(1 John 4:16 KJV) 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.The big question is, “What do we mean by love?” Most people know the three common words for love in Greek. There are actually five, but only three are used in the Bible. One is romantic love. It is the basis of our word “erotic.” A second is brotherly love, the source of our word “filial.” The third, agape, has no English words that I know of derived from it. What has happened is the first two words have pushed out the most important word.
Almost all references to love today deal with romantic love. This is true even in the church and even in Christian families. When a wife says, “He don’t really love me,” she usually has in mind some behavior she has seen in a movie or read in a romantic novel. When a guy tells a girl on a date, “If you really loved me...” he is simply saying he has a sex urge he wants to gratify.
Love has become an emotion that makes us feel good. In a very real sense “God is love” has become “Love is god.”
In the Bible, agape love is not an emotion but a commitment. It is an intellectual decision to do what is best for the other person even if it is painful. When we say God is love it does not mean that He has warm feelings for us and wants to give us every toy we can imagine. It means that He wants us to because remade in His image. It means that He wants us to escape our evil natures. It means that He is willing to send His son to make sure that a solution is available to us. He is willing to pay the extreme price of Him who knew no sin, becoming sin on our behalf. “God is love” is symbolized by the cross, not by Santa Claus.