1Jn.4:8b – God is love

A. God’s love for us:

Jer.31:3 – I have loved thee with an everlasting love: therefore with lovingkindness have I drawn thee
Rom.8:38,39 – I am persuaded, that [nothing] shall be able to separate us from the love of God
Eph.2:4-6 – God…for His great love wherewith He loved us…hath raised us up
1Jn.3:1 – What manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us
1Jn.4:10 – Love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us
(See also Zeph.3:17)

B. How God showed us His love:

Jn.3:16 – God so loved the world, that He gave His only…Son
Rom.5:7,8 – God commendeth His love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us
1Jn.4:9 – In this was manifested the love of God…God sent His Son into the world, that we might live through Him

C. Jesus’ love for us:

Jn.10:11 – I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep
Jn.15:13 – Greater love hath no man…that (he) lay down his life
2Cor.8:9 – Though He (Jesus) was rich, yet for your sakes He became poor, that ye…might be rich
Eph.3:19 – Know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge
Rev.1:5 – Jesus Christ…loved us, & washed us from our sins in His Own blood

D. Dwelling & abiding in God’s love:

Jn.14:21 – He that loveth Me shall be loved of My Father, & I will love him, & will manifest Myself to him
Jn.14:23 – If a man love Me…My Father will love him, & we will come unto him, & make Our abode with him
Jn.17:26 – That the love…may be in them, & I in them
1Jn.2:5 – Whoso keepeth…Word, in him is love of God perfected
1Jn.4:19 – We love him, because He first loved us
Jude 21b – Keep yourselves in the love of God


Deut.6:5 – Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thine heart, & with all thy soul, & with all thy might
Deut.10:12 – What doth the Lord require of thee, but to love Him…with all thy heart & with all thy soul
Deut.30:20 – Love God, &…cleave unto Him: for He is thy life
Josh.22:5 – Take diligent heed to…to love the Lord your God, & to cleave unto Him
Josh.23:11 – Take good heed unto yourselves, that ye love the Lord
Mat.22:37,38 – Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart…this is the first & great commandment
(See also Deut.30:6; Mk.12:30.)


Lev.19:18 – Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself
Mat.22:39 – The second (commandment) is like unto it (the first), Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself
Jn.13:34 – Love one another; as I have loved you
Jn.15:12 – This is My commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you
Jn.15:17 – These things I command you, that ye love one another
1Jn.3:11 – This is the message that ye heard from the beginning, that we should love one another
1Jn.3:23 – His commandment, That we should…love one another


A. God loves us so we should love one another:

Jn.13:34 – As I have loved you…ye [ought to] love one another
Eph.5:2a – Walk in love [one to another], as Christ also hath loved us, & hath given Himself for us
1Jn.4:7a – Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God
1Jn.4:11 – If God so loved us, we ought also to love one another
1Jn.5:1b – Every one that loveth Him that begat loveth him also that is begotten of Him

B. God gives us love to love others:

Rom.5:5 – The love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us
Gal.5:22 – The fruit of the Spirit is love…longsuffering
1Thes.3:12 – The Lord make you to increase & abound in love one toward another, & toward all men
1Thes.4:9 – Ye yourselves are taught of God to love one another
2Thes.3:5 – The Lord direct your hearts into the love of God
2Tim.1:7 – God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of love
(See also Eph.6:23)

C. To love is the greatest law of God:

Mk.12:33 – To love (God)… & to love his neighbour as himself, is more than all…offerings & sacrifices
Lk.10:25,27,28 – To inherit eternal life…love God with all thy heart… neighbour as thyself. This do, & thou shalt live
Gal.5:14 – All the law is fulfilled in… this; Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself

D. Love is the most important virtue:

1Cor.13:13 – Faith, hope & love…the greatest of these is love
1Cor.13:2b – Though I have faith…& have not love, I am nothing
Gal.5:6 – Faith…worketh by love
Eph.3:17 – (Be) rooted & grounded in love
Eph.3:19 – The love of Christ…passeth knowledge
Col.3:14 – Above all these things put on love
Rev.2:3,4 – For My name’s sake hast laboured…(but) I have somewhat against thee…thou hast left thy first love
(See also Eph.1:15,16; Col.1:3,4; Phlm.5.)

