Proverbs 10:12 Hatred stirs up strife, but love covers all sins.
What a powerful scripture about love! We as Christians sometimes forget what it truly means to love one another. Think for a minute how much God loves us. He sent His only Son, Jesus to die for those sins and cover them so He could love us. So, why is it that we continue to stir up strife in the church? Because we are human and we stand firm on our beliefs. Jesus came for one main purpose and that was to show us how to love others and how to overlook sin to do so. We are going to spend a few weeks on this subject before we get to the obedience. God wants His people to understand the love that He gives and the love that Jesus taught, which we all tend to forget when we are pointing the finger at our brothers and sisters in Christ.
There are three greek words that mean love, each meaning a little something different but each one more in depth than any english word. First word is Phileo- meaning a brotherly love or a love for family and friends. This is the love that we give to those who we don’t truly know. Agape, a deeper love, which is an unconditional love. This is the love that Christ spoke of when He mentioned how he loved the church and how we are to love one another. Third is eros, which is a sexual love, one of desire and want. This type of love is the love that you have towards your mate, and is present when you are joined together as one.
We’re going to focus mainly on the Agape, unconditional love and we will be touching on the Phileo love later on during our studies.
Unconditional love is a term that means to love someone regardless of his actions or beliefs. It is a concept comparable to true love, a term which is more frequently used to describe love between lovers. By contrast, unconditional love is frequently used to describe love between family members, comrades in arms and between others in highly committed relationships. It has also been used in a religious context to describe God’s love for humankind through the forgiveness of Christ. (From Wikipedia, on the web)
Matthew 22:36-40“Teacher, which is the great commandment in the law?” Jesus said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.”
The lawyer, who was a Pharisee, had asked Jesus this question. I’m sure that he was not expecting Jesus to talk about love because the Pharisees and Sadducees could not understand the type of love that Jesus was referring to. They had been taught a different way of loving and that was through judgement and the wrath of God. Jesus referred to loving one another many times throughout His time here on earth. He even stated it again to one of His disciples and instructed us that the fellow man would know that we are His, based on our love towards one another.
John 13:34&35A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.
As you can see here, Jesus states this three times “to love one another.” He never said to love one another only if someone believes the way you do, or if they don’t do any sinful thing. It was direct and to the point, love one another. This is an unconditional love because there is no condition for this love. A good example of conditional love is, I can’t love that person because of their smoking habit. So, because of the person wanting to smoke or having a sin, we condemn them and pass judgement bringing forth a bitterness and hate which leads to strife and out of the circle of God.
God is the center of love. Therefore, if we know God and accept His words, believing in Jesus, then why should we put a condition on that which has been given unto us?
John 15:12-17This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends. You are My friends if you do whatever I command you. No longer do I call you servants, for a servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all things that I heard from My Father I have made known to you. You did not choose Me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit, and that your fruit should remain, that whatever you ask the Father in My name He may give you. These things I command you, that you love one another.
Jesus again stating before His final hours here that we love one another again this is with no conditions. We can’t chase our fellow man out of the church, they have already been scared away. Fearing that the God we believe in, holds conditions to the key of heaven. God gave up those conditions when He sent His Son to die on the cross for the sake of His love for us. Love is a powerful tool and should be brought forth in all that we say and do, even to those who despise us or persecute us for the sake of belief. We live in a time of many uncertainties. Where there are freedoms and rights, against that which we have lived by and believed in. Jesus still says to love all, unconditionally.
Matthew 5:44&45But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.
Here is where Jesus was speaking of Phileo love, which gives us the power to love those who come against us and our beliefs, no matter what. It all summarizes up into this, love the sinner and dislike the sin. No matter what someone does to hurt you or come against you, we are still obligated as Christians to love that person.
If you would like to read more of Pastor Jeanne’s sermons please visit the ministry site at www.iamhomeministries.org.