What is Love as Defined by the Bible?
by Rich Deem

What is love?

Everybody seems to believe that love is a good thing. However, not all agree what is love. Is love that warm touchy-feely feeling a person has when he is with a familiar person? According to the Bible, love is caring in action. Love isn't what we feel, but what we do.

Rich Deem

Introduction

The true meaning of love, as defined in the Bible, has been corrupted in the common usage of our English language and society. Most often, love is confused with infatuation - that elated, "high" feeling we get when we "fall in love." This kind of "love" is something that lasts typically less than a year, and unless replaced by true love, results in broken relationships.

Origin of Love

The Bible indicates that love is from God. In fact, the Bible says "God is love."1 Love is one of the primary characteristics of God. Likewise, God has endowed us with the capacity for love, since we are created in His image. This capacity for love is one of the ways in which we are "created in the image of God."2

Different Kinds of Love

The Greek language (the language of the New Testament) uses two different words to describe and define love. The most commonly used Greek word translated "love" in the New Testament is "agape." This love is represented by God's love for us. It is a non-partial, sacrificial love probably best exemplified by God's provision for our rebellion:

"For God so loved (agape) the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life." (John 3:16)

The gift3 of God's son as a provision for sin4 was given to all humans,5 regardless of who we are.6 God's love is unconditional.7

In contrast, our love is usually conditional and based upon how other people behave toward us. This kind of love is based upon familiarity and direct interaction. The Greek word "phileo" defines this kind of love, often translated "brotherly love." Phileo is a soulish (connected through our emotions) kind of love - something that can be experienced by both believers and non-believers. This is in contrast to agape, which is love extended through the spirit. Agape love requires a relationship with God through Jesus Christ, since the non-regenerated soul is unable to love unconditionally. Agape love gives and sacrifices expecting nothing back in return.8

The Indestructible Book DVD SetThose who have studied the Bible and know about Peter's character know that Peter was ruled by his emotions and often responded to situations emotionally, rather than thinking before acting. Sometimes this kind of response led to good things (e.g., Peter walking on the water to meet Jesus - Matthew 14:25-33), whereas at other times, Peter's response was inappropriate (he was interrupted by God while suggesting that he build three tabernacles, one for Jesus, one for Moses, and one for Elijah on the Mount of Transfiguration - Matthew 17:4). Peter was quite proficient at expressing phileo love, and was probably very popular because of his dynamic character. However, God wants us to express both phileo love and agape love. Peter expressed this idea in his first epistle:

Since you have in obedience to the truth purified your souls for a sincere love [phileo] of the brethren, fervently love [agape] one another from the heart, (1 Peter 1:22)

Believers in the churches of Asia Minor had already expressed phileo love, but Peter was encouraging them to fervently express agape love as well. If you are a Christian, you are encouraged to express both soulish, familiar love and spirit-led unconditional love. The goal of the Christian is to become "partakers of the divine nature."9 In Peter's second epistle, he says that we are to behave with moral excellence. However, this is not enough. Christians tend to be characterized by non-believers as telling other people how they ought to behave. However, the Christian life should not be restricted to just moral excellence, but, above all else, should include both phileo and agape love:

Now for this very reason also, applying all diligence, in your faith supply moral excellence, and in your moral excellence, knowledge, and in your knowledge, self-control, and in your self-control, perseverance, and in your perseverance, godliness, and in your godliness, brotherly kindness [phileo], and in your brotherly kindness, love [agape]. (2 Peter 1:5-7)

The most famous biblical chapter on love is from 1 Corinthians:

If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing. Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when perfection comes, the imperfect disappears. When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put childish ways behind me. Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known. And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love. (1 Corinthians 13:1-13)

Fireproof DVDThis is a description of agape love. It is described as being patient, kind, truthful, unselfish, trusting, believing, hopeful, and enduring. It is not jealous, boastful, arrogant, rude, selfish, or angry. True love never fails. The description perfectly fits God's love toward us, and should be the way we love each other and God. However, I have never met any person who perfectly fulfills this biblical definition of love. The Bible says that this unconditional love is more important than everything else (a partial list includes oratory ability, prophecy, knowledge, faith, philanthropy and hope). All of these things, which are "good" things, will pass away. Only love is eternal, since love will be the basis of eternal life. In fact, when Jesus was asked what the greatest commandment was, He said, "YOU SHALL LOVE THE LORD YOUR GOD WITH ALL YOUR HEART, AND WITH ALL YOUR SOUL, AND WITH ALL YOUR MIND." (Matthew 22:37)10 He then added that the second most important law was "YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF." Jesus said that the entire law was dependent upon these two commandments.10 

