Posted by Brad Quiring on May 31, 2018
LOVE is a huge theme in the Bible:
We read that John 3:16 (NKJV) For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.
We are command in Deuteronomy 30:6 (NKJV) “…to love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul…”
A command which Jesus says is the greatest commandment of them all:
Mark 12:28-30 (NKJV) 28 Then one of the scribes came, and having heard them reasoning together, perceiving that He had answered them well, asked Him, “Which is the first commandment of all?” 29 Jesus answered him, “The first of all the commandments is: ‘Hear, O Israel, the LORD our God, the LORD is one. 30 And you shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ This is the first commandment.
And then Jesus continues: Mark 12:31 (NKJV) 31 And the second, like it, is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.”
In Galatians 5:22, Paul lists the so-called “Fruits of the Spirit”, and at the top of the list of characteristics which mark someone who is being changed by the Holy Spirit is, “LOVE”.
In 1 Corinthians 13 we have a whole chapter of the Bible dedicated to the theme of describing LOVE.
The letter of 1 John is filled with teachings on love, with the highlight being 1 John 4:8 where we are taught that God IS LOVE.
This word love in the New Testament comes from a Greek word, agape.
This is the “God word” – it is used throughout the Bible to describe God’s heart, attitude and actions as well as the heart, attitude and actions that govern those who have faith in Jesus Christ.
Paul gives us this teaching in Romans:
Romans 12:9 “Love must be sincere.” (NIV)
The English word “sincere” is a close translation of the Latin word, sin cera, which literally means, “without wax”.
In ancient Rome, the marketplace would sell anything and everything, including household goods like pots, plates, bowls and cups. When a clay or porcelain cup would chip or break, the owner would toss it. Scavengers would come along, find these broken items and “repair” them, using wax as a glue. They would paint it up and resell the goods as something new. Of course, when hot liquid was introduced, the wax would melt and everything would fall apart.
Therefore, sellers would put a sign on their tables saying, “sin cera,” without wax. This meant you were getting the real deal, the genuine article. If you bought an item from a table marked, sin cera, you would have a legitimate legal claim against the seller if it turned out you got a fake with wax.
God’s love is sincere. He doesn’t fake it, he doesn’t demand something in return, he doesn’t give it and then take it back. What God says, he does.
In the same way, as followers of Jesus, our love must be “without wax”. It must be real, the genuine article, the “What you see is what you get”, but in a fully positive way for the recipient.
Romans 12:9-10 (NIV2011) 9 Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. 10 Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves.
Sincere love from God, places others above ourselves in all ways. This sincere love was best demonstrated by God through Jesus Christ:
Romans 5:8 (NIV2011) 8 But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
This is genuine love, “without wax”.