The Definition of Love


In 1965, Diana Ross and the Supremes sang their way into international stardom with their hit song “Stop! In the Name of Love.” Thirty years later, the song was honored by its inclusion in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame’s permanent collection of the 500 Songs that Shaped Rock and Roll. The song’s lyrical encouragement for listeners to “think it o-o-ver” still plays daily on radios, set lists, and smartphones across the country. But in today’s passage in Romans, Paul gives believers something else to think over when it comes to the name of love. He gives us the true definition of love.

  • How do you you define love?


6 For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly.For one will scarcely die for a righteous person—though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die—8 but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.  9 Since, therefore, we have now been justified by his blood, much more shall we be saved by him from the wrath of God. 10 For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life. 11 More than that, we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation.

English Standard Version, copyright 2001 by Crossway Bibles. Used by permission. All rights reserved.


  1. According to verse 6, when did Christ die for us and what was our condition? What do these two things imply about our role in salvation?
  2. When does verse 8 say God showed his love for us? How is this love different from human love?
  3. Besides being made right—or justified—with God by the blood of Jesus, what other positive consequences do verses 9 and 10 reveal?
  4. What does verse 11 say should be the result of understanding verses 6-10?
  5. Does your life rejoice that Jesus provided a way for eternal salvation and daily reconciliation with God?


God gives us additional proof of his love on a daily basis. He provides material blessings through our ability to work, emotional support through the encouragement of friends, and spiritual enlightenment through the study of his Word. But there can never be greater proof of God’s love for us than that he sent Jesus to die for us when we were his weak, defenseless enemies. If that isn’t reason enough for us to love and trust him, then there will likely never be a reason good enough. We come to God with nothing and—when we receive the gift of salvation through the blood of Jesus—we leave rejoicing in his provision for today and for eternity.

  • Thank God that he sent Jesus to die for you while you were still a sinner.
  • Pray that this understanding will allow you to live a life of gratitude and rejoicing no matter your earthly circumstances today.