E. Love one another fervently:

1Thes.3:12 – Increase & abound in love one toward another
1Pet.1:22b – Love one another with a pure heart fervently
1Pet.4:8 – Above all things have fervent love among yourselves

F. Love sincerely & genuinely:

Judg.16:15a – How canst thou say, I love thee, when thine heart is not with me?
Rom.12:9 – Let love be without dissimulation (hypocrisy)
1Pet.1:22a – Obeying the truth…to unfeigned love of the brethren (See also 2Cor.6:6; 8:8.)
Phi.1:9,10 – That your love may abound yet more & more…that ye may be sincere & without offence

G. The benefits that loving others brings us:

Jn.13:35 – By this shall all men know that ye are My disciples, if ye have love one to another
2Cor.13:11 – Live in peace; & the God of love shall be with you
Eph.3:17-19 – Ye, being rooted & grounded in love…might be filled with all the fulness of God
1Jn.2:10 – He that loveth his brother abideth in the light
1Jn.3:14 – We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren
1Jn.4:7b – Every one that loveth is born of God, & knoweth God
1Jn.4:12 – If we love one another, God dwelleth in us, & His love is perfected in us (See also 1Jn.2:5)
1Jn.4:16 – God is love; & he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, & God in him


A. Whatever you do, do it in love:

1Cor.16:14 – Let all your things be done with love
2Cor.5:14 – The love of Christ constraineth (compels) us

B. The qualities that genuine love will have:

1Cor.8:1b – Love edifieth (builds up, strengthens)
1Cor.13:4 – Love envieth not; vaunteth (exalts) not itself, is not puffed up (proud)
1Cor.13:5 – Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil
1Cor.13:6 – Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth Col.3:14 Love…is the bond of perfectness
1Jn.4:18 – There is no fear in love…love casteth out fear

C. Genuine love results in unity of believers:

Col.2:2a – That their hearts might be…knit together in love
(See also 1Sam.18:1; Eph.4:15,16; Phi.2:1,2.)

D. Real love will not give up or fail:

Song 8:7 – Many waters [troubles] cannot quench love…drown it
1Cor.13:4 – Love suffereth long
1Cor.13:7 – Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things
1Cor.13:8 – Love never faileth
Heb.13:1 – Let brotherly love continue (keep up, not fail)

E. Love is not pushy:

Rom.12:10 – With brotherly love; in honour preferring one another
Phlm.8,9a – Though I might be bold…to (command, impose upon) thee…yet for love’s sake I rather beseech thee

F. Love is considerate of others’ weaknesses:

Rom.14:21 – It is good [not to do] any thing whereby thy brother stumbleth, or is offended, or is made weak
Rom.15:1 – We…ought to bear the infirmities of the weak
Rom.15:2 – Let every one of us please his neighbour for his good
Gal.5:13 – By love serve one another
Eph.4:2 – With longsuffering, forbearing one another in love

G. Love will not hurt or do wrong to others:

Rom.13:9,10 – Love worketh no ill to his neighbour

H. If we have love, we will be kind & courteous:

1Cor.13:4a – Love suffereth long, & is kind
Eph.4:15 – Speaking the truth in love [not inconsiderately blunt]
Eph.4:32 – Be ye kind…tenderhearted, forgiving one another
1Pet.3:8 – (Have) compassion one of another, love as brethren, be pitiful, be courteous


A. Putting love into action:

Mat.14:14 – Jesus…was moved with compassion toward them, & He healed their sick
Mat.25:35 – I was an hungered…I was thirsty, & ye gave
Lk.6:31 – As ye would that men should do to you, do ye to them
Lk.10:30-35 – [The good Samaritan took loving action & helped]
Gal.6:10 – Let us do good [deeds] unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith
1Jn.3:18 – Let us not love in word [only]…but in deed & truth
2Jn.6 – This is love, that we walk after His commandments

B. Sacrificial love, giving our lives for others:

Jn.15:13 – Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends
1Jn.3:16 – He (Jesus) laid down His life for us: & we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren
Acts 15:25,26 – Barnabas & Paul…hazarded their lives for the name of Jesus (See also Acts 20:24)
Phi.2:30 – For the work of Christ he was nigh unto death

C. Be concerned about others’ welfare; not just your own:

1Cor.13:5 – (Love) seeketh not her own
Phi.2:4 – Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others
1Thes.4:9 – As touching brotherly love…love one another

D. Selfishness shows a lack of love:

1Jn.3:17 – Whoso…seeth his brother have need, & shutteth up his…compassion, how dwelleth the love of God in him?
Jam.4:17 – To him that knoweth to do good, & doeth it not, to him it is sin

E. Doing good to our brethren is doing it to Jesus:

Mat.25:35-40 – Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of My brethren, ye have done it unto Me
Heb.6:10 – Love, which ye have shewed toward His name, in that ye have ministered to the saints
(See also Eph.6:5-8; Col.3:22-24.)

