WHAT IS LOVE?

Chapter of 13 I Corinthians is often called the “love” chapter in the Bible.  In it we can learn a great number of lessons.  We are told that many things that sound worthy are not profitable or useful for us without “love”.  So, what is love?  What makes it so good, so necessary?  What does the inspired Word, “love” mean as written by Paul?  And how are we to understand it?

If you look at older translations of the Holy Bible, “charity” is used rather than love.  In my most recent dictionary, you must go to definition #4 of charity to get: “Archaic: love of mankind, typically in a Christian context”.  Webster’s 1828 Dictionary (a gift from my daughter) gives a first definition: “Noun..in a general sense, love, benevolence, good will, that disposition of the heart which inclines men to think favorably of their fellowmen and to do them good.  In a theological sense, it includes supreme love to God and universal good will to men.  I Corinthians 13; Colossians 3; I Timothy 1”.  ( These Scripture references were actually a part of the definition!)  So, this word “love” or “charity” has a deep meaning!

We could say this definition includes both the first and second commandment as spoken by Jesus in Matthew 22:37-40, when he was asked, “Teacher, what is the first and great commandment in the law”?  His response: “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul and with all your mind”.  He then added, “and the second is like it:  You shall love your neighbor as yourself”.

Webster’s 1828 definition of charity (love) was “Supreme love for God and universal good will to men”.

Questions we might ask daily are:  How well am I loving God fully; with my heart, soul, and mind?  And, How well am I loving my neighbor as myself?

“And now abide faith, hope, love, these three: but the greatest of these is love.”  I Corinthians 13:13