Living Love

2008 Calvary Impact’s Mission Program

Week One Bible Study

 

 

Welcome to this year’s Calvary’s Impact Bible Study!  It is my hope that as we work together over the next ten weeks of Bible study, that our hearts will be prepared to be an expression of God’s love to the people of Mexico and El Salvador as well as our families, the school, and others that we meet.  Love shown to others indicates that God is at work in our lives as He allows us to be conduits through which He can work.

 

Every Christian’s first “calling”, or most important thing in our life, is reaching out to share with others the good news of God’s love, the redemptive work of Jesus on the cross of Calvary, and the personal relationship that He desires to have with every person. Therefore it is vital that we learn what love is, where it comes from, how it is shown, what it accomplishes, and the barriers that hinder a believer from “living love”. In this way, we can truly impact the world for the cause of Christ.

 

God’s Word has the perfect road map to learn these things.  As we begin this study, I encourage each one of us to open our heart to what God wants us to learn.  Bible study is not just a mind exercise. It is also our expression of deep relationship with God that impacts the heart of us as believers to the point that it changes priorities and helps us see the world around us in a different way- the Jesus way. I believe that one warning is in order prior to beginning this study.  Because of the power of God’s love, each one of us will face opposition as we seek God’s heart on the matter of love. Because the world is a fallen place, it will be easy to loose our bearings if we look around us to find the truth about love.  Because of this, we should pray that God’s Holy Spirit leaves such a strong imprint upon our heart regarding love that our view of love impacts our view of the world rather that what we know about the world impacting our view of love.  Only His Holy Spirit can give us the insight and strength to do this.

 

It is my deepest desire that you travel this road of study with me as we seek the heart of God so that together, we can “live love” and serve our Lord on this side of eternity.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Please begin with prayer.

 

Answer the following questions.  They will be discussed at the second week mission meeting.

 

Read 1 Corinthians 13:1. As your read this passage, the word “charity” may appear in your Bible instead of the word “love”.  This is due to an early interpretation from Greek to Latin, then again to English.  It is generally agreed that the word “love” most accurately expresses what the Lord through His Holy Spirit was trying to get us to understand. 

 

Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal.”

 

Please write what you think “love” is.:

 

 

 

 

 

The Greeks actually had four words for “love”. 

 

  • Storgi- means affection.  “I love my hunting dog.”
  • Eros- means sexual love.
  • Phileo- means brotherly love. “You help me and I will help you.”
  • Agape- love that expects nothing in return and acts out of motives that we can find in the heart of Christ.

 

Of these four types of love, which type of “love” is 1 Corinthians 13 speaking of and why?

 

 

 

What does 1 Corinthians 13:1 use as an example of a spiritual gift? 

 

 

What key element does this passage say must motivate the use of tongues or heavenly languages when it is being used as a spiritual gift?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Please read 1 Corinthians 13:2:

 

“And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing.”

 

What three spiritual gifts does Paul mention in this passage that must be done with “love”?

 

 

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Are these three things good and valuable in the life of the Christian?  Write something about each of these three spiritual gifts?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What does Paul say the essential motivation should be behind each of the three things?

 

 

 

What does Paul say that the value of each of these three things is if “love” is not present?

 

 

 

 

Please read 1 Corinthians 13:3:

 

“And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing.”

 

Again, there are two things that Paul names that must be motivated by agape love. What are they? 

 

 

 

 

It is obvious that the Holy Spirit directed Paul to emphasis this thing- agape.  Actually, when Paul taught the Greeks, they had to invent a word for the type of love that Paul about which Paul was speaking.  They named it agape. It is the type of love God has for you and for me.  If all the spiritual gifts are void without this “love”, then we certainly need to understand what it is and how it looks.

 

Agape Love Defined

 

Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, (1 Corinthians 13:4)

 

 What do you think “sufferth long” means?  (Hint: See Matthew 18:22)

 

 

 

 

Is it hard for you to forgive people?  Why?

 

 

 

Read Mark 11:25-26.  What does this passage say God’s expression of agape is towards us?

 

 

 

 

In order to “live love” in the area of forgiveness, what must we learn to do?

 

 

 

 

Do you have any ideas on ways we can learn to forgive?  What are they?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, (1 Corinthians 13:4)

 

Do you find it hard to be kind to people?  When is this the hardest? Why?

 

 

 

 

 

Proverbs 19:22 “The desire of a man is his kindness:” This literally means that the attractiveness of a person is shown by kindness.  Jesus is our true example of kindness in action.  If we want to be attractive, then our hearts need to show kindness.  In what ways do you need to work on showing Jesus’ type of kindness?

 

 

 

 

To get a grasp the kindness of agape love, if God thought like you or I do, how easy would it be to love you?  Why?

 

 

 

 

 

 

Psalms 117:2 says, “For his merciful kindness is great toward us: and the truth of the LORD endureth for ever. Praise ye the LORD.” This passage tells us that even with all the flaws and reason not to show the kindness of agape love, God still shows us His kindness and love.  How long does God show this towards us?

 

 

 

 

 

 

How can we use this as an example of how to be kind to each other?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, (1 Corinthians 13:4)- Love does not envy.  It does not wonder why someone else received a reward, honor, gift, or promotion.  Can you think of someone who you envied when something good happened to them?

 

 

 

Psalms 76:6-7 For promotion cometh neither from the east, nor from the west, nor from the south. But God is the judge: he putteth down one, and setteth up another.  Who determines what persons receive promotion or good things to happen to them? 

 

If God is the person who grants promotion, and then who are we doubting when we envy someone is blessed by God blesses and we are envious?  Should we doubt the God of agape love?

 

 

 

1 Corinthians 3:3 For ye are yet carnal: for whereas there is among you envying, and strife, and divisions, are ye not carnal, and walk as men?

1 Timothy 1:4 He is proud, knowing nothing, but doting about questions and strifes of words, whereof cometh envy, strife, railings, evil surmisings,

In these two passages, we see that envy has special company that does not look like agape love.  What are some of the things that can accompany envy?  Name a time where you were envious of someone and one of these other attitudes and actions became obvious.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Romans 1:29 Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers,  In this passage, envy is placed with other sins.  What do you think of the company that envy has been placed with in Scripture?

 

 

 

 

Proverbs 13:40  A sound heart is the life of the flesh: but envy the rottenness of the bones. In this passage, envy is found to cause physical damage to a person’s body.  What types of illnesses can rot a person’s bones?

 

 

 

Acts 13:45 But when the Jews saw the multitudes, they were filled with envy, and spake against those things which were spoken by Paul, contradicting and blaspheming. When one has an envious heart, some other body part goes into action.  What part begins to move in a sinful way when we envy?

 

 

 

Can you think of a time where your envy of someone caused you to speak ugly words?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What three things can we do to keep from allowing envy to get in the way of our agape love?

 

  1. See Psalms 76:6-7 again:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  1. See 1 Timothy 6:6: and Philippians 4:11-13: 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3. See Isaiah 55:8-10

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In what ways do you need to ask God for help in learning to “live love”?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Please bow your head and ask the Lord to help you in these areas.

 

In the next study, we will pick up with “Love Defined”.

 

 

 

Written by: John R. Wallace, Jr. for the 2008 Calvary Impact Mission Program