What does it mean that ‘God is love’?

Last updated on February 26, 2024

God is love

The Bible says that “God is love” and tells us how we can know this is true:

God is love. God showed His love among us by this: He sent His one and only Son into the world that we might live through Him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins” (1 John 4:8-10).

Unbreakable love

We may be tempted to doubt that God really does care for us when facing difficulties or disappointments in life. But, we are reassured when we remember that Jesus died in our place on the cross. Whatever life may be like today, God has proven His unbreakable love for us forever!

But God demonstrates His own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8).

Jesus teaches us that true love goes beyond feelings alone, to costly, sacrificial action for the good of others: “Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends” (John 15:13). Sometimes, even Christians are confused by the things God allows to happen; but God promises us that He will never leave us nor forsake us (Hebrews 13:5). He loved us so much that He even gave His Son to die so that we could live (John 3:16). Therefore we can now be sure of His steadfast love for us in every circumstance we may ever face (Romans 8:38-39).

God does not only love Christians

God is love. If we truly know Him, we ourselves will reflect His love towards others. For “God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in him” (1 John 4:16b).

Salvation is only through faith in Jesus (John 14:6, Acts 4:12, Romans 10:9). God does not only love Christians. He loves everybody in the world (Psalm 145:9; John 3:16). God “causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous” (Matthew 5:45). He “is patient, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance” (2 Peter 3:9).

He generously provides “plenty of food and fills [their] hearts with joy” (Acts 14:17). Just as God “is kind to the ungrateful and wicked” (Luke 6:35), so too true children of our Heavenly Father will not only love our earthly families and people who will love us back (Matthew 5:46-47), but we will also love our neighbors (Luke 10:25-37). We will even love people who hate and persecute us (Matthew 5:44), remembering that God graciously loved us “when we were His enemies” (Romans 5:10), “dead in [our] transgressions and sins” (Ephesians 2:1).

God’s love is forever

The doctrine of the Trinity reminds us that God’s love is older and more secure than the universe itself. From eternity to eternity, God is three Persons – the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit – united in perfect love (John 17:24). 2,000 years ago, the Son of God came into the world as a man (John 1:14) so that we too could share forever in this fellowship of divine love (John 17:26; 2 Corinthians 13:14).

What does it mean that ‘God is love’? Let’s look to Jesus, and love one another as He first loved us. Then, as we love God with all our heart, soul, mind and strength, and love our neighbor as ourselves (Luke 10:27), the watching world will see the answer to this question acted out before their eyes (John 13:34-35).

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