Why would it be important to know the definition of the word "love"? Isn't love something that we all understand? Isn't it something that all of us do? Isn't it something that all of us feel like we deserve?
A father could ignore his children and say that he is "loving" them because he wants them to grow up.
A friend could demand something from you, and have you lie to others, because they "love" you.
A pastor could tell people to give money and read their Bibles because that means that they are "loving" the church and "loving" God.
How do you know when someone really loves you? Is there a way to measure love besides a warm fuzzy feeling?
Is this an important Doctrine to discuss? YES!
DOCTRINE #48: LOVE
Love is the giving of a value to a person without expecting a value in return from that person. Saying "I love you" is an admission that you owe someone because you've received more than what you have given. Uniqueness can allow two people to both say "I love you" to each other. Love can become enabling if you know that continuing to give a value will cause that person to be able to do something destructive.
Question: Do you believe God can love someone more than someone else?
Next Doctrine: Doctrine #48
Table of Contents
If you need it, here is the support from the Word of God...
"1 If I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am become sounding brass, or a clanging cymbal.
2 And if I have the gift of prophecy, and know all mysteries and all knowledge; and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing.
3 And if I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and if I give my body to be burned, but have not love, it profiteth me nothing.
4 Love suffereth long, and is kind; love envieth not; love vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up,
5 doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not its own, is not provoked, taketh not account of evil;
6 rejoiceth not in unrighteousness, but rejoiceth with the truth;
7 beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.
8 Love never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall be done away; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall be done away.
9 For we know in part, and we prophesy in part;
10 but when that which is perfect is come, that which is in part shall be done away.
11 When I was a child, I spake as a child, I felt as a child, I thought as a child: now that I am become a man, I have put away childish things.
12 For now we see in a mirror, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know fully even as also I was fully known.
13 But now abideth faith, hope, love, these three; and the greatest of these is love." (1 Corinthians 13:1-13)
(This famous passage was really a list of the effects of love. Notice, giving without expecting in return would result in the effects that were listed. What makes all of these effects (WHATS: tongues, knowledge, prophesy, removing mountains, etc.) profitable is because they were done for the benefit of others without expectation, with love. Notice, Paul mentioned giving all that he had to the poor could be done "without love". Love is something in addition to giving that makes the act profitable. If you did something that was amazing, if you had an amazing effect, but you expected someone to give something back to you (Wrong HOW/WHY), you would be acting apart from love. In the King James Version, the word "love" got translated as "charity". It was changed to "love" where it was grammatically correct. Notice, charity is giving without expecting anything in return from the one to whom you gave. Let's look at Jesus' definition...)
"27 But I say unto you that hear, Love your enemies, do good to them that hate you,
28 bless them that curse you, pray for them that despitefully use you.
29 To him that smiteth thee on the one cheek offer also the other; and from him that taketh away thy cloak withhold not thy coat also.
30 Give to every one that asketh thee; and of him that taketh away thy goods ask them not again.
31 And as ye would that men should do to you, do ye also to them likewise.
32 And if ye love them that love you, what thank have ye? for even sinners love those that love them.
33 And if ye do good to them that do good to you, what thank have ye? for even sinners do the same.
34 And if ye lend to them of whom ye hope to receive, what thank have ye? even sinners lend to sinners, to receive again as much.
35 But love your enemies, and do them good, and lend, never despairing; and your reward shall be great, and ye shall be sons of the Most High: for he is kind toward the unthankful and evil.
36 Be ye merciful, even as your Father is merciful.
37 And judge not, and ye shall not be judged: and condemn not, and ye shall not be condemned: release, and ye shall be released:
38 give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, shall they give into your bosom. For with what measure ye mete it shall be measured to you again." Luke 6:27-38)
(This was Jesus' definition of love. Charity is giving without expecting in return. Jesus' message was in regards to salvation and reward. When you give to people without expecting (LOVE them), justice says you are owed a value. You gave to someone and didn't try to even things out in the short term, in fact you are looking long term, thinking as God Thinks, and loving to gain reward. God is Right and God is Just. When we are giving without expecting and allowing God to measure our giving, with Holy measures and while we forgive those that do evil to us, our reward will be great, because the only person who can give back to you is GOD!)
"12 This is my commandment, that ye love one another, even as I have loved you.
13 Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.
14 Ye are my friends, if ye do the things which I command you." (John 15:12-14)
(Love is quantitative; it is an amount. The greatest love that can be expressed is giving your life to a friend. You gave the most that you possibly could (your entire life) and it was GIVEN to them. The friend is going to create and you have a share in everything that they create. So if you give your life can you expect anything back from them? No. Why? Because you're dead! The maximum amount is given and it is impossible for you to expect...)
"15 So when they had broken their fast, Jesus saith to Simon Peter, Simon, son of John, lovest thou me more than these? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed my lambs." (John 21:15)
(Jesus asked Peter if he loved Jesus more than others. Jesus was asking for a measure from Peter, not if he loved him or not. Peter didn't answer the question that Jesus asked, but Jesus took Peter's answer and challenged him to act upon what he believed. Jesus was calling Peter to be wise and for his Say and Do to be without hypocrisy.)
"1 Now concerning things sacrificed to idols: We know that we all have knowledge. Knowledge puffeth up, but love edifieth." (1 Corinthians 8:1)
(In 1 Corinthians 13:4 we learned that love "is not puffed up". Love is not simply a WHAT as knowledge is. Love creates, builds, edifies. Love is profitable.)
