What Does the Bible Say About Loving One Another?

Loving one another is a central teaching in the Bible. God calls us to love others, both inside and outside of the church community. This kind of love goes beyond surface-level affection or kindness – it is an act of the will that seeks the good of others even at personal cost. As Christians, learning to walk in love is essential to following Jesus’ example.

Bible Verses About Love

Key Takeaways:

Viral Believer is reader-supported. We may earn a small fee from products we recommend at no charge to you. Read Our Affiliate Disclosuree

  • God commands us to love one another as He has loved us
  • Loving others means laying down our lives for them
  • Love fulfills the law and all that God requires of us
  • Loving our enemies and those who persecute us is part of obeying God’s call to love
  • Love must be sincere, not hypocritical or conditional
  • Love leads us to serve others with humility
  • Living in love brings unity and glory to God
What Does the Bible Say About Loving One Another?

God Commands Us To Love One Another

One of the clearest directives in Scripture is for Christians to love one another. Jesus told His disciples in John 13:34-35 (NKJV):

“A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.”

He reinforced this command again in John 15:12 (NKJV):

“This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.”

Loving one another is not merely a suggestion for believers – it is a command directly from Jesus, our Lord. Just as He showed perfect love during His earthly ministry, He calls us to follow His example with the love we show each other.

The apostle John echoes Christ’s command in 1 John 3:11 (NKJV):

“For this is the message that you heard from the beginning, that we should love one another.”

For Jesus and the New Testament writers, mutual love within the church was not optional. It is the distinguishing mark of true believers and an essential outflow of God’s love at work in us. As 1 John 4:11 (NKJV) says:

“Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.”

Paul also emphasizes love between believers in several passages. In Romans 13:8 (NKJV) he writes:

“Owe no one anything except to love one another, for he who loves another has fulfilled the law.”

Living in genuine love fulfills the intents and purposes of God’s law. For this reason, loving one another should be a top priority in every Christian’s life. It is not merely a nice idea – it is obedience to Christ.

Loving Others Means Laying Down Our Lives

The kind of love Jesus and the New Testament writers describe is not shallow, superficial affection. It is a deliberate, sacrficial way of treating others that follows Christ’s self-giving example on the cross.

John makes this clear in 1 John 3:16 (NKJV):

“By this we know love, because He laid down His life for us. And we also ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.”

True love is modeled after Jesus, who gave Himself fully for us. We are then called to give of ourselves to others in the same way. Laying down our lives means deliberately choosing to put the needs of others first – even when it is costly to us.

In Philippians 2:1-4 (NKJV), Paul connects loving others to humbling ourselves and looking to meet their needs:

“Therefore if there is any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any affection and mercy, fulfill my joy by being like-minded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind. Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself. Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others.”

A condescending or self-serving attitude is incompatible with genuine love. As we humble ourselves and value others above our own desires, we can truly seek their good in Christ-like love.

Love Fulfills the Law and All God Requires

In addition to obeying Christ’s commands, choosing to walk in love fulfills the essence of God’s law. Paul notes this in Romans 13:8-10 (NKJV):

“Owe no one anything except to love one another, for he who loves another has fulfilled the law. For the commandments, ‘You shall not commit adultery,’ ‘You shall not murder,’ ‘You shall not steal,’ ‘You shall not bear false witness,’ ‘You shall not covet,’ and if there is any other commandment, are all summed up in this saying, namely, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ Love does no harm to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.”

Rather than onerous rule-keeping, love should be our aim. Truly loving others prevents us from sinning against them. In this way, living out Christ-like love encompasses all that God calls us to do.

In Galatians 5:14 (NKJV), Paul makes a similar point:

“For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.'”

Keeping specific commands is important, but love is the motivation God desires. Our lives and relationships are transformed when we learn to treat others as we wish to be treated (Matthew 7:12).

Loving Our Enemies and Persecutors

Perhaps the greatest test of God’s love is whether we can show it to those who oppose, mistreat, or dislike us. Jesus addressed this in Luke 6:27-28 (NKJV):

“But I say to you who hear: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, and pray for those who spitefully use you.”

He then equated this enemy-love with how God treats all people in verses 35-36:

“But love your enemies, do good, and lend, hoping for nothing in return; and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High. For He is kind to the unthankful and evil. Therefore be merciful, just as your Father also is merciful.”

