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I need to find a Bible verse that states that God loves me as a person, as an individual. Many verses refer to God's love for the world, for the church, for the nation. No verse specifically says that God loves me. Not as part of a group, not as part of a church, not as part of the world, but as me! The Bible tells me that God loves the 'building', but not each individual brick.

Many, many commentators infer God's love for individuals. But as far as I can see, the Bible does not say it!

What is the biblical basis for the common Christian belief that God loves individuals?

marked as duplicate by curiousdannii, Lee Woofenden, bruised reed, KorvinStarmast, Nathaniel Feb 22 '17 at 1:37

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    Where in the bible does it say God doesn't love each individual 'brick'? These verses say that God loves us John 13:34-35, 15:9-15, 1 John 4:19 – depperm Feb 20 '17 at 19:58
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  • Jesus' message was, in a lot of ways, "it's not all about you." He was teaching his disciples to be selfless rather than selfish. – KorvinStarmast Feb 20 '17 at 22:14
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First, does God love any individuals particularly?

Job believed that he would stand face to face with God, who would hear his complaint and grant him justice. God appeared and spoke to him, and vindicated him before his friends, and blessed him with an abundant life.

God promised Abram a son, a nation, and influence throughout the whole world. He gave him a new name, Abraham. God guided him from his old home to a new one, and showed him respect by letting him know about his plan to destroy Sodom and Gomorrah.

God had mercy on Leah and opened her womb, because Jacob loved Rachel more than her.

God appeared to Moses, granted him kingly authority, displayed his glory to him and spoke to him like a man speaks to his friend.

God granted Hannah a son, Samuel, in response to her urgent prayers.

God provided food miraculously to Elijah, sent angels to assist him, and spoke to him from a mountain top.

Jesus wept when he saw how grieved Mary and Martha were over the death of their brother, Lazarus.

God's history with man shows that he grants particular mercies much prized by those who received them. He granted the desires of their hearts. He often deals with them as individuals, not as a collective. Patient, kind, gentle, humble - just as He has defined true love in 1 Corinthians 13, so He has expressed this love to individuals.

"Jacob I have loved, but Esau I have hated." God is very particular.

Revelation 3:19-22 says:

Those whom I love I rebuke and discipline. So be earnest and repent. Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me.

To the one who is victorious, I will give the right to sit with me on my throne, just as I was victorious and sat down with my Father on his throne. Whoever has ears, let them hear what the Spirit says to the churches.”

This is the end of the letter to the church at Laodicea. You can interpret it as only being directed to a group, but some believe that it is both directed to the church and to individuals. While some preterists might say that this was completely fulfilled among the believers of that church many years ago, historicists and others believe that the church of Laodicea stands for the end-times church, in apostasy. A disordered and disfunctional church can no longer be relied upon to faithfully deliver God's message to his people, so he must speak to individual Christians directly. This is God's message to all the faithful who persevere, directed to each personally, not just the church corporately.

Yes, if you overcome in faith, God loves you. God spoke his love directly to people of faith long ago. He will speak to you as well.

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    Except, your Romans 9 quote about Jacob and Esau isn't about the people in particular, but about the nations they lead (similar to how Jacob was called Israel, and the nation itself was referred to as Israel, even though it was Jacob's new name). God did not literally hate Esau—in fact the Bible doesn't indicate Esau's final destination or his status with God at the end of his life. Rather, the hate he mentions was restricted specifically to which line God picked to be the chosen people from which to bring forth Jesus. – WeakButStrong Feb 21 '17 at 0:44
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    A quick survey of opinions about the Romans 9 quote shows people divided over whether individual or national salvation is being discussed, or both at the same time. Definitely worth further study. – Paul Chernoch Feb 21 '17 at 1:09
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    It pretty much falls out that Calvinists think it's individual salvation, in line with their mind-bending laser focus on double predestination, and they see in the hated/loved dichotomy this perfect resonance with that theology; while on the other hand non-Calvinists (who may not go so far as to identify as Arminians) believe that election is corporate, and functions as a class: "all those who are in Christ, will be saved". Non-Calvinists don't have any reason to think it's even about salvation at all, but about which line Abraham's seed would come from, and that it's about Christ. – WeakButStrong Feb 21 '17 at 1:12
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This seems, in some ways, a question of semantics - I mean, it's hard to know what you'd accept. I think inference is arguably a stronger basis for the Christian belief than this passage and I doubt the belief is founded on this passage, but perhaps it will suffice for you:

He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him. Judas saith unto him, not Iscariot, Lord, how is it that thou wilt manifest thyself unto us, and not unto the world? Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him. (John 14:21-23)

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I believe John 3:16 is on the point:

For God so loved the world that He have His only begotten Son, and whosoever shall believeth on Him shall not perish, but have everlasting life.

The salvation of any and all is accomplished through Christ, whom was given by God because of his love.

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    This still doesn't answer the question about love for individuals. Donating one's son in an attempt to save humankind doesn't imply having any particular feelings about a given human. – Patrick Stevens Feb 21 '17 at 7:01
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    @PatrickStevens I respecfully but emphatically disagree. To attempt to segregate the love of mankind from the love of each individual soul is to manufacture a semantic argument that I really don't think benefits anyone, and I think is drawn more from linguistic subtleties than theological perspectives. Have a great day. – David W Feb 21 '17 at 13:54
  • @DavidW Thanks for the reply. I'd like to know why you think this. My objection is captured, I think, by the following analogy: I may love another human, but I don't love any of the organs (or even the cells) which make that human up. Indeed, I find quite a lot of the organs rather disgusting, and I have no feelings at all about the cells. I'm capable of feeling strong emotions about a collection of things without feeling anything for an individual of the collection. – Patrick Stevens Feb 21 '17 at 19:00
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    @rewolf The verse from Peter is precisely the kind of evidence that should have appeared in an answer at the time! I'm fine with the answer being "yes", but none of the SE answers at the time actually justified that to my satisfaction. – Patrick Stevens Aug 28 '17 at 11:46
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In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. (Genesis 1:1)

Need I say more?

I mean, He did create us, and an environment suitable for us.

Life itself is evidence of God's love towards us. Before we were even born, before we knew life, He knew us, and still created us.

Let me add:

But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. (Romans 5:8, KJV)

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    I think these are precisely the kind of quotes that the OP is referring to when he says that we "infer God's love for individuals." – brianpck Feb 21 '17 at 1:20
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    I can create an environment suitable for something without caring for its welfare at all. For example, out of simple curiosity. (An omniscient being presumably has no curiosity, but surely could have more interesting reasons other than sentiment for creating something.) Another example: I buy a potted plant because I find it aesthetically pleasing, rather than because I particularly care about its wellbeing; if it dies, I have no qualms at all about buying another one. – Patrick Stevens Feb 21 '17 at 7:00

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