Love & Forgiveness
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1. God is love, & He loves us:

                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


2. The first great commandment--to love 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 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.)


3. The second great commandment--to love thy             neighbour:

                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 one another


4. Love one another:

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

                Jn.13:34  As I have loved [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 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 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


5. Real, genuine love:

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 the bond of perfectness

                1Jn.4:18  There is no fear in 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 (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


6. Real love results in good deeds:

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 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


7. Love vs. hate:

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 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.)


8. Special categories of love:

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


9. Love, forgiveness & mercy:

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 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 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


10. We are to be merciful & forgiving:

                Mic.6:8   What doth Lord require of thee, but 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 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


11. The limits of forgiveness:

                2Pet.3:9  The 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.)


12. Even erring Christians must repent to be forgiven:

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 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.