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What is the Biblical Definition of Love?


 In the biblical sense, what is really meant by the word “love?” Our culture often defines love in terms of emotion, and the way another person or thing makes us feel.  But in a scriptural sense, love is the commitment to meet another’s need.  Commitment breeds action, making love more “verb” than “noun.”  Biblical love stands undiminished even in the face of changing circumstances or personal betrayal.  It is the type of love Jesus shows humanity (“… not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.” 1 John 4:10).   

Redemption is God’s love demonstrated. Scripture presents human redemption as completely dependent on the blood of Christ:  (Christ has) “released us from our sins by His blood” (Rev. 1:5).  Hebrews 9:22 teaches that Christ’s work on the cross is God’s once-and-for-all payment of our debt of sin.  Scripture is clear that if not for Christ’s blood, given on the cross, no redemption would be possible. 

Some ministers, writers, and composers try and “clean up” the Gospel for a modern audience, eliminating the unsettling (to them) concept of blood from their presentation of Christianity.  Such revisers present a message that fails to convey God’s wonderful plan of redemption.  Removing Christ’s “blood payment” from our message has serious theological implications, and presents a Gospel with less love, not more.     

Biblical Definition of Love

God is Love!  The Father is love, and His love is revealed from Genesis to Revelation.  Jesus is love, and His love was most gloriously demonstrated on the cross.  The Holy Spirit is love, and all who belong to Jesus experience His love by His indwelling presence.  Praise be to God who first loved us so we are able to love (1 John 4:19).

Alex McFarland

Alex has preached in over 2,200 churches throughout North America and numerous more internationally. He also speaks at Christian events, conferences, debates, and other venues to teach biblical truths and preach the gospel.

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