Conclusion Top of page

If you are not a Christian, I hope you desire to express love as defined in the Bible. However, wanting to do so and attempting to do so in the power of your own will is guaranteed to fail. This kind of love is only possible through relying on the power of God, through faith in Jesus Christ. Even if you are a Christian, you will not succeed if you do not abide in Christ. May the Lord direct your hearts into the love of God and into the steadfastness of Christ.11

Definita Dragostei (Romanian)



Scripture on love Top of page

  1. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. (1 John 4:8)
  2. So God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. (Genesis 1:27)
  3. being justified as a gift by His grace through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus; (Romans 3:24)
    For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 6:23)
    For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; (Ephesians 2:8)
  4. 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. (1 John 4:10)
  5. So then as through one transgression there resulted condemnation to all men, even so through one act of righteousness there resulted justification of life to all men. (Romans 5:18)
    For the death that He [Jesus] died, He died to sin, once for all; but the life that He lives, He lives to God. (Romans 6:10)
    ...God our Savior, who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. (1 Timothy 2:3-4)
    For it is for this we labor and strive, because we have fixed our hope on the living God, who is the Savior of all men, especially of believers. (1 Timothy 4:10)
    For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all men, (Titus 2:11)
    and He Himself is the propitiation for our sins; and not for ours only, but also for those of the whole world. (1 John 2:2)
  6. For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. (Romans 1:16)
    For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; for the same Lord is Lord of all, abounding in riches for all who call upon Him; (Romans 10:12)
    There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free man, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus. (Galatians 3:28)
  7. But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. (Romans 5:8)
  8. But love [agape] your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, because He is kind to the ungrateful and wicked. (Luke 6:35)
  9. For by these He has granted to us His precious and magnificent promises, so that by them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world by lust. (2 Peter 1:4)
  10. "Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?" And He said to him, "'YOU SHALL LOVE THE LORD YOUR GOD WITH ALL YOUR HEART, AND WITH ALL YOUR SOUL, AND WITH ALL YOUR MIND.' This is the great and foremost commandment. The second is like it, 'YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF.' On these two commandments depend the whole Law and the Prophets."(Matthew 22:36-40)
  11. 2 Thessalonians 3:5

Scripture References (phileo)

The Pharisees, who loved money, heard all this and were sneering at Jesus. (Luke 16:14)
The next day we landed at Sidon; and Julius, in kindness to Paul, allowed him to go to his friends so they might provide for his needs. (Acts 27:3)
The islanders showed us unusual kindness. They built a fire and welcomed us all because it was raining and cold. (Acts 28:2)
Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honor one another above yourselves. (Romans 12:10)
Now about brotherly love we do not need to write to you, for you yourselves have been taught by God to love each other. (1 Thessalonians 4:9)
For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs. (1 Timothy 6:10)
Their teaching will spread like gangrene. Among them are Hymenaeus and Philetus, (2 Timothy 2:17)
People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, (2 Timothy 3:2)
treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God-- (2 Timothy 3:4)
Rather he must be hospitable, one who loves what is good, who is self-controlled, upright, holy and disciplined. (Titus 1:8)
Then they can train the younger women to love their husbands and children, (Titus 2:4)
But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, (Titus 3:4)
Paul, a prisoner of Christ Jesus, and Timothy our brother, To Philemon our dear friend and fellow worker, (Philemon 1:1)
Keep on loving each other as brothers. (Hebrews 13:1)
Now that you have purified yourselves by obeying the truth so that you have sincere love for your brothers, love one another deeply, from the heart. (1 Peter 1:22)
Finally, all of you, live in harmony with one another; be sympathetic, love as brothers, be compassionate and humble. (1 Peter 3:8)
Greet one another with a kiss of love. Peace to all of you who are in Christ. (1 Peter 5:14)
and to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, love. (2 Peter 1:7)