F. Failing to do good to our brethren is failing to do it to Jesus:

Mat.25:41-45 – Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to Me


A. We do not truly love God if we don’t love our fellow man:

1Jn.4:20 – He that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God Whom he hath not seen?
Tit.3:3-5 – [Before we were saved] we…(lived) in malice & envy, hate ful, & hating one another
Jam.3:9-12 – Bless we God…& curse men. My brethren, these things ought not so to be (See also Jam.3:14; 1Jn.3:17.)
1Jn.4:21 – This commandment have we from Him, That he who loveth God love his brother also
(See also Mat.5:23,24)

B. We are commanded not to be hateful:

Lev.19:17,18 – Thou shalt not hate thy brother in thine heart…but thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself

C. When we don’t love one another:

1Jn.2:9,11 – He that hateth his brother is in darkness…blinded
1Jn.3:10 – He that loveth not his brother…is not of God
1Jn.3:14b – He that loveth not his brother abideth in death
1Jn.3:15 – Whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer
1Jn.4:20a – If a man say, I love God, & hateth his brother… liar
1Jn.4:8 – He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love

D. The bad fruit of hatred:

Gen.37:4 – They hated him, & could not speak peaceably unto him
Pro.10:12a – Hatred stirreth up stifes
1Jn.3:15 – Whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer
(See also Gen.4:3-8; Pro.26:26; Ezk.25:15.)


A. We are to love all men:

Mat.5:46,47 – If ye [only] love them which love you…what do ye more than others? (See also Lk.6:32,33)
1Thes.3:12 – Increase & abound in love…toward all men
Heb.12:14a – Follow peace with all men

B. We are to especially love brothers & sisters in the Lord:

Jn.13:35 – By this shall all men know that ye are My disciples, if ye have love one to another
Gal.6:10 – Especially unto them who are of the household of faith
1Pet.2:17 – Honour all men. Love the brotherhood
(See also Heb.13:1; 1Pet.4:8. Also compare Tit.3:15; 2Jn.1; 3Jn.1 re: “loving in the faith”.)

C. Examples of unusually great love &/or admiration:

1Sam.18:1 – The soul of Jonathan was knit with the soul of David, (he) loved him as his own soul (See also 20:17)
2Sam.1:26 – [David declared his deep love for Jonathan]
Mk.10:17-21 – [Jesus was moved with love for the rich young ruler]
Jn.11:3,5 – [Jesus' special love for Mary, Martha & Lazarus]
Jn.13:23 – [Jesus had a special love for the apostle John] (See also Jn.19:26; 21:7,20.)
1Thes.5:13 – Esteem them very highly in love for their [good] work’s sake

D. We are even to demonstrate God’s love to our foes:

Pro.25:21,22 – If thine enemy be hungry, give him bread…& if he be thirsty, give water…& the Lord shall reward thee
Mat.5:43-47 – Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good…that ye may be the children of your Father
Lk.6:27-30 – Love your enemies, do good to them which hate you, bless them that curse you, & pray for them
Lk.6:32-35 – If ye love them which love you, what thank have ye? Sinners also love those that love them
Lk.10:30-37 – A Samaritan [adversary of the Jews]…when he saw him [a wounded Jew], he had compassion on him


A. To love means to be forgiving:

Pro.10:12b – Love covereth all sins
1Pet.4:8b – Love shall cover the multitude of sins

B. God is merciful to us:

Num.14:18a – The Lord is longsuffering, & of great mercy, forgiving iniquity & transgression
Num.14:19 – Pardon…the iniquity of this people according unto the greatness of Thy mercy
Psa.103:8 – The Lord is merciful & gracious, slow to anger, & plenteous in mercy
Psa.103:10,11 – He hath not dealt with us after our sins…great is His mercy toward them that fear Him
Lam.3:22,23 – It is of the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed, because His compassions fail not…new every morning
Isa.63:7 – The great goodness…He bestowed on them according to His mercies, &…multitude of His lovingkindnesses (See also 2Sam.24:14; Isa.54:7,8.)
(Re: God’s lovingkindness, see Psa.25:6; 36:7; 40:11; 69:16; 103:2-4; 119:149; Jer.9:24.)

C. God loves mercy more than “justice” & retribution:

Mic.7:18 – God…pardoneth iniquity…He delighteth in mercy
Mat.9:13 – I will have (desire) mercy, & not sacrifice (See also Hos.6:6)
Jam.2:13b – Mercy rejoiceth against judgment
Rom.5:20 – Where sin abounded, grace did much more abound
Pro.16:6 – By mercy & truth iniquity is purged

D. He often refrains from justly punishing us:

Exo.32:14 – The Lord repented of the evil which He thought to do unto His people
Psa.103:9,10 – He hath not dealt with us after our sins; nor rewarded us according to our iniquities
Psa.130:3,4 – If Thou…shouldst mark iniquities, O Lord, who shall stand? But there is forgiveness with Thee
2Sam.24:16 – The Lord repented of the evil, & said to the angel that destroyed the people, Stay now thine hand
(See also Gen.18:20,23-26; Jon.1:1,2; 3:10; 4:11.)

