God is Love

What does “God is Love” mean? How do we love God? How do we love others? Is it just an emotion? Is it something more? Does the world actually love? What does love encompass?

Many questions arise when you truly think about love and what it means to love. It is a simple concept, but does modern Christendom have it right or wrong? Is there even a right way and/or wrong way to love?

Western Christianity has told us that love is tolerance, just getting along, and being nice. It is interesting that this is the same definition of love that the western world has. Does the world agree with the Bible on this point? Or does God’s word teach something different?

God is love, where does this oft used statement come from? It comes from 1 John 4:8 or 1 John 4:16:

He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.
(1 John 4:8 KJV)

And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him.
(1 John 4:16 KJV)

So the full verse states that if we do not love we do not know God. Why, because God is love. Also we learn that God loves us, and that if we dwell in love then God dwells in us. Lets look at the fuller context to determine if we can glean any additional information about the topic of biblical love.

Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God. He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love. In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him. Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another. No man hath seen God at any time. If we love one another, God dwelleth in us, and his love is perfected in us. Hereby know we that we dwell in him, and he in us, because he hath given us of his Spirit. And we have seen and do testify that the Father sent the Son to be the Saviour of the world. Whosoever shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God dwelleth in him, and he in God. And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him. Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as he is, so are we in this world. There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love. We love him, because he first loved us. If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen? And this commandment have we from him, That he who loveth God love his brother also. Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ is born of God: and every one that loveth him that begat loveth him also that is begotten of him. By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God, and keep his commandments. For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous. For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith. Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God?
(1 John 4:7-5:5 KJV)

“If we love one another, God dwelleth in us, and his love is perfected in us.” This is a telling verse, it explains the true idea of what correct and perfect love is. It is love that comes from God Himself! This love shows itself many different ways but primarily in this:

By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God, and keep his commandments.
(1 John 5:2 KJV)

Wow, we can only love others if we love God. Our love of others comes from the Father, and from loving Him first, above all people and things. We place Him first and love Him first and from that God’s love will emanate from us unto all others. This is confirmed by Jesus in Matthew:

Master, which is the great commandment in the law? Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.
(Matthew 22:36-40 KJV)

How do we love? It is hinted at the end of 1 John 5:2, “keep his commandments.” Let us continue on to 1 John 5:3 to keep things in context.

For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous.
(1 John 5:3 KJV)

Context makes this solid, belief in God is not enough. It gets you started as belief in God is required, for how can you be saved by something you don’t believe in. Once you believe, you need to continue on into obedience. This states the love of God is keeping His commandments. This is further confirmation of John 14:15 and John 15:10:

If ye love me, keep my commandments.
(John 14:15 KJV)

If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father’s commandments, and abide in his love.
(John 15:10 KJV)

So God is love, love comes from God and to show love we must first love God. This means to show love, we need to have faith in the Lord and keep his commandments. On the flip-side of this we cannot possibly hope to love unless we are believers following God’s commandments and then true love, God’s love, will be perfected in us.

With this understanding, we show that the world absolutely has the wrong definition of love as it is completely absent from God, which is impossible as love requires God. It also shows that the modern preaching has an incomplete definition of love.

Does love hate? Lets see together.

Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy. But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;
(Matthew 5:43-44 KJV)

This shows that we do not hate people. What about the things of this world?

No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.
(Matthew 6:24 KJV)

Wow. we can only have one master, God. If we love him, we will hate all other masters, the example here is money. So we as believers in Christ do hate the things of this world. What about false teaching?

So hast thou also them that hold the doctrine of the Nicolaitans, which thing I hate.
(Revelation 2:15 KJV)

We can hate the things of this world, and we can hate false doctrine. Is there anything else God hates?


Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise him; he hath put him to grief: when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of the LORD shall prosper in his hand.
(Isaiah 53:10 KJV)

It pleased the LORD to bruise him to make Jesus an offering for sin. That is an incredible hatred of sin, to crucify the one and only begotten of God due to the iniquities of the world that was placed on His undeserving perfect person.

This is not a complete list of things that God hates, but shows that in perfect Godly love, hate exists. Most modern churches just focus on positivity and niceness and tolerance as a complete definition of love. This is false.

What are some characteristics of Godly love found within the Bible? 1 Corinthians 13, John 3:16, Mark 12:30-31, Luke 6:32,35, John 13:34-35, John 14:21-23, ect… These all use “love” or “charity,” which is that good will toward men. These are easy to find using a simple search. They tell of loving Jesus by keeping His commandments, they tell of loving others as yourself, they tell of loving your enemies and treating even them well. But is there more? Yes, lets get into some meat.

God is love, we know this from the scriptures quoted at the beginning of the article. It is clear to see that God’s love is different than the worlds false love. But if God is love and Jesus is God, then Jesus is love. Everything He did was in perfect love, for He only did what He saw the Father doing.

Then answered Jesus and said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father do: for what things soever he doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise.
(John 5:19 KJV)

This means that every action of Christ was in perfect obedience to God the Father and was a perfect example of love. This bears repeating, every single action Jesus performed was in perfect Godly love. Perfect real true love.

What is the name of Jesus used in Revelation for the Laodiceans, the church in Philadelphia, and when he comes riding in on a white horse?