Scripture References (agape)

And a voice from heaven said, "This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased." (Matthew 3:17)
"You have heard that it was said, 'Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.' (Matthew 5:43)
But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, (Matthew 5:44)
If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? (Matthew 5:46)
"No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money [mammon]. (Matthew 6:24)
"Here is my servant whom I have chosen, the one I love, in whom I delight; I will put my Spirit on him, and he will proclaim justice to the nations. (Matthew 12:18)
While he was still speaking, a bright cloud enveloped them, and a voice from the cloud said, "This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased. Listen to him!" (Matthew 17:5)
honor your father and mother,' and 'love your neighbor as yourself.'" (Matthew 19:19)
Jesus replied: "'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.' (Matthew 22:37)
And the second is like it: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.' (Matthew 22:39)
Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold, (Matthew 24:12)
And a voice came from heaven: "You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased." (Mark 1:11)
Then a cloud appeared and enveloped them, and a voice came from the cloud: "This is my Son, whom I love. Listen to him!" (Mark 9:7)
Jesus looked at him and loved him. "One thing you lack," he said. "Go, sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me." (Mark 10:21)
"He had one left to send, a son, whom he loved. He sent him last of all, saying, 'They will respect my son.' (Mark 12:6)
Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.' (Mark 12:30)
The second is this: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.' There is no commandment greater than these." (Mark 12:31)
To love him with all your heart, with all your understanding and with all your strength, and to love your neighbor as yourself is more important than all burnt offerings and sacrifices." (Mark 12:33)
and the Holy Spirit descended on him in bodily form like a dove. And a voice came from heaven: "You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased." (Luke 3:22)
"But I tell you who hear me: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, (Luke 6:27)
"If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even 'sinners' love those who love them. (Luke 6:32)
But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, because He is kind to the ungrateful and wicked. (Luke 6:35)
because he loves our nation and has built our synagogue." (Luke 7:5)
Neither of them had the money to pay him back, so he canceled the debts of both. Now which of them will love him more?" (Luke 7:42)
Therefore, I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven--for she loved much. But he who has been forgiven little loves little." (Luke 7:47)
He answered: "'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind' ; and, 'Love your neighbor as yourself.'" (Luke 10:27)
"Woe to you Pharisees, because you give God a tenth of your mint, rue and all other kinds of garden herbs, but you neglect justice and the love of God. You should have practiced the latter without leaving the former undone. (Luke 11:42)
"Woe to you Pharisees, because you love the most important seats in the synagogues and greetings in the marketplaces. (Luke 11:43)
"No servant can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money [mammon]." (Luke 16:13)
"Then the owner of the vineyard said, 'What shall I do? I will send my son, whom I love; perhaps they will respect him.' (Luke 20:13)
"For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life. (John 3:16)
This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but men loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. (John 3:19)
The Father loves the Son and has placed everything in his hands. (John 3:35)
but I know you. I know that you do not have the love of God in your hearts. (John 5:42)
Jesus said to them, "If God were your Father, you would love me, for I came from God and now am here. I have not come on my own; but He sent me. (John 8:42)
The reason my Father loves me is that I lay down my life--only to take it up again. (John 10:17)
Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus. (John 11:5)
for they loved praise from men more than praise from God. (John 12:43)
It was just before the Passover Feast. Jesus knew that the time had come for him to leave this world and go to the Father. Having loved his own who were in the world, he now showed them the full extent of his love. (John 13:1)
One of them, the disciple whom Jesus loved, was reclining next to him. (John 13:23)
"A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. (John 13:34)
By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another." (John 13:35)
"If you love me, you will obey what I command. (John 14:15)
Whoever has my commands and obeys them, he is the one who loves me. He who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love him and show myself to him." (John 14:21)
Jesus replied, "If anyone loves me, he will obey my teaching. My Father will love him, and we will come to Him and make our home with Him. (John 14:23)
He who does not love me will not obey my teaching. These words you hear are not my own; they belong to the Father who sent me. (John 14:24)
