The world uses the word “love” very loosely. We love chocolate, we love our car, we love a TV show. The list goes on and on. We hear the word “love” being used in ways that diminish its significance and make love trite and cheap. And then there’s the focus on physical love, i.e. fleshly gratification.
So what is love? What does the Bible tell us?
In the biblical sense, love is not a physical act to gratify the flesh (i.e. sex). And it’s not as simple as a fondness for worldly things.
Biblical love comes from the mind and the depths of the soul. And it is a reflection of the love God has given to us, demonstrated in the love that we give to others.
I would suggest biblical love is defined as a heartfelt response to a mindful choice, resulting in a commitment to care about others and producing actions to meet their needs. C. S. Lewis concisely said, “Love is unselfishly choosing for another’s highest good.” [Read also: Is All Love Created Equal? C.S. Lewis Answers]
Biblical Love Is
- Steadfast — strong and committed.
- Unwavering — firm, even in the face of changing circumstances.
- Uniting — binding us to God and others.
This kind of love comes from God. (1 John 4:19), and it was most beautifully seen when God sent His son to redeem mankind:
John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
1 John 4:10 … not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.
Eph 1:7 In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace
Redemption means “deliverance through payment of a price.” Throughout history, people have broken laws, subsequently been charged with crimes, and had fines (a redemption price) levied against them. When the fine is paid, the debtor is redeemed and set free.
While the concept of biblical redemption is similar in that a law was broken, a debt incurred, and payment is required, it is also ver different.
The Bible tells that man is in bondage to sin and the penalty of sin is death. No money, nor any of man’s good works, can pay the penalty of sin. So God, in His mercy, grace, and love sent Jesus to live a perfect life and then to die, making payment for our sins (Mark 10:45) and opening the way of redemption through His blook (Eph 1:7).
The Blood Payment
Blood had to be shed to pay the penalty for sin (Heb 9:22). That’s why God gave Israel a sacrificial system of animal offerings to make atonement for their sins. However, animal blood could never fully atone for human sin. (Read: Why Did It Need to Be a Blood Atonement?) Sin entered the world through one man (Rom 5:12) and only pure human blood could make full atonement (Rom 5:17). So God sent Jesus to pay for our sins with His pure blood and fully liberate us from bondage to sin. (Mark 10:45b, 1 Cor 6:20, Eph 1:7).
Redeemed and Adopted
The Bible assures us that biblical redemption is more than just the payment of the penalty for sin.
- We have been redeemed and washed clean of sin, by His shed blood (Rev 1:5, 1 Pet 1:18-20)
- We have been reborn, regenerated, into a new life (John 3:3, Titus 3:5)
- And we have been made righteous, having received the imputed righteousness of Christ (Rom 3:24, 2 Cor 5:21; Read: What are the Doctrines of Imputed, Infused, and Imparted Righteousness?)
Furthermore, we have been adopted into the family of God (Rom 8:15, Eph 1:5). With God as our Father, we are His children. And we have received the riches of Christ‘s:
- gospel (Col 1:27, Col 2:2)
- grace (Eph 1:7, Eph 2:7) 3)
- goodness (Rom 2:4) 4)
- and glory (Rom 9:23, Eph 3:16, Phil 4:19).
In Summary: What is Biblical Love?
Biblical love is the love of God. It is a perfect steadfast, unwavering, and uniting love. We who belong to Jesus have received God’s love and are able to share it by choosing to love others. We do that by remembering that in Christ, we are, and have, everything we need. Therefore, we are free to give everything we have. That’s true freedom. That’s real joy. And that’s biblical love!
1 Cor 13:13 And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.
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 Biblical Love?
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