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What is Love?


What does the Bible mean by "love"?

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What is Love?

The love spoken of in the New Testament is an act of will rather than an emotion. The commandment is to love even our enemies with whom we are unlikely to be able form an emotional bond.

Christ lays out the precepts in Matthew 5:

Matthew 5:38 "You have heard that it was said, ‘An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.’ 39 "But I tell you not to resist an evil person. But whoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn the other to him also. 40 "If anyone wants to sue you and take away your tunic, let him have your cloak also. 41 "And whoever compels you to go one mile, go with him two. 42 "Give to him who asks you, and from him who wants to borrow from you do not turn away. 43 "You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ 44 "But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, 45 "that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. 46 "For if you love those who love you, what reward have you? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? 47 "And if you greet your brethren only, what do you do more than others? Do not even the tax collectors do so? 48 "Therefore you shall be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect.

Without love, in the sight of God, we are nothing.

1 Corinthians 13:2... though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing.

Love is to be our ultimate aim.

2 Peter 1:5 But also for this very reason, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue, to virtue knowledge, 6 to knowledge self-control, to self-control perseverance, to perseverance godliness, 7 to godliness brotherly kindness, and to brotherly kindness, love.

The qualities of love are given in 1 Corinthians 13 and in Romans 13.

1 Corinthians 13:4 Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; 5 does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; 6 does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; 7 bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. 8 Love never fails...13 And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.

Romans 13:8 Owe no one anything except to love one another, for he who loves another has fulfilled the law. 9 For the commandments, "You shall not commit adultery," "You shall not murder," "You shall not steal," "You shall not bear false witness," "You shall not covet," and if there is any other commandment, are all summed up in this saying, namely, "You shall love your neighbor as yourself." 10 Love does no harm to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.

The ultimate act of love is self sacrifice.

John 15:13 "Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends.

This is the love enjoined upon us, that as sons of God we manifest to all the love of God.

1 John 4:7 Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. 8 He who does not love does not know God, for God is love. 9 In this the love of God was manifested toward us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him. 10 In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins. 11 Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.

Love does not seek revenge.

Romans 12:19  Beloved, do not avenge yourselves, but rather give place to wrath; for it is written, "Vengeance is Mine, I will repay," says the Lord.

Love harms no one.

Matthew 10:16 "Behold, I send you out as sheep in the midst of wolves. Therefore be wise as serpents and harmless as doves.

I hope this helps. 

Glenn Smith

 
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