In the English language the word love is used in many different ways. We say we love ice cream, but we also love our mom, our best friend, a significant other.
In his pastoral letter the apostle John tells us that love is the way we demonstrate that we know God.
“Dear friends, let us continue to love one another, for love comes from God. Anyone who loves is a child of God and knows God. But anyone who does not love does not know God, for God is love.” 1 John 4:7-8, NLT
But with some many different uses how can we know what love is or what it looks like?
The HelpFinder Bible helps to point us to what the Bible says about real-life topics, questions and concerns. It answers the question: what does the Bible say about love?.
A healthy definition of love is crucial to understanding the central message of the Bible. According to the Bible, love is not confined to sexuality, and it isn’t primarily a feeling either. The Bible teaches that love is a commitment. As a commitment, love is not dependent on good feelings but rather on a consistent and courageous decision to extend oneself for the well-being of another. That commitment then produces good feelings, not the other way around. Jesus became the perfect demonstration of God’s unconditional love for us by laying down his life for our benefit.
What is love?
• 1 CORINTHIANS 13:4-7 | Love is patient and kind. . . . It does not demand its own way. . . .Love never gives up.
This famous chapter about love gives us one of the most eloquent descriptions of love ever written. Love is a commitment and a choice of conduct that produces powerful feelings. If you practice the qualities and behaviors described in these verses, you will experience satisfaction and fulfillment beyond imagination.
• JOHN 15:13 | “There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.”
Love is willing to sacrifice for the good of others, even to death.
• 2 SAMUEL 13:14-15 | Since he was stronger than she was, he raped her. Then suddenly Amnon’s love turned to hate.
Don’t mistake lust for love. Love always involves commitment to the other person’s welfare.
Must I love other people? What if I don’t want to?
• JOHN 13:34 | “So now I am giving you a new commandment: Love each other. Just as I have loved you, you should love each other.”
• 1 JOHN 2:9 | If anyone claims, “I am living in the light,” but hates a fellow believer, that person is still living in darkness. (See note on page 1139.)
• JOHN 13:35 | “Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples.”
• 1 PETER 4:8 | Love covers a multitude of sins.
• 1 JOHN 4:12 | If we love each other, God lives in us, and his love is brought to full expression in us.
Being a Christian comes with certain expectations, and one of them is that we will love others. Our Christian conduct is proof as to whether we love each other, and loving each other is proof that we belong to Christ.
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