promotes and encourages the truth)
- verses 7 & 8 – “Charity beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things. Charity never faileth….” (God’s love cannot be hindered, God’s love can endure anything, and God’s love is reliable and trustworthy—God’s love will never, ever fail, and Calvary is all the proof you need of that!)
Do not love the world’s evil ways, but love the people of the world! If someone has wronged you, you do not have to like them, but love them anyway for Christ’s sake—look what you wronged God. If God forgave you for the myriads of sins you committed, how can you hold one sin against someone else? You are living proof of God’s love, so get out there and show God’s love to others, to bring them to Him!
The Gospel of the Grace of God (1 Corinthians 15:1-4):
“1 Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand;
2 By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain.
3 For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures;
4 And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:”
Why not trust in the Lord Jesus Christ as your personal Saviour? Why not place your faith alone in the Gospel of the Grace of God, without relying on your good works? “For God commended His love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8 KJV).