What Does the Bible Say About Love?

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Monday, July 9, 2018 0 comments

by Katie Erickson

They say that love makes the world go 'round, and that love is all you need. But what does the Bible say about love?

That’s an interesting question to answer, because the Bible is God’s Word given to us, revealing who God is. God is love, so the Bible is technically all about God’s love. It’s like the transient property in math (yes, I’m a geek): if A=B and B=C, then A=C. So if the Bible = God and God = love, then the Bible = love.

Think about it; every story we read in the Bible has to do with God’s love. God loved humankind so much that He created us and the world we live in. God loved humankind so much that he at least saved Noah and his family from the Flood, so they could repopulate the earth. God loved us so much that He made a covenant with Abraham and made him into a great nation. God loved that great nation, the people of Israel, so much that He kept sending them judges and prophets to turn them back toward following Him when they’d stray. God loved the world so much that He sent Jesus to die and be raised again for us so we could have eternal life (John 3:16). God loved us so much that He gave us His Word, so we could be equipped to do His work on this earth (2 Timothy 3:16-17). The entire Bible shows us God’s love!

But the Bible does talk specifically about love in many places as well. The most common place is what’s known as the “love chapter” of 1 Corinthians 13. I encourage you to go read the entire chapter, but I’ll highlight a few verses for you here: “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails” (1 Corinthians 13:4-8).

Another often-quoted passage about love is 1 John 4:7-12: “Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.”

In John 13:34-35, Jesus commands us to love one another: “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” Jesus reiterates this command to His disciples in John 15:12-14: “My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. You are my friends if you do what I command.” While this was a new command in light of the love that Jesus brought to earth, this was also a very old command for the Israelites. Deuteronomy 6:4-5 (known as the “shema” in Hebrew) says, “Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength.”

The Bible also tells about love in human relationships, including that of a husband and wife. Ephesians 5:25-33 talks about this, as does the book of Song of Songs. Ephesians 4:15-16 highlights how we should interact with others: “Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ. From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.”

Galatians 5:22-23 tells us that love us one of the fruit of the Spirit: “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.” When we have God’s Holy Spirit dwelling in us, all of these things will flow from our lives and the Spirit working through us.

There are even Proverbs written about love. For example, Proverbs 17:9 says, “Whoever would foster love covers over an offense, but whoever repeats the matter separates close friends.” Proverbs 17:17 says, “A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for a time of adversity.”

I could go on and on with more passages about love in the Bible, but as I started with, the whole Bible tells us about God and His love, either directly or indirectly. I’ll leave you with one final passage to close this post.

“For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 8:38-39).

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