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Love Defined

This is a Bible study on Love Defined.     Click here for a printable Bible Study Guide.

And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him.  1 John 4:16

 

Loved Defined

 

God is love.  For more information see - GOD is love

 


What is Love?

The dictionary defines love as a strong affection for another arising out of kinship or personal ties.   We must not confuse the counterfeit version of love that the world offers with the love of God, because they are not the same.

The Holy Bible says God is love.  Since God is love, we can know for a fact that to have fellowship with God we must have love.

key Love is an essential key to knowing God (because love is not an option with God). 

Without love we cannot know God.

The word of God doesn't just say we must have love, but tells us that we are nothing without love.

 

We are nothing without love

And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing. 1 Corinthians 13:2

Our life must be built on love.  We must have a foundation of love, God's love.

Love must be intertwined into everything we do in our life.

If we are nothing without love, then we must understand what love is in order to build our life on love.

The word of God is very clear on what love is and gives us numerous examples of love.

 

Love endures all things

God is eternal and His love is eternal.  The love of God endures all things.  The Scriptures define the characteristics, the attributes, and the true nature of love in 1 Corinthians 13. 

If we truly want to know what love is, what love looks like, how love acts, we will learn these definitions of what God shows us that His love is in His word.

Love is:

  • Patient
  • Kind
  • Does not envy
  • Does not boast or brag
  • Is not proud
  • Is not rude
  • Is not self-seeking
  • Does not anger
  • Does not keep a record of wrongs
  • Does not delight in evil
  • Rejoices in the truth
  • Always protects
  • Always trusts
  • Always hopes
  • Always perseveres
  • Never fails
Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil;   Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth; Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things. Charity never faileth...  1 Corinthians 13:4-8

 

Learn more about the love of God.

If we were to stop at these scriptures, we understand what love is to God, but there is more so much more about God's love throughout His Holy Scriptures.

Because God is love, His word is full of scriptures teaching us what His love is all about.

 

The greatest love.

The greatest example of love is the love God has for all people of the world.  The love which God showed us when He gave us His one and only begotten Son as sacrifice for the sins of the whole world.  His great love was gifted to all mankind, so that everyone in the world could receive forgiveness from sin and its consequences and receive eternal life in Glory with Him forever.

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.  John 3:16

God's sacrifice of His own life for mankind is the greatest love (1 John 3:16).

 

God loves you.

And we have known and believed the love God hath to us (1 John 4:16).  Every human being created is shown God's love, everyone.  We know and believe God loves us.  We all have the same choice to accept God's love or reject it.

God desires to take you, where He created you to be, which is with Him to His Kingdom for all eternity. 

God created every person to be with Him for eternity, but it is our choice whether to go with Him or not.  We must all choose to be with God, as He forces no one to be with Him.  Blessing or cursing, life or death, is ultimately our choice alone to make.  God asks us to choose life (Deuteronomy 30:19).

We cannot imagine giving our innocent, sinless child as a sacrifice, to be brutally and painfully tortured and then killed for a crime they did not commit, for the sins of someone else.  But that is exactly what God did for all of us in the world.  That sacrifice is the love of God and why the scriptures say, God is love.

There is no greater love than giving one's own life for another.

Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.  John 15:13

Hereby perceive we the love of God, because he laid down his life for us: and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.  1 John 3:16

We can perceive the love of God, we know what the love of God looks like, because God showed us His love when He laid down His life for us.

This type of selfless sacrificial love is the greatest love and the love God wants us to know personally.  We can take part and share in His love when we accept His love and receive His free gift of salvation.

 

Love is God sending His Son to take on Himself our sins

Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.  1 John 4:10

What is Love?  The scriptures say Here is love, not because we love God, but because God loved us, and sent his Son to be the atoning sacrifice, the substitute, the ransom, the price, the propitiation for our sins.

"Not because we loved God", God is not love because we loved Him, or anything that we do for God.    God loved us before we loved Him, which is love.  The love of God is not dependent on us.  Love was before we were created.  God is love, love is of God, love is from God, love exists because of God, and God existed before all things.

The love of God is not based on our works, but on who God is.  God is love.  The fact is without us, He remains God, but without Him we are nothing.   Nothing we do or give to God affects who God already is.  God loved us first and God will always love us first.  It is good that we love God, but it does not change who God is or that He loved us first.

