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WOFCF Bible Explosion - 5/2/18

May 2, 2018
WOFCF Bible Study Explosion

Fruit of the Spirit Series – Part 1 of 9, Love (Gal 5:22-23)

If we had to rank all of the fruits of the Spirit in their order of possible importance, it is certain most, if not all of us, would agree that the quality of love would have to be #1. Please keep in mind, all of our Adult Bible Study lessons are ‘group-discussion’ focused and not ‘lecture-focused.’ So if you have any comments or questions, please feel free to share your thoughts with us and do not hold back on using your spiritual gifts. Tonight, we will begin our first lesson of this nine-part series. Let’s begin with understanding some of the different definitions on what love is from the different Bible dictionaries and commentaries:

  • Unselfish, benevolent concern for another; brotherly concern; the object of brotherly concern or affection
  • The self-denying, self-sacrificing, Christ-like love which is the foundation of all other graces
  • Unselfish, loyal and benevolent concern for the well-being of another
  • The high esteem which God has for His human children and the high regard which they, in turn, should have for Him and other people
  • To love, to have affection for someone; to like; to be a friend; the love of brothers for each other
One of the main messages that comes through loud and clear from studying our Bible is the extreme importance that God the Father is placing on that everyone learn how to love Him, love ourselves, love one another, and to even go as far as to be able to love our enemies and those who will try and hurt us. However, our abilities as fallen humans to love one another are very limited. This is why it is so important for every Christian to work very closely with the Holy Spirit to get this fruit worked up into the core of our personalities. It is only when the love of the Holy Spirit starts to flow and enter into our personalities can we even begin to love God, love ourselves, and love one another to the degree and to the intensity that God would really like to see from each one of us. To those of you who will be entering into this sanctification process with the Lord, this quality should be listed as the #1 quality you should really attempt to put on into the core of your personality. The Holy Spirit will be moving on you very early and very quickly to get this quality imparted into your mind, soul, and emotions due to the extreme importance of it in your walk with the Lord. You can be the greatest man of God and have some of the greatest gifts of God flowing through you – but if you are not walking with all of this in the spirit of love and humility, it will have all been for nothing.
Several words or word pairs are used in the New Testament to express love. One familiar word pair is philia/philein. These two words are always employed with a special sense of warmth and deep affection. Although they commonly deal with matters of the heart, the emotional aspect of man, these words are not restricted to purely human love. They are used at times in respect to God's love for his dear Son () and for God's love for those who also love Jesus (). They describe Christ's love for Lazarus (), for John his disciple (), and for the reproved believer ().

A word pair formed from the same root occurs in two compound nouns: philadelphos () and philadelphia (), both of which speak of brotherly love. The latter is the more frequent term and speaks of, "the love of Christians one to another growing out of a common spiritual life." Still another noun from this root is the word philostorgos, which also occurs in . Building upon the preceding philadelphia, this word carries the implication that in a real sense believers establish a family. Therefore, Christians are to treat one another with all the love and closeness of members of their family.

The other word pair that occurs with great frequency in the New Testament to express love is agapē. The noun agapē, is used of God's love and also of genuine Christian love, which reflects and acts in accordance with God's love (e.g., ). Indeed, "A Christian's whole soul attitude toward others is to love others and seek their highest good-no matter who or what-just as God does ()." Love is listed first because Paul undoubtedly believed it to be the most important of the virtues (see 1 Co 13:13) and because all of the others may be understood to be included in it and to flow out from it. Indeed, love is to be the operative dynamic of the Christian life.

  Next week, we will continue with Fruit of the Spirit lesson series.

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