"9 And this I pray, that your love may abound yet more and more in knowledge and all discernment;
10 so that ye may approve the things that are excellent; that ye may be sincere and void of offence unto the day of Christ;
11 being filled with the fruits of righteousness, which are through Jesus Christ, unto the glory and praise of God." (Philippians 1:9-11)
(Love ought to grow in knowledge and discernment (which is understanding). Love is not emotional only, even though love involves belief which is to know and feel. Love leads to fruits of righteousness through Jesus, which is works, and reward. Love is the ULTIMATE EFFECT of Right and Just. You cannot be wrong or unjust if you love, because even if you love those who are evil you will reap off of them. The following passage is misinterpreted as: Love is in God's Nature. In the next Doctrine, we will see God has limits to His Love, so love is not in His Nature. However, ONLY God is able to be the source of love because it is the ultimate effect of Right and Just...)
"7 Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is begotten of God, and knoweth God.
8 He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.
9 Herein was the love of God manifested in us, that God hath sent his only begotten Son into the world that we might live through him.
10 Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.
11 Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.
12 No man hath beheld God at any time: if we love one another, God abideth in us, and his love is perfected in us:
13 hereby we know that we abide in him and he in us, because he hath given us of his Spirit.
14 And we have beheld and bear witness that the Father hath sent the Son to be the Saviour of the world.
15 Whosoever shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God abideth in him, and he in God.
16 And we know and have believed the love which God hath in us. God is love; and he that abideth in love abideth in God, and God abideth in him.
17 Herein is love made perfect with us, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment; because as he is, even so are we in this world.
18 There is no fear in love: but perfect love casteth out fear, because fear hath punishment; and he that feareth is not made perfect in love.
19 We love, because he first loved us." (1 John 4:7-19)
(God is the only one capable of loving. He FIRST gave to us. We love because it is the moral response to God, because we owe. You can never out give, or out love, God. The point of this passage was that if we love others, it was proof (actions towards others was the measure) we had God flowing through us, which was grace. Grace would cause us to love because God would be directing our actions and decisions to become more profitable. There is no fear in love. Guilt leads to pain and pain leads to fear. Loving can never result in guilt. If you give someone a value (WHAT), and then feel guilty, what is your motivation (cause, HOW/WHY) for giving in the first place?)
"3 This is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour;
4 who would have all men to be saved, and come to the knowledge of the truth." (1 Timothy 2:3-4)
(God first loved EVERYONE. God wants all to be saved and come to the knowledge of the truth. Love would lead you into truth, and truth would cause more to be created which is the definition of good.)
"11 And he gave some to be apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;
12 for the perfecting of the saints, unto the work of ministering, unto the building up of the body of Christ:
13 till we all attain unto the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a fullgrown man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ:
14 that we may be no longer children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, in craftiness, after the wiles of error;
15 but speaking truth in love, we may grow up in all things into him, who is the head, even Christ;
16 from whom all the body fitly framed and knit together through that which every joint supplieth, according to the working in due measure of each several part, maketh the increase of the body unto the building up of itself in love." (Ephesians 4:11-16)
(THE MEANING OF LIFE is speaking the truth in love! Think about both definitions for a moment before continuing to read the rest of this summary. Truth is a Right WHAT with a Right HOW/WHY. Love is giving a value without expecting. Speaking the truth in love would mean stating something that creates as if you are giving to someone and won't take out your justice if they respond in a negative fashion. This is the ultimate example of grace. Your WORDS would be a Right HOW/WHY, which is God's Righteousness and God's Thinking flowing through you, and by recognizing that He is Just, you will have no fear in giving, because He is the cause of you giving in the first place.)
"8 above all things being fervent in your love among yourselves; for love covereth a multitude of sins:" (1 Peter 4:8)
(The sins we do to each other can be covered by loving. The sin is taking. Giving/loving would be the repentance for these sins. When you sin against people you are in the negative and you owe them. The way to get out of the negative, into the positive, is by giving to them because you owe them. Plus, you may even give them more than you took which would allow you to become more profitable.)
"8 Owe no man anything, save to love one another: for he that loveth his neighbor hath fulfilled the law.
9 For this, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not kill, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not covet, and if there be any other commandment, it is summed up in this word, namely, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.
10 Love worketh no ill to his neighbor: love therefore is the fulfilment of the law." (Romans 13:8-10)
(Love is the cause that would lead to all of the Law. The Law tried to keep everyone out of "the red"(debt). Love is a principle. There is a benefit to love, because if two people loved each other yet still felt as though they owe the other person the giving could go on through all of eternity, and it will because of uniqueness! This means love is also qualitative.)
"35 By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another." (John 13:35)
(According to Jesus, love is proof that we are believers.)
We are all unique and value things differently. This can be seen as short term difficult because we would have to get to know each other more to understand how we can love them MORE and become more profitable.
But, you don't give to everyone the maximum of what you have in ALL circumstances. You do not put people into one category and treat love as a "one size fits all" (comparative) mentality, by giving to everyone the same quantitative value.
There ARE people that you give more to than others. If you are in denial about this, you are going to have a very hard time with the next Doctrine. We know that God loved all of us FIRST, and as a response we love him back and love his people. But, does God give more to some and less to others. Think about what we learned in uniqueness....