The Measure of Maturity
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. – 1 Corinthians 13:4-7
“The only measuring stick for growth as a believer in Christ is love; it follows, then, that the most mature believer in any local church is the one who has the most love. Why? Because as Christians, we are children of God; and God is love. There are several words for love in the Greek. There’s eros, or ‘sensual love’; and phileo, which is ‘brotherly love.’ But the Greek word for love in the well-known 1 Corinthians 13 Scripture passage is agape. It’s the kind of love that Jesus had when he died on the cross for our sins. The only way to have this kind of love is to have Jesus living through us by his Holy Spirit. As Christians, we can ask the Lord to help us radiate his love, not only as individual believers but also corporately as the body of Christ, so that the stranger who walks into our gatherings is drawn by the love of God to the good news of Jesus.” – Pastor Cymbala
- Who is the most mature believer in any local church? Why?
- Explain the different words that exist in the Greek for the world “love.”
- Define and give an example of agape love.
- Can we possibly exhibit agape love on our own? Why or why not?
- Why is it important for us to radiate God’s love, not only as individual believers but also as the body of Christ?