The bible is the most read and most sold book in the world; perhaps it is the first and best place to go when trying to understand the concept of love. This is because God was the first person to define love and show what love really is. Men have tried in their own way to define or explain love. Still, their definitions fail to cover all the various segments that love entails properly. True love is difficult to define, but love is best understood through scripture. If you want to know more about the biblical concept of love, then keep reading.
What is love?
Many people define love differently because of their societal perspectives. As a Christian, the bible teaches that God is love. First John 4:7-9 reveals everything about God as love and how he showed his love to humanity. It is important to note that God does not only give love; He is the source of love. As the Creator of all things, He is the one who created love. It is because of His love that we can love.
Why does God love us?
Despite all our discoveries as humans and all our curiosity, we still have been unable to answer an age-long question: Why does God love us? This question will go on for man’s entire existence, and still, we will not be able to answer this because we have looked through all there is to us and have found out that there really is nothing God needs from us. His love for us precedes our creation. He thought about us before creating us, and we are His most priced creation. Regardless of the wrongs we have done to Him; He chose to love us still and do all He did so we could be reconciled back to Him.
Qualities of Love
In the book of first Corinthians 13, love was clearly described by Apostle Paul from the fourth to the seventh verses about the qualities of love. The listed qualities were; patience, kindness, not envious, humble, isn’t rude, isn’t selfish, righteousness, faithful, tolerant, and faith.
These qualities of love listed here are traits that we have seen being exhibited by our saviour Jesus while He walked the earth. We saw Jesus being patient with the people despite their shortcomings; He showed kindness to everyone he came across. We never saw Jesus envy anyone. He was content with what He had and was even willing to share what He had. In the book of Hebrews, we saw that Jesus humbled himself even to death, willing to die a shameful death so that we could be reconciled back to God. All these qualities of love show us one thing God (Jesus) is love because every trait of love discussed in 1 Corinthians 13 was all exhibited by Him.
Love is a fruit of the Spirit
Galatians 5:22 lists out the nine fruit of the Spirit, and love was listed as number one, showing the importance of love. The fruit of the Spirit are traits a believer shows as a result of the Holy Spirit being inside of them. These are traits the world sees that tell them that a person is a follower of Christ. And there was no other message Christ preached more than love, which He also called the greatest commandment. The bible says that God is love, and as His children, we ought also to show love (agape: the God kind of love). Apart from being one of the nine, this fruit of love is also a confirmation that we know God because whoever preaches God preaches love.
Love is a commandment
In Mark 12: 29-31, Jesus gave an answer to the Pharisees about the commandment. He clearly pointed out that love is the greatest commandment. In both instances where he mentioned love, one talked about loving the Lord with all your heart, soul and might. While the other he said as we are to love our neighbour as we love ourselves. He did not stop at loving the Lord your God but also said that we should love our neighbour as we love ourselves. This tells us that in the expression of love, it must be done for everyone to see that love is in action.
Truly, we cannot say we love God and hate our neighbour. It doesn’t add up because a believer is a follower of Christ Jesus, so if Jesus expressed love, we must also express love towards one another. It is not negotiable because, as a follower of Christ, the expression of agape shows that we love God. This love isn’t meant to be shown to believers alone but to the unbelievers as well. Loving a person that doesn’t yet know God is a good way of evangelizing because you will be showing the person about the kingdom of God in the best possible way.
Jesus dying on the cross was love in action
Anyone you ask to quote John 3:16 will probably do so with a form of confidence and pride. But that verse has so much information being passed across about God’s plan for salvation. God sent Jesus to come and die on the earth for humanity to be restored back to their position of glory. But Jesus dying was more of a show of love than the result of His death, burial and resurrection.
His death was God saying, ‘this is how much I love you, and I will rather endure the pain of watching my son be humiliated and die than spend eternity away from you.’ This is the greatest and most painful show of love in the history of mankind. God wasn’t trying to prove any point. He was simply showing us what love can do. God did all he could to bring us back to himself to become His children.
The bible is the best place to go learning about the love of God. This is because the bible is all about the love of God right from Genesis to the very last book of Revelations; every book talks about the love of God. Although it wasn’t until the new-testament that this love was visibly discussed, we could also see that the libration of the children of Israelites from the Egyptians was to show how much God loves.