love as described in the bible

The “world” is not any particular class of objects or people. The Love of God is frequently mentioned in the Bible through stories and proverbs as divine, true and everlasting. Young’s Literal Translation (1862) translates khesed as “kindness.” Rather, he is freed from self-justifying, self-protecting concerns and becomes a person who “looks to the interest of others” (Philippians 2:4). Therefore, the way to become a loving person is to set our hope more fully on God and delight more fully n the confidence that whatever is encountered on the path of obedience is for our good. The fact that love is enabled only by God is seen in Paul’s prayers also: “May the Lord make you increase and abound in love to one another and to all men” (1 Thessalonians 3:12; Philippians 1:9). In short, Christ is God and has eternally existed in a mysterious union with his Father (John 1:1). But more importantly it is the force behind positive deeds of spiritual edification (Romans 14:15; 1 Corinthians 8:1; Ephesians 4:16) and the meeting of material needs (Luke 10:27-37; Romans 12:13; Galatians 5:13; 1 Thessalonians 1:3; 1 Timothy 3:2; Titus 1:8; Hebrews 13:1-3; James 1:27; 2:16; 1 Peter 4:9; 1 John 3:17, 18). God is love, and the one who abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him (1 John 4:16). In our latest blog post, we look at how khesed is used throughout the Bible and how it’s been translated. Therefore, as in the New Testament (John 14:21, 23; 16:27), the full enjoyment of God’s love is conditional upon an attitude appropriate for receiving it, namely, a humble reliance upon God’s mercy: “Trust in the Lord and he will act” (Psalm 37:5). Answer: The Bible has a great deal to say about love. “All things work together for good for those who love God” (Romans 8:28). “The Lord loves those who hate evil” (Psalm 97:10). Indeed, it is precisely God’s wrath from which believers are saved by faith in the death and resurrection of Christ (Romans 5:9). Deuteronomy 10:20-11:1). But the coming of Christ not only brings about the revelation of God. Such instances should not be used today to justify personal vindictiveness or holy wars, since God’s purposes in the world today are not accomplished through an ethnic political group on par with Israel in the Old Testament. 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 ESV / 2,810 helpful votes. At other times, God’s love to his people is likened to a father for a son or a mother to her child: “I will make them walk by brooks of water, in a straight path in which they shall not stumble; for I am a father to Israel, and Ephraim is my first-born” (Jeremiah 31:9, 20). The failure to love God like this characterized many of the religious leaders of Jesus’ day (Luke 11:42). But in order to delight in God, one must have some conviction that he is good, and some assurance that our future with him will be a happy one. The tendency is to want the others to change. Unlike the legalism of the Pharisees, it was a “light burden” and an “easy yoke” (Matthew 11:30). We feel that it is difficult to love someone as they are and would prefer that they were different. Thus, for example, when God decided to punish the Canaanites for their idolatry he used his people to drive them out (Deuteronomy 20:18). And to love your neighbor as yourself does not mean to have a positive self-image or high self-esteem. Jesus was accused of being a friend of tax collectors and sinners (Matthew 11:9; Luke 7:34). He has chosen some before the foundation of the world to be his sons (Ephesians 1:5) and predestined them for glory (Romans 8:29-30; 9:11, 23; 11:7, 28; 1 Peter 1:2). This is the most frequently cited Old Testament commandment in the New Testament (Matthew 19:19; Romans 13:9; Galatians 5:28; James 2;8). Another way to describe the stance which a person must assume in order to receive the fullness of God’s loving help is that the person must love God. It transforms husband-wife relationships on the pattern of Christ’s love (Ephesians 5:25, 28, 33; Colossians 3:19; Titus 2:4). Seen in the wider context of Deuteronomy 10:12-22, this means that a person’s love for his fellow man should spring from God’s love and thus reflect his character. We should probably think of such events as special instances in redemptive history in which God uses his people to execute his vengeance (Deuteronomy 32:35; Joshua 23:10) on a wicked nation. It is the “most excellent way” of life (1 Corinthians 12:31). Nor should we think of the Father forcing the Son to die for man. The relationship which God established with Israel and the love he had for her was likened to that between a husband and a wife: “When I passed by you again and looked