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The Meanings of Love in the Bible

Man’s Love for God and Christ

Jesus sums up the whole Old Testament in the commandments to love God with all your heart and soul and mind and to love your neighbor as yourself (Matthew 22:37-40).

Man’s Love for Man

Jesus’ second commandment was, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself (Matthew 22:39).

Man’s Love for Things

On the one hand, the New Testament teaches that the things God has created are good and should be enjoyed with thanksgiving (1 Timothy 4:3)? The “world” is not any particular class of objects or people. It is anything which lays a claim on our affections to be loved other than for Jesus’ sake. Saint Augustine offered a prayer that catches the New Testament spirit on this issue: “He loves thee too little who loves anything together with thee which he loves not for thy sake.”   

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John Piper is the Pastor for Preaching at Bethlehem Baptist Church in Minneapolis, Minnesota. John is the author of more than 30 books and more than 25 years of his preaching and teaching is available free at DesiringGod.org. © Desiring God.