WHAT IS LOVE
INTRO - Do we need Love?
• 1 Co 13:1-3 If I ... do not have love, I have become a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. If I ... do not have love, I am nothing. And if ... I do not have love, it profits me nothing.
• 1 Jn 4:7-11 .... Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.
• Two friends were discussing the possibility of love. One said, "I thought I was in love three times.” "How so?" his friend asked. "Five years ago I deeply cared for a woman who wanted nothing to do with me." "Was that not love?" his friend asked."No," he replied. "That was obsession. And then two years ago I deeply cared for an attractive woman who didn’t understand me." "Was that not love?" "No," he replied. "That was lust. And just last year I met a woman aboard a cruise ship to the Caribbean. She was smart, funny, and a great conversationalist. And everywhere I followed her on that boat, I would get this strange sensation in the pit of my stomach." "Was that not love?" his friend asked. "No," he replied. "That was motion sickness."
We all have our ideas about love but what is it, what is love?
I. DEFINING LOVE - What is Love? Like I said already we all have our ideas about love.
A. The Funny - In a survey of 4-8 year olds, kids share their views on love. But what do little kids know about love? Listen to what they said.
1. "Love is when a girl puts on perfume and a boy puts on shaving cologne and they go out and smell each other."
2. "Love is when you go out to eat and give somebody most of your French fries without making them give you any of theirs."
3. "Love is when my mommy makes coffee for my daddy and she takes a sip before giving it to him, to make sure the taste is OK."
4. "Love is when mommy sees daddy smelly and sweaty and still says he is handsomer than Robert Redbird."
5. "I know my older sister loves me because she gives me all her old clothes and has to go out and buy new ones."
6. "When you love somebody, your eyelashes go up and down and little stars come out of you."
When it come to love our English language is limited. We use this one word as a catch-all for many different feelings. "I love my wife. I love Minnesota. I love our dog. I love cherry pie. I love a sunny day. I love my home." Oxford defines love as (1) an intense feeling of deep affection. (2) a deep romantic or sexual attachment to someone. (3) a great interest and pleasure in something. (4) a person or thing that one loves. (5) a score of zero.
B. The Bible words - What about the Bible? It was not written in English but in Hebrew and Greek. What do we know about the words used for love in the Bible.
1. Hebrew - First we’ll head to the Hebrew words of which there is namely one with it’s several variations. That main word is “ahab” and like the English word love, it seems to represent several kinds of “love”
a. First, the word refers to the love a man has for a woman and a woman for a man. Such love is rooted in sexual desire, as in Gn 24:67 where Isaac took Rebekah and loved her.
b. It is also used of the love between parents and their children. In its first biblical appearance, the word represents Abraham's special attachment to his son Isaac in Gn 22:2
c. The word sometimes depicts a special strong attachment a servant may have toward a master under whose dominance he wishes to remain as referred to in Ex 21:5
d. Another use of this word relates to an especially close attachment of friends: as in David and Jonathan in 1 Sm 18:1
e. The strong emotional attachment and desire suggested by ahab may also be fixed on objects, circumstances, actions, and relationships
2. Greek - In the Greek there are mainly three words for love, two of which are used in the Bible.
a. The first word, which is not used in the Bible, is “Eros,”but its meaning is referred to many times."Eros" means physical love, sexual love
b. The second word is “Phileo” - It means "brotherliness,” “companionship," & “friendship.” "phileo" love is too often a temporary type of love. It is a love that says, "I will love you as long as....”
c. The third is “Agape” & "agape" is the word that is used in 1 John 4, where it says, "God is agape." It is a love that is different from the other two because it is totally unselfish. It is a love that is more concerned about making the object of love feel loved, than it is in making the lover feel loved.
II. THE ACTIONS OF LOVE - Most people who pass out heart shaped boxes of chocolates, who give roses, who send valentines & expressions of love have no idea what real love, the love of the Bible is all about.
A. Paul’s Famous Definition - 1 Co 13 4-8 contain on of the greatest definitions of love. As we look at it I would like you to notice that much of what Paul tells us about love is not feelings but actions and we all know that “Actions speak louder than words.”
1. Love is patient.
2. love is kind
3. is not jealous;
4. love does not brag
5. is not arrogant,
6. does not act unbecomingly;
7. does not seek its own,
8. is not provoked, -
9. does not take into account a wrong suffered,
10. does not rejoice in unrighteousness,
11. rejoices with the truth;
12. bears all things,
13. believes all things,
14. hopes all things,
15. endures all things.
16. Love never fails;
B. Misc. 1 Co 13 is not the only place in the Bible to learn about love
1. Jn 14:15 If you love Me, you will keep My commandments. - Love is obedience
2. Jn 15:13 Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends. - Love is sacrifice
3. Ro 13:10 Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfillment of the law. - Love doesn’t wrong
4. 1 Co 8:1 Now concerning things sacrificed to idols, we know that we all have knowledge. Knowledge makes arrogant, but love edifies. Take Care with Your Liberty - Love builds up
5. Cl 3:14 Beyond all these things put on love, which is the perfect bond of unity. - Love unites
6. 1 Pe 4:8 Above all, keep fervent in your love for one another, because love covers a multitude of sins. - Love forgives
7. 1 Jn 3:18 Little children, let us not love with word or with tongue, but in deed and truth. - Love is action
8. 1 Jn 4:18 There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves punishment, and the one who fears is not perfected in love. - Love casts out fear
CONCL - Mt 24:12 Because lawlessness is increased, most people's love will grow cold. While this is to be true, it is by love that we are to be known to be Christians. Jn 13:34-35 "A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another. "By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another." Because we have the Bible we can know what love is all about. Because we have a God of love we can know what love is all about and we need not let it grow cold.