Godly Love

  1. God is love, and the source of godly love.
    • God loves all people because he created people in his image (Genesis 1.26-28; Psalm 8:4; 1 John 4:16-19; John 3.16).
    • God is the source of a believer’s godly love. (Galatians 5:22; 1 John 4:7-10).
    • God’s sacrificial love to man is also the pattern for how believers love (John 15.13; 1 John 3.16; 1 John 4.10, 11, 19; Ephesians 5.1-2). This love depends on the one loving, not the one loved.
    • God’s love for believers makes it possible for believers to live with hope (Romans 5:5).
  2. Believers are to live in godly love.
    • Believers should love all because God has commanded it (Matthew 22.36-40; John 13.34; 1 Thessalonians 4.9; 1 John 3.23; 1 John 4.11, 21).
    • Godly love is a fruit of the Holy Spirit (Galatians 5.22; Romans 5.5).
    • Fellowship with God and living by the Holy Spirit are necessary for God’s love to be evident (Romans 5:5; Galatians 5:16-23).
    • Bible doctrine is the teacher and leader of godly love (1 Peter 1.22; Philippians 1.9).
  3. Characteristics of godly love.
    • Godly love does not depend upon the merit, attraction, compatibility, rapport, familiarity, acquaintance, or agreement with the object (Romans 5.8; Ephesians 2.4; Matthew 5.43-44; Luke 6.27, 35; 1 John 3.23).
    • This love begins as an attitude and expresses itself in good manners, thoughtfulness, good behavior, good thoughts, responsibility, sacrifice, and protection (1 Corinthians 13.4-7; Galatians 5.13; 1 John 3.17-18).
    • There are four practical Ps of godly love: a product (Galatians 5.22; Romans 5.5), a problem solver (Proverbs 10.12; 1 Corinthians 13.4-7; 1 Peter 4.8), a protector (1 Corinthians 13.4-7; 1 Peter 4.8), and a producer (1 Corinthians 13.4-7; Galatians 5.13). God’s love is a fruit or product of the Holy Spirit, and if applied will solve problems and bring about forgiveness between people, protect people from mental and verbal attacks, and produce God’s good through believers (1 Pet 4.8).
    • Paul set forth the leading characteristics of God’s love expressed through believers in 1 Corinthians 13:4-7. Love is patient, kind and helpful, not jealous, does not brag, is not arrogant, does not act with bad manners, is not self-centered, is not easily irritated, does not hold grudges, is not happy when evil triumphs, is happy when truth triumphs, covers the sins and failures of others, believes the best because God is creator, ruler, and gracious, hopes or is biblically optimistic because God has a plan, endures and does not quit under pressure because God is just, faithful, and compassionate. Paul’s lesson was especially needed and appropriate for the Corinthians.
    • As we believers mature in the faith, we are more able to apply God’s love. God’s love is in us and from that we love others. We think of others first and do for them that which is good and needed, even when it is inconvenient, difficult, or dangerous for us (1 John 4:19; John 15:13; 1 Thessalonians 3:12; 2 John 5-6, Galatians 5:22-23; 1 Corinthians 13:4-7).
    • Godly love includes responsibility which is being accountable to God, to doctrinal principles, and to one’s level of spiritual growth; protection of others by way of verbal protection (what we say), mental protection (our thoughts), and physical protection; self-control which relates to sacrifice, responsibility, and protection; good manners and thoughtfulness; and thankfulness to God and people in our lives, for their help, support, sacrifice, protection, learning, and so on. See the above Scripture.

We know that Scripture commands us to apply godly love. Do we, by the power of the Holy Spirit, obey Scripture (John 13:34-35; 2 John 5-6; Ephesians 5.2)?