It is sad to know that there are many people who go all through life feeling that they are on their way to heaven because they have obeyed some of the commands of God and therefore feel that they have fulfilled their responsibility before God. Yet of these people we find many who condemn themselves day after day because they do not have one of the most important things which Christians must possess. This one thing is love. They may lack in others but many lack in love and do not even realize that they do.

    It shall be our purpose in this lesson to study on the subject of love and to stir up our pure minds in such a way that we will shed forth more love in our manner of life than ever before.

    Love caused God to preserve the human race down to this present time. Love has caused God to make a plan possible that we might be redeemed from this world of corruptible things. Love caused God to send His Son to die for our sins. Love caused Jesus to want to come and lay down His life that we might have life and have it more abundantly. Love caused the disciples and apostles of Jesus to devote their lives and even give their lives to spread the gospel which is the power of God unto salvation. In short, love is one of the greatest motivating forces in existence.

    The Bible Teaches That…
    1. WITHOUT LOVE WE ARE NOTHING. 1 Corinthians 13:1, "Though I speak with tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity (love), I am become as sounding brass or tinkling cymbal.” Love and charity are the same. The word charity is used in the King James Version of the Scriptures. In this statement, Paul affirms that though we have great powers of speech and have not love we are just so much noise.

    (Verse 2) "And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains and have not charity (love), I am nothing." Here, Paul says again, a person that has not love is nothing.

    (Verse 3) "And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity (love), it profiteth me nothing." In each of these three verses Paul emphasizes and reemphasizes how that without love we are nothing, and we are profited nothing. This ought to be enough in itself to cause us to want to search the Scriptures and find out what the proper love is and exercise ourselves in it.

    The Bible Teaches That…
    2. LOVE HAS MANY BEAUTIFUL CHARACTERISTICS. In this same passage, Paul continues to elaborate on love and says:

    a) Charity suffer long
    b) Is kind
    c) Envy not
    d) Vaunteth not itself
    e) Is not puffed up
    f) Do not behave itself unseemly
    g) Seek not her own
    h) Is not easily provoked
    i) Think no evil
    j) Rejoice not in iniquity
    k) Rejoice in the truth
    l) Bear all things
    m) Believe all things
    n) Hope all things
    o) Endure all things
    p) Never fail.

    All these are descriptive of love. When we see a person violating either of these principles, we know that he or she is not exemplifying love in their heart. Let us read this chapter frequently and then strive to abide by it’s teaching.

    The Bible Teaches That…
    3. CHRISTIANS ARE TO LOVE GOD. When asked which was the great commandments of the law. Jesus answered: “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart and with all thy soul and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets” (Matthew 22:36-40).

    Jesus emphatically declared that the greatest of the commandments was the love of God and he further emphasized that we are to love Him with all of our hearts, soul and mind. In John 14:15, Jesus said; “If ye love Me, keep My commandments.” In order to show our love for God and Christ, we then must obey the commands that they have given.

    The Bible Teaches That…
    4. CHRISTIANS ARE TO LOVE ONE ANOTHER. John teaches in 1 John 4:20-21: “If a man say, I love God and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen? And this commandment have we from him, that he who loveth God love his brother also.”

    According to this passage of Scripture, if we do not love our brother we do not love God and if we would try to say that we love God when we hate our brother, we are liars. This is very strong language but yet very true. Let us take heed of it. In 1 Peter 1:22, we are admonished to love one another with a pure heart fervently.

    The Bible Teaches That…
    5. CHRISTIANS ARE TO LOVE THEIR ENEMIES. One of the most prominent teachings in the Sermon on the Mount, was the teaching that Jesus gave regarding our enemies and our love for them.

    “Ye have heard that it hath been said, thou shalt love thy neighbor and hate thine enemy. But I say unto you, love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you and pray for them which despitefully use you and persecute you: that ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for He maketh His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sendeth rain on the just and the unjust. For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? Do not even the publicans the same? And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others? Do not even the publicans so? Be ye therefore perfect even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.” (Matthew 5:43-48).

    To sum it all up, the Christian must be full of love. If we would be disciples of the Son of God, we will grow in love and understanding of those around about us and we will shed forth our love unto those with whom we come in contact.

    Christians will love mercy and walk uprightly. Christians will love God, Christ, the church, their brethren, their fellowman, their neighbor, and their enemies. May each and every person who desires to be disciples of Christ make love the prerequisite of all their actions. If what we do is motivated by the proper love, all will be well with our soul. Of course, there is the love for the wrong things but such love is not harmonious with the true love which is of God. Let us shun all evil love and desires and seek the love of God which brings sure and everlasting reward.

    Section 1 - Fill in the blanks.

    Question 1
    “Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels and have not _____. I am become as sounding brass or tinkling cymbal.”

    Question 2
    “And though I have the _____ and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all _____ so that I could remove mountains and have not _____, I am nothing.”

    Question 3
    “And though I bestow all my goods to _____, and though I give my body to be _____, and have not _____, it profiteth me nothing.”

    Question 4
    “Thou shalt _____ the Lord thy God with all thy _____, and with all thy _____, and with all thy _____.”

    Question 5
    “If ye _____ Me, keep My _____.”

    Section 2

    Section 3 - True or False

    Question 1
    Christians are to love God.

    Question 2
    Christians need not love Christ.

    Question 3
    Christians must love their brethren.

    Question 4
    Christians do not need to love their neighbour.

    Question 5
    Christians may hate their enemies if they want to.

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