Many of us would not think about loving someone who didn't love us back.  We have conditional love.  In spite of who we are, God loves us.  Even though we are most vile and wretched creatures in natural, God loves us.  God loved us before we were and loves us knowing who we are.

Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.  John 15:13

God showed us His love, true genuine love, by His sacrifice on the cross for our sins, God laid down His life (1 John 3:16; John 10:17), so that we could be reconciled to Him (Romans 5:10; 2 Corinthians 5:18; Colossians 1:21-22) and live in love with Him for all eternity (1 John 4:16; Ephesians 3:16-19).

 

GOD is love

He that loveth not knoweth not God; for GOD IS LOVE1 John 4:8

The scriptures tell us if we cannot love, we cannot know God If we do not love everyone, we cannot know God. 

If we love each other, we love God, and if we love God, that we are in God and God is in us.

And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him.  1 John 4:16

 

Do not be deceived, love is non-negotiable with God.  If we do not love each other, we are not of God.

If we do not love each other, God is not in us and we will not be with God.  Why? God cannot be where there is no love, because God is love.

 

Who you are is defined by your love.   Your capacity for love, your ability to love defines who you are to God.  Your capacity to love is not based on your ability but your faith and trust in God's love.  When we accept the salvation of God we are given power to overcome all obstacles, we are given strength to do things that which seems impossible before.  I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me (Philippians 4:13).  When we are saved we put on Christ and put on God's love.  We do not love by our own power or abilities, but we love because we have Christ abiding in us.  No one can show God's love without having God's love.   The love of God is given to all His children (Galatians 3:26).

In this the children of God are manifest, the children of the devil: whosoever doeth not righteousness is not of God, neither he that loveth not his brother.  1 John 3:10

Are you a child of God, or a child of the devil?  God gives eternal life to those who love. 

Death and separation from God waits for those who hate.

We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren. He that loveth not his brother abideth in death1 John 3:14

 

God said, that if I hate that I do not love Him

If we hate anyone, God said, we do not love God.

If I say that I love God, but hate, God calls me a liar.

If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen?  1 John 4:20

God's word in His scriptures is crystal clear, if we hate anyone, we cannot love God.

And if we do not love God, we will not see the kingdom of God and have eternal life in heaven.

And he answering said, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbour as thyself.  Luke 10:27

 

Love is of God

Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God. 1 John 4:7

The second greatest commandment given to us by God is "Love one another". 

Why is loving one another such a big deal with God?  Because GOD is love and love is of God.

When we share love with each other, we share God with each other, because God is love.  Love is the heart of God.  Love is the language of God.  Love is the will of God.  Love is the law of God.

To know God is to love God.  Everything about God is about His love, because God is love.  To be in God is to be in God's love.

The scriptures don't say God likes love, or maybe we should love, but says that God is love and He teaches us to love one another. 

To know God we must build our knowledge, our faith, our trust, our salvation in God and on His love. 

As children of the Most High God our salvation is built on faith in Christ Jesus and rooted and grounded in love, by which we are able, gifted the privilege, to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge, and are filled with all the fullness of God (Ephesians 3:17-19).

Our salvation is the result of the love of God.  Our salvation continues because of the love of God.

Nothing happens except by the love of God.  Everything is because of the love of God.

Why should we love one another?  Because God loves us and because we love God, we ought to love one another (1 John 4:11)

 

Love is NOT God

Love is NOT God.  Do NOT be deceived, the Scriptures - God never says that love is God, but that God is love, there is a huge difference.   God is before all things, including His own love.

Do NOT be deceived.   Stating that 'love is god' is placing love equal with God.  Nothing is equal to God but God.   Love is not equal to God.   Only God is God, nothing is equal to God but God, and there are no exceptions to this biblical truth.

God is the Creator of all things, including love.  The love of God is good.  All good things come from God above.  God is the source of love, but love is not the source of God.   Never place anything before God, this is idolatry.  God is self-existent.  God was before all things, including love.

God is God, none else.  Nothing but God is God.  Love cannot be God, because that would place love equal to, or above God.  Nothing is God but God.

