Today’s message will be on the sixth descriptor in 2 Corinthians 6:6, how we are to approve ourselves as the ministers of God by love unfeigned.
2 Corinthians 6:4 But in all things approving ourselves as the ministers of God, in much patience, in afflictions, in necessities, in distresses,
5 In stripes, in imprisonments, in tumults, in labours, in watchings, in fastings;
6 By pureness, by knowledge, by longsuffering, by kindness, by the Holy Ghost, by love unfeigned,
Love is the greatest commandment given by God to us, especially as believers. We know that God is love and that God so loved the world that He gave, and we are commanded by God to love Him above all else, and to love one another above our own selves. Love is most genuinely expressed when we give sacrificially of ourselves to God and to others with no expectation of anything in return. 1 Corinthians 13 gives us the most comprehensive teaching on what true Biblical love is and what it does, how it behaves, and how it does not behave.
While love is an emotion that we feel, and God is the creator of our emotions, feelings and emotions are not the summation of what love is. We should feel love toward God and neighbor, and if we don’t, that is a sign of a heart problem that we have and a symptom of a deep misunderstanding of who we are and who God is and what He has done for us all. When we understand the awesome goodness and love of God, when we glimpse His frightening holiness and righteousness, when we begin to understand the immeasurable sacrifice He made in order to bring the hope of eternal life to the whole world, and we compare that to our own selfish and deceitful hearts, our utter lack of ability to truly love someone other than ourselves from a pure heart without the revelation of God’s Word and the guiding of His Holy Spirit, then we can learn to express a deep, meaningful love that is unfeigned.
Unfeigned means genuine and sincere, a love that is not a manipulative tactic used to get what we want from someone else. It is a recognition that the recipient of our love was created by God in His own image for His own glory, someone that Jesus Christ died on the cross for, someone that God loves and desires to have fellowship with.
1 John 2:10-11
10 He that loveth his brother abideth in the light, and there is none occasion of stumbling in him.
11 But he that hateth his brother is in darkness, and walketh in darkness, and knoweth not whither he goeth, because that darkness hath blinded his eyes.
Unfeigned is a love that comes from a heart that desires to see that person conformed to image of Christ, to be free from sin and do great works for God and others, it is a wonderful feeling of affection for someone that causes us to give to them of our own selves in order that they can succeed at their Christian life and receive the fullness of the blessings of God. Love is a broad term that includes many distinctly different kinds and expressions. We ought to have a general love for all people and a special love for the household of faith. There is another love shared between family members and a high love between married people, but they all should share a common denominator, an esteem for others that is greater than self and a desire to give in order to see them thrive in a Godly manner.
Let’s begin this new year with a plan to have love unfeigned for our brothers and sisters in Christ and work to help them succeed this year in growing closer to God and further from sin. Let’s have a renewed compassion on our lost neighbors and an increased estimation of their value in God’s eyes as the crown of His creation and a creature who was formed by God in the womb with so great care and detail. Someone for whom our Lord Jesus Christ, the King of Kings and Lord of Lords left his throne in heaven for to be born in a dirty feeding trough and to hunger and hurt and be spit upon and mocked and murdered. God didn’t just command us to love, He sent His Son Jesus Christ to show us how to love, let’s decide that this year we will follow our Saviour’s blessed example and show the world His love through our own.
34 A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.
35 By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.