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Scripture Reading: John 15:9-17

Love Is...



1.  Love is one of the most overused and least understood words in the Bible (human language).

2.  Bible paints a clear and undeniable picture of love as it reveals God to us (God is love, 1 John 4:8).

  a.  We are compelled to love because He first loved us, 1 John 4:19, 7.

  b.  The motives, character and duration of love (1 Cor. 13).

3.  Agape: “Unconquerable benevolence, undefeatable goodwill” (William Barclay).

  a.  “Love, whether used of God or man, is an earnest and anxious desire for and an active and beneficent interest in the well-being of the one loved.” (I.S.B.E.)

  b.  Devotion and action of the will; not merely an emotion or feeling.

4.  By this we know love (the nature of love), 1 John 3:16.



  A.  Observable in its Actions, John 3:16.

    1.  To say we love someone without acting with goodwill toward them is not love, 1 John 3:16-18.

    2.  If “love unspoken is not love,” then surely love professed but practiced is not love.

    3.  Application: Husbands, practice your love, Eph. 5:25, 28-29.

  B.  Sacrificial.

    1.  Love is not selfish (giving, not taking), 1 John 4:9-10; John 3:16; 1 Cor. 13:5 (3).

    2.  Willing to be spent in order to help others, 2 Cor. 12:15.

      a.  Love incurs cost to itself and exhausts itself in practicing goodwill toward others.

      b.  There is no limit to love’s reach sacrifice.

  C.  Obedient to the Lord, John 14:15.

    1.  Obedience is a direct reflection of love for Christ.

      a.  Jesus said the disobedient are not loving Him, John 14:24.

      b.  Jesus set the obedient example of love for us, John 14:31.

    2.  God loves the obedient, John 14:21, 23 (fellowship, blessings).

        -By this we know love, 1 John 2:3-5.

  D.  Respectful (of God and others).

    1.  Is not governed by how others act or treat it, 2 Cor. 12:15. (Love does not compare itself to others.)

    2.  This gets to the motives of love, 1 Cor. 13:1-3.

      a.  Love does not concern itself with itself. It focuses on the wellbeing of others (spiritual, physical, etc.).

      b.  Christ is our supreme example, John 15:9-14.

    3.  Love is on display by how we treat others (1 Cor. 13:4-8):

      a.  God’s love for Christ, Matt. 3:17; John 3:35 (John 8:29).

      b.  God’s love for mankind, Matt. 5:43-37 (Matt. 22:37).

      c.  God’s love for sinners, Eph. 2:4-7 (2 Cor. 5:15).

      d.  Husbands and wives, Eph. 5:25-33.

      e.  Parents and Children, Eph. 6:1-4.

      f.  Brethren toward brethren, 1 Thess. 4:9 (not rude, 1 Cor. 13:5).

  E.  Just, 1 Cor. 13:6.

    1.  Love does not justify the guilty or punish the innocent, Exod. 34:5-7.

    2.  Love does not say: “I love you so much I will show favoritism toward you; So I will not rebuke, reprove, or correct you.”

    3.  Love disciplines (warns, corrects, and punishes).

      a.  Correct (discipline) the child, Heb. 12:5-6 (Prov. 13:24). Parents who do not warn, rebuke, and correct children are not loving them God’s way.

      b.  Correct (discipline) the sinful (unruly) Christian, 2 Cor. 2:6-9.

-The church that does not try warn, exhort, rebuke, and put away unrepentant sinners does not love him (1 Cor. 5:4-5).



1.  Many other things can be said about love. It is the enduring motive and defining trait of the Christian because “God is love” (1 John 4:8).

2.  Love never fails (always powerful and effective), 1 Cor. 13:8 (13).



By: Joe R. Price

Posted September 7, 2022