"You heard me say, 'I am going away and I am coming back to you.' If you loved me, you would be glad that I am going to the Father, for the Father is greater than I. (John 14:28)
but the world must learn that I love the Father and that I do exactly what my Father has commanded me. "Come now; let us leave. (John 14:31)
"As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. (John 15:9)
If you obey my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have obeyed my Father's commands and remain in His love. (John 15:10)
My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. (John 15:12)
Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends. (John 15:13)
This is my command: Love each other. (John 15:17)
I in them and You in me. May they be brought to complete unity to let the world know that You sent me and have loved them even as You have loved me. (John 17:23)
"Father, I want those You have given me to be with me where I am, and to see my glory, the glory You have given me because You loved me before the creation of the world. (John 17:24)
I have made You known to them, and will continue to make You known in order that the love You have for me may be in them and that I myself may be in them." (John 17:26)
When Jesus saw his mother there, and the disciple whom he loved standing nearby, he said to his mother, "Dear woman, here is your son," (John 19:26)
Then the disciple whom Jesus loved said to Peter, "It is the Lord!" As soon as Simon Peter heard him say, "It is the Lord," he wrapped his outer garment around him (for he had taken it off) and jumped into the water. (John 21:7)
When they had finished eating, Jesus said to Simon Peter, "Simon son of John, do you truly love me more than these?" "Yes, Lord," he said, "you know that I love you." Jesus said, "Feed my lambs." (John 21:15)
Again Jesus said, "Simon son of John, do you truly love me?" He answered, "Yes, Lord, you know that I love you." Jesus said, "Take care of my sheep." (John 21:16)
Peter turned and saw that the disciple whom Jesus loved was following them. (This was the one who had leaned back against Jesus at the supper and had said, "Lord, who is going to betray you?") (John 21:20)
So we all agreed to choose some men and send them to you with our dear friends Barnabas and Paul-- (Acts 15:25)
To all in Rome who are loved by God and called to be saints: Grace and peace to you from God our Father and from the Lord Jesus Christ. (Romans 1:7)
And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out His love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom He has given us. (Romans 5:5)
But God demonstrates His own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. (Romans 5:8)
And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose. (Romans 8:28)
Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? (Romans 8:35)
No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. (Romans 8:37)
neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 8:39)
Just as it is written: "Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated." (Romans 9:13)
As he says in Hosea: "I will call them 'my people' who are not my people; and I will call her 'my loved one' who is not my loved one," (Romans 9:25)
As far as the gospel is concerned, they are enemies on your account; but as far as election is concerned, they are loved on account of the patriarchs, (Romans 11:28)
Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. (Romans 12:9)
Do not take revenge, my friends, but leave room for God's wrath, for it is written: "It is mine to avenge; I will repay," says the Lord. (Romans 12:19)
Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for he who loves his fellowman has fulfilled the law. (Romans 13:8)
The commandments, "Do not commit adultery," "Do not murder," "Do not steal," "Do not covet," and whatever other commandment there may be, are summed up in this one rule: "Love your neighbor as yourself." (Romans 13:9)
Love does no harm to its neighbor. Therefore love is the fulfillment of the law. (Romans 13:10)
If your brother is distressed because of what you eat, you are no longer acting in love. Do not by your eating destroy your brother for whom Christ died. (Romans 14:15)
I urge you, brothers, by our Lord Jesus Christ and by the love of the Spirit, to join me in my struggle by praying to God for me. (Romans 15:30)
Greet also the church that meets at their house. Greet my dear friend Epenetus, who was the first convert to Christ in the province of Asia. (Romans 16:5)
Greet Ampliatus, whom I love in the Lord. (Romans 16:8)
Greet Urbanus, our fellow worker in Christ, and my dear friend Stachys. (Romans 16:9)
Greet Tryphena and Tryphosa, those women who work hard in the Lord. Greet my dear friend Persis, another woman who has worked very hard in the Lord. (Romans 16:12)
However, as it is written: "No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love Him"-- (1 Corinthians 2:9)
I am not writing this to shame you, but to warn you, as my dear children. (1 Corinthians 4:14)
For this reason I am sending to you Timothy, my son whom I love, who is faithful in the Lord. He will remind you of my way of life in Christ Jesus, which agrees with what I teach everywhere in every church. (1 Corinthians 4:17)
What do you prefer? Shall I come to you with a whip, or in love and with a gentle spirit? (1 Corinthians 4:21)
Now about food sacrificed to idols: We know that we all possess knowledge. Knowledge puffs up, but love builds up. (1 Corinthians 8:1)
