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Passages Ministries

The Ministries of John "BJ" Hall

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Since January 18, 2015

Love and Acceptance

~By BJ Hall~

Fellowship should be an integral and essential part of our Christian experience.
Acts 2:42 (NASB) They were continually devoting themselves to the apostles' teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.

By definition it means: Expressions of genuine Christianity freely shared among the members of God’s family. 

At the heart of fellowship, there must be love and acceptance Jesus said in John 13:34-35 (NASB) "A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another. 35  "By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another."

Romans 12:9-10 (NASB) Let love be without hypocrisy. Abhor what is evil; cling to what is good. 10  Be devoted to one another in brotherly love; give preference to one another in honor;

We are now considering what the Scriptures teach about love and acceptance, using the first seven verses of 1 Corinthians 13 as our guide.

I.     THE PRIORITY OF LOVE (v. 1-3)

       1 Corinthians 13:1-3 (NASB) 1  If I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but do not have love, I have become a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. 2  If I have the gift of prophecy, and know all mysteries and all knowledge; and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. 3  And if I give all my possessions to feed the poor, and if I surrender my body to be burned, but do not have love, it profits me nothing.

       If . . . if . . . if . . . if . . . if . . . but do not have love . . . nothing.

II.   THE MEANING OF LOVE (v. 4-7)

1 Corinthians 13:4-7 (NASB) 4  Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, 5  does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered, 6  does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; 7  bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

Here we see what Love is . . . is not . . . What it does . . . does not do . . . . .

Love is defined as:  Seeking the highest good for someone else.

Paul Amplifies the definition beginning with the first seven of fifteen characteristics of agape love.

  1. Love is Patient.  The opposite of being short-tempered.  Real, agape love is slow to anger, long-tempered.  “Our patience will achieve more than our force.” --Edmund Burke
  2. Love is Kind.  From the word that means to be “helpful” and friendly toward others--free from a critical spirit.  “Kindness is loving people more than they deserve.” --Joseph Joubert
  3. Love is Not jealous.  When love sees another prosperous and gifted, it is pleased and glad of his advantages. William Shakespeare said “And oft, my jealousy shapes faults that are not.” Love never detracts from the praise that is due another nor tries to make him seem less, and self seem more by comparison.
  4. Love does not brag.  The idea here is ostentatiousness or “intellectual pride.”  “Pride is the master sin of the devil, and the devil is the father of lies.” -- Edwin Hubbel Chapin  Love simply won’t tolerate it.
  5. Love is not arrogant.  This ties in with the previous characteristic.  Bragging is something we do; arrogant is something we are.  Love is not inflated, proud, or haughty, but is fully convinced that in everything God is to be praised . . . never self.
  6. Love does not act unbecomingly.  This refers to actions that are tactless, rude, sharp and even crude -- lacking courtesy, charm and graciousness. --Oliver Wendell Holmes said, “Don't flatter yourself that friendship authorizes you to say disagreeable things to your intimates. The nearer you come into relation with a person, the more necessary do tact and courtesy become.”  Love does not behave tactlessly.  An ancient proverb says, “To speak kindly does not hurt the tongue.”
  7. Love does not seek its own.  Love isn’t selfish.  It does not seek its own rights, its own way, its own interests.  It is possible “To do a perfectly unselfish act for selfish motives.” --Elbert Hubbard

So, I ask… Where are you in the Fellowship of Love?  Are you standing on the outside looking in?  Or are you spreading Love around to those you meet?

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