"For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables."
2 Timothy 4:3-4
The Biblical Definition of Love
Author:
Christopher J. E. Johnson
Published: May 18, 2013
[creationliberty.com]

Do you remember in the Bible a verse that says: "In the last days, peaceful times shall come. For men shall be haters of their own selves, righteous and humble, and will need many hours of counseling and seminars to teach them to love themselves?"

This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.
-2 Timothy 3:1-5

Paul tells us that in the last days, men would be lovers of self, but today, new-age "christianity" is pushing a psychological philsophy that teaches mankind that they should "love themselves." Psychiatrist Paul Meier writes:
"[People] who don't love themselves in a healthy way will find it impossible to develop genuine love relationships with others. Two of the most important concepts I learned from my psychiatric training, both of which are totally with scripture, are: (1) you cannot truly love others until you learn to love yourself in a healthy way; (2) lack of self-worth is the basis of most psychological problems."
-Paul D. Meier & Donald E. Ratcliff, Christian Child-rearing and Personality Development, Baker Publishing Group, 1993, ISBN: 9780801056116

Apparently, this psychiatrist has never read 2 Timothy 3, because the Scriptures clearly show us that loving yourself is prideful vainity, yet he is encouraging Christians to learn exactly the OPPOSITE of what the Bible says is righteous.

"'Love your neighbor as yourself.' Many women today are realizing that they have kept the first part of this commandment too well and the second part too poorly."
-Virginia Ann Froehle, Loving Yourself More: 101 Meditations for Women, Ave Maria Press, 1993, p. 128, ISBN: 9780877935131

Later, we will come back to the commandments about loving your neighbor as yourself, but first we need to understand that many of the authors who teach this wicked concept of "loving oneself" are quoting the Bible on love, which has a specific definition, and then switch the definition on their readers as they continue their recommendations.

The best Biblical definition I have ever been able to come up with for love is: an intimate, selfless sacrifice to adibe by the commandments of God for another.
Let's look at a few corresponding verses to back up the definition I provided:

If ye love me, keep my commandments.
-John 14:15

Love worketh no ill to his neighbour: therefore love [is] the fulfilling of the law.
-Romans 13:10

For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous.
-1 John 5:3

And this is love, that we walk after his commandments. This is the commandment, That, as ye have heard from the beginning, ye should walk in it.
-2 John 1:6

Demotivational Poster Love

Keeping the commandments of God is not always what we personally want to do because our flesh wants to do lustful things, but keeping the commandments of Jesus Christ is an intimate, selfless sacrifice for Him, and that demonstrates love for Him, and therefore, automatically demonstrates love for others. Considered what the summation of the law and prophets that Jesus Christ revealed to us:

Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second [is] like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.
-Matthew 22:37-40

This means that love is NOT an emotion, as most people believe.

For example, often we hear people say they "love" things. There is a title of an old song called I Love a Paraade. How can someone keep the commandments of God on behalf of a parade? The definition the song writer is using for "love" is not the same definition the Bible is using for it. As you listen to someone say "I love pizza," or "I love that movie," it shows us that we are using the same word as the Bible, but they don't mean the same thing, similar to how a Christian and a Mormon both use the term "God," but they don't mean the same thing.

If we are able to understand the Bible-based definition of love, an intimate, selfless sacrifice to adibe by the commandments of God for another, we can then begin to understand how even the phrase "I love you," can be redundant, meaningless, and selfish. For example, if I keep the commandments of God to my wife by treating her as I would treat myself (Eph 5:28), then I am loving her. Why then, would I need to tell her that I love her when it is obvious that I am loving her? To love my wife, and then tell her that I love her, is like driving your daughter to ballet recital, and then telling her, "I drive you to ballet recital." She would look at you very strange and say, "Yeah, I know, you just did it." We can see that the word "love" is being replaced with another meaning that is wrapped up in emotion, and when someone complains that we do not say "I love you," what they are really looking for is our feelings of lust or desire.

The typical movie today will show some sexually motivated scene, and one of the people will passionately say, "I love you." What they actually mean is that they LUST after them, but the love word sounds a lot better, so they say 'love' instead of 'lust'. Other people use the phrase as to say that someone is cherished, or "You are important to me," but why not say, "I cherish you," or "You are important to me?"