But the man who loves God is known by God. (1 Corinthians 8:3)
Therefore, my dear friends, flee from idolatry. (1 Corinthians 10:14)
If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. (1 Corinthians 13:1)
If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. (1 Corinthians 13:2)
If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing. (1 Corinthians 13:3)
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. (1 Corinthians 13:4)
Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. (1 Corinthians 13:8)
And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love. (1 Corinthians 13:13)
Follow the way of love and eagerly desire spiritual gifts, especially the gift of prophecy. (1 Corinthians 14:1)
Therefore, my dear brothers, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain. (1 Corinthians 15:58)
Do everything in love. (1 Corinthians 16:14)
My love to all of you in Christ Jesus. Amen. (1 Corinthians 16:24)
For I wrote you out of great distress and anguish of heart and with many tears, not to grieve you but to let you know the depth of my love for you. (2 Corinthians 2:4)
I urge you, therefore, to reaffirm your love for him. (2 Corinthians 2:8)
For Christ's love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died. (2 Corinthians 5:14)
in purity, understanding, patience and kindness; in the Holy Spirit and in sincere love; (2 Corinthians 6:6)
Since we have these promises, dear friends, let us purify ourselves from everything that contaminates body and spirit, perfecting holiness out of reverence for God. (2 Corinthians 7:1)
But just as you excel in everything--in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in complete earnestness and in your love for us --see that you also excel in this grace of giving. (2 Corinthians 8:7)
I am not commanding you, but I want to test the sincerity of your love by comparing it with the earnestness of others. (2 Corinthians 8:8)
Therefore show these men the proof of your love and the reason for our pride in you, so that the churches can see it. (2 Corinthians 8:24)
Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. (2 Corinthians 9:7)
Why? Because I do not love you? God knows I do! (2 Corinthians 11:11)
So I will very gladly spend for you everything I have and expend myself as well. If I love you more, will you love me less? (2 Corinthians 12:15)
Have you been thinking all along that we have been defending ourselves to you? We have been speaking in the sight of God as those in Christ; and everything we do, dear friends, is for your strengthening. (2 Corinthians 12:19)
Finally, brothers, good-by. Aim for perfection, listen to my appeal, be of one mind, live in peace. And the God of love and peace will be with you. (2 Corinthians 13:11)
May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all. (2 Corinthians 13:14)
I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. (Galatians 2:20)
For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision has any value. The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love. (Galatians 5:6)
You, my brothers, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the sinful nature ; rather, serve one another in love. (Galatians 5:13)
The entire law is summed up in a single command: "Love your neighbor as yourself." (Galatians 5:14)
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, (Galatians 5:22)
For He chose us in Him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in His sight. In love (Ephesians 1:4)
to the praise of his glorious grace, which He has freely given us in the One he loves. (Ephesians 1:6)
For this reason, ever since I heard about your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all the saints, (Ephesians 1:15)
But because of His great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, (Ephesians 2:4)
so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, (Ephesians 3:17)
and to know this love that surpasses knowledge--that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. (Ephesians 3:19)
Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. (Ephesians 4:2)
Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will in all things grow up into Him who is the Head, that is, Christ. (Ephesians 4:15)
From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work. (Ephesians 4:16)
Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children (Ephesians 5:1)
and live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God. (Ephesians 5:2)
Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave Himself up for her (Ephesians 5:25)
In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. (Ephesians 5:28)
However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband. (Ephesians 5:33)
Tychicus, the dear brother and faithful servant in the Lord, will tell you everything, so that you also may know how I am and what I am doing. (Ephesians 6:21)
Peace to the brothers, and love with faith from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. (Ephesians 6:23)
Grace to all who love our Lord Jesus Christ with an undying love. (Ephesians 6:24)
And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, (Philippians 1:9)
The latter do so in love, knowing that I am put here for the defense of the gospel. (Philippians 1:16)
If you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from His love, if any fellowship with the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, (Philippians 2:1)
