The word love is a central theme of the Bible and is mentioned over three hundred times in the King James version. The Bible speaks about: the Creator's unconditional love for humankind, the love we ought to have for each other, and our love for God.
God's unconditional love or agape speaks to love that is pure and has no strings attached. Let's find out what the Bible has to say about unconditional love.
What the Bible says about unconditional love.
The Bible says a lot about unconditional love. It points to unconditional love as the nature of God and teaches us how to identify and exemplify unconditional love. The Holy scripture also instructs us how to love each other and how to relate to our enemies.
1. He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love. 1 John 4:8 KJV
This Bible passage uses love to describe the nature of God. It states that God is not only a loving creator, but that He is love. In order to know who God truly is we have to be loving.
1 John 4:16 also describes God's nature, and states that He is love, "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". It also mentions the need for love as a Christian quality if we are to experience a meaningful and spiritual connection with God.
2. Many waters cannot quench love, neither can the floods drown it: if a man would give all the substance of his house for love, it would utterly be contemned. Song of Solomon 8:7 KJV
In this Bible verse Salmon describes how unchangeable unconditional love is. Unconditional love does not have the ability to change because of circumstances or the behaviour or others.
According to Solomon's description it's like a thirst that cannot be quenched.
The apostle Paul in 1 Corinthians 13:4-8 also paints a vivid picture of what love is and what it isn't. Unconditional love is not about envy, selfishness, or pride but endurance, faith, and hope. This is why it's longlasting, doesn't fail, and will not grow faint.
Here is what the CSB version says in 1 Corinthians 13:7, 8, "...It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends".
3. There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love. 1 John 4:18 KJV
This Bible verse simply means that we cannot be followers of Christ because we want to be free from punishment. Romans 6:23 states, "that the wages of sin is death". If our only motivation for following God is the fear of death it means you have a lot to learn about love.
We should be drawn to God's presence because of His everlasting love for us. He is merciful, He is touched with our infirmities, He sent His son to die in our place, and He has offered us eternal life. He is love and our relationship with Him should be motivated by love not by fear of death or punishment.
4. And above all things have fervent charity among yourselves: for charity shall cover the multitude of sins. 1 Peter 4:8 KJV
This scripture passage is one of many in the Bible that encourages us to practice unconditional love. Our relationship with each other should be characterized by love. We are to demonstrate unconditional love among each other, in our marriages, and even to our enemies.
First John chapter three is a helpful Bible study that speaks about love. Verse 11 is a reminder, 'that we should love one another". Ephesians 5:25 encourages husbands to express agape love in their marriage by stating, "Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it".
It is much easier for a husband to show erratic love (eros) to " the love of his life" or for us to be loving to a neighbor. The true test of agape love is to love our enemies as if they have done nothing to us.
Jesus helps us to understand how we should treat a person who is our enemy. In Matthew 5:44 he stated, "But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you".
In essence Jesus was saying love the way God loves. Be merciful, patient, and abounding in love.
Bible verses about God's unconditional love for me
The Bible has many verses about God's unconditional love for me. Here are some of them.
5. The LORD hath appeared of old unto me, saying, Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting love: therefore with lovingkindness have I drawn thee. Jeremiah 31:3 KJV
This Bible verse is a powerful reminder that God takes special interest in me. I am beloved by the Creator of the universe, the heavenly Father, the Alpha and the Omega.
Yes, I know that he sent His son to die for the world but His love feels so much more special because it's personal. He wants to draw me close to Himself.
I may seem insignificant to the mayor or president but God's love for me is so amazing that even the hair on my head is numbered.
6. I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me. Galatians 2:20 KJV
The love that God has for me is so much that it took a member of the Godhead to leave heaven, endure temptation by the devil, and sacrifice His life for me.
A lot of people would find it hard to sacrifice: time, money or an organ to spare my life.
It is because of this selfless unconditional love that God has for me why I can give thanks and rejoice. I should have died but through Christ and His sacrifice on the cross I have a right to eternal life.
David states in Psalms 5:11,12, "...let them ever shout for joy, because thou defendest them: let them also that love thy name be joyful in thee. For thou, LORD, wilt bless the righteous; with favour wilt thou compass him as with a shield". I am alive today because I am favored, blessed, and unconditionally loved by the Most High.
7. Thy mercy, O LORD, is in the heavens; and thy faithfulness reacheth unto the clouds. Thy righteousness is like the great mountains; thy judgments are a great deep: O LORD, thou preservest man and beast. How excellent is thy lovingkindness, O God! therefore the children of men put their trust under the shadow of thy wings. Psalms 36:5-7 KJV
This Bible passage is saying to me that God's love is measureless. There is no instrument known to humankind that may be used to accurately measure or grasp it.
God's love for me is so profound. David used the heavens, the depth of the sea, and the span of the earth as rulers to measure how unconditionally God loves me. It is because of this immeasurable love that I have hope and peace knowing that, come what may I rest under the wings of the Almighty.
