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The Greatest of These, in Heaven and on Earth

Why are we “nothing” without Love?

First Corinthians 13 says that without God’s Love I have no substance (v.1),   “I am a useless nobody” (v.2), and “I gain nothing” (v.3b).  In other words, if I do all the good deeds mentioned in these verses – or any of a zillion others! – and am not motivated by the Love of God, it is of no eternal consequence or value to God or man.  Thinking of this Truth and comparing Scripture with  Scripture we see a clear, conclusive explanation as to why this is so.

“God is Love”  (1 John 4:8, 16)

Since God is Love, it follows that Jesus Christ, Who is God, is Love.  Not only is He Love,  He is the Word (John 1:1;  Revelation 19:13b);  and the Word of God alone is that which will never pass away (Matthew 24:25), enduring forever (I Peter 1:25).  Furthermore, “Christ [Love] is all and in all” (Colossians 3:11) and “all things are upheld by by the Word of His [Love’s] power” (Hebrews 1:3)

“Without faith it is impossible to please God” (Hebrews 11:6)

Only faith activated...and expressed and working through Love counts for anything. Click To Tweet

Although faith is not needed in Heaven (and therefore is not “the greatest of these” (1 Corinthians 13:13), nonetheless it is our modus operandi while living on earth as believers:  “the just shall live by faith” (Habakkuk 2:4;  Galatians 3:11;  Hebrews 10:38).  But the faith by which we are designed and called to live is “a faith that works by Love”:  “only faith activated…and expressed and working through Love counts for anything” (Galatians 5:6, Amplified).  So we are seeing through these Scriptures that God is looking for His Love to be the motivation of our work, of our service (Galatians 5:13).

“For the Love of Christ controls…and impels us…” (2 Corinthians 5:14)

The Love that Christ has for me presses on me from all sides Click To Tweet

Here is perhaps the most important issue of our lives on earth, having much to do also with how our Eternity will be.  Kenneth Wuest words it beautifully, taking it closely from the original Greek:  “For the Love that Christ has [for me] presses on me from all sides, holding me to one end and prohibiting me from considering any other, wrapping itself around me in tenderness, giving me an impelling motive. …”  This encapsulates what God requires, desires, looks for in the hearts of His people, for He is looking on our hearts, not on our outward appearance or behavior (I Samuel 16:7).  Consider Amaziah, one of the kings of Judah, who “did right in the sight of the Lord but not with a perfect or blameless heart.” (II Chronicles 25:2);  and eventually he no longer did what was right in the Lord’s eyes but followed his own heart. which was not perfect with God.

[This Love]…brought me to this conclusion[:]  …not even one individual do we know…upon the basis of human standards (2 Corinthians 5:15)

The Love that Christ has for us compels us to know no person after the flesh – whether saved or unsaved.  Thus, we are free to have this love in us abound yet more and more according to Truth (Philippians 1:9).  People around us will see this and will know that we are indeed His disciples  because of how we genuinely, richly love each other, just as He loves us (John 13:34,35).  Furthermore, because we are constrained to know no man after the flesh, we are not put off by the flesh of anyone but rather zero in on who the person in front of us potentially is in Christ!  This mindset, this “spiritual posture”, can revolutionize personal and corporate evangelism.  “The Love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Spirit” (Romans 5:5b), we are not ashamed of the Gospel (Romans 1:16), and we genuinely love souls as He does and are willing and eager to seek them as He did (Luke 19:10).

The manifestation of Love destroys the works of the devil (1 John 3:8).

Is it any wonder then that the devil will do all he can to cause this Love in us to grow cold (Matthew 24:12)?  He knows only too well that when and where It is manifested, his works are exposed and destroyed.  Therefore, we receive Grace continually to keep ourselves in the Love of God and to build ourselves up in the faith that works by It (Jude 20,21).  We draw near to the Lord, to His Word, to His people, gathering together all the more as the day approaches for the consummation of this amazing Love between us and our Heavenly Bridegroom.  Yes, the enemy will contest It, do all he can to snuff It out or at least conceal It from the hearts of the masses – and from the perception of God’s people.  But he will not ultimately succeed in his insidious plans and strategies:  “Greater is He [Love]  that is in us than he that is in the world” (I John 4:4);  this Love never fails (I Corinthians 13:8);  and “Many waters cannot quench Love, neither can floods drown It.” (Song of Solomon 8:7)

Love has already conquered all, in Heaven and on earth.

Love has conquered iniquity, sin, guilt, death – anything that is NOT Love – and has forever bridged the gap between Himself and “whosoever believeth on Him (John 3:16).  Nothing in all creation shall ever separate us from the Love God has for us;  and amid all the enemy’s attempts to make It grow cold in our hearts in these last days, we are more than conquerors over him through Him Who loved us and will never not love us! (Romans 8:37)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jenny Perry

Jenny Perry

Jenny was drawn to Greater Grace because of the love of God lived out in the Body of Christ and because of the strong emphasis on “hiding the Word of God richly in your hearts.”She lives in Lee, Massachusetts, with husband John, where she is part of Greater Grace Church of the Berkshires, pastored by David Stambovsky.She is currently teaching a Bible study via Skype on Saturday mornings with ladies from Central Asia, South Asia, and Eastern Europe.
Jenny Perry

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