E. God mercifully forgives our sins:

Psa.103:12 – As far as the east is from the west, so far hath He removed our transgressions from us
Isa.1:18 – Though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow…as wool
Mic.7:19 – He will have compassion upon us…& cast all their sins into the depths of the sea
Isa.43:25 – I, even I, am He that blotteth out thy transgressions
Isa.44:22 – I have blotted out, as a thick cloud, thy…sins
Heb.8:12 – I will be merciful…& their sins…remember no more
(See also Psa.32:1,2; Isa.38:17.)

F. God is especially merciful to those who love & fear Him:

Exo.20:6 – Showing mercy unto…them that love Me, & keep My commandments
Deut.7:9 – God…keepeth covenant & mercy with them that love Him
Psa.103:11 – As the heaven is high above the earth, so great is His mercy toward them that fear Him
Psa.103:13 – Like as a father pitieth his children, so the Lord pitieth them that fear Him
Psa.103:17 – The mercy of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting upon them that fear Him
Lk.7:47,48 – Her (many) sins, are forgiven; for she loved much
Acts 26:18 – Turn…from darkness to light…that they may receive forgiveness of sins


Mic.6:8 – What doth Lord require of thee, but to…love mercy

A. We should forgive others as God has forgiven us:

Mat.18:33 – Shouldst not thou also have…had compassion on thy fellowservant, even as I had pity on thee?
Lk.6:36 – Be ye merciful, as your Father also is merciful
Eph.4:32 – (Forgive) one another, even as God…hath forgiven you
Col.3:13 – Forbearing one another, & forgiving one another… even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye

B. Have longsuffering & great mercy & keep forgiving:

Lk.17:4 – If he trespass against thee 7 times in a day, & 7 times… repent; thou shalt forgive him
Mat.18:21,22 – Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, & I forgive him? Until 70 times 7 (times)
Pro.17:9 – He that covereth (passes over) a transgression seeketh love

C. Make mercy a rule in your heart:

Pro.3:3,4 – Let not mercy & truth forsake thee: write them upon the table of thine heart

D. Forgive sincerely; don’t harbour grudges or hatred:

Lev.19:17,18 – Thou shalt not bear any grudge…but thou shalt love
Mat.18:35 – From your hearts forgive…every one his brother
Eph.4:31,32 – Let all bitterness…be put away from you, with all malice: forgive one another (See Heb.12:15)
Jam.5:9 – Grudge not against another, brethren

E. God shows mercy to us if we are merciful & forgiving:

Psa.18:25 – With the merciful Thou wilt show Thyself merciful
Mat.5:7 – Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy
Mat.6:12 – Forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors
Mat.6:14 – If ye forgive men their trespasses, your Heavenly Father will also forgive you
Mk.11:25 – Forgive, if ye have ought against any: that your Father… may forgive you your trespasses
Lk.6:37 – Condemn not, & ye shall not be condemned: forgive, & ye shall be forgiven

F. But woe to the unmerciful:

Mat.6:15 – If ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will (God) forgive your trespasses (See also Mk.11:26)
Mat.18:23-35 – So…shall (God) do also unto you, if ye…forgive not every one his brother their trespasses
Jam.2:13 – He shall have judgment without mercy, that hath showed no mercy

G. The self-righteous feel they don’t sin & don’t need forgiveness; therefore they are unloving & unforgiving to others:

Lk.7:47b – To whom little is forgiven, the same loveth little
Lk.15:25-30 – [The faithful older brother was angry that his father forgave the penitent prodigal son]
Lk.18:9 – Certain trusted in themselves that they were righteous, & [therefore] despised others


2Pet.3:9 – The Lord…is longsuffering to us, not willing that any should perish, but that all should (repent)

A. Even God’s forgiveness is balanced with justice:

Num.14:1-3,11-23 – [Although God pardoned them (vs. 19,20), the Jews weren't allowed to enter the promised land]
2Sam.12:7-14 – [God forgave David, but because his sin was so serious, he was still punished & his child died]
1Chr.21:1-14,17 – [David sinned, then repented & begged forgiveness, but the Lord still sent a severe punishment]
2Chr.36:15,16 – He had compassion…but they mocked, despised…wrath of the Lord arose…till there was no remedy
Pro.29:1 – [Hardened rebels] destroyed, & that without remedy
Mat.21:33-41 – [After showing mercy & patience, God destroyed the unrepentant wicked] (See also Mk.12:1-9)
(Compare 2Chr.33:1-19; Jer.15:1-4 – & compare Mat. 5:44,45; Heb.6:7,8.)

