top of page

True Love (1 John 3:16)

This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters - 1 John 3:16

Most people know know John 3:16 off the top of their head.

But how many people know 1 John 3:16?

While it is much less known, 1 John 3:16 is arguably even more relevant than John 3:16 for us today.

In a world where words are rapidly losing all sense of objective meaning, this passage of scripture gives us a simple definition of perhaps the most misunderstood word in the English language.

Today love has been reduced to mere emotional sentimentality. It has been reduced to a feeling. This is not how the Bible defines love.

Of course something as profound as "Love" could never be defined wholly by words of any language, but words are at least able to point us to its true meaning.

This verse implies something very bold.

It implies that we will know what love is to the extent that we know who Jesus is, and what He has done for us. If we don't know what Jesus has done for us on the Cross, we cannot truly know what love is.


But true.

It is of course true that non-Christians can understand love to varying degrees and in many cases seem to have a better grasp of it than many Christians, but this does not change the truth of the above statements.

Imagine an apple.

Someone who is able to look at the apple would be able to "know" the apple better than someone who had never seen an apple. Further, someone who had seen the apple, and had felt the apple, would know it better than someone who had merely seen the apple.

Someone who had seen, touched, and spoken to someone who had tasted the apple would have even greater knowledge of the apple.

But only the person who had tasted the fruit himself would be able to have real knowledge of the apple.

When it comes to food, until you taste it, you cannot really know it. And no one can taste it for you. You must taste it yourself.

In the same way, we can all know many things about love. But until we encounter the love of Christ, we have not yet tasted of true love straight from the source.

Love, as defined by the Bible, is self-sacrificial. It is enduring whatever it takes to bring about benefit for another person. Jesus not only defined love for us, he incarnated love.

Love became a human being so that we could get to know Him.

And the more we get to know Love Himself, the more we will be transformed into His image.

A new command I give you: Love one another.

As I have loved you, so you must love one another.

John 13:34

21 views2 comments

Recent Posts

See All


Deb Hill
Deb Hill
Jun 26

Neat that you guys did a little laying down of your lives this week in the Philippines, but I know the fruit of the ministry there will be awesome! I know that the heat and lack of sleep is so difficult, but I really don't remember that part too much from all the crazy mission trips we were so blessed to -take. I am looking forward to hearing your stories.


Come and taste the good things of the Lord. i like the idea that we know love to the extent we know who Jesus is. Ever expanding love of Christ. engage the gaze of Jesus till you see with His eyes. let Jesus take delight in your soul even as Hr fills you with more love

bottom of page