And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia write; These things saith he that is holy, he that is true, he that hath the key of David, he that openeth, and no man shutteth; and shutteth, and no man openeth;
(Revelation 3:7 KJV)

And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write; These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God;
(Revelation 3:14 KJV)

And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war.
(Revelation 19:11 KJV)

Jesus is truth.

Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.
(John 14:6 KJV)

Love devoid of truth is not love from God and is not love. So if a sin has been brought to the surface, love requires it to be addressed. Jesus addresses sin many times, here are three examples.

There cometh a woman of Samaria to draw water: Jesus saith unto her, Give me to drink. (For his disciples were gone away unto the city to buy meat.) Then saith the woman of Samaria unto him, How is it that thou, being a Jew, askest drink of me, which am a woman of Samaria? for the Jews have no dealings with the Samaritans. Jesus answered and said unto her, If thou knewest the gift of God, and who it is that saith to thee, Give me to drink; thou wouldest have asked of him, and he would have given thee living water. The woman saith unto him, Sir, thou hast nothing to draw with, and the well is deep: from whence then hast thou that living water? Art thou greater than our father Jacob, which gave us the well, and drank thereof himself, and his children, and his cattle? Jesus answered and said unto her, Whosoever drinketh of this water shall thirst again: But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life. The woman saith unto him, Sir, give me this water, that I thirst not, neither come hither to draw. Jesus saith unto her, Go, call thy husband, and come hither. The woman answered and said, I have no husband. Jesus said unto her, Thou hast well said, I have no husband: For thou hast had five husbands; and he whom thou now hast is not thy husband: in that saidst thou truly. The woman saith unto him, Sir, I perceive that thou art a prophet. Our fathers worshipped in this mountain; and ye say, that in Jerusalem is the place where men ought to worship. Jesus saith unto her, Woman, believe me, the hour cometh, when ye shall neither in this mountain, nor yet at Jerusalem, worship the Father. Ye worship ye know not what: we know what we worship: for salvation is of the Jews. But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him. God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth. The woman saith unto him, I know that Messias cometh, which is called Christ: when he is come, he will tell us all things. Jesus saith unto her, I that speak unto thee am he. And upon this came his disciples, and marvelled that he talked with the woman: yet no man said, What seekest thou? or, Why talkest thou with her? The woman then left her waterpot, and went her way into the city, and saith to the men, Come, see a man, which told me all things that ever I did: is not this the Christ?
(John 4:7-29 KJV)

From that time forth began Jesus to shew unto his disciples, how that he must go unto Jerusalem, and suffer many things of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised again the third day. Then Peter took him, and began to rebuke him, saying, Be it far from thee, Lord: this shall not be unto thee. But he turned, and said unto Peter, Get thee behind me, Satan: thou art an offence unto me: for thou savourest not the things that be of God, but those that be of men.
(Matthew 16:21-23 KJV)

And the Jews’ passover was at hand, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem, And found in the temple those that sold oxen and sheep and doves, and the changers of money sitting: And when he had made a scourge of small cords, he drove them all out of the temple, and the sheep, and the oxen; and poured out the changers’ money, and overthrew the tables; And said unto them that sold doves, Take these things hence; make not my Father’s house an house of merchandise. And his disciples remembered that it was written, The zeal of thine house hath eaten me up.
(John 2:13-17 KJV)

All three of these examples are perfect love and the odd thing is even the most gentle example here, the woman at the well, in many cases would still be too forward in today’s western gatherings. If this that happened today, where someone’s, so-called lifestyle, was called out there most likely would be major offense. This alone shows that the “church” has become a weak gathering of people who just want to get along. This is not biblical at all!

Continuing, Jesus rebukes Peter one of His chosen disciples. He calls Peter Satan, tells him that he is an offense unto Him because Peter is focused on the world and not God and His will. This is a scathing sharp rebuke. I have never seen a so-called pastor do anything even close to this.

Jesus was yet more severe when He saw those people turning His temple into “den of thieves” by taking advantage of the money changing process and over-pricing the sacrificial animals. Here Jesus took the time to make a scourge of small cords to drive out the animals and the people. Then he dumped out the money and flipped the tables over. Anyone under the power of the Holy Spirit would probably have the police called on them or at least be thrown from the congregation.

All three of these examples are showing love in perfection. There is nothing unloving about any of this, depending on the situation, the hardness of the heart, ect.. the approach is different. Yea, that is God I hear you say. The problem with this statement is that under the direction of the Holy Spirit, which is how all of this should be done, there are many examples of this throughout the entire Bible besides Jesus. Jesus was the perfect example.

Love without truth is fake love. Love without rebuke is fake love. Love without God is fake love. Love that just gets along is fake love. Love without the Spirit is fake love. Love without obedience to God’s commandments is fake love. Love that does not expose sin and false doctrine is fake love. Love that does not point to and reflect Christ is fake love.

To love each other, we must first love Jesus with obedience to His word and His commandments. Then the love of God, the author and creator of love, will manifest in ourselves towards all men. This love will be perfected in us as we pursue Jesus Christ. Then we will be led into all truth and be led to address error and sin in biblical love.

I love you all,



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