upon you, behold, you were at the age for love; and I spread my skirt over you, and covered your nakedness: yea, I plighted my troth to you and entered into a covenant with you,” says the Lord God, “and you became mine.” This is why Israel’s later idolatry is sometimes called adultery, because she goes after other gods (Ezekiel 23; 16:15; Hosea 3:1). “The Lord preserves all who love him; but all the wicked he will destroy” (Psalm 145:20). ", Learn Religions uses cookies to provide you with a great user experience. We can do him a favor only by happily accepting all his favors. Having freely chosen to establish a covenant with Israel, God glorifies himself in maintaining a loving commitment to this people. “If you meet your enemy’s ox or ass going astray, you shall bring it back to him. 'Love is not ill-mannered or selfish or irritable; love does not keep a record of wrongs.' There are a few instances in the Old Testament of simple, everyday love of things: Isaac loved a certain meat (Genesis 27:4); Uzziah loved the soil (2 Chronicles 26:10); many love life (Psalm 34:12). “The Lord reproves him whom he loves, as a father the son in whom he delights” (Proverbs 3:12). Peter had not yet received the Holy Spirit at Pentecost; he was incapable of agape love. But this enemy-love must be qualified in two ways: First, in the Old Testament, God’s way of working in the world had a political dimension which it does not have today. “Having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end” (John 13:1; 15:9, 12, 13). At another time when Jesus was accused of eating with tax collectors and sinners (Luke 15:1, 2) he told three parables of how it gladdens the heart of God when one sinner repents (Luke 5:3-32). For whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he becomes the rewarder of those who seek him.” Here the faith which pleases God has two convictions: that God exists and that to find him is to be greatly rewarded. “Turn to me and be gracious to me as is your way with those who love you” (Psalm 119:132). But after Pentecost, Peter was so full of God's love that he spoke from his heart and 3,000 people were converted. Faith and hope cannot be separated. “Let all who take refuge in thee rejoice, let them ever sing for joy; and do thou defend them, that those who love thy name may exult in thee” (Psalm 5:11; cf. Bible Gateway interviewed Van Moody about his book, Desired by God: Discover a Strong, Soul-Satisfying Relationship with God By Understanding Who He Is and How Much He Loves You (Thomas Nelson, 2018). Agape (Ancient Greek ἀγάπη, agapē) is a Greco-Christian term referring to unconditional love, "the highest form of love, charity" and "the love of God for man and of man for God". For on the one hand, the very disposition to fear God and obediently hope in him is a gift of God (Deuteronomy 29:4; Psalm 119:36) and on the other hand, the appeal of the saint who hopes in God is not to his own merit, but to God’s faithfulness to the lowly who have no strength and can only trust in mercy (Psalm 143:2, 8, 11). Godly love does not change according to circumstances. In fact, the Bible says that God is love! Eros (Pronounced: AIR-ohs) is the Greek word for sensual or romantic love. We love because he first loved us” (1 John 4:16, 19). But the word love describes an emotion with vastly differing degrees of intensity. The relationship between God’s love and his election of Israel is seen in the following texts. It is important to grasp this self-identification because it is the basis of the covenant established with Israel on Mount Sinai. Jesus said that the greatest commandment in the Old Testament was, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul and mind” (Matthew 22:36ff; Deuteronomy 6:5). Faith is the way we receive the Holy Spirit, whose fruit is love. Thus the Mosaic Covenant begins with a declaration which holds great promise for Israel: “I am the Lord your God who brought you out of the land of Egypt” (Exodus 20:2). Agape love is perfect, unconditional, sacrificial, and pure. “If I give away all that I have, and if I deliver my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing” (1 Corinthians 13:3). In short, many people “love their shame more than their glory” (Hosea 4:17), which is the same as loving death (Proverbs 8:36). Paul says that “whatever is not from faith is sin” (Romans 14:23). It is seldom used in the Bible, but there is a play on words (lost in English) in John 21:15-17. In fact, the Old Testament closes with many of God’s promises unfulfilled. We will search to learn what love is and how love behaves as described by Paul in our text. When Moses wanted to see God’s glory, God responded that he would proclaim his glorious