If you go to a Bible software program online (such as Biblegateway.com), and type in the word “love,” it pulls up as high as 697 results in the Bible. There is no doubt about it, the Bible has much to say about love.
There are different types of love mentioned in the Bible. One type is “Eros,” which is an erotic love. This is a love we have for our spouses. Another love is “Storge,” which is an affectionate type of love. “Phileo” is a type of brotherly love mentioned in the Bible. And lastly, “Agape” love is a type of unconditional love.
What Are the 2 Sources of Love in the Bible We Must Know and Follow?
Consider for a moment all of the words we have in our language. There are so many! According to Oxford Dictionary, there are at least 171,476 currently used words in the English language. Of course, if you add other factors to that (such as slang words not counted), that number could be much higher.
Yet the interesting thing is that all of these hundreds of thousands of words can be broken down into a mere 26 letters of the English Alphabet. So all of that information can be condensed into a simple string of code.
The Bible is a very thick book. It usually takes people about 4-12 months just to read it from cover to cover. According to most translations, there are 774,746 words in the Bible. But even though the Bible is so very long, it can be summarized and condensed into one word containing only 4 letters: LOVE.
The whole Bible is based on love. One preacher said that the Bible is God’s love letter to humanity. When Jesus was asked which commandment was most important, he replied with:
“Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the greatest and most important commandment. The second most important commandment is like it; Love your neighbor as you love yourself.” (Matt.22: 37-39)
The verse above gives us the two very most important types of love we must know and follow: The love for the Creator, and the love for the creation (each other). Those two types of love are very important. You cannot truly love one without the other. If you try to love just one of those, you are making a terrible mistake and are not fully knowing God’s plan of love.
The 2 Types of Love Are Like a Word Search Puzzle
In a word search puzzle, you have a large area of scrambled letters, and then you a “key” of words to find within the puzzle.
God created this puzzle called life. The “key” is like the “Bible.” The “puzzle” of scrambled words are like the creation. In order to identify love, we must look to the Creator’s Key first so that we know what we are searching for in the creation.
If we fail to look at the Creator’s key (the Bible) when we searching, we can make some mistakes. We may miss some words in the creation (puzzle) that the key listed, or we may find words that aren’t necessary to find.
In that same way, if we try to merely love without understand how our creator has defined love, we may “think” something is love when it isn’t. In fact, it may be the opposite.
Love MUST be defined. Love has boundaries. God is the one who defines love’s boundaries. He has the right to say what is an appropriate type of love, and what is an inappropriate type of love. He created the puzzle! If we didn’t have someone defining it, how would we ever know what it is? We wouldn’t!
Did you know that almost every single word search puzzle will contain words that aren’t on the key? It’s true. In fact, take a look at the first line in the very small word search puzzle above. If we overlook all but the last 4 letters on the top line, we would find the word CALL. But the word Call isn’t on the key. In fact, we missed the first part, which is supposed to be: Vertical.
Now let’s imagine that the creator of the puzzle is a teacher, and you are the student. You are given the puzzle, and you must turn it in for a grade at the end of class. The teacher has given you directions to find the words on the key. What will the teacher do if you didn’t find some of the words listed on the key? What if you found a bunch of extra words that weren’t listed?
God is the Teacher, the Bible is the Key, and Creation is the Puzzle
God has given us all a puzzle called “life.” In life there exists God’s creation. Our teacher (God) has given us the key (the Bible). We must use the key to truly LOVE God and His creation and follow His commands.
At the end of our life, God is going to grade us on our homework project. Did we follow God’s definition of love? Did we follow God’s laws? If you truly love God completely, you will follow His laws and commands. Jesus said:
If ye love me, keep my commandments.
You may think something is appropriate or “love” because society says it is. But if that doesn’t match up with God’s definition of love, you are loving creation more than the Creator. We must love the Creator first, and the Creator defines what is appropriate for His creation.
This is the problem with some of the “free love” ideas. Love must have bounds. If I love my wife, and I cheat on her so I can love two women, I am not truly loving my wife because I would hurt her, and I also transgress God. God has defined the type of love we should have for a spouse: Eros. And if we take that love and apply that type of love to other people, we are not obeying God’s command.
