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Key Passages:

1 John 3:18 — Love not in word, but in deed.
Eph. 5:1-2 — Imitate God in our loving.
Phil. 2:1-3 — Consider others better than ourselves.
Matt. 22:37-40 — Love others as you love yourself.
2 Cor. 5:14 — It is Christ’s love that urges us on.
John 21:15-17 — Do you love Christ? Then feed His sheep.
Col. 3:12-14 — Be compassionate and bear another’s burdens.
John 17:26 — We are to love through God’s love in us.
Rom. 13:8-10 — Love fulfills the law.
1 Cor. 16:14 — All that is done is to be done in love.

Discussion Questions:

1. The NT is both persistent and emphatic that we are to love one another. If the “practice” of love is not evident in the lives of believers, would that suggest that their (doctrinal) theory of love may not be correct?
2. Can we identify any doctrinal positions or teachings in the church which have tended to work against love? If so, where do such teachings come from? Can traces of them be found in Scripture? Or would such teachings always be a perversion of what Scripture really says?
3. Does the practice of love mean avoiding conflict by smoothing over difficulties? Or are there “loving” ways to address conflict within the community of God’s people we call the church?
4. At what point could “love” point in the direction of dividing the church? Or does true love always strive to keep the church together while the followers of the Evil One divide and splinter?
5. If the church is “loving” as it should, will it be more loving within the community of God’s people or to those outside the church? Or will the quality of loving action be the same in both areas?

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