'God Is Love' Bible Verse

1 John 4:8 and 1 John 4:16

God Is Love Agape Love
John Chillingworth/Picture Post/Getty Images

"God is love" (1 John 4:8) is a favorite Bible verse about love. 1 John 4:16 is a similar verse also containing the words "God is love."

Full 'God Is Love' Bible Verse

Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love ... God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in him. (1 John 4:8, 16)

Summary and Analysis of 1 John 4:7-21

The entire passage found in 1 John 4:7-21 speaks of God's loving nature. Love is not merely an attribute of God, it is his very nature. God is not only loving, he is fundamentally love. God alone loves in the completeness and perfection of love.

Thus, if God is love and we, his followers, are born of God, then we will also love. God loves us, so we must love one another. A true Christian, one saved by love and filled with God's love, must live in love toward God and others.

In this section of Scripture, we learn that brotherly love is our response to God's love. The Lord teaches believers how to show his love to others, to our friends, family, and even our enemies. God's love is unconditional; his love is very different from the human love we experience with one another because it is not based on feelings. He doesn't love us because we please him. He loves us simply because he is love.

Love is the true test of Christianity. The character of God is rooted in love. We receive God's love in our relationship with him. We experience God's love in our relationships with others.

God's love is a gift. God's love is a life-giving, energizing force. This love was demonstrated in Jesus Christ: "As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Abide in my love" (John 15:9, ESV). When we receive God's love, we are enabled through that love to love others.

Related Verses That Say 'God Is Love"

John 3:16 (NLT) - For this is how God loved the world: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.  

Romans 5:8 (NIV) - But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.  

Ephesians 2:4–5 (NIV) - But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved.  

1 John 4:17–19 (NLT) - And as we live in God, our love grows more perfect. So we will not be afraid on the day of judgment, but we can face him with confidence because we live like Jesus here in this world. Such love has no fear, because perfect love expels all fear. If we are afraid, it is for fear of punishment, and this shows that we have not fully experienced his perfect love. We love each other because he loved us first.

Jeremiah 31:3 (NLT) - Long ago the Lord said to Israel: “I have loved you, my people, with an everlasting love. With unfailing love I have drawn you to myself."  

Compare 'God Is Love' Bible Verse

Compare these two famous Bible verses in several popular translations:

1 John 4:8
(New International Version)
Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.

(English Standard Version)
Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love.

(New Living Translation)
But anyone who does not love does not know God, for God is love.

(New King James Version)
He who does not love does not know God, for God is love.

(King James Version)
He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.

1 John 4:16b
(New International Version)
God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in him.

(English Standard Version)
God is love, and whoever abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him.

(New Living Translation)
God is love, and all who live in love live in God, and God lives in them.

(New King James Version)
God is love, and he who abides in love abides in God, and God in him.

(King James Version)
God is love, and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him.