There are other gods that men worship, but there is only One God, none else (Mark 12:32).

God is before and above all things.  God is first, everything else follows God.

 


What is the difference between God's love and the world's love?

God's love is NOT the same as the world's love.

The world has a different view of love than God.  The world has created its own love, with its own definition and with its own rules, which contradict the word of God, and that is complete opposite of God's love.

The world's love is a cheap counterfeit imitation of God's love.

The world says love is temporary.  God's love is eternal.

The world says intimate love is with anyone you choose, anytime, anywhere.  God says that intimate love is private and between one male husband and one female wife.

The world says love, even marital love, is disposable.  God says what He has joined together, husband and wife in marriage, let no one destroy.

The world says multiple love partners is okay.  God says that love is monogamous, between one woman and one man.

The world condones and promotes homosexuality as love.  God says that homosexuality is not love and is an abomination to Him.

The world condones and promotes adultery as love.  God says that adultery is sin against Him.

The world condones and promotes lust as love.  God says lust is covetousness and is a sin against Him.

The world condones and promotes lust, saying it is okay to look.  God says that if you lust after another it is adultery.

The world's love is selfish, self seeking.  God's love is not selfish, seeks not its own way.

The world's love is conditional.   God's love is unconditional.  God loved us before we loved Him.

The world's love is limited.  God's love is limitless.

The world thinks sex is love, perverting love.  God says love is not sex.

The world's love takes.  God's love gives.

The world mixes love with hate, creating destructive, unhealthy love/hate relationships.  God's love excludes hate.

The world's love destroys.  God's love builds.

The world's love is mean and rough.  God's love is kind and gentle.

The world's love is prideful.  God's love is humble.

The world's love controls with fear.  God's love is perfect and casts out all fear.

The world's love is full of heartache, sadness, depression, darkness, hopelessness, anger, messiness, and confusion.  God's love brings joy, laughter, happiness, light, comfort, hope, and peace.

The world's love is never satisfying, empty, meaningless and full of sorrow.  God's love is complete, abundantly sufficient, satisfying, full of purpose and rejoicing.

The world's love ends.  God's love is never ending, eternal.

The world's love is erotic, perverted, wicked, obscene, blasphemous, lustful, pleasure seeking, self gratifying, no matter what the cost.  God's love is pure and genuine, never obscene, never blasphemous, never wicked, never perverted, always true, always thinking of other's well being first.

The world's love is questionable, faulty and doubtful.  God's love is guaranteed, full of hope and assurance.

The world's love is broken.  God's love is whole.

The world's love changes with the wind.  God's love never changes.

The world's love will fail you, disappoint you, break you, and crush you.  God's love will never fail you.

The world's love is based in lies, trickery and deceit.  God's love is truth.

The world and the things of the world cannot give you true love, genuine love, because real love comes only from God Himself.

This is why so many people, who when they receive the salvation of God are so incredibly happy and peaceful, because they finally know what God is really about, because they have been filled with God's love, a love that passes all understanding, a love that they never knew before, could never imagine, because they had never experienced the love of God, genuine pure true love that comes only from God, God's love.

God's love is hard to explain to someone who is lost, because God's love passes all knowledge, all words, all understanding, and cannot be compared to anything ever experienced through anyone or anything in the world.

 

 


What if we don't love?

 

Without love, we are nothing

And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and thou I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing.  1 Corinthians 13:2

 

Without love, we are not of God

In this the children of God are manifest, and the children of the devil: whosoever doeth not righteousness is not of God, neither he that loveth not his brother.  1 John 3:10

 

Without love, no one can know God

He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.  1 John 4:8

 

Those who hate will not receive eternal life

We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren.  He that loveth not his brother abideth in death.  1 John 3:14

But whoso hath this world’s good, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels of compassion from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him?  1 John 3:17

Whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer: and ye know that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him.  1 John 3:15

 

A liar is those who say they love God, but hate

If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen?  1 John 4:20

 

Without love, we are in darkness

He that saith he is in the light, and hateth his brother, is in darkness even until now.  1 John 2:9

But he that hateth his brother is in darkness, and walketh in darkness, and knoweth not whither he goeth, because that darkness hath blinded his eyes.  1 John 2:11

 

A murderer is one who hates anyone

Whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer: and ye know that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him.  1 John 3:15

 

Those who hate Jesus, hate God the Father

He that hateth me hateth my Father also.  John 15:23

If we love God the Father, we cannot hate God the Son. 

