Did Jesus say ‘love is love?’

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Over the past decade or so, marriage and sexual identity definitions have been under attack in our world. And as we rub shoulders with people we know and love, who are in the process of redefining their sexuality or marriage or maybe even gender, we must each try to find a way to navigate these re-definements.

About fifteen years ago the Christian community started saying this phrase, “God is love,” but now it is, “Love is love. When you hear the phrase, “Love is love?” what do you hear? Well, here is what it means to most in our day: “Love is love” is a phrase meaning that the love expressed by an individual or couple is valid regardless of the sexual orientation or gender identity of their lover or partner.

While I was in Europe not too long ago, I went to the University of Oxford and toured the historically famous Randolph Hotel. Inside this beautiful hotel was a sign on the welcome desk that said, “We welcome all sexual orientations.” No qualification, no exception, no explanation. Love is love.

See, in the church, when this movement began, Christians at least were saying things like, “God is love.”

The subtle movement from “God is love” to “Love is love” is not an accident; it is a progression that always occurs when a deception or a lie is at the base of the intent. The Devil has used “God is love” to take a lot of Christians down the path of trying to be “loving” to people in their lives who, simply speaking, are redefining love.

Now, we drop “God” and just add “love” as the supreme rule of this rule. But love comes from God. 1 John 5:7-8 says:

“Whoever loves has been born of God and knows God. Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love. So, love is an expression or action defined by God, alone.”

God owns the exclusive rights to love. So, anyone who says, “Love is love,” must go back and say, “Does God Almighty define this as love?”

1 John 5:9-10 says:

“In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him. In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.”

This tells us that love is an expression or action supremely seen through Jesus. If I want to know what love is, look at Jesus’ life and his sacrifice for me. The Savior shows us what love is; sex doesn’t.

That’s because when people say, “Love is love,” what they are actually saying is, “Sex is sex,” which the Bible doesn’t agree with either. That is why the Bible defines acceptable and unacceptable sexual actions and orientations. The point is this: you won’t find love primarily through sex; you will only find sex. And if that sex is unacceptable to God, you will find destruction. That is what the Bible teaches in Romans 1 and 1 Corinthians 6.

1 John 5:11 says: “Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.”

This means love is an expression or an action motivated by God’s example through Jesus.

I learn how to love you by learning how God loves me. My effectiveness of loving you is dependent upon my effectiveness to understand and apply how God loves me. If I don’t think God loves me, then that is going to impact how I treat you.

John concludes his thoughts on love by saying in 1 John 5:12: “No one has ever seen God; if we love one another, God abides in us, and his love is perfected in us.”

This means love is perfected by God living in us and then through us.

So then, love is Jesus living in us and through us. Paul gives us a list of actions and expressions that help us to identify when it is Christ who is living love through us. He says in 1 Corinthians 13:

” Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth.”

Here is a list of what love is when Jesus is living through us:

  1. Patient
  2. Kind
  3. Does not envy or boast
  4. Not arrogant
  5. Not rude
  6. Not insistent upon its own way
  7. Not irritable.
  8. Not resentful.
  9. Does not rejoice in wrongdoing
  10. Rejoices with the truth.

That’s the top ten of what love is when Jesus lives through you to love others.

What words or phrases are missing in that 1 Corinthians list?

  1. Sex is love.
  2. Acceptance is love.
  3. Live your love.
  4. Live your truth in love.
  5. Be happy for them and what makes them happy.
  6. Choose your orientation.
  7. All orientations are welcome and accepted.
  8. Don’t let someone else define love for you.
  9. Love is love.
  10. Do what makes you feel good.

Our world has twisted love. Love is the most sacred gift God gives us and Christ modelled it for us. Love without selflessness and sacrifice is not love. We learn to love by learning how Christ loves us and loves others through us. Can I encourage you today to rethink your view and understanding of love and go back to the creator, designer, definer, motivator, and example of love? His name is Jesus.

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