What Is Love?
Many people ask the question, what is love? Because, let’s face it, we don’t always have a clear vision of what love really is. Thankfully, we aren’t the first people to not fully understand what love is.
Currently our society is perpetuating a thought, that love is actually lust. Therefore, I do know that many people are confused about what love is really all about. Even back in the church at Corinth there were people who were confused about it.
The Corinthian congregation was filled with people who had become Christians because they had responded to the idea that God actually loved them and sent His only begotten Son. The Apostle John wrote, “This is real love – not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as a sacrifice to take away our sins,” 1 John 4:10 (NLT).
These Christians at Corinth knew what love was – because God had loved them first. However, after they had been Christians for a while, they had forgotten what love was all about.
Paul declares, in Colossians 2:6, “Even as you have received Christ, so walk in Him.”
Why is it that when we get saved, we accept His love and grace so easily; then after we walk with the Lord for a time, we begin to think we can add to grace? The Church at Corinth was having the same problem. They had walked out their faith long enough that they forgot what love is.
Therefore, Paul dedicated an entire section of his letter to them to describe what love meant to God. It is found in 1 Corinthians 13. This chapter is so poetic and eloquent and precise that it’s one of the best-known sections of the Bible. It has become so popular that it’s often used in wedding ceremonies. One of the reasons so many people love this chapter is because it does such a powerful job of answering the question: What is love?
Paul tells us, “If I could speak all the languages of earth and of angels, but didn’t love others, I would only be a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. If I had the gift of prophecy, and if I understood all of God’s secret plans and possessed all knowledge, and if I had such faith that I could move mountains, but didn’t love others, I would be nothing… Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance…” 1 Corinthians 13:1-2, 4-7 (NLT).
“Herein is love,” John says, “not that we loved God” (not that we had devotions, or were involved in missions) – “but that God loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins,” (1 John 4:10).
Seemingly, everyone who has ever read these words agrees: Yes! That is what love is all about! One person even went as far as to say that first Corinthians is “a portrait for which Christ Himself has sat,” C. H. Dodd.
Jesus probably said it best when He said, “This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you,” John 15:12 (NKJV).
Jesus loved us when we weren’t lovable. He loved us when we were in sin, loved us when we didn’t know the Bible, loved us when we didn’t have anything. He loved us so much that He gave. He laid down His life for you and for me.
Jesus said this is My commandment. Not an emotion. Not your choice. A commandment that you love one another as He loved you.
How many have ever messed up? Sinned? Failed? Forgotten? Does Jesus love you? Yes. Then the command is to love others as Christ has loved you.
Today, let us receive a clear vision of love.
1 John 4:10-11
1 Corinthians 13