Those who hate Jesus, God the Son, hate God the Father also.

 

 


What are we to love?

We know through Scripture, that we are to love the Lord God above all else, but what other things are we are to love.

 

Love Salvation

Let my LORD God be magnified, because I love His salvation!

Let all those that seek thee rejoice and be glad in thee: let such as love thy salvation say continually, The LORD be magnified.  Psalm 40:16

Let all those that seek thee rejoice and be glad in thee: and let such as love thy salvation say continually, Let God be magnified.  Psalm 70:4

 

Love Righteousness

God is righteousness, therefore the children of God love righteousness.

Thou lovest righteousness, and hatest wickedness: therefore God, thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows.  Psalm 45:7

People who do NOT follow righteousness are not OF God, but are the children of the devil.

In this the children of God are manifest, and the children of the devil: whosoever doeth not righteousness is not of God, neither he that loveth not his brother.  1 John 3:10

 

Love God’s Commandments and Laws

And I will delight myself in thy commandments, which I have loved.  Psalm 119:47

My hands also will I lift up unto thy commandments, which I have loved; and I will meditate in thy statutes.  Psalm 119:48

MEM. O how love I thy law! it is my meditation all the day.  Psalm 119:97

SAMECH. I hate vain thoughts: but thy law do I love.  Psalm 119:113

Thou puttest always all the wicked of the earth like dross: therefore I love thy testimonies.  Psalm 119:119

Therefore I love thy commandments above gold; yea, above fine gold.  Psalm 119:127

Consider how I love thy precepts: quicken me, O LORD, according to thy loving kindness.  Psalm 119:159

I hate and abhor lying: but thy law do I love.  Psalm 119:163

Great peace have thy which love thy law: and nothing shall offend them.  Psalm 119:165

My soul hath kept thy testimonies; and I love them exceedingly.  Psalm 119:167

 

Love the Name of the Lord

Also the sons of the stranger, that join themselves to the LORD, to serve him, and to love the name of the LORD, to be his servants, every one that keepeth the sabbath from polluting it, and taketh hold of my covenant;  Isaiah 56:6

But let all those that put their trust in thee rejoice: let them ever shout for joy, because thou defendest them: let them also that love thy name be joyful in thee.  Psalm 5:11

O LORD our Lord, how excellent is thy name in all the earth!  Psalm 8:9

 

Love the Word of God

Thy word is very pure: therefore thy servant loveth it.  Psalm 119:140

 

Love knowledge and instruction

How long, ye simple ones, will ye love simplicity? And the scorners delight in their scorning, and fools hate knowledge?  Proverbs 1:22

Whoso loveth instruction loveth knowledge: but he that hateth reproof is brutish.  Proverbs 12:1

 

 


Is love God?

Is "love" God?  Many people choose to twist the word of God to align with their false teachings.  Do not be deceived.  Know the truth of God, know God's Word for yourself, bury His Word and truth deep within your heart, and you will not be deceived, you will know what is God's truth.

If God is love, then is love God, could we say love is God?  No, we cannot say love is God because love is NOT God.

The Holy Scriptures never ever state that love is God.  Nothing, no one is God except God.  Things, even love is not God.

What the Scriptures do state is that love is of God.  Many things are of God.  There is One God, and no one besides Him.

Being of God is not being God.  No one is God, except God.  Nothing is God, except God.  There is no one or nothing besides God who is God.

When we receive the salvation of God, we are of God, but we are never God.  Man is NOT God.  Love is not God.

We are of God: he that knoweth God heareth us; he that is not of God heareth not us. Hereby know we the spirit of truth, and the spirit of error.  Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God.  He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.  In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him.  Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.  1 John 4:6-10

 

God is love, but love is NOT God.

Many people try and bring God down to their level, redefining God to fit in their doctrine, try and put Him in their terms, so they can sell something, or sell their false doctrine.  Do not be deceived by these people.  Know God yourself, know the words of God yourself and you will not be deceived by false doctrine.

 

 


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