"Beloved, if God so loved us, we must also love one another" (1 John 4:11).
The practical implication of being reconciled to the source of love is that the Christian is not only loved but is also enabled to love. Romans 5:5 says, "the love of God is shed abroad in our heart by the Holy Spirit who has been given to us." Because the Holy Spirit puts the love of God into the root of our new nature, we can bear fruit that begins with love. As Galatians 5:22a says, "The fruit of the Spirit is love."
In addition to being the source of all love, God has also defined love for us:
Love suffers long and is kind; love envies not; love flaunts not itself and is not puffed up, does not behave itself improperly, seeks not its own, is not easily provoked, thinks no evil; rejoices not in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, and endures all things.
Love never fails. But if there are prophecies, they shall fail; if there are tongues, they shall cease; and if there is knowledge, it shall vanish.
(1 Cor. 13:4-8)
Jesus himself said that this kind of supernatural Trinitarian love would be among the chief marks of a Christian church. In John 13:35 he said, "By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another."
According to the Bible, the mark of Christian maturity and true spirituality is love. And, the more we understand and experience the love of God, the more loving we become toward God and others.
Is there any area in the definition of love above that you need to focus on improving in?
Mark Driscoll is a Jesus-following, mission-leading, church-serving, people-loving, Bible-preaching pastor and the author of many books, including Spirit-Filled Jesus, which you can preorder here. He currently pastors The Trinity Church in Scottsdale, Arizona, with his family. For all of pastor Mark Driscoll's Bible teaching, please visit markdriscoll.org or download the app.
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