The same way a mother hen endures the pouring rains while keeping her chicks dry and safe is the same way God shields and protects me under His wings.
8. I will be glad and rejoice in thy mercy: for thou hast considered my trouble; thou hast known my soul in adversities; Psalms 31:7 KJV
In the ESV steadfast love is used instead of mercy in this verse. Even in my adversities/troubles/misery/affliction I am able to rejoice knowing that God's love for me is steadfast.
I can endure in patience knowing that God is loving, faithful, and merciful. Lamentations 3:22 and 23 says that, "It is of the LORD'S mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness".
Moment by moment and day by day, I can trust in God's unconditional love for me.
9. He brought me to the banqueting house, and his banner over me was love. Song of Solomon 2:4 KJV
Song of Solomon is a very poetic book filled with rich metaphors and love is a dominant theme that is expressed in many of its verses.
I love the way the CSV words this Bible passage. "He brought me to the banquet hall, and he looked on me with love".
No matter how much I have erred, who I have wronged, or how long I have turned from God I can be sure of one thing. My heavenly Father will "look on me in love". Thanks to the banner that covers me through Jesus' sacrifice, when God looks at me he doesn't see someone condemned to die. Instead he sees a sinner saved by grace.
Bible verses about God's unconditional love for others
God's unconditional love for others is expressed through: the sacrifice that was made at Calvary and the fact that each member of the human family is bound to Him because of His immeasurable love.
10. But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Romans 5:8 KJV
This Bible verse is an awesome demonstration of God's unconditional love for humankind. God took interest in your salvation long before you ever existed. You were born in a sinful world but Christ died in your place in order for you to inherit eternal life.
John 3:16 states, "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life". This text further illustrates God's everlasting love for you and how it provides the key to life everlasting.
God did all of this, not because He was returning the love that you show to Him but because He genuinely loves and cares for you.
1 John 4:10 puts it this way, "Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins".
11. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. Romans 8:35,37 KJV
This scripture passage expresses how irresistible and inescapable God's love is. There is no situation or circumstance that you can use to resist His love. There is no place in the universe you can go to escape His love for you. Not even death has the power to remove you from the embrace of God's love.
The truth is that you are bound to God with cords of love that can never be broken. Because of this, nothing is able to separate you from Him, "... nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 8:38, 39)
You are able to conquer anything or everything because of how much God loves you.
Bible stories about God’s unconditional love
The Bible has many stories that depict the unconditional love that God has for us. The parable of the Prodigal son, along with the stories of Zacchaeus and Balaam all show how merciful, compassionate, and loving God is to all of us.
The story of the Prodigal Son (Luke 15)
The story of the Prodigal son is a parable that compares the love of an earthly father to God's love. In the parable the son took his inheritance before his father died, abandoned his father, then shamefully returned when he lost everything and life got difficult.
The father welcomed the son with open arms and kept a party in his honor. He treated him with love and acted as if he had done nothing wrong.
This is the same way God treats us with love. We make unfair demands of Him and sometimes even abandon our faith, and turn our backs on Him. In all of this He patiently waits for us, embraces us with wide open arms, and rejoices at our return.
Balaam (Numbers 22)
This Bible story shows how God had mercy on his prophet Balaam who, should have known better but gave in to Balak's unreasonable request even though he knew he could not grant Balak's wishes and curse the Israelites.
Balak asked Balaam to curse Israel because he was fearful. He even promised to promote Balaam with great honor. Sadly, Balaam gave in to the request of Balak.
On his way to visit Balak, God used Balaam's donkey to save his life three times. The angel of the Lord could have killed Balaam but the Lord showed mercy and spared him.
What is the point of having a prophet that would not follow God's instructions? What is the point of saying we are followers of God if we don't allow Him to lead us? God had mercy on Balaam and He continues to show His loving kindness day after day to each and everyone of us.
Because of God's mercy and love we too can claim that, "Thy mercy, O LORD, is in the heavens; and thy faithfulness reacheth unto the clouds. ...O LORD, thou preservest man and beast. How excellent is thy lovingkindness, O God!" (Psalm 36:5-7)
Zacchaeus (Luke 19)
Zacchaeus was a rich publican. In the eyes of many he was a cheat and sinner. Regardless of this Jesus chose to: speak with Zacchaeus as a friend, visit his house, and eat with him.
Others may look down on you, you may be unpopular and hated by many but there is one thing you can be sure about. God loves you. John 3:17 says that, "For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved".
Jesus looked beyond Zacchaeus' faults and treated him with compassion and He is willing to do the same for you today.
Final thoughts on God's unconditional love
God's love for humankind is so everlasting that it took a member of the Godhead to die so that we might have access to eternal life. There is no need to fear because His unconditional love cannot be measured, it is unwavering, and there is nothing we can do to separate ourselves from it.