Sunday School

 

April 26, 2020

Love – John 15:9-14

Minister Tajuana Miles

Theme: LOVE – Agape (Greek) – It is word that is used to depict the love of God.  It is the highest level of love.  There is no higher nor excellent love than agape love.  Indicates a choice to exercise your free fill of to serve God, to love your neighbor, to accept self without expecting something in return (Matthew 22:34-40).  Christian love is based on the deliberate choice of the lover rather than the worthiness of the one loved (I Corinthians 13:1-13).

A More Excellent Way

Love is…Without love…Love is greater than…
Patient, kind, unselfish, truthful, hopeful, enduring,   Not envious proud, self-centered, rude, or provokes to anger.Tongues are mere noise.   Prophecy, mysteries, knowledge, and faith amount to nothing.   Good deeds are unprofitable.Prophecies, which will fail.   Tongues, which will cease.   Knowledge, which will vanish.

Passage: John 15:9-14

9As the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you: continue ye in my love.

The Love believers are to demonstrate toward others is grounded in God’s Love. Love should be number one on our spiritual priority list.  In this passage, the connection between Jesus and believers is described as a loving relationship  The constancy of the relationship Jesus shares with the Father is the model for the relationship He wants to share with believers.

Accordingly to Galatians 5:22,23, one of the nine fruit of the Spirit available to those in whom God’s Holy Spirit lives, we should study love, pray and develop the fruit of love by practicing loving others.  Believers who obey the love commandment have the privilege of speaking boldly to God and are assured that God will hear and answer their prayers. The prayers of a righteous person are answered (James 5:16).  Love is not optional.  We are commanded to love one another.

As believers in Jesus Christ, the love we are to manifest to the world is the unconditional love of God flowing through us to them.

10If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father’s commandments, and abide in his love.

God is Love, and he who abides in Love abides in God and God in him.  God’s Love is the heart of His nature.  God not only had Love, but God is Love.  The Love of God is the perfection and affection God has which moves Him to give Himself to His creatures continually.  That Love is not merely an emotion.  It is an act of God’s will in which He eternally gives Himself.

Love itself is a triunity: 1) There must be the Lover, 2) The Love and 3) the Loved.  In the Godhead, love finds it perfect expression in the trunity of the Father (Lover), the son (Loved), and the Holy Spirit (Love).  God’s character, through the Holy Spirit, is to shape and progressively dominate the character of the believer.  The Spirit of God imparts the will to love.  Love is one of many attributes of God and is to be understood in relation to the others such as holiness and justice.

Jesus used the connection between love and obedience.  One of the clearest examples of the connection between Jesus’ love for the Father and his obedience to the Father’s will come in the garden of Gethsemane when Jesus agonized over the terrible cost of bringing salvation to the world.

11These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full.

Joy comes from a consistent relationship with Jesus Christ.   When our lives intertwined with his, he will help us walk through adversity without sinking into debilitating lows and manage prosperity without moving into deceptive highs.  The Joy of living with Jesus Christ daily keeps us levelheaded no matter how high or low our circumstances. 

12This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you.

According to the Word of God, God loved us before the world was formed, before we loved Him or believed in Him or had ever done anything either good or evil.  Because God does not require us to earn His Love, we must not require others to earn our love.  We must realize that love is something we are to become; it is not something we do and then do not do.  We can not turn love on and off.  As believers in Jesus Christ, the love we are to manifest to the world is the unconditional love of God flowing through us to them.

True indicator of love is keeping God’s commandments. We are to love one another as Jesus loved us, as he loves us enough to give his life for us.  Give all the love you can and then try to give a little more. Love should be number one on our spiritual priority list.  Love is not optional.  We are commanded to love one another.

13Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.

John 3:16

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

This verse reveals the heart and purpose of God.

  1. God’s love is wide enough to embrace all person, i.e., “the world.
  2. God “gave” His Son as an offering for sin on the cross.  The atonement proceeds from the loving heart of God.  It was not something forced upon Him (Romans 8:32; 1 John 4:10).
  3. To believe includes three main elements: a) a sure conviction that Christ is God’s son and the only Savior for lost humanity; b) a self-surrendering fellowship with and obedience to Christ; and c) a fully assured trust in Christ that He is both able and willing to bring you to final salvation and to fellowship with God in heaven.
  4. “Perish” is often the forgotten word of John 3:16.  It points to the dreadful reality of eternal punishment (Matthew 10:28).
  5. “Eternal life” is the gift God Bestows on us when we are born again.  “Eternal” not only expresses perpetuity (lasting forever or for an indefinitely long time) but also the quality of life – a divine type of life, a life that frees us from the power of sin and Satan and removes us from what is merely earthly in order to know God.

14Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you.

We must live in the atmosphere of the love of Christ and this is done by keeping His commandment that we are to love one another as I have loved you. Greater Love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his FRIENDS.

There can be no friendship without confidence in the Lord, and no confidence without integrity, meaning moral uprightness, soundness, completeness; wholeness and honesty.  Integrity is seen as faithfulness to the Lord.

James 2:23: And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God.

Righteousness calls for right actions and relationships.  Hear is a question to ask yourself, How is your relationship with God and Friends? Are you called a Friend of God? Proverbs 18:24 says a man that hath friends must show himself friendly: and there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother.  “JESUS”.

4 Types of Love

Agape (Greek) – It is word that is used to depict the love of God.  It is the highest level of love.  There is no higher nor excellent love than agape love.  Indicates a choice to exercise your free will of to serve God, to love your neighbor, to accept self without expecting something in return (Matthew 22:34-40).  The Spirit of God imparts the will to love.  I John 4:7, 8, tells us that: Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God. He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.

Phileo (Greek) – Refers to esteem and affection reflected in the loving concern that friends have for one another.  Such as the affection felt between a boyfriend and girlfriend or the affability shared between two friends. Affability is the quality of being easy to talk to.  It carries the idea of two or more people who feel compatible, well-matched, well-suited, and complementary to each other. It is not representative of the highest form of love, which is agape.

Eros (Greek) – It is a Greek tern for sexual love and where we get the word erotic.  This word referred to sensual, carnal impulses to satisfy or gratify the sexual desires of the flesh such as sexual demand.   Describe appetite, self-centered love, including sexual desire and physical craving. It is a carnal love that seeks the fulfillment of its own desires.

Stergo (Greek) – The real idea of the word stergo is that of devotion.  It alludes to affection, especially among family members. The love that exists between parents and children.

John 21:15-17 Commentary notes:

15 So when they had dined, Jesus saith to Simon Peter, Simon, son of Jonas, 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.

16 He saith to him again the second time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed my sheep.

17 He saith unto him the third time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? Peter was grieved because he said unto him the third time, Lovest thou me? And he said unto him, Lord, thou knowest all things; thou knowest that I love thee. Jesus saith unto him, Feed my sheep.

Jesus asked Peter three times if he loved Him. The first time Jesus said, “Lovest (Greek agape) thou me more than these? The second time, Jesus focused on Peter alone and still used the word translated into Greek, agape. The third time, Jesus used the word translated into Greek, phileo (signifying affection, affinity, or brotherly love,) and asked, in effect, Are you Even my friend? Each time Peter responded with the word translated into Greek as phileo.  Jesus doesn’t settle for quick, superficial answers.  He has a way of getting to the heart of the matter.  Peter had to face his true feelings and motives when Jesus confronted him.

Question: Who Do You Love?