then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and purpose. (Philippians 2:2)
Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed--not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence--continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, (Philippians 2:12)
Therefore, my brothers, you whom I love and long for, my joy and crown, that is how you should stand firm in the Lord, dear friends! (Philippians 4:1)
because we have heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and of the love you have for all the saints-- (Colossians 1:4)
You learned it from Epaphras, our dear fellow servant, who is a faithful minister of Christ on our behalf, (Colossians 1:7)
and who also told us of your love in the Spirit. (Colossians 1:8)
For He has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son He loves, (Colossians 1:13)
My purpose is that they may be encouraged in heart and united in love, so that they may have the full riches of complete understanding, in order that they may know the mystery of God, namely, Christ, (Colossians 2:2)
Therefore, as God's chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. (Colossians 3:12)
And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity. (Colossians 3:14)
Husbands, love your wives and do not be harsh with them. (Colossians 3:19)
Tychicus will tell you all the news about me. He is a dear brother, a faithful minister and fellow servant in the Lord. (Colossians 4:7)
He is coming with Onesimus, our faithful and dear brother, who is one of you. They will tell you everything that is happening here. (Colossians 4:9)
Our dear friend Luke, the doctor, and Demas send greetings. (Colossians 4:14)
We continually remember before our God and Father your work produced by faith, your labor prompted by love, and your endurance inspired by hope in our Lord Jesus Christ. (1 Thessalonians 1:3)
For we know, brothers loved by God, that He has chosen you, (1 Thessalonians 1:4)
We loved you so much that we were delighted to share with you not only the gospel of God but our lives as well, because you had become so dear to us. (1 Thessalonians 2:8)
But Timothy has just now come to us from you and has brought good news about your faith and love. He has told us that you always have pleasant memories of us and that you long to see us, just as we also long to see you. (1 Thessalonians 3:6)
May the Lord make your love increase and overflow for each other and for everyone else, just as ours does for you. (1 Thessalonians 3:12)
Now about brotherly love we do not need to write to you, for you yourselves have been taught by God to love each other. (1 Thessalonians 4:9)
But since we belong to the day, let us be self-controlled, putting on faith and love as a breastplate, and the hope of salvation as a helmet. (1 Thessalonians 5:8)
Hold them in the highest regard in love because of their work. Live in peace with each other. (1 Thessalonians 5:13)
We ought always to thank God for you, brothers, and rightly so, because your faith is growing more and more, and the love every one of you has for each other is increasing. (2 Thessalonians 1:3)
and in every sort of evil that deceives those who are perishing. They perish because they refused to love the truth and so be saved. (2 Thessalonians 2:10)
But we ought always to thank God for you, brothers loved by the Lord, because from the beginning God chose you to be saved through the sanctifying work of the Spirit and through belief in the truth. (2 Thessalonians 2:13)
May our Lord Jesus Christ Himself and God our Father, who loved us and by his grace gave us eternal encouragement and good hope, (2 Thessalonians 2:16)
May the Lord direct your hearts into God's love and Christ's perseverance. (2 Thessalonians 3:5)
The goal of this command is love, which comes from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith. (1 Timothy 1:5)
The grace of our Lord was poured out on me abundantly, along with the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus. (1 Timothy 1:14)
But women will be saved through childbearing--if they continue in faith, love and holiness with propriety. (1 Timothy 2:15)
Don't let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in life, in love, in faith and in purity. (1 Timothy 4:12)
Those who have believing masters are not to show less respect for them because they are brothers. Instead, they are to serve them even better, because those who benefit from their service are believers, and dear to them. These are the things you are to teach and urge on them. (1 Timothy 6:2)
But you, man of God, flee from all this, and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance and gentleness. (1 Timothy 6:11)
To Timothy, my dear son: Grace, mercy and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord. (2 Timothy 1:2)
For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline. (2 Timothy 1:7)
What you heard from me, keep as the pattern of sound teaching, with faith and love in Christ Jesus. (2 Timothy 1:13)
Flee the evil desires of youth, and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace, along with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart. (2 Timothy 2:22)
You, however, know all about my teaching, my way of life, my purpose, faith, patience, love, endurance, (2 Timothy 3:10)
Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day--and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing. (2 Timothy 4:8)