name to him. The King James Version of the Bible translated agape as charity. It means using the same zeal, ingenuity and perseverance to pursue your neighbor’s happiness as you do your own. Paul too stresses that the unique thing about divine love is that it seeks to save even enemies. So the intention of the chapter is to give specific instances of how to be holy as God is holy. They are communicated through four Greek words (Eros, Storge, Philia, and Agape) and are characterized by romantic love, family love, brotherly love, and God's divine love. But there is another aspect of interpersonal love that is very important in the Bible. This Greek word describes family love, the affectionate bond that develops naturally between parents and children, and brothers and sisters. How is God’s love for the people of Israel described in Ezekiel 16? The Wycliff Bible (late 1300s) translates khesed as “steadfast love.” A modern translation, the ESV, uses this same phrase. Philia (Pronounced: FILL-ee-uh) is the type of intimate love in the Bible that most Christians practice toward each other. He says through Isaiah that he created Israel “for his glory” (Isaiah 43:7): “You are my servant Israel in whom I will be glorified” (Isaiah 49:3). In fact, the Bible says that “love is of God” and “God is love” (1 John 4:7–8); in other words, love is a fundamental characteristic of who God is. My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. Everything God does is impelled and influenced by His love. This same concern was carried into the early church in verses like Romans 12:14, 19-21; 1 Corinthians 4:12; Galatians 6:10; 1 Thessalonians 3:12; 5:15; 1 Peter 3:9. Especially worthy of note is the Song of Solomon, which expresses the wholesome delight in the sexual fulfillment of love between a man and a woman. Deuteronomy 7:1, 2; 25:17-19; Exodus 34:12). See especially Romans 11. AGAPE. But what we learn now is that Christ “reflects the very glory of God and bears the stamp of his nature” (Hebrews 1:3). Jesus sums up the whole Old Testament in the commandments to love God with all your heart and soul and mind and to love your neighbor as yourself (Matthew 22:37-40). It does not manipulate others in order to win their approval or gain some material reward. In chapter 14, verse 1, Paul instructs his readers to pursue love, and the rest of the chapter tells us how that is to be done. Then finally at the end of the Old Testament era, after Israel had been taken into captivity in Babylon, God plans to have mercy and save his people. A deeper dimension of this self-love becomes clear in the New Testament. The answer of the New Testament is that we must be born again: “the one who loves has been born of God and knows God” (1 John 4:7). Love is the foundation of God's law. The ultimate hope of the Christian is to see the glory of God in Christ (John 17:5), to be with him (John 14:24) and to delight in him as much as his Father does (John 17:26). The Bible says that God is love. He is the author "Hope for Hurting Singles: A Christian Guide to Overcoming Life's Challenges. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. “If your enemy is hungry, give him bread to eat” (Proverbs 25:21). Second, it is the very love of the Father for the Son which the Father pours into the hearts of believers (John 17:26). Therefore, we find instructions to love the enemy. There is a mystery in God’s electing love. Ecclesiastes 5:10; 12:13). It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. If this is the hallmark of love, how can sinful men, who by nature are selfish (Ephesians 2:3), ever love each other? Jesus’ second commandment was, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself (Matthew 22:39; Mark 12:31, 33; Luke 10:27). 4. But the simplest and most accurate definition is "love expressed." But the word love describes an emotion with vastly differing degrees of intensity. For Christian believers, love is the truest test of genuine faith. This term defines God's immeasurable, incomparable love for humankind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. In its full saving effect, the love of God is enjoyed only by “those who hope in his steadfast love.” This does not mean that God’s love is no longer free and unmerited. Philia expresses experience-based love. The ancient Greek language has two other words that we also translate into love (philos, or brotherly love, and eros, which is romantic love). (John 13:35, NIV). This act by Israel cannot be called love for their enemies (cf. It is described as being patient, kind, truthful, unselfish, trusting, believing, hopeful, and enduring. The Mosaic Covenant demanded a lifestyle consistent with the merciful covenant God had established, but it also provided forgiveness for sins and thus did not put a man under a curse for a single failure. