Different words for love
The love of God is far above natural love. But the love between a husband and his wife is typical of the love of God for Israel and of Christ for the ecclesia.
In the New Testament Greek, the word for the love of God is agap¯e and the word for natural love is phile¯o. In the Hebrew Old Testament there is just one word, ahab, for both the love of God and natural love.
Agap¯e is described as sacrificial love because it is love of a person contrary to our natural feelings when no cause for love exists. It is best expressed in the words: “God commendeth His love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us” (Rom. 5:8). In nearly every place where it is used it is in connection with the love of God.
Phile¯o means to be a friend or to have affection for (denoting personal attachment as a matter of sentiment or feeling).
God’s love for us
Agap¯e love is so bound up with God that we read that “God is love”