1 Corinthians 13:1-13
There are two aspects of love that are taught in scripture. It is a primary element important to us for living out our Christian experience to its fullest.
The first aspect of love that the Bible teaches is the Love of God for us. And the second is the Love of God in us.
So let’s look first at the love of God for us. John 3:16 tells us that God so loved us that He gave His only Son, Jesus, to die for our sin that we might be able to once again have fellowship with God. So God loved us so much that He gave His most loved to save the most lost. 1 John 4:9 lends support to this passage as well.
John 17:24 tells us that God loved His only Son, Jesus, before the foundation of the world. The prayer of Jesus was that those whom the Father had given to the Son would be with Him. The implications of this one verse is so great. Jesus whom God the Father loved the most and who was given over to be the sin offering for each of us, loved us with the same love with which God the Father loved Him.
1 John 4:8 tells us that God is Love! Now John is writing us to tell us God is love, he’s telling us that God is love. When we think of God we realize that He is eternal and so love, the love of God for us is eternal and it is demonstrated in the giving of Jesus for our sin to free us from condemnation that had infected us. Now the uniqueness of this radical, eternal love that God has for us and that is displayed in Jesus is that He risked loving us and dying for us before we loved Him.
Paul tells us in Romans 5:8 that this is a demonstration of God’s great love for us that while we were yet sinners Christ died for us.
So what is your response to God love for you? Our response to the love of God for us should be manifest in our loving of others. 1 John 2:9 says that those who claim to walk in the light of God’s love yet hate their brother is still in darkness. John 15:12 Jesus gives us a new commandment to love one another as He loves us.
The imperative of God’s love for us is for us to love others with the love of God that has been shown to us by Him through Jesus.
Which leads us to the second aspect of the love of God which is in us. The love of God which is in us in the evidence of the indwelling of the Holy Spirit of God in the lives of those who are in Christ Jesus.
There has been, and in some circles still is, confusion and question about the evidence of the Holy Spirit in the believer. But there should be no confusion because as the Apostle Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 13 love is the evidence of the indwelling presence of God. How do I know? Because God is love, 1 John 4:8. So that is the real challenge for the Children of God; to let the love with in us which is God’s indwelling presence to come out of us toward others.
You see it is the love of God in us being let out that is world-changing. The church is at its most effective when we are loving those around us with the love of God in us because we understand the profound change that the love of God has for us has made in us.