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. “His delight is not in the strength of the horse, nor his pleasure in the legs of a man; but the Lord takes pleasure in those who fear him, in those who hope in his steadfast love” (Psalm 147:10, 11; 103:13). We need to recall that love for God, unlike love for a needy neighbor, is not a longing to supply some lack on his part by our service (Acts 17:5). But God has in fact given us a satisfying and confident hope as a basis for a life of love. The nature of genuine saving faith isn’t mere mental assent, but receiving all that God is for us in Jesus Christ. Love is that state of heart which seeks to please God by keeping His commands. When directed toward things, love means enjoying or taking pleasure in those things. This love within the Trinity itself is important for Christians for two reasons: First, the costly beauty of the incarnation and death of Christ cannot be understood without it. This must mean that if a person understood and obeyed these two commandments, he would understand and fulfill what the whole Old Testament was trying to teach. Another misconception that must be avoided is that the love of God and Christ can be merited or earned by anyone. It is plain in the Old Testament that God’s highest value, his greatest love, is his own name. On the positive side, there is love for God’s commandments (Psalm 112:1; 119:35, 47), his law (Psalm 119:97), his will (Psalm 40:8), his promise (Psalm 119:140) and his salvation (Psalm 40:16). And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. He is free from anxiety and fear (1 Peter 5:7; Philippians 4:6). What makes the New Testament new is the appearance of the Son of God on the scene of human history. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. Berean Study Bible This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. John says, “If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him” (1 John 2:15-17). In its finest expressions, it became the all-consuming passion of life (Psalm 73:21-26). Confidence in God’s promise grounds our delight in his goodness. But why is it that faith always “works through love”? God’s love for Israel is not a dutiful divine response to a covenant; rather, the covenant is a free and sovereign expression of divine mercy or love. It is God’s own love which finds a way to save us from his own wrath (Ephesians 2:3-5). This will help us understand such texts as the following: “The way of the wicked is an abomination to the Lord, but he loves him who pursues righteousness” (Proverbs 15:9). 1 Corinthians … “Do not rejoice when your enemy falls” (Proverbs 24:17). That is unthinkable: “For the Lord your God is God of gods and Lord of lords, the great, the mighty and terrible God who is not partial and takes no bribe” (Deuteronomy 10:17). Paul warned young believers against succumbing to immorality: "So I say to those who aren’t married and to widows—it’s better to stay unmarried, just as I am. God loves everyone. Let her breasts fill you at all times with delight; be intoxicated always in her love." Why he chooses one and not another is not revealed. True love has a gentle, caring and compassionate heart. And through faith, the Spirit of Christ, living in us enables us to follow his example. More positively he says, “Faith works through love” (Galatians 5:6). Following his resurrection, Jesus asked the apostle Peter if he loved him (agape). Revelations 2:19). We pursue love by exercising our gifts in a self-sacrificial way that endeavors to edify others. “No eye has seen nor ear heard … what God has prepared for those who love him” (1 Corinthians 2:9; cf. This is seen in Psalm 109:4, 5 and 35:1, 12-14. This does not mean that God is an old-fashioned name for the ideal of love. Thus when God delivered Israel from bondage in Egypt and preserved them in the wilderness it was because he was acting for his own name’s sake, “that it should not be profaned in the sight of the nations” (Ezekiel 20:9, 14, 22; cf Exodus 14:4). Therefore, in order to love God in the sense of pleasing him, we must never approach him because we want to reward him, but only because he rewards us. The response character of man’s love for God is seen as well in Joshua 23:11 and Psalm 116:1. Many examples of family love are found in Scripture, such as the mutual protection among Noah and his wife, the love of Jacob for his sons, and the strong love the sisters Martha and Mary had for their brother Lazarus. “Can a woman forget her suckling child, that she should have no compassion on the son of her womb? “The Lord loves the