Sunday, February 10, 2013

God Is Love

I John 4:7-8
7 Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God.
8 He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.

According to Strong’s Concordance, the word “love” at the end of verse 8 is from the Greek word “agapÄ“ [ag-ah'-pay],” which is a selfless, sacrificial, unconditional love. Notice that it does not say that God has agape, or shows agape, but that He is agape. Agape is not just an attribute of God, but it is His very essence. It is the same word that is translated as “charity” in I Corinthians 13. I have often heard people insert the word “love” in place of the word “charity” when reading this passage, but since God is love, He could just as easily be read into it.

I Corinthians 13:1-13
1 Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not [God], I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal.
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 [God], I am nothing. 
3 And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not [God], it profiteth me nothing.
4 [God] suffereth long, and is kind; [God] envieth not; [God] vaunteth not [Himself], is not puffed up,
5 Doth not behave [Himself] unseemly, seeketh not [His] own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil;
6 Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth;
7 Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.
8 [God]  never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away.
9 For we know in part, and we prophesy in part.
10 But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away.
11 When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things.
12 For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.
13 And now abideth faith, hope, [God], these three; but the greatest of these is [God].

According to Strong’s, the word “faith” in verse 13 comes from the Greek word “pistis [pis'-tis],” which means “reliance upon Christ for salvation.” The word “hope” in this verse is from the Greek word “elpis [el-pece'],” meaning “to anticipate, usually with pleasure; expectation or confidence.” All we have in this world that is worth anything in eternity is our reliance upon Christ for salvation, our expectation of His return, and God, but the greatest of these is God, without Whom the other two would not be possible.

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