Add Love

Add LoveText: 2 Peter 1:5-11

Faith must be the foundation of all that we do. Yet there are various qualities we are to add to our faith. In this lesson, the trait we will focus on is love.

Define Love

  • Greek word agape – active love; striving to do what is best for others; similar to previous trait (brotherly kindness), but broader in scope
  • “Not shown by doing what the person loved desires but what the one who loves deems as needed by the one loved (Zodhaites) – God loved the world and gave His Son (John 3:16); not necessarily what man wanted, but what man needed
  • “Christian love…is not an impulse from the feelings, it does not always run with the natural inclinations…” (Vine’s)
  • This is about seeking the good of others ahead of our own interests and their desires

What Love Looks Like WITHOUT Faith

  • People in the world often talk about love and appeal to it as a fundamental principle of their lives – yet love without faith falls short of what it ought to be OR the definition of love has been changed
  • Accepting sin (1 Corinthians 5:1-2) – for many, to “love” someone is to accept their chosen lifestyle
  • Enabling destructive behavior (Luke 15:11-18) – we can only help people after they want to repent
  • Disregarding God’s marriage law (Hebrews 13:4) – cannot throw out God’s law because people “love” each other (premarital sex, adulterous marriages, homosexual relationships, etc.)

What Love Looks Like WITH Faith

  • Add to your faith – faith is the foundation; the source of faith is the word of God (Romans 10:17); love must be based on this standard
  • Obeying God’s commandments (1 John 5:3; John 14:15)
  • Willingness to sacrifice (John 15:13) – we follow Christ’s example (Ephesians 5:2); this is the result of putting others ahead of ourselves (Philippians 2:2-4)
  • Rejoicing in truth, not unrighteousness (1 Corinthians 13:6) – abhors evil, clings to good (Romans 12:9); speaks truth in love (Ephesians 4:15)
  • Covers a multitude of sins (1 Peter 4:8) – not tolerance of sin; focus on unity (Proverbs 10:12; cf. Colossians 3:14); as a result, love edifies others (1 Corinthians 8:1)

How to Add Love to Our Faith

  • The word of God is the source of faith (Romans 10:17) – we must go to the word
  • We must know the law of God (John 13:34; 1 Thessalonians 4:9) – since love fulfills the law; this comes from an attitude of love for God’s law (Psalm 119:97; 2 Thessalonians 2:10)
  • Realize that love is a “more excellent way” (1 Corinthians 12:31-13:8)
  • Recognize that the Lord has shown love for us (1 John 4:10-11) – same point in last lesson, but bears repeating
  • See people as God sees them (1 Samuel 16:7) – souls made in His image (Genesis 1:26; James 3:9-10); God loved them enough to send Jesus to die for them (John 3:16); this is our perfect example

Conclusion

  • We must have faith if we want to please God and be saved – but faith alone is not enough (James 2:24); a stagnant faith is not pleasing to God (2 Peter 1:8; Colossians 1:10)
  • We must grow in our faith – add love as God has defined it; obey the Lord, value the truth, seek the best interest of others, keep from sin

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