Love, or charity, has rightly been called the queen of Christian graces. Paul states that the end of the commandment is charity (I Tim. 1:5). It is a grace essential to true godliness. Many believers could not discourse upon the deeper points of Christian doctrine, but all know something of love. It is the chief of virtues.
A person may be great in faith, or be a notable philanthropist, or possess outstanding wisdom and knowledge. He may be a gifted orator and expounder of Gods Word, but the absence of love is fatal to all of these gifts and negates their effectiveness.
Love is important, being the sum total of the law. The great commands direct our love first to God and then to our neighbour. On these, said Jesus, hang all the law and the prophets.
There are many mistaken views as to what love is. It does not involve just giving to the poor, as in the modern meaning of the word charity. It does not mean that one can never disapprove of anothers conduct or religious views. Sometimes the greatest expression of love is to point out error and to attempt to guide a person away from sin and towards God.
There is also a strange love in some pulpits today that commends the wicked and condemns the righteous, that protects the guilty and exposes the innocent, that thrives on ritual but has lost touch with reality, that says It is well when the soul is in fact on the broad road to destruction. The Lord pronounces His woe upon such love.
The first expression of the Christians true love should be to the One who first loved us, Jesus Christ. Then it should extend to our family members, those of the household of faith, and the ungodly whom we hope to reach with the gospel message. True Christian love is the root of all true Christian service. The love of Christ constraineth us (II Cor. 5:14).