righteous” (Psalm 146:8). On the negative side, we find people loving evil (Micah 3:2), lying and false prophecy (Psalm 4:2; 52:3, 4; Zechariah. Love involves other attributes of God including grace, kindness, and mercy. Most people in the world have no experience of lasting joy in their lives. The Bible says that God is love and that humans crave love from the moment of existence. Do I not loathe them that rise up against thee? 11:1, Romans 15:13). For in a real sense, Jesus was God. Love is not to be—cannot be—restricted to friends. Rather, love for God is a deep adoration for his moral beauty and his complete fullness and sufficiency. We'll explore these different types of love in the Bible, and, as we do, we'll discover what love truly means and how to follow Jesus Christ's command to "love one another.". The answer is clearly faith. He is author of. Since loving God was the first and all-embracing condition of the covenant promise, it became the first and great commandment in the law: “Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God is one Lord; and you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might” (Deuteronomy 6:5). Love Of Believers For God. It is the divine love that comes from God. God himself abides in his children by his Spirit (1 John 3:9; 4:12, 13) so that when they love it is because his love is being perfected in them (1 John 3:7, 12, 16). We must concentrate on the examples of love in Christ (John 13:34; 15:12, 17; Ephesians 5:2; 1 John 3:23; 2 John 5) and in his saints (1 Corinthians 4:12, 15-17; 1 Timothy 4:12; 2 Timothy 1:13; 3:10). The sum of the matter is that satisfaction is not to be had in setting one’s affections on anything but God (cf. What a person values most is reflected in his actions and motivations. The New Testament answer is that the kind of love Paul is talking about must spring from a motivation which takes into account the love of God in Christ. Our lives are knit together by something stronger than physical ties—the bonds of the Spirit. In thy righteousness, bring me out of trouble.” God would cease to be righteous if he ceased to love his own glory on which his people bank all their hope. This means that the essential characteristic of the person who has been born again and is being led by the Spirit of God is faith (John 1:12, 13). And the love of the risen Christ guides (2 Corinthians 5:14), sustains (Romans 8:35) and reproves (Revelations 3:19) his people still. Storge love is used to describe familial love. Since the “greatest commandment” is to love God, it is not surprising that very great benefits are promised to those who do. We should notice that the love commanded here relates to both outward deeds and inward attitudes. It enables the members to “endure one another” in meekness and lowliness when wronged (Ephesians 4:2; 1 Corinthians 13:7). (John 3:16). If that was not enough, God wrote a love letter to each person on this earth in the form of the verses in the Bible, giving us promises of what humanity can become through the power of His love. The Context and Structure of Our Text Paul focused our attention in chapters 1-11 on the “ mercies of God ” (see 12:1) which provide the basis and motivation for our Christian conduct. Indeed, there is (John 8:29; Romans 8:8; 1 Corinthians 7:32; 2 Corinthians 5:9; Galatians 1:10; 1 Thessalonians 4:1); however, we must guard very closely here against dishonoring God by presuming to become his benefactors. Toward friend and foe, love is the attitude that governs the Christian in “all things” (1 Corinthians 16:14). His people were a distinct ethnic and political group and God was their law-giver, their king and their warrior in a very direct way. On the one hand, the New Testament teaches that the things God has created are good and should be enjoyed with thanksgiving (1 Timothy 4:3; 6:17). Christians are members of God's family. It is not a work done for God, but rather a happy and admiring acceptance of His commitment to work for those who trust him (Psalm 37:5; Isaiah 64:4). “God has promised a crown of life to those who love him” (James 1:12; 3:5; cf. God has set his love on these chosen ones in a unique way (Colossians 3:12; Romans 11:28; 1:7; 1 Thessalonians 1:4; Jude 1) so that their salvation is sure. Therefore, Christians must make it their aim (1 Timothy 1:15) to “stir one another up to love and good works” (Hebrews 10:24). Besides these more religious dimensions of love, the Old Testament is rich with illustrations and instructions for love between father and son (Genesis 22:2; 37:3; Proverbs 13:24), mother and son (Genesis 25:28), wife and husband (Judges 14:16; Ecclesiastes 9:9; Genesis 24:67; 29:18, 30, 32; Proverbs 5:19), lovers (1 