Galatians 5:22-23, LOVE, aGApe from a-gaPAo*, 116x (320), Strong’s #26
One. ROM 5:5 (1-11) LOVE SUPERCEDES HOPE IN IMPORTANCE. “And :hope puts not to shame; because the loveof :God has been shed abroad in our :hearts through the Holy Spirit :given us.” Is hope then important? Of course. It is the THIRD of the 7 unities noted in Ephesians 4:4-6. But as 1 COR 13:13 notes – LOVE precedes both faith and hope!
Two. 1 COR 13:8 (1-13) THE ETERNAL NON-FAILURE OF LOVE. “:Lovenever fails: but whether there be prophecies, they shall be done away; whether tongues, they shall cease; whether knowledge, it shall be done away.” All believers should memorize this entire chapter, the LOVE chapter of the Bible. The Koran does not even mention LOVE. Thank God, GOD is LOVE, and therefore Jesus as part of the Triunity of the Godhead, is LOVE.
Three. 2 COR 5:14 (11-15) OUR HIGH COMMITMENT TO GOD IS BECAUSE OF HIS LOVE! “For the loveof the Christ constrains us; having thus judged, that one died for all, therefore :all died.” Does one wish to understand the unusual motivation, wisdom and conduct of the apostle Paul? This passage is a clue. His understanding and intimacy with the God of LOVE, constrains him in his ministry.
Four. GAL 5:6 (2-6) FAITH WORKS AND IS UNDERGIRDED BY LOVE. “For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision avails anything, nor uncircumcision; but faith working through love.” This of course does not remove the privilege and obligation of Jews in circumcision. But it does explain why Gentiles are freed from this and other Jewish traditions. Yet in LOVE, Gentiles regard Acts 15:28-29 (22-29).
Five. EPH 3:17 (14-21) LOVE: THE GREAT BASIS FOR PAUL’S FAR-REACHING PRAYER. “That the Christ dwell in your :hearts through :faith in love, rooted and grounded.” Here again, as in GAL 5:6, we see that LOVE is the great basis from which faith operates. In harmony with each other, they permit the believer to realize the fullness of Paul’s mighty prayer here – on behalf of the One New Man, Jew and Gentile alike.
Six. COL 3:14 (12-17) LOVE: THE BOND OF PERFECTNESS. “And above all these things put on love, which is thebond of perfectness.” Above ALL THINGS the Spirit speaks through Paul, put on LOVE. He first mentions in this passage 7 other things for believers to put on, but LOVE supersedes them all! For it is equally important above all else in both time AND ETERNITY – for GOD is LOVE.
Seven. 1 John 4:18 (16b-21) THE DEEP LOVE PASSAGE. “God is love; and who abides in :loveabides in :God, and :God abides in him. 17Herein is :lovemade perfect with us, that we may have boldness in the day of :judgment; because as HE is, even so are WE in this :world. 18 No fear is in :love: but :perfect lovecasts out the fear, because the fear has punishment; and who fears is not perfected in :love. 19WE love, because HE first loved us.” The above 7 passages have been chosen from 116 references. The law of first reference tends to set the definition! It then is with importance that we carefully consider the above passage, for it precedes the other six in the “Numeric” order established by Ivan Panin.