There is a kind of love only found in those regenerated by Christ. Because the believer has been saved and therefore knows God, he or she should therefore demonstrate love, and that love points back to a relationship with God. William Barclay, a Scottish theologian, puts it this way, love comes from God, and love leads to God. The bottom line is that if you love God you will love others, but if you dont love others you probably dont love God (read verse 8). Love is a gift from God that enables us to give love to others. Therefore, how should love be defined, which in turn answers how love is to be demonstrated? The term here is the often used as agape. C.S. Lewis said there are four kinds of love, but agape is the best because it is the kind God has for us and is good in all circumstances. This love will many times involve feelings but will always involve action. In 1 Corinthians 13, known as the love chapter, all fifteen characteristics of love are verbs. Most importantly this love (agape):
- Defines God and should thus define our lives (4:8)
- Is demonstrated by God sending Jesus into the world and should be demonstrated as we go into the world sharing Jesus and making disciples (4:9)
- Is given by God sending Jesus to be a sacrifice for our sins, and should be given by those saved from their sins as they engage the mission of God (4:10)
The other three types of love come naturally and are as follows: a parental or family love (it is natural for me to love my children); a sexual love that is reserved for husband and wife; and a friendship love. All are good in their place but none can take the place of Gods kind of love that defines, is demonstrated and freely given in our lives. It is the greatest evidence that you are a child of God.