for Demas, because he loved this world, has deserted me and has gone to Thessalonica. Crescens has gone to Galatia, and Titus to Dalmatia. (2 Timothy 4:10)
Teach the older men to be temperate, worthy of respect, self-controlled, and sound in faith, in love and in endurance. (Titus 2:2)
Paul, a prisoner of Christ Jesus, and Timothy our brother, To Philemon our dear friend and fellow worker, (Philemon 1:1)
because I hear about your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all the saints. (Philemon 1:5)
Your love has given me great joy and encouragement, because you, brother, have refreshed the hearts of the saints. (Philemon 1:7)
yet I appeal to you on the basis of love. I then, as Paul--an old man and now also a prisoner of Christ Jesus-- (Philemon 1:9)
no longer as a slave, but better than a slave, as a dear brother. He is very dear to me but even dearer to you, both as a man and as a brother in the Lord. (Philemon 1:16)
You have loved righteousness and hated wickedness; therefore God, your God, has set you above your companions by anointing you with the oil of joy." (Hebrews 1:9)
Even though we speak like this, dear friends, we are confident of better things in your case--things that accompany salvation. (Hebrews 6:9)
God is not unjust; he will not forget your work and the love you have shown Him as you have helped His people and continue to help them. (Hebrews 6:10)
And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds. (Hebrews 10:24)
because the Lord disciplines those He loves, and He punishes everyone He accepts as a son." (Hebrews 12:6)
Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love Him. (James 1:12)
Don't be deceived, my dear brothers. (James 1:16)
My dear brothers, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, (James 1:19)
Listen, my dear brothers: Has not God chosen those who are poor in the eyes of the world to be rich in faith and to inherit the kingdom He promised those who love Him? (James 2:5)
If you really keep the royal law found in Scripture, "Love your neighbor as yourself," you are doing right. (James 2:8)
Though you have not seen Him, you love Him; and even though you do not see Him now, you believe in Him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, (1 Peter 1:8)
Now that you have purified yourselves by obeying the truth so that you have sincere love for your brothers, love one another deeply, from the heart. (1 Peter 1:22)
Dear friends, I urge you, as aliens and strangers in the world, to abstain from sinful desires, which war against your soul. (1 Peter 2:11)
Show proper respect to everyone: Love the brotherhood of believers, fear God, honor the king. (1 Peter 2:17)
For, "Whoever would love life and see good days must keep his tongue from evil and his lips from deceitful speech. (1 Peter 3:10)
Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins. (1 Peter 4:8)
Dear friends, do not be surprised at the painful trial you are suffering, as though something strange were happening to you. (1 Peter 4:12)
Greet one another with a kiss of love. Peace to all of you who are in Christ. (1 Peter 5:14)
and to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, love. (2 Peter 1:7)
For he received honor and glory from God the Father when the voice came to him from the Majestic Glory, saying, "This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased." (2 Peter 1:17)
They have left the straight way and wandered off to follow the way of Balaam son of Beor, who loved the wages of wickedness. (2 Peter 2:15)
Dear friends, this is now my second letter to you. I have written both of them as reminders to stimulate you to wholesome thinking. (2 Peter 3:1)
But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day. (2 Peter 3:8)
So then, dear friends, since you are looking forward to this, make every effort to be found spotless, blameless and at peace with him. (2 Peter 3:14)
Bear in mind that our Lord's patience means salvation, just as our dear brother Paul also wrote you with the wisdom that God gave him. (2 Peter 3:15)
Therefore, dear friends, since you already know this, be on your guard so that you may not be carried away by the error of lawless men and fall from your secure position. (2 Peter 3:17)
But if anyone obeys His word, God's love is truly made complete in him. This is how we know we are in Him: (1 John 2:5)
Dear friends, I am not writing you a new command but an old one, which you have had since the beginning. This old command is the message you have heard. (1 John 2:7)
Whoever loves his brother lives in the light, and there is nothing in him to make him stumble. (1 John 2:10)
Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. (1 John 2:15)
How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know Him. (1 John 3:1)
Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when He appears, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as he is. (1 John 3:2)
This is how we know who the children of God are and who the children of the devil are: Anyone who does not do what is right is not a child of God; nor is anyone who does not love his brother. (1 John 3:10)
This is the message you heard from the beginning: We should love one another. (1 John 3:11)
We know that we have passed from death to life, because we love our brothers. Anyone who does not love remains in death. (1 John 3:14)
