Biblical Love

Biblical Love

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  1. Love in the Bible, as in our everyday speech, can be directed from person to person or from a person to a thing.  Obviously love towards another person is more complex than one’s love of things.  There is an aspect of interpersonal love that has a high value in the Bible.  That is the love of a person towards someone who is unlovable.  This is seen in the fact that God loves us even though we are highly unlovable creatures.  The New Testament will be our focus as we look at God’s love for man, and man’s love back towards God.

                What makes the New Testament new is the appearance of Christ in human history.  The New Testament is the fulfillment of many of the Old Testament prophecies.  In Christ we see an unparalleled revelation of God.  Christ through his death and resurrection brought about the salvation of man (Rom. 5:6-11).  Our salvation includes forgiveness of sins (Eph. 1:7), access to God (Eph. 2:18), eternal life (John 3:16), and the desire to perform good works (Eph. 2:10; Titus 2:14). With this in mind, when dealing with Biblical love, we must relate everything to Christ’s life, death, and resurrection.  In the life and death of Christ we see what God’s love is and what man’s love for God should be. 

                First we must look at God’s love for his Son, Jesus.  All that God does is to display His glory so that man may praise and enjoy Him (Eph. 1:6, 12, 14; John 17:4).  We learn in the New Testament that it is Christ that reflects the glory of God like none other.  God’s love for Christ, which is God’s love for His own glory, enforces even more God’s love for us in the giving up of His only begotten for our salvation.  It is this love of Christ that God has, that He instills in the hearts of believers (John 17:26). 

                Second, in light of God’s love for His son, we must look at God’s love towards man.  In Romans 8:35, Paul asks the question who will separate us from the love of Christ.  In verse 39 of that same chapter he answers his own question with a convincing “nothing”.  The most basic thing that can be said about God and His relationship to love is that God is love (I John 4:8, 16).  It is God’s nature to love. Because of this overwhelming fact God sent His son Christ into the world to die for our sins.  It is the love of God that finds a way to save us from the wrath of God (Eph. 2:3-5).  This love of God towards man cannot be earned by anyone.  This love is given freely, without merit, by the grace of God.  The love of God cannot be earned, only accepted and enjoyed. 

                Finally, in light of God’s love for man, we must look at man’s love towards God and Christ.  Jesus sums up the entire Old Testament with the command to love God with all our heart, soul, and mind, and to love our neighbor as ourselves (Matt. 22:37-40).  The failure to love God characterized many religious leaders of Jesus’ day and sadly many current leaders in American Christianity.  Since the greatest display of love is the offering of Christ to us, the greatest display of hate would be to reject Christ and to not return even a fraction of that love to the all deserving Savior. 

                How do we display this needed love towards God in response to His love towards us, by simply seeking to please Him.  Hebrews 11:6 tells us that in order to please God one must have faith in God and in His promises.  We must seek God as the only source of our ultimate pleasure and joy.  May our love be a Biblical love in seeking to please and serve God.  After all, God loved us as unlovable sinners so much, He sent His son to die for us (Rom. 5:8; John 3:16).

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