To fully love God, we must follow His commands. To be a wishy-washy lazy Christian doesn’t cut it. We can’t say we are Christians and love God in one breath, and then in the next say, “I think _____ (<–insert sin here) is okay today, even though the Bible says it isn’t.” That isn’t loving the Creator. That is breaking up the love equation. We must love both (Creator and creation). The two are inseparable to truly know and understand love.
What Are Some Bible Verses About Love? What is Love?
There are some very beautiful and moving verses in the Bible that talk about love. Remember, God not only wants us to love our fellow humans, but we must also love God. God always comes first, above all things. Here are some of my favorite verses that show the nature of Godly love:
Love is patient; love is kind; love is not envious or boastful or arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice in wrongdoing, but rejoices in the truth. It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends. But as for prophecies, they will come to an end; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will come to an end… And now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; and the greatest of these is love. (NRSV, 1 Corinthians 13:4-8, 13)
Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for he who loves his fellowman has fulfilled the law. 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.” Love does no harm to its neighbor. Therefore love is the fulfillment of the law. (NIV, Romans 13:8-10)
“Let us love one another, because love comes from God.” (1 John 4: 7)
“If you have love for one another, then everyone will know that you are my disciples.” (John 13: 35)
“We love because God first loved us. If we say we love God, but hate others, we are liars. For we cannot love God, whom we have not seen, if we do not love others, whom we have seen.” (1 John 4: 19-20)
“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. 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. 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. We love because he first loved us.” (1 John 4:16-19)
Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one. Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. (NIV, Deuteronomy 6:4-5)
“Do not love the world or anything that belongs to the world. If you love the world, you do not love the Father.” (1 John 2: 15)
But be very careful to keep the commandment and the law that Moses the servant of the LORD gave you: to love the LORD your God, to walk in all his ways, to obey his commands, to hold fast to him and to serve him with all your heart and all your soul.” (Joshua 22:5)
How Much Does God Love Us? What Does the Bible Say?
God indeed loves us so very much. He has made this known to us all throughout scripture in His acts and words. Here is a verse that above all things shows us God’s love for us:
“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)
God loves us so much that he has given us chance after chance to be redeemed from our sins and repent. He even gave up to us His only Begotten Son, and endured having to witness the suffering of Christ so that the scritptures might be fulfilled and God’s Holy Plan can be completed.
We Are Supposed to Even Love Our Enemies…Why?
Jesus said a most pecuiliar thing in His famous sermon: Love your enemies. Wow, that is certainly a shocking thing to say. Love our enemies? So when someone does us wrong we are supposed to love them? Why?
To answer this we must first realize what an enemy is. An enemy is anyone who does wrong or has hostility against us. If someone came up out of the blue and punched you in the face, you would probably say, “This person is my enemy.” An enemy can be anyone who has done something wrong to us, or a person we’ve wronged.
So why are we supposed to love an enemy? At some point, we have all broken one of God’s laws. We have either lied, cheated, stolen something, etc. When we did this, we directly went against God’s laws. We could say that we were “God’s enemy” when we did these things.
Yet God still loves us even when we sin against him, and gives us the chance to make things right. This isn’t too hard to understand. Haven’t you ever loved someone that treated you badly, or did something bad to you, and wanted to let them redeem themselves or apologize? Of course.
So we can see why God wants us to love our enemies. It is because God loves His. Even though He must be just and judge those who do evil unrepentantly, He still loves them.
Conclusion: Love is God, God is Love, Love God and Man with Godly Love
God is love, and if you truly know love you know God. But to know love fully, you must know God. Love and God are the same. Love came from God. God defines love. By knowing this true love, we know the source of the love.
But even though God is love, God is not ONLY love. He is also a just God. He must punish sin. Some people try to take God’s love and suggest God is nothing BUT love. This is untrue. God is many things. He is also all-knowing, righteous, holy, merciful. He is also just, swift to punish evil, and just.
By showing this Godly love to others, we show that we have this source of love within us. We must have God’s spirit of love in us as obedient Christians.
We cannot separate the two most important commands of love: Love for God and love for God’s creation. If we try and separate those two types of love, we can’t fully know love. Godly love defines wordly love. If we can’t fully know love, we can’t fully know God.
We cannot love the world and reject God’s laws. Likewise, we cannot love God and treat our fellow creation with evil.