Below are several emails pertaining to the "Love of Christ".
Bro. Steve Atwood taught a couple of Sunday school lessons on the "Love of Christ". I took some notes & I wanted to share some of the points he made. I felt the message was very convicting. I know I won't do his message justice but I hope you can see the points he was making.
1) Christ's love for the church was spontaneous. We, on the other hand, have to look for reasons to even like some people, much less love them. We look at the flesh but Christ loved us in spite of our flesh. (Rom 5: 6-8 For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die. But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.)
2) Christ's love is eternal. Our love is usually based on some emotion or feeling which is fleeting. But Christ's love for us was made manifest on the cross 2000 years ago - it was an action that cannot be changed. (Eph. 2: 4-7 But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, Even when we were dead in sins, hath he quickened us together with Christ, (by grace are ye saved;) And hath raised us up together, and made us sit in heavenly places in Christ Jesus: That in ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.)
3) Christ's love is perfect. Our love is flawed. (1Cor 15:4-8 Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, Doth no behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, it not easily provoked, thinketh no evil; Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth; Beareth all things, endureth all things. Charity never faileth; but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away.)
4) Christ's love is persistent where our love is fickle. (Rom 8:35-39 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. For I am persuaded, that neither death, not life, nor angels, not principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.)
5) Christ's love is proven. Our love fails. (Rom 5: 8-9 But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from the wrath through him.)
6) Christ's love is true. (Eph 3:17-19 That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye being rooted and grounded in love, May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God)
I am so thankful and blessed to know the love of Christ. Christ gave His life for me on the cross. I did nothing to merit that love - God loved me unconditionally through Christ. And God's love is invincible no matter what I do or do not do. What convicted me most is knowing that since Christ dwells in me, there should be an outward working of that which is in me (Phil 2: 13-14 For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure. Do all things without murmurings and disputings:). I have a choice to change my actions and to do and to love for Christ's sake. I hope this gives you as much to think about as it did me.
Hello Everyone --
I know that Dawn posted this study a couple of weeks ago, but I am just now getting around to studying this. As I was studying, a couple of thoughts came to mind.
While reading the verses that were posted along with some others, I was struck by how much Christ really loves us!! Now, that sounds silly when we know that He died for us, but do we really realize how much He loves us and cares about every part of our lives? I think that most women (probably men too, but I only know about women) greatly desire "love" -- unconditional, intimate, someone who really "knows" us. We want this love from our husbands or from other's around us. As I was studying, I began to realize that I have this kind of love from Someone who will never change, never quit loving me (Rom. 8:35-39), and who even knows the number of hairs on my head :-). When I rest and am comfortable in Christ's love, I don't require so much of other's around me (waiting on them to show me they love me). I believe that if we could really grasp this, it would be very freeing to our husbands. We would no longer require so much of them, maybe even more than they are able to give.
Then, as we rest in Christ's love, we should "walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us..." (Eph. 5:2). Love should be shown in our lives because of Christ's love for us.
May we all rejoice in Christ's "great love" (Eph. 2:4),
I've been doing a study on fear the last week. It sorta tied in with what you said.
There have been so many things going on in my life thelast few years. I had forgotten how to just rest inthe Lord. I had felt forsaken by Him. I knew in my mind and spirit that He loved me; but in my emotions I didn't feel I could go to Him. But I'm coming out of the valley a little now. And I do think that the stronger one gets in FAITH, the more satan attacks our emotions and tries to ensnare us. So my flesh was having a field day being afraid, feeling down, having pity parties; but through the years my spirit kept on keeping on in the Word...but I didn't "feel" very strong in faith. And I don't know that I'm supposed to "feel" my faith. I think the last few years the Lord's been trying to grow me up. So though my emotions scream for emotional fellowship (which is what I got in the local church but now that we're "outside the camp" because of right division, fellowship is hard to find). And the Lord has shown me that the fellowship is in HIM and the outward sign of that fellowship is ministry to the body of Christ.
And like you said, you don't require so much from those around you because you've RECEIVED unconditional love from the Father and really no one else can really give us that. We try but we always fall short to give it to each other.
The following ministered to me so much:
For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.
For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.
Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the LORD thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest.
Abba, Father, reminds me God is not only my Father but my "Dad." If I have a spirit of fear, it's not coming from Him. In Hebrews it says I can boldly come to the throne of grace to obtain mercy and grace to help me in time of need. And my "Dad" is always with me. Loving me...even when my emotions say He doesn't...the Word says He does.
I cry out, as the apostle Paul, in Ephesians 3: I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, Of whom the whole family in heaven and earth [included in that this precious "loop"] is named. That he would grant [Joan], according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in [her] inner man; That Christ may dwell in [my] heart BY FAITH [not emotion]; that [Joan] being rooted and grounded in love, [like Stephanie said] May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that [I] might be filled with all the fulness of God.....truly unto Him be glory in the church...His body. And as He was hugging Stephanie, assuring her of His love, He used her to reach out to me, and hug me, and say, Fear not for I am with thee! If I trust in His love, my fears will subside, and I will trust my God to be faithful to His Word and His Love.
Happy Sunday ladies and thanks Stephanie!!