B. He does not forgive wicked or unrepentant offenders:

Isa.22:12-14 – This iniquity not…purged from you till you die
Mat.12:31,32 – [Blasphemy against the Holy Spirit rejecting Jesus, Jn.15:26 - not forgiven now or ever]
Rom.1:29-32 – They which commit such things are worthy of death (See also Rom.2:2,3; Heb.10:26-31.)

C. Sometimes interceding prayer will not make Him forgive:

(See Jer.7:16; 14:7-12; 16:5; Compare Jer.15:1 – & Ezk.14:14,18,20.)

D. It is right and godly to hate the anti-God wicked:

Eccl.3:8 – A time to love, & a time to hate
2Chr.19:2b – Shouldest thou help the ungodly, & love them that hate the Lord? Therefore is wrath upon thee
Psa.26:5 – I have hated the congregation of evildoers
Psa.97:10 – Ye that love the Lord, hate evil
Psa.139:21,22 – Do not I hate them, O Lord, that hate Thee? I hate them with perfect hatred: I count them mine enemies

E. The unrepentant wicked are not forgiven & must pay for their evil-doing:

2Thes.1:6-9 – It is a righteous thing with God to (pay back) tribulation to them that trouble you
Rev.6:9-11 – [Saints in Heaven pray for God to avenge their blood on the wicked who killed them]
Rev.16:5,6 – Thou art righteous, O Lord…because Thou hast judged…for they have shed the blood of saints
(Caution: Pro.25:21,22; Rom.12:19,20; Deut.32:35.)
(See also Gen.6:5-7,11-13; 7:21-23; 2Pet.2:4-6; Jude 6, 7,14,15.)


A. No obligation to forgive unrepentant brethren:

Lk.17:3 – If thy brother trespass against thee, rebuke him; & if he repent, forgive him (See also Mat.18:15)
(See also Rom.16:17; 1Cor.5:11,13; 2Thes.3:6,14; Tit. 3:10; 2Jn.10,11 – re: not forgiving those who wilfully sin against the truth)

B. There is a time to be firm:

1Cor.4:18,21 – What will ye? Shall I come unto you with a rod, or love
Tit.1:13 – Rebuke them sharply, that they may be sound in the faith

C. Show mercy & patience in order to help them repent, & do not pardon them until they do:

Lk.13:6-9 – [Parable of patiently tending the unfruitful tree, warning it will be cut down if it doesn't respond]
Rom.2:3-6 – [Don't mistake God's patience for forgiveness; "the goodness of God" is to "lead thee to repentance "]
(See also Gal.6:1&)

D. Serious offenders must change, not merely be “sorry”:

Isa.55:7 – Let the wicked forsake his way…& let him return unto the Lord, & [then] He will have mercy…& pardon
Mat.3:8 – Bring forth fruits meet for (worthy of) repentance
Mat.3:10 – Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down [judged] (See also Mat.7:19; Lk.3:8,9.)
(See also Psa.51:10; 101:3; Jer.3:10b; Hos.6:4.)

E. They must confess their sin & ask for forgiveness:

Psa.32:5 – I acknowledged my sin unto thee…& Thou forgavest
Psa.86:5 – Thou, Lord, art good, & ready to forgive; & plenteous in mercy unto all them that call upon Thee
Acts 3:19 – Repent ye…that your sins may be blotted out
1Jn.1:9 – If we confess our sins, He is faithful…to forgive
2Cor.2:6-8 – [After punishment] ye ought to forgive him, lest [he] be swallowed up with overmuch sorrow

F. Don’t use this as an excuse to be unforgiving:

Mat.5:22 – Whosoever is angry with his brother without a [legitimate] cause shall be in danger of the judgment

G. God still loves the wayward, & you should too:

Psa.89:30-33 – I will visit their transgression with the rod…[but] My lovingkindness will I not utterly take from him
2Thes.3:15 – Count him not as an enemy, but admonish as a brother
(See also Jam.5:19,20)

H. When they repent, He will love them freely:

Hos.14:4 – I will love them freely: for Mine anger is turned away from him

Special chapters:

1Cor.13; 1Jn.4.

7. Love & Forgiveness, Copyright © 1998-2012, The Family International