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If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. 2 Cor 5:17

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Go to the source! Discover what the Bible says about …

These pages are designed to aid study or investigation for Christian discipleship through individual Bible study, Cell groups, Home groups, or meeting one to one.  The questions could be used alone allowing each person to use their own Bible.

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Introduction

Love is the true mark of greatness.  God’s love is more than feelings, it is a way of life in which we lift their eyes from selfish pursuits and become bigger people.  How do we move from words and sentiments to action, especially when it is going to cost us?


Love acts for the best interests of others.  We don’t know how to live like this, and when we try, we can feel a prisoner to our selfishness, yet God by His power frees us to love!


Bible Zone

God values love and desires us to live a life of love.  These are not cheap words, He has gone further to give us the power to live this kind of life!


Love: God’s Highest Value

The highest value of God is love.  In the world around us we see many people talking about love, but few demonstrating it!  Even amongst Christians this can be true.  In this text we see God setting his value of love above many of the things valued in churches.


Paul writes about love in 1 Corinthians 13:1-3

  1. How is God’s value of love expressed?
  2. What is love contrasted to?


1 Corinthians 13:1-3 1 If I could speak all the languages of earth and of angels, but didn't love others, I would only be a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal.2 If I had the gift of prophecy, and if I understood all of God's secret plans and possessed all knowledge, and if I had such faith that I could move mountains, but didn't love others, I would be nothing.3 If I gave everything I have to the poor and even sacrificed my body, I could boast about it;* but if I didn't love others, I would have gained nothing.


What is love

Paul goes on to describe love in the next verses 1 Cor 13:4-7 (NCV)    

  1. How is this love seen practically in your situation?


1 Cor 13:4-7  4 Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud5 or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged.6 It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out.7 Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.


Why not free to love?

However much we desire to love, it seems that when it comes to the crunch, we look after our own interests.  Paul says this in Romans 7  (Link to a page on desires)

  1. What battle does Paul see going on in his life?
  2. How is this struggle won?

Romans 7:23-25  23 But there is another power* within me that is at war with my mind. This power makes me a slave to the sin that is still within me.24 Oh, what a miserable person I am! Who will free me from this life that is dominated by sin and death?25 Thank God! The answer is in Jesus Christ our Lord. So you see how it is: In my mind I really want to obey God's law, but because of my sinful nature I am a slave to sin.


Security in love

Love leaves us exposed to pain and danger.  God promises to be there for us if we will stick our necks out and love.  Since God values His name and reputation, He will honour His promises.  One of His promises in Hebrews 13:5

  1. How would love of things like money or work or anything else keep us from showing love to others?
  2. If we are kept from love by these things, in what way does that make us slaves?
  3. How would an absolute certainty that God means the following promise help us to relegate our love of money or other things below the love of God?
  4. What would it mean for you to be content with what you have?


Hebrews 13:5   5 Don't love money; be satisfied with what you have. For God has said,"I will never fail you.  I will never abandon you."*


Jesus the source of Love

Jesus’s practical love for us is what makes it possible for us to love!  This is what He says: John 15

  1. What does Jesus ask us to do in order that love will result?
  2. What does Jesus say it means to remain in Him?

John 15:7-12  7 But if you remain in me and my words remain in you, you may ask for anything you want, and it will be granted!8 When you produce much fruit, you are my true disciples. This brings great glory to my Father.

  9 "I have loved you even as the Father has loved me. Remain in my love.10 When you obey my commandments, you remain in my love, just as I obey my Father's commandments and remain in his love.11 I have told you these things so that you will be filled with my joy. Yes, your joy will overflow!12 This is my commandment: Love each other in the same way I have loved you.

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FREE TO LOVE