This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down His life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers. (1 John 3:16)
If anyone has material possessions and sees his brother in need but has no pity on him, how can the love of God be in him? (1 John 3:17)
Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth. (1 John 3:18)
Dear friends, if our hearts do not condemn us, we have confidence before God (1 John 3:21)
And this is his command: to believe in the name of his Son, Jesus Christ, and to love one another as he commanded us. (1 John 3:23)
Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world. (1 John 4:1)
Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. (1 John 4:7)
Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. (1 John 4:8)
This is how God showed His love among us: He sent His one and only Son into the world that we might live through Him. (1 John 4:9)
This is love: 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)
Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. (1 John 4:11)
No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and His love is made complete in us. (1 John 4:12)
And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in him. (1 John 4:16)
In this way, love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the day of judgment, because in this world we are like him. (1 John 4:17)
There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love. (1 John 4:18)
We love because He first loved us. (1 John 4:19)
If anyone says, "I love God," yet hates his brother, he is a liar. For anyone who does not love his brother, whom he has seen, cannot love God, whom he has not seen. (1 John 4:20)
And He has given us this command: Whoever loves God must also love his brother. (1 John 4:21)
Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God, and everyone who loves the father loves his child as well. (1 John 5:1)
This is how we know that we love the children of God: by loving God and carrying out his commands. (1 John 5:2)
This is love for God: to obey his commands. And his commands are not burdensome, (1 John 5:3)
The elder, To the chosen lady and her children, whom I love in the truth--and not I only, but also all who know the truth-- (2 John 1:1)
Grace, mercy and peace from God the Father and from Jesus Christ, the Father's Son, will be with us in truth and love. (2 John 1:3)
And now, dear lady, I am not writing you a new command but one we have had from the beginning. I ask that we love one another. (2 John 1:5)
And this is love: that we walk in obedience to His commands. As you have heard from the beginning, His command is that you walk in love. (2 John 1:6)
The elder, To my dear friend Gaius, whom I love in the truth. (3 John 1:1)
Dear friend, I pray that you may enjoy good health and that all may go well with you, even as your soul is getting along well. (3 John 1:2)
Dear friend, you are faithful in what you are doing for the brothers, even though they are strangers to you. (3 John 1:5)
They have told the church about your love. You will do well to send them on their way in a manner worthy of God. (3 John 1:6)
Dear friend, do not imitate what is evil but what is good. Anyone who does what is good is from God. Anyone who does what is evil has not seen God. (3 John 1:11)
Jude, a servant of Jesus Christ and a brother of James, To those who have been called, who are loved by God the Father and kept by Jesus Christ: (Jude 1:1)
Mercy, peace and love be yours in abundance. (Jude 1:2)
Dear friends, although I was very eager to write to you about the salvation we share, I felt I had to write and urge you to contend for the faith that was once for all entrusted to the saints. (Jude 1:3)
These men are blemishes at your love feasts, eating with you without the slightest qualm--shepherds who feed only themselves. They are clouds without rain, blown along by the wind; autumn trees, without fruit and uprooted--twice dead. (Jude 1:12)
But, dear friends, remember what the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ foretold. (Jude 1:17)
But you, dear friends, build yourselves up in your most holy faith and pray in the Holy Spirit. (Jude 1:20)
Keep yourselves in God's love as you wait for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to bring you to eternal life. (Jude 1:21)
and from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, the firstborn from the dead, and the ruler of the kings of the earth. To Him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by his blood, (Revelation 1:5)
Yet I hold this against you: You have forsaken your first love. (Revelation 2:4)
I know your deeds, your love and faith, your service and perseverance, and that you are now doing more than you did at first. (Revelation 2:19)
I will make those who are of the synagogue of Satan, who claim to be Jews though they are not, but are liars--I will make them come and fall down at your feet and acknowledge that I have loved you. (Revelation 3:9)
They overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony; they did not love their lives so much as to shrink from death. (Revelation 12:11)
They marched across the breadth of the earth and surrounded the camp of God's people, the city he loves. But fire came down from heaven and devoured them. (Revelation 20:9)

http://godandscience.org/love/what_is_love.html
Last Modified August 27, 2011

 

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