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). 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). God sent His ultimate gift of love through His son Jesus Christ, thus showing the world what real love looked like. (John 13:35, NIV). Through the Bible, we discover how to experience love in its many forms and to share it with others as God intended. We are related by something more powerful than human blood—the blood of Jesus Christ. Love in the Bible, as in our everyday usage, can be directed from person to person or from a person to things. Storge (Pronounced: STOR-jay) is a term for love in the Bible that you may not be familiar with. Storge love is used to describe familial love. The King James Version of the Bible translated agape as charity. 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 ESV / 2,810 helpful votes. 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. Young’s Literal Translation (1862) translates khesed as “kindness.” Godly love does not change according to circumstances. It is seldom used in the Bible, but there is a play on words (lost in English) in John 21:15-17. For other texts on self-love see Proverbs 19:8; 1 Samuel 18:1, 20:17. Therefore, Paul said that if there were no Resurrection hope, “Let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we die” (1 Corinthians 15:32). We should notice that the love commanded here relates to both outward deeds and inward attitudes. 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). Therefore, when dealing with love, we must try to relate everything to Jesus Christ and his life, death and resurrection. Therefore, God’s self-love, or his love for his own glory, can now be seen as a love for “the glory of Christ who is the likeness of God” (2 Corinthians 4:4; cf. 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. Our lives are knit together by something stronger than physical ties—the bonds of the Spirit. We love because he first loved us” (1 John 4:16, 19). This raises the question of what this love is if one could sacrifice his life and still not have it. “Can a woman forget her suckling child, that she should have no compassion on the son of her womb? There is a mystery in God’s electing love. Rather, it seeks to reward others and build them up (1 Corinthians 8:1; Romans 14:15; Ephesians 4:16; Romans 13:10). In this way, Jesus showed that his saving love aimed to embrace not those who thought they were righteous (Luke 18:9) but rather the poor in spirit (Matthew 5:3) like the tax collector who said, “God be merciful to me a sinner” (Luke 18:13). However, the love of God for Israel did not exclude severe judgment upon Israel when it lapsed into unbelief. God’s love is so great that He gave His only Son to die for our sins and be resurrected. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. Here Paul shows that there can be religiosity and humanitarianism without love. Phileo (verb). 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. 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). 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. If this is the hallmark of love, how can sinful men, who by nature are selfish (Ephesians 2:3), ever love each other? Therefore, Christian love exists only where the love of God in Christ is known and trusted. The answer he gave was, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick” (Mark 2:17). It is God’s own love which finds a way to save us from his own wrath (Ephesians 2:3-5). “You shall not take vengeance (deed) or bear any grudge (attitude)” (Leviticus 19:18). We share a citizenship with those from every nation who call upon the name of Jesus. It is the divine love that comes from God. Deuteronomy 7:1, 2; 25:17-19; Exodus 34:12). But the word love describes an emotion with vastly differing degrees of intensity. For 33 years, he served as pastor of Bethlehem Baptist Church, Minneapolis, Minnesota. In this case, love is not a delight in what a person is, but a deeply felt commitment to helping him be what he ought to be. The first four describe ways we actively express our love toward God—the way we live—when our heart, mind and soul are focused in love toward Him. 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. ", Learn Religions uses cookies to provide you with a great user experience. 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. The psalmist’s hate is based on their defiance against God and is conceived as virtuous alignment with God’s own hate of evildoers (Psalm 5:4-6; 11:5; 31:6; Proverbs 3:32; 6:16; Hosea 9:15). The ancient Greek language has two other words that we also translate into love (philos, or brotherly love, and eros, which is romantic love). As with things, loving persons may mean simply enjoying them and taking pleasure in their personalities, looks, achievements, etc. 1 Corinthians … Agape love is perfect, unconditional, sacrificial, and pure. 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). If you see the ass of one who hates you lying under its burden, you shall not leave him with it, you shall help him lift it up” (Exodus 23:4, 5). The Bible uses several different words for “love” in the Hebrew and Greek, interchanging them depending on context. Similarly, Leviticus 19 begins with the command, “You shall be holy for I, the Lord your God, am holy.” Then the phrase, “I am the Lord,” is repeated fifteen times in chapter 19 after the individual commands. From the beginning of Israel’s history to the end of the Old Testament era God was moved by this great love. He loves righteousness and justice (Psalm 11:7; 33:5; 37:28; 45:7; 99:4; Isaiah 61:8); he “delights in truth in the inward parts” (Psalm 51:6); he loves his sanctuary where he is worshipped (Malachi 2:11) and Zion, the “city of God” (Psalm 87:2, 3). Rather, love for God is a deep adoration for his moral beauty and his complete fullness and sufficiency. This act by Israel cannot be called love for their enemies (cf. The concept of brotherly love that unites believers is unique to Christianity. Love the sojourner, therefore, for you were sojourners in the land of Egypt.” This is a close parallel to Leviticus 19:34, because both refer to Israel’s sojourn in Egypt and both command love for the sojourner. 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). John says, “If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him” (1 John 2:15-17). 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 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). “If you meet your enemy’s ox or ass going astray, you shall bring it back to him. 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). To understand fully the dynamics of this process, another factor must be brought in: the factor of hope. God’s commandments describe love in action: love toward God and love toward our fellow man. “All things work together for good for those who love God” (Romans 8:28). Four unique forms of love are found in Scripture. We have come to know and have believed the love which God has for us. Jesus said this was the reason they did not love and accept him (John 5:42; 8:42). The love that is born of faith and the Spirit is especially manifest in the Christian home and in the community of believers. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. The “world” is not any particular class of objects or people. A deeper dimension of this self-love becomes clear in the New Testament. When Moses wanted to see God’s glory, God responded that he would proclaim his glorious name to him. Paul too stresses that the unique thing about divine love is that it seeks to save even enemies. Now the question arises: If the same benefits depend on loving God and Christ which at the same time depend on faith, what is the relationship between loving God and trusting him? Jack Zavada is a writer who covers the Bible, theology, and other Christianity topics. The response character of man’s love for God is seen as well in Joshua 23:11 and Psalm 116:1. Love by exercising our gifts in a mysterious union with his Father give him bread to eat ” Proverbs! And enduring sent his ultimate gift of love. this raises the question of what this love an... 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