The Theology of Love

Series: Love

Sun am 10 June 2018 – Johan Esterhuizen

1 John 4:7-12 (NKJ); John 13:34 (NKJ); Rom. 5:5; Gal. 5:6, 22-23; 1 Cor. 13:4-8; Rom. 12:3-5; (Matt. 20:28); (Gen. 2:24)

I want to talk about the theology of love. Love will make a way; indifference will make an excuse. Many people think the opposite of love is hate, but it is indifference.

Beloved, let us love one another, (this is not a suggestion but a commandment) for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. He who does not love does not know God, for God is love. In this the love of God was manifested toward us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him. In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has seen God at any time. If we love one another, God abides in us, and His love has been perfected in us (1 John 4:7-12). A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another. How must we love one another? As I have loved you (John 13:34). How did Christ love us? He gave unconditionally. By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another (John 13:34 – NKJ). The sign of discipleship for the world is when they see the love we have for one another.

How can we love like this? The love of God has been poured into our hearts (Rom. 5:5). When He talks about the love of God, he literally means “agape”, unconditional love. Faith works by love (Gal. 5:6). The bottom line of everything is our love walk. That is the acid test. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such, there is no law (Gal. 5:22-23).

The definition of love is given in 4 verses. This love of which I speak is slow to lose patience—it looks for a way of being constructive. It is not possessive: it is neither anxious to impress nor does it cherish inflated ideas of its own importance. Love has good manners and does not pursue selfish advantage. It is not touchy. It does not keep account of evil or gloat over the wickedness of other people. On the contrary, it is glad with all good men when truth prevails.  Love knows no limit to its endurance, no end to its trust, no fading of its hope; it can outlast anything. It is, in fact, the one thing that still stands when all else has fallen (1 Cor. 13:4-8-Philips). Love never fails. Take the word ‘love’ and substitute your name.

The Son of Man came to serve, not to be served (Matt. 20:28). To be great in God’s kingdom you have to be a servant. You will be successful when you realize that your calling in life is to add value to others.

We think we know all about love. This is the romantic age. There are movies, books and songs about love, but the statistics are very sad. Five out of every seven marriages in Sandton end in divorce. Unfaithfulness is rampant. There are 27 sexually transmitted diseases, with subgroups. It has been discovered that when a husband and wife are faithful to each other they become sexually immune-compatible. We know this because For this reason a man shall leave his father and his mother, and be joined to his wife; and they shall become one flesh (Gen. 2:24). The Word of God is written for our protection.

The Hebrew language has 9 words for ‘love’ and the Greek has 7. To merely say, “I love you” is so inadequate.

What love is not: Love is not jealous. Jealousy can cause one to be jealous of what others have. Such jealousy left unchecked can cause destruction. Love does not brag and is not puffed up. Love restrains us from flaunting our talents and bragging about our accomplishments. Boasting can tear others down, causing them to feel inferior in comparison. Love prevents us from having an elevated view of ourselves (Rom. 12:3). Love does not behave indecently. Love does not provoke or keep an account of injury. Love is not easily provoked or offended by what others say or do. The greatest thing God has given us is love. When some get offended they have a pity party, then those terrible relatives come, bitterness, anger, revenge and unforgiveness. Love does not rejoice in iniquity.

Love covers a multitude of sins. Love never fails. There may be someone you need to release and forgive. Perhaps the relationship to your spouse or your kids is not so good. The key is to love. Take the first step, reach out, love conquers all. Make a quality decision to make a difference.