by Travis Bryan III
The love of the cross is “agape” love. AGAPE IS SELFLESS love. The sufferings of the cross have purged out the element of Self. It is love which has been refined by fire. It is the grain of wheat after its beating which removed the chaff. It is the oil which flows out of crushed olives. It is the water which flows out of the smitten rock.
Christian love is always SOURCED IN (flows out of) THE CROSS of Christ and our experience of His cross. Gal 2:20; Rom 5:5-8.
The “LAW OF CHRIST” (Gal 6:2) is the law of His love sourced in the experience of the cross. 1 Cor 9:21 (“Law to Christ”). Only those crucified with Christ manifest this love!
Agape love is UNCONDITIONAL. It is to be found in its subject. It does not have to be found in its target or object. It is to love someone not worth loving. It is to love an enemy. It is the love of Christ. It is love that does not require reciprocation.
Agape is NOT NATURAL love. It is supernatural. It can’t be conjured up from within a self-centered person. It flows only from the smitten Rock.
Most people think the OPPOSITE of love is hate. No. The real antithesis of love is Self and Self’s proud arrogance. The opposite of love is pride. Love is humility.
1 Cor 13 gives us the manifestations of love and shows us its opposite– the proud self:
Vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up
Does not behave itself unseemly
Seeketh not her own
Is not easily provoked
Thinketh no evil
Rejoiceth not in iniquity
Rejoiceth in truth
Beareth all things
Believeth all things (trusts God and so is willing to be vulnerable and not primarily suspicious)
Hopeth all things
Endureth all things
And now abideth faith, hope and love, these three; but the greatest of these is love. 1 Cor 13:13.
The agape love of the cross requires dying to self and rising with Christ. This brings RESURRECTION LOVE into us and overflows into the lives of people around us. 2 Cor 4:12. They are able to sense and receive the living loving Christ from within us.
GALATIANS speaks of the love of the cross and shows us love’s selflessness. Love is the love of Christ for us demonstrated to us by Him at the cross where He “loved me, and gave Himself up for me.” Gal 2:20b; Rom 5:8. Galatians also mentions love in chapter 5: By love serve one another. 5:13b. Love thy neighbor as thyself. 5:14b. The first listed fruit of the Spirit in 5:22 is love. It is listed first because it is greatest of all fruit and leads to all the others.
We are not under the Law of Moses. We are under the Law (Love) of Christ.
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