Take for example that growing up, I cannot recall hearing the words "I love you" from my parents, but also understand that it NEVER bothered me. Why not? I never questioned that they did. Not everything was great growing up, but take for example that when my parents promised us something, they did it. We never got a false promise. They went out of their way sometimes to make sure they kept their word, which is keeping the commandments of God, and thereby, without knowing Biblical definitions of love, I still knew they loved me. They had no reason to say it because it was obvious.

There are other parents out there, of which some of you can testify, that say "I love you" all the time, but there are tons of problems because the child knows he/she is being lied to. That is an example of "I love you" being used in a selfish and deceptive manner to try to calm a situation or appease a sour disposition.

There are so many examples of the mis-use of the word "love," that I will not be able to cover them all here, but we need to understand that a lot of the modern day "love" is used in an evolutionary philsophy. What is love according to evolutionary religion? Love would have to be abstract, which means it is not materialistic, and therefore does not really exist. Love, according to evolution, would have to be a combination of chemical processes happening in the brain that produce a given result of desire or want for a given person, place, or thing. That means in the evolutionary worldview, love is just a chemical reaction, and that saying "I love you" to someone else is no different than passing gas; it's just a combination of chemicals that has a physical cause and effect reaction.

Does the Bible use the phrase "I love you?" Yes, but only two times by Paul, and both times, it is being used to explain a situation from the third person perspective:

Wherefore? because I love you not? God knoweth.
-2 Corinthians 11:11

Paul is explaining that, though he was boasting of other regions where he had spread the Gospel, it did not mean that he did not love the congregations of Corinth. He tells them here that they may not feel a certain way towards him, but God knows the truth.

And I will very gladly spend and be spent for you; though the more abundantly I love you, the less I be loved.
-2 Corinthians 12:15

Paul is explaining that the more he is spent for them, the more he is loving them, but the less he is loved of them, due to their wickedness that he mentions later. (2Cor 12:20) They were not loving Paul (keeping the commandments of God), like Paul was loving them (keeping the commandments of God).

Paul reaffirmed that keeping the commandments of God is love, and without a selfless sacrifice to keep the commandments of God despite our lusts to do otherwise, true love does not exist.

Some people refer back to the Bible describing love as more than just keeping the commandments of God. They say, "The Bible says love is patient, love is kind, love never fails, etc," but actually the Bible does not say that:

And though I bestow all my goods to feed [the poor], and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing. Charity suffereth long, [and] is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil; Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth; Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things. Charity never faileth:
-1 Corinthians 13:3-8

According to the Bible, without the Lord God, it is impossible to love.

Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God.
-1 John 4:7

Remember also that the Bible says that God IS love. Just as the Word of God is God, love is also God, and that means His Word and His Commandments are also love.

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
-John 1:1

He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.
-1 John 4:8

And 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.
-1 John 4:16

Without the Word of God, love does not exist. Even if someone wanted to say that love existed outside of God, it would be impossible to prove it. Appealing to emotion is a logical fallacy evolutionists use when talking about morality; saying it "feels wrong" or it "feels right" is subjective (i.e. based on their own personal opinion), and that can change from person to person, which means there are no absolute standards. In the same way, one person may say that love is hitting someone (like in Islam when men beat their wives), and another person says that love is not hitting someone. Who's right and who's wrong? It all comes down to their personal emotional analysis of what is morally acceptable in their own opinion, and that means there is no absolute standard. Just as morals cannot exist without the Christian God of the Bible, love cannot exist without the Christian God of the Bible.
(Read "Evolution Can't Justify Morals" here at creationliberty.com for more details)

The Bible describes love as an intimate, selfless sacrifice to adibe by the commandments of God for another, so what does it mean when today's godless psychology tells us when need to ignore the Bible's warning and love ourselves?

Those of you who are pretty sharp of mind will say, "Wait a second Chris, you just said that being a 'lover of self' was bad, but doesn't the Bible teach us to love our neighbor as ourselves? Isn't that a contradiction?" Not at all, but we need to understand the difference between the verb to love, and the "lovers of" adjective.

