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Does the Bible teach that God is love?

Although the Bible does assert that God is love, it also makes clear that He is much more than that. The apostle John states twice in 1 John that God is love (1 John 4:8, 16). The Bible describes God's love in numerous other passages, but only John explicitly states that God is love. John is not arguing that God is merely an idea or that He is the same as love, that much is clear. John, on the other hand, continually acknowledges that God is personal and that He is love. Despite the fact that love is a fundamental aspect of God, there are other qualities that are equally significant, and one in particular might be even more defining of who God is.

While stating that "God is love" (1 John 4:8, 16), John also describes a scene in heaven where four beings can be heard chanting, "Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God, the Almighty, who was and who is and who is to come" (Revelation 4:8). John not only conveys that God is loving but also that the creatures with whom God surrounds Himself constantly attest to His holiness. It appears that God most desires to be perceived as holy or wholly set apart.

Isaiah describes a scene in Isaiah 6 that is comparable to the one John describes in Revelation. Isaiah hears seraphim screaming out, "Holy, Holy, Holy is the LORD of hosts; The whole earth is filled with His splendour," while God is seated on His throne (Isaiah 6:3, AMP). Isaiah is aware of God's mercy, compassion, and lovingkindness (Isaiah 43:4; 48:14; 61:8; 63:9). Isaiah also documents the importance God takes on His own holiness. This explains how much more and "more" than any love we can conceive of is God's love. God's methods are superior than our ways, as Isaiah clearly declares (Isaiah 55:8–9). In other words, God's holiness defines even His love. It's important to keep in mind that while God is love and is a very loving God, love is an expression of His holiness. Because of this, we must rely on Him to explain what love is and how He wants us to demonstrate it.

God thankfully does just that. He declares His love for all people as it was shown through Jesus Christ (John 3:16). He exhorts followers of Jesus to adopt His perspective, uphold the same love (Philippians 2:2), and emulate His humility and altruistic behaviour (Philippians 2:5–8). God has loved us, so we should love Him and one another (1 John 4:19). We must love our brother in order to love God with the holy kind of love that He demands (1 John 4:20).

God is both holy and kind. He has shown the entire world His love in a variety of ways, but most profoundly via Jesus Christ. He demands that we receive His love by placing our faith in Jesus (Romans 5:1-2), and we must then learn more about how to love Him and others in a way that is commensurate with our calling (Ephesians 3:14–19; 4:1). God is pure. Gott ist Liebe. He anticipates that since we have been adopted as His children through faith in Jesus Christ, we would exhibit righteousness and love (1 Peter 1:15–16; 1 Thessalonians 4:9).


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