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3. Do All Things through Love

All in Love

Rooted and Grounded in Love
In Ephesians 3:16-19, Paul tells us when we are "rooted and grounded in love" that by faith we will allow Christ to live in us and we will be strengthened by the power of the Holy Spirit. This means that when we turn our lives over to Christ and make Him the foundation - the source of our being - He will make us into the complete, mature people who we were created to be. God created us to live with Him and to reflect His love, power, and glory. When we follow Adam and Eve's example and sin, we are rebelling against God as they did. Instead of reflecting God's love, power, and glory - we are reflecting the rebellion and sin of the Devil.

We have the choice. We can either reflect God or the Devil. Paul tells us that when we choose to reflect God's love and glory, we are accepting His offer to live a life of holiness and purity (Ephesians 1:4).

Before God created the world, He chose those who would be His people. This does not mean that He picked only certain people by name for either salvation or damnation. It means that He chose all those people who would accept His Christ as the Savior of the world and who would devote their lives to living in holiness and purity to please Him. Because God so loves us, we - in turn - are to love Him and each other.

Forbears One Another in Love
"Forbear" carries the idea of service to one another. When we show one another forbearance, we are acting in an unselfish way (Ephesians 4:2). Normally, people act in a self-centered, selfish way. They care only about themselves and their wants.

When we act in love for one another, we are putting their needs above our wants.

In Philippians 2:5, Paul expands on this subject. He tells us that we are to act in a selfless way because that is the way Christ treated us. God never demands that we do something that His on has not already done.

Speak the Truth in Love
Paul tells us not to act like people who are reflecting the Devil. When we deceive someone or tell a lie, we are following the Devil. Somehow, people have developed the idea that it is "OK" to tell a lie if it does not hurt anybody or if you are trying to make someone feel good. The Devil tells us that it is "OK" to tell a "little white lie" so we will not hurt somebody's feelings. A lie is... a lie. God says this is just another of the Devil's tricks to get people to follow him.

God says that if we lie, we will not inherit eternal life (Revelation 21:8). He did not say that we can lie as long as it does not hurt somebody, but not to - IF it will hurt someone. He says that a lie, whether big or a "little white" one, is still a lie.

Edifies the Body in Love
The body Paul talks about in Ephesians 4:16 is not our physical body. It is Christ's body - the church. Since the 1960's we have heard many people claiming they believe in Christ and are good Christians but they regard the church as a "road-block" to faith and service to God. That might be true when churches leave their First Love and sink into heresy.

Christ and God do not look at the church as unimportant. To them, it is very important. Jesus Christ loved the church so much that He died for it (Ephesians 5:25).

To "edify" is the idea of "building up" or improving someone by teaching and imparting moral and religious knowledge. We are to show our love for the church - Christ's body - by teaching and helping individual members (and the church as a whole) to grow and develop into a glorious witness of God and His Son.

Walks in Love
When the Bible uses the phrase - "walk in" - it means to live a certain kind of life. In Ephesians 5:2, Paul tells us to walk in love. He means that we are to live a "life of love" for all our fellow men. The reason we are to live a life of love is that we are following the example of Christ. Jesus loves us so much that He died for us. This is the same type of love that we are to live.

In Colossians 2:2, Paul explains this idea of "walking in love" when he tells us to be - knit, joined together, united, connected together - in love. When we walk in God's love, we will love all men, especially those who are walking in God's love (Galatians 6:10).

Is Unfeigned in Love
We are to demonstrate true, genuine love. Out love is not forced, phony, or false. We love others because God's Spirit lives in us (2 Corinthians 6:6).

Increases in Love
Jude tells us to keep ourselves in God's love (Jude 21). The way we do this is to live a life of obedience to God's Word. I know that is not a popular idea - that God actually has a law. Many people like to simply talk about a "relationship" with God. They forget that our "relationship" with Him is based on obedience to Christ (John 14:23-24).

Our love is not unchanging. It must either grow and increase in power or it will deteriorate and die.

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