Our world has many definitions of love, but we most commonly think about love in a romantic sense. What if love, true love, meant more than romance? What if there was a deeper, truer, more full expression of love that could only be found in God and received through Jesus Christ? Here is everything you need to know about God's perfect, unconditional agape love for us.
- agape is a Greek word pronounced ah-gah-pay
- agape love is a love of choice, not out of attraction or obligation
- agape love is what Jesus Christ displayed on the cross for us as he took our place for the sin
Here is everything you need to know about God's perfect, unconditional agape love for us:
2. love feasts
The name Agape or "love-feast," as an expression denoting the brotherly common meals of the early church where Christians gathered to break bread. The agape meal would serve as a fellowship to the sense of brotherhood, and the community of goods practiced by the young Christian church.
The word "agape" is used 106 times throughout the New Testament with the highest usage in the boo of 1 John. To read those verses, follow the links here.
Agape love is a sacrificial love that binds. It is the love of God that we see through the cross of Jesus Christ. It is the love that saves and restores humanity in the face of sin and death.
God Is Love“God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them.” (1 John 4:16)
I’m beginning to think that love is not what it means. Okay, now that I’ve