What Is The Greatest Love Of All?

The Greatest Love Of All

The greatest love of all is perhaps the most widely seen sign being displayed on churches all over the world. It is also perhaps the most memorized word of the entire Bible. What are we referring to? Yes, it is the very famous verse “For God (Elohim) so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life” (John 3:16). Yet, for all the advertisement of this verse, how many people really know what it means? Today, we’re going to share with you the true meaning of John 3:16. As always, we will let the Bible interpret itself and we  humbly ask the Holy Spirit of Almighty Father Yahweh in heaven to guide us in teaching you about this very important biblical topic. May you have the eyes to see and the ears to hear for this true and faithful heavenly message.

Many sincere professing Christians think they know, but mostly what they understand about this special verse is simply that Elohim (Yahweh) loves us and Yahshua the Messiah died for us. Of course, that is true, and should be a great source of real inspiration and encouragement. However, there is much more meaning behind this “golden verse” than most professing religious peoples understand. For example, who and what is “God” (Yahweh)? And who is the Son (Yahshua the Messiah)? Why did Elohim give His Son for us? And what does it mean to perish or to have everlasting life? These are all very important questions that demand truthful answers! The apostle John wrote the story of the greatest act of love in all the known history of the universe in John 3:16. The New Testament of the Bible primarily uses two different Greek words that are translated into English as love. Agape or agapao (John 3:16 and 1 John 4:9) describes the kind of love Elohim has for man, and that is also the kind of love we are commanded to show toward Elohim and our neighbor (Matthew 22:37, 39). Phileo refers to tender affection or, as it is more popularly rendered, brotherly love. The difference between the two types of love is found in Yahshua’s question to Peter, “Do you love (agapao) Me?” Apostle Peter replies, “Yes, Master; You know that I love (phileo) You” (John 21:15-17). Though agape implies a deeper level of love than phileo, both words imply caring for the well-being of another.

Additionally, the apostle John wrote in his first epistle that “Yahweh is love”—a statement he made twice in the same chapter (1 John 4:8, 16). And he stated in the most unambiguous terms that we, though human, must grow to love as Elohim does: “He who does not love does not know Yahweh, for Yahweh is love (verse 8) and “Elohim is love, and he who abides in love abides in Elohim, and Elohim in him” (verse 16). Many of the professing Christians today make the mistake of pitting love against obedience to Yahweh’s Spiritual Law (Ten Commandments), as if these were conflicting ideals. No doubt this is partly because people often view love simply as an emotion. Yet, although most people think of love as how they feel, the fact is that love requires action! Yes, “Love is very patient and kind, never jealous or envious, never boastful or proud, never haughty or selfish or rude. Love does not demand its own way. It is not irritable or touchy. It does not hold grudges and will hardly even notice when others do it wrong. It is never glad about injustice, but rejoices whenever truth wins out. If you love someone you will be loyal to him no matter what the cost” (1 Corinthians 13:4-7). Note that the word used for love in this passage is agapao. While emotion may accompany some aspects of love, here we see that love is defined by the way we treat others and the way we react to others. Love requires action on the part of the one showing love. Love is not how we feel, but rather what we do to serve the other person. Love is never self-centered. Yes, love is outgoing concern to others at anytime, anywhere. With love all lives matter!

Furthermore, the words justification and reconciliation in Bible are widely misunderstood. Justification is the forgiveness of our sins, and is the result of our faith in Yahshua the Messiah having given His life in exchange for ours. Justification involves being “lined up” with Elohim. Our sins took us out of line with Him, but we are brought back into line through faith in Yahshua’s shed blood! Because our sins are forgiven, we are now reconciled with Elohim. But what does this mean? “But Elohim demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were sinners, Messiah died for us. Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him. For if when we were enemies we were reconciled to Elohim through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life” (Romans 5:8-10). Yes, we are reconciled to Yahweh by the death of His Son, by faith in His shed blood. We can never earn that reconciliation! It is Yahweh’s free gift, which we often describe as grace. Yet that reconciliation is not the final matter, as “much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life” (Romans 5:10). So what does this mean? In what way are we saved by His (Yahshua the Messiah) life? Through repentance and baptism we enter into a covenant with Elohim, to put to death the old ways of our life and begin living a new way of life, thinking like Messiah (Philippians 2:4-5), and walking as He walked (1 John 2:6). The apostle Paul explains how we are given help in this, through the Messiah dwelling in us by the power of the Holy Spirit! Read the example of Paul on Galatians 2:20. He showed how he lived by his faith of the Messiah!

In closing, yes, the greatest love of all is when Yahweh gave His Son to die (for our sin) on our behalf because He loved us. There is nothing we can do to earn that love or repay Elohim for that precious sacrifice (1 Peter 1:17-19). Yet we should not despise that sacrifice by failing to take seriously the Law that brought the penalty upon us in the first place. The apostle John records these words of Yahshua on the night in which He was betrayed: “Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends” (John 15:12-14). Our Elohim in heaven loved us so much that He voluntarily gave His Son to be our Friend—to empty Himself of His divine privileges that we might escape death and have eternal life. Do not ever believe the “Law-less doctrine”!  You have to understand the truth about faith, grace, and Law, which you can read here. Yahshua the Messiah paid the ultimate penalty: death. Now, consider: If Messiah died to pay the death penalty for you—a penalty imposed for transgressing His Law—could He apply that sacrifice to you if He knew you would continue disregarding that Law? Ask yourself, then, what kind of a life would Yahshua Messiah live in us? Would it be a life rejecting the very life He said He lived (John 15:10)? Please think! Or will Yahshua the Messiah live in Christians today the way He lived on this earth, developing in them the same character, based on Yahweh’s Law, which the apostle Paul calls spiritual, holy, just, and good (Romans 7:12, 14, 16)? Could there be any greater love in all the universe than what was expressed on that Passover Day nearly 2,000 years ago? None! May you be blessed by this true and faithful heavenly message. Let us all continue to spread love, hope, faith, and truth. These things we ask and pray to Yahweh through Yahshua Messiah our coming Savior, Master and King, Amen. Halleluyah,Shalom!