Ask any English professor, a word can be used as a verb, noun, and adjective, and all three can have different meanings. We have already seen examples of 'love' used as a verb, so let's look at a few examples where the Bible talks about 'lovers' as a noun:

And [when] thou [art] spoiled, what wilt thou do? Though thou clothest thyself with crimson, though thou deckest thee with ornaments of gold, though thou rentest thy face with painting, in vain shalt thou make thyself fair; [thy] lovers will despise thee, they will seek thy life.
-Jeremiah 4:30

All thy lovers have forgotten thee; they seek thee not;
-Jeremiah 30:14

Thus saith the Lord GOD; Because thy filthiness was poured out, and thy nakedness discovered through thy whoredoms with thy lovers, and with all the idols of thy abominations, and by the blood of thy children, which thou didst give unto them;
-Ezekial 16:36

As we can see, the verses of "lovers" as a noun is referring to sexual connections between two people. Now let's look at "lovers of" used as an adjective:

For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy,
-2 Timothy 3:2

Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God;
-2 Timothy 3:4

But a lover of hospitality, a lover of good men, sober, just, holy, temperate;
-Titus 1:8

To understand the difference, let's look at 1 Kings:

And Hiram king of Tyre sent his servants unto Solomon; for he had heard that they had anointed him king in the room of his father: for Hiram was ever a lover of David.
-1 Kings 5:1

If the scoffers read the Bible, they would jump all over this shouting that King David and King Hiram were homosexual lovers, but that's because they do not read the Bible for understanding. How do we know that David did not have a homosexual relationship with Hiram? Because "lover of" is a adjective use, which means the same as 'favoring' someone or something. In Biblical definitions, if I were to say I was a "lover of pizza," that would make sense, but if I were to say "I love pizza" or "Pizza is my lover," that would make no sense.

Just as King Hiram favored King David in 1 Kings, so in the last days, men would favor themselves in 2 Timothy. Today, we have a lot of people who think they need to learn to "love themselves," when in fact, they are learning to be "lovers of self."

And he answering said, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbour as thyself.
-Luke 10:27

My contention with these new-age "Christian" psychologists is that people ALREADY love themselves. There is a BIG difference between the commandment to "love thy neighbour as thyself," and the new-age mentality of "learn to love thyself first, and then you can love your neighbour."

The scoffer will say, "What about suicidal depressed people? They don't love themselves." Oh yes, they do. Do they eat? Do they drink? Do they bathe? Do they clothe themselves? Do they seek shelter? Just because they don't particularly feel good about their lives at that point in time, does not mean they do not love themselves. In fact, the moment they stop loving themselves is the moment they commit suicide, because God has said "thou shalt not kill." (Exd 20:13)

Let's end where we began, reading through 2 Timothy, and understanding this time that those who are learning to be lovers of self are fulfilling the prophecy that in the end times, they would be prideful and abandon God's Word:

This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away. For of this sort are they which creep into houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins, led away with divers lusts, Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.

The Bible says that, in the end days, men would become proud and favor themselves above all things (becoming their own little gods), and would favor their own pleasures over God. Men and women will live in fornication and adultry, and say, "God wouldn't want me to be unhappy, so it's okay for me to have sex with this person" because they read how "God is love" in the Bible, and they, with blasphemy in their hearts, think their wicked sex acts in the bedroom is the same as God.

I pray that every Christian who reads this article will walk away with a better understanding of God's definition of love, and to walk in the love of God, loving God and your neighbour as yourself, is to keep His commandments. Our salvation is not made by works, but by the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ alone, but our love for Him is demonstrated by our works, just as God demonstrated His love for us by His works:

Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God. He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love. 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. Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another.
-1 John 4:7-11

Remember that love is an intimate, selfless sacrifice to keep the commandments of God for another, and 1 John tells us that if we do not keep the commandments of God, we do not know God.

If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen? And this commandment have we from him, That he who loveth God love his brother also.
-1 John 4:20-21

I have, many times, told people there is nothing more loving than the truth. If we do not tell our neighbor the truth of God's Word, and live the truth of God's Word, we do not love them. Paul, in the Bible, had a lot more enemies than he had friends, and that's because he told people the truth in God's Word, and thus I have few friends and many enemies, not because that's what I want, but because I love the Lord God and my neighbors enough to tell my neighbor the truth.

It is my prayer that all born-again Christians out there would develope a heart to love their neighbors enough to tell them the truth, and not to be strangled by emotions. Let's love our brethren the Biblical way by living our lives in truth and righteousness of God's commandments, and preaching the same to all men.


CLE Only

Google+ Facebook Tumblr
Twitter Youtube Youtube

Android via Amazon
Google Play



NEW BOOK: