The study notes in this section are Matthew’s personal outlines and therefore they have not been edited.  As a result, you will find some grammatical errors.

The Faith Decision

FOUNDATION STATEMENT: As a born again child of God this commandment of love is not optional. This is commandment of love is not something that you do just when you feel like doing it. Because it’s a commandment you’re feelings about keeping it carry no weight. You have been given a commandment by your commander and chief and you keep that commandment whether you feel like doing it or not. No excuse is a good excuse for violating the commandment of love. – 1 John 3:23

I. Your willingness to grow and develop in the character of love will directly determine your ability to get results in your life

A. No Character = No power – No power = No results (Power is the ability to get results)

1. Without the character of love in place in your life you will get not results


1. The character of love says, “How are my actions affecting the prosperity of others?”

2. The character of love says what can I do to bring prosperity into the lives of others

II. You have to settle it right now, that you’re not going to love other people because you feel like loving them, but you are going to love other people because you’ve been commanded to do so by God and you’re going to keep that commandment by faith.

A. This is a commandment, not a nice suggestion (1 Jn 3:23, Jn 13:34)

1. This is a commandment and me keeping it has nothing to do with my feelings

a. I don’t keep the commandment of love because I feel like it, I keep it because it’s a commandment

2. My feelings have nothing to do with me loving you

a. God didn’t tell me to love you when I felt like doing it, He commanded me to love you all of the time

b. I might not feel like keeping this commandment all of the time and chances are I won’t, but my feelings are not why I keep this commandment

B. You settle it from the start (Ephesians 3:17)

1. When you’re rooted and grounded in something that means you committed to it from the beginning

2. You have to settle it right now and make the decision right now that you’re going to be a steward of the commandment of love come hell or high water

a. You don’t wait until you’re in the middle of a situation to make this decision. You make this decision now so that when you get in the middle of a situation you don’t have to decide whether or not to stay in love because you’ve already decided.

b. If you don’t make that decision now, you won’t do it when you’re under pressure

3. Do it over the communion table

a. This is something that you settle once and for all

C. There is no good excuse for violating this commandment of love and if you have a reason for violating it then you either get rid of the reason or ignore it

1. It makes no difference what they did to you, what they said about you, or how they treated you fifteen years ago

2. I’m not searching for a feeling to with, I have been given a commandment

D. You’re loving by faith. To love by faith simply means that you’re not loving because you feel like loving. Your sole purpose for loving is God told you to do it.

III. The Agape Love of God vs. The Human Love

A. (1) Agape is love that has no limits (Luke 6:27-29)

1. Agape does not have boundaries set for operation

a. Agape doesn’t have a limit set where it will stop loving you

b. As far as you push agape, that’s as far as agape will go

2. Human is limited; Human love say’s I only go this far

a. Human has set boundaries for its operation and it can only work in a certain boundary

b. Human love says I’ll love you but I have a limit and when you cross that limit I’ll stop loving you

B. (2) Agape is unconditional love (Luke 6:27-28)

1. Under the conditions of you hating me, I can still love you

a. No matter what the conditions are agape loves

b. The conditions don’t change agape

1) No matter what the conditions are my response will always be the love of God

2. Human love is conditional

a. The conditions have to be right for human love to love you

1) Human love says, “As long as you don’t do this, I’ll love you.”

b. Human love changes when the conditions change

1) Human love says my response is based on the conditions and for me to respond in love the conditions have to be right

C. (3) Agape is one-sided love (Luke 6:27-28, 32-33)

1. Your side doesn’t have to be right for my side to say agape

a. There’s hate on that side, but love on my side

b. No matter what you do on your side, you’re going to see agape on my side

2. Human love is two-sided

a. Human love says you got to do what’s right on your side if you expect to see love on my side – You can’t hate me and expect me to love you

D. (4) Agape doesn’t do what you’re doing to it, but Agape does what it would have you do to me (Luke 6:31)

1. Human love does what’s done to it

E. (5) Agape is unqualified love (Luke 6:35)

1. Agape is kind to the unthankful and to the evil

a. Agape doesn’t need you to be good and thankful for it to love

1) Agape needs no qualifications for it to love you

b. You don’t have to qualify or earn agape with right actions

2. Human love must be qualified for and earned

a. Human love says I’ll love if you do these things to qualify

b. Human love only loves the lovely and what is easy to love

F. (6) Agape is a love not based on feelings

1. When agape doesn’t feel like loving you, it keeps loving

a. Agape loves when the feelings leave

2. Human love says I’ll only love you when I feel like it

G. (7) Agape is a love that requires no response (Luke 6:35)

1. Agape gives and gives even if it is never responded to, thanked, or acknowledge

a. Agape expects nothing in return because it’s never about the return to agape, it’s always about the release

2. Human love needs to be responded to and acknowledge and if it’s not human love will get it’s feelings hurt

a. Human love is selfish and always expects something in return for the love that it is showing (Luke 6:35)

H. (8) Agape love is merciful (Luke 6:36)

1. Agape is quick to forgive

a. Agape makes the decision to forgive long before it is wronged

b. Agape forgives the way that God forgave it (Ephesians 4:32)

2. Human love will hold onto it when it is wronged

a. Human love says I might forgive, but I’ll never forget

I. (9) Agape love is not judgmental or critical (Luke 6:37)

1. Agape is not looking for what’s wrong with you; agape is looking at what’s right with you

a. Agape is edifying, uplifting, and it builds people up

2. Human love is critical and judgmental

a. Human love majors on what is wrong with you

b. What’s the flesh’s infatuation with having to make note of the negative

IV. To love like this requires a faith decision. That’s means I do it solely based on the Word. A faith decision to love (Matthew 14:1-14)

A. Jesus and John’s relationship

1. They were cousins, but there was also a ministerial relationship between them because other than Jesus, John was the only man that walked in the office of a prophet and in the power of the Holy Ghost while Jesus was on the Earth

B. Jesus gets this awful new that is best friend and cousin had been brutally murdered and he tries to take a few minutes alone by himself, but the people followed him

1. He didn’t feel like walking in love, he didn’t feel like ministering to this people, but he did it by faith and healed their sick

2. Love (God/The Word) motivated him; not the feeling, the person called love himself

C. This looked weak because he didn’t go after Herod, but Jesus didn’t fight battles in the natural. His real enemy was Satan and that day he attacked his kingdom by healing the sick.

V. The love of God is a force that has the appearance of weakness, but is stronger than any force in existence.

A. To walk in love is to step aside and allow the power of God to come between you and the situation with which you are dealing (Romans 8:37)

1. Satan will try to tell you that if you walk in love you’re being weak and you’re being walked on, because when you’re walking in love to the world it might appear to be foolish and weak

a. 1 Corinthians 1:27

2. In all these things I am more than a conqueror because in all these things you can’t get me out of love and if you can’t get me out of love then you cannot defeat me.

a. If you can’t keep me from loving, then you can’t keep me from conquering

B. Jesus looked weak and he looked foolish being whipped and tormented in the crucifixion, but all throughout that whole process he stayed in love and what appeared weak and helpless on the cross showed up in awesome power and tore hell apart and rose from the dead and said all power both in Heaven and in Earth has been given to me and now he’s seated far above all principality, power, might, dominion, and every name that’s named. (Matt 28:18, Colossians 2:14, Hebrews 2:14)

1. What appeared to be weak wasn’t weak at all