“Be perfect, be of good comfort, be of one mind, live in peace; and the God of love and peace shall be with you.” (2 Corinthians 13:11)
The title the “God of love” declared by Paul near the close of his second epistle to the Corinthians is another one of the New Testament’s descriptive names for God. But this title is especially unique because the apostle John tells us that “he that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love” (1 John 4:8). And again in verse 16, “we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him.”
When John says “God is love,” he isn’t making an ontological declaration about what God is in essence but rather saying that God is loving in all His activity, and love is His essential quality and nature. In fact, the use of the Greek noun agapé (love) is without an article in this statement, indicating a nonsymmetrical relationship. In other words, the relationship between God and love is not equational, and thus it isn’t reversible to claim “love is God.”
In 1 John 4:9-11, John clarifies God’s incredible love toward us as revealed in the redemption provided through Jesus Christ: “In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him. Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.” And the practical personal application in our lives is made clear: “Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another.” JPT
Days of Praise Podcast is a podcast based on the Institute for Creation Research quarterly print devotional, Days of Praise. Start your day with devotional readings written by Dr. Henry Morris, Dr. Henry Morris III, Dr. John Morris, and others to strengthen and encourage you in your Christian faith.