In the biblical sense, what is really meant by the word “love?” Our culture often defines love in terms of emotion, and the way another person or thing makes us feel. But in a scriptural sense, love is the commitment to meet another’s need. Commitment breeds action, making love more “verb” than “noun.”
C. S. Lewis said, “Love is unselfishly choosing for another’s highest good.”
[Read: Is All Love Created Equal? C.S. Lewis Answers]
Biblical love stands undiminished even in the face of changing circumstances or personal betrayal. It is the type of love Jesus shows humanity (“… 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).
Redemption is God’s Love Demonstrated
The Christian concept of redemption is absolutely unique among the pantheon of world religions. Elsewhere one may find examples of offerings paid to appease offended deities, or an act done to earn divine favor. But as doctrinal truth and historical fact, God’s work of redemption as presented in the Bible is unparalleled.
Redemption means “deliverance through payment of a price.” In ancient times, prisoners of war could be released on payment of a ransom. The Bible says that Christ gave His life as a ransom for many (Mark 10:45), and that we have “redemption through His blood” (Ephesians 1:7).
Redeemed and Adopted
The Bible assures us that in redemption, we have more than just averted sin’s punishment. Negatively speaking, the redeemed have been cleared of sin’s guilt, but from a positive standpoint the saved are declared righteous- justified- and are adopted into God’s family. The Bible uses legal terminology that readers of that day would have easily recognized. The captives to sin were freed by payment of a price (redeemed), and though not kindred by nature, endowed status and privilege as sons (adopted).
Christ’s Blood is God’s Love Demonstrated
The Old Testament alludes to the work of the coming Messiah when in Isaiah 53:5 it says He was “pierced for our iniquities.” Scripture presents human redemption as completely dependent on the blood of Christ: (Christ has) “released us from our sins by His blood” (Rev. 1:5). Hebrews 9:22 teaches that Christ’s work on the cross is God’s once-and-for-all payment of our debt of sin. Scripture is clear that if not for Christ’s blood, given on the cross, no redemption would be possible.
Some ministers, writers, and composers try and “clean up” the Gospel for a modern audience, eliminating the unsettling (to them) concept of blood from their presentation of Christianity. Such revisers present a message that fails to convey God’s wonderful plan of redemption. Removing Christ’s “blood payment” from our message has serious theological implications, and presents a Gospel with less love, not more.
Biblical Definition of Love
God is Love! The Father is love, and His love is revealed from Genesis to Revelation. Jesus is love, and His love was most gloriously demonstrated on the cross. The Holy Spirit is love, and all who belong to Jesus experience His love by His indwelling presence. Praise be to God who first loved us so we are able to love (1 John 4:19).
Read more about love:
- A-Z Proof of Love that Never Fades
- What are the 10 Ways We Can Love Like Jesus?
- You Ask Why I Follow This Jesus? -- a short poem
- Because He First Loved Us - 1 John 4:19
- Faith, Hope, and Love — Why is Love the Greatest?
- Testify to Love (VIDEO)
- Does a Wedding Ceremony Have Prophetic Typology of the Rapture?
- Extravagant Love that Captures our Hearts
- Fun Facts about Love
- Kids Say the Darndest Things (video)
- “The Five Love Languages” by God
- Do You Really Love Him?
- What Do Kids Say About Love?
- What’s Love Got to Do With It?
- What is Love?
- Is the Bible a love letter to me?
- Does God love the lost?
- Extravagant Love
- O Love That Will Not Let Me Go
- 24 Reasons “Why I Love America,” by John Wayne (video)
- The Legacy of Love — It’s Not Just For Fathers
- Mother’s Love
- Love Lifted Me
- True Love is Jesus (video)
- Won't You Be Mine (video)
- He Loves Me (video)
- Love One Another (video)
- True Love is Jesus (video)
- How Can I Understand the Love of God?
- Do You Have a Heart for God?
- A Heart for God Revealed in St. Patrick’s Prayer
- My Beloved is Mine and I am His
- Oh, To Love With a Pure Heart
- Love is. . .
- Is All Love Created Equal? CS Lewis Answers
- What Can Love Do? (video)
- What is the Biblical Definition of Love?
Christian apologists Alex McFarland and Shari Abbott answer some of life's many questions concerning the gospel, faith, and the Bible by sharing Truth for a New Generation and Reasons for Hope found only in Jesus. For more information about apologist, evangelist, author, and religion and culture analyst, Alex McFarland, visit www.alexmcfarland.com. For more information about Shari Abbott, executive director of Reasons for Hope* Jesus, click here.
Truth for a New Generation (TNG) serves nationwide, featuring a multi-year conference tour and student-led club program to equip teenagers, parents, grandparents, and others who lead them to live for God. TNG's mission is to creatively communicate a compelling Christian worldview to the next generation by giving answers to tough questions, based on the truths of Scripture, and to build up the Body of Christ to stand strong and boldly proclaim the gospel in the world. For more information and resources visit www.truthforanewgeneration.com.
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