Loving only those who love us back is not true Christ-like love. We are called to follow God’s example by loving those who do evil against us. This is only possible through His grace and the Holy Spirit’s work in our hearts. Like Jesus, we should pray for and do good to those who persecute us. This kind of agape love displays God’s incredible mercy.

Love Must Be Sincere and Non-Hypocritical

With all the biblical emphasis on loving others, it is crucial that our love is sincere and without hypocrisy. Paul exhorts the Romans regarding this in Romans 12:9 (NKJV):

“Let love be without hypocrisy. Abhor what is evil. Cling to what is good.”

The word used for hypocrisy refers to pretending or putting on a mask. Our treatment of others must not be fake or insincere. We cannot say we love others while harboring hatred or resentment in our hearts. True love displays itself in action, as we cling to what is good for others and reject evil against them.

Love also must not be conditional or directed only toward those we deem worthy. Jesus uses a parable to illustrate this in Luke 14:12-14 (NKJV):

“Then He also said to him who invited Him, ‘When you give a dinner or a supper, do not ask your friends, your brothers, your relatives, nor rich neighbors, lest they also invite you back, and you be repaid. But when you give a feast, invite the poor, the maimed, the lame, the blind. And you will be blessed, because they cannot repay you; for you shall be repaid at the resurrection of the just.’”

Our love should extend to those who cannot possibly repay our kindness. This reflects God’s unconditional love toward us as unworthy sinners (Romans 5:8). Non-discriminatory love prevents favoritism and self-seeking motives.

Love Leads to Humble Service

Moved by love, our care for others expresses itself in deeds of humble service. John makes this connection in 1 John 3:17-18 (NKJV):

“But whoever has this world’s goods, and sees his brother in need, and shuts up his heart from him, how does the love of God abide in him? My little children, let us not love in word or in tongue, but in deed and in truth.”

True love recognizes needs and gives generously to meet them. This applies to both physical and spiritual needs. Our love cannot be all talk – it must translate into sacrificial action for the good of others.

In serving others, we must guard against feeling superior. Paul instructs the Galatians in this balance in Galatians 5:13-14 (NKJV):

“For you, brethren, have been called to liberty; only do not use liberty as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another. For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’”

Freedom from sin means freedom to serve, not be served. As we love others well, we point them toward Christ – the true fulfillment of the law. Our love sets aside self-interest and reflects His humility in meeting needs.

Love Brings Unity and Glory to God

When Christians walk together in sincere love, it testifies to God’s power and brings Him glory. Jesus emphasizes this in John 13:34-35 (NKJV):

“A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.”

Our love and unity give evidence of truly belonging to Jesus. This was the heart of His prayer for the church in John 17:20-23 (NKJV):

“I do not pray for these alone, but also for those who will believe in Me through their word; that they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me. And the glory which You gave Me I have given them, that they may be one just as We are one: I in them, and You in Me; that they may be made perfect in one, and that the world may know that You have sent Me, and have loved them as You have loved Me.”

When believers are united in love, we display God’s supernatural work in a way that draws unbelievers to Himself. Loving one another testifies to the reality of God’s love and the transforming power of the Gospel.

The early church demonstrated this powerful witness, as Luke records in Acts 2:42-47 (NKJV):

“And they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in prayers. Then fear came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were done through the apostles. Now all who believed were together, and had all things in common, and sold their possessions and goods, and divided them among all, as anyone had need. So continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they ate their food with gladness and simplicity of heart, praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily those who were being saved.”

The church’s uncommon love and care for each other led to praise, evangelism, and growth. This same Spirit-empowered love must mark Christians today. As we fulfill our calling to love as Jesus loved, the Gospel shines through our lives.


The Bible could not be more explicit – love for one another is essential in the church. Loving others, however, is not always easy or comfortable. It requires dying to self and extending grace to those who are unlovable and difficult to love. Thankfully, God does not leave us to manufacture love on our own strength. He fills our hearts with His perfect love as we submit to His Spirit’s leading (Romans 5:5).

When we obey the biblical call to love, it transforms all of our relationships and fuels wholehearted service to others. May we all devote ourselves to living out the kind of Christ-like love that testifies to God’s redeeming work in our lives! Loving one another fulfills God’s ultimate purposes – unity in the church and glory for Him.

About The Author

Scroll to Top