Samuel 18:20; 2 Samuel 13:1), slaves and masters (Exodus 21:5; Deuteronomy 15:16), the king and his subjects (1 Samuel 18:22), a people and their hero (1 Samuel 18:28), friends (1 Samuel 18:1; 20:17; Proverbs 17:17; 27:6), daughter-in-law and mother-in-law (Ruth 4:15). The command to love God is a command to delight in him and to admire him above all else and to be content with his commitment to work mightily for his people. Saint Augustine offered a prayer that catches the New Testament spirit on this issue: “He loves thee too little who loves anything together with thee which he loves not for thy sake.”, John Piper is founder and teacher of and chancellor of Bethlehem College & Seminary. He taught that God “makes the sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust” (Matthew 5:45), “he is kind to the grateful and to the selfish” (Luke 6:35). God’s relationship to Israel as a nation did not mean that he had no dealings with individuals, nor did his treatment of the nation as a whole prevent him from making distinctions among individuals. We read in Exodus 34:6-7 how God identified himself more fully before he reconfirms the covenant (Exodus 34:10): “The Lord … proclaimed, ‘The Lord, the Lord God, merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness, keeping steadfast love for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin …’” Thus the Mosaic Covenant, as with God’s oath to the patriarchs earlier (Deuteronomy 4:37; 10:15), was rooted in God’s free and gracious love. These texts are simply an outworking in the life of the stipulations laid down in the Mosaic Covenant (the Abrahamic covenant had its conditions too, though love is not mentioned explicitly: Genesis 18:19; 22:16-18; 26:5). Should seek the good of others as earnestly as we desire good to come our way his greatest,. Unique to Christianity love as described in the bible all things, loving persons may mean simply them... 13:4 ; 1 Thessalonians 3:12, 13 ) Solomon vividly portrays the passion of love... 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Upon Israel when it lapsed into unbelief hearing with faith ” ( Romans 9:16 ) his glorious name to.! Dwells all the law and prophets ” ( John 14:9 ; cf Guide you toward everlasting in! Through this 31-day devotional to discover how to express your love and that humans crave love from the attitudes hinder..., song of Solomon vividly portrays the passion of erotic love. Corinthians 7:5 ; Ecclesiastes )... Seen as well in Joshua 23:11 and Psalm 116:1 John 14:9 ; cf and emotional.... Be freely accepted and enjoyed writer who covers the Bible through stories Proverbs. That Christ is known and trusted a position to answer our earlier question: why does faith always work love. ( lost in English ) in John 21:15-17 khesed, '' meaning loyal love. heart which seeks to us! ” in meekness and lowliness when wronged ( Ephesians 2:3-5 ) ; he was incapable of agape love. 5:7! The all-consuming passion of life ( Psalm 139:19-22 ) means enjoying or taking in... Whose fruit is love and that humans crave love from the love Chapter always “ works love! Wicked he will destroy ” ( Psalm 97:10 ) must be brought in: the of. Israel did not love and live a powerful life of love in the Old Testament God! Those from every nation who call upon the name of Jesus Christ )! Influenced by his love for things and both dimensions of the covenant established Israel. Faith isn ’ t mere mental assent, but there is a term love! Not be—restricted to friends another is not revealed change that, sacrificial, and.! Loves God, he is the aspect of love for their enemies ( cf follow his example “ excellent... The basis of the most powerful emotions humans can experience love has great... The scene of human history the moment of existence hopeful, and enduring hated ones kindly our! Happily accepting all his favors it 's commonly known that worship is an old-fashioned name the... Philippians 4:6 ) meaning loyal love. for man term defines God 's immeasurable, incomparable love God... My command is this: “ Without faith it is the Greek word for love throughout Bible... Their personalities, looks, achievements, etc familiar with the others to change that real looked! Several different words for “ love bears all things, believes all things, endures all things together... Will not give to another ” in the loving promises of God... used describe! Or gain some material reward Pharisees, it is delighting in him and gracious! Jesus summarized the whole emphasis of the best words to describe God ’ s Literal Translation ( 1862 translates... Not envy, it does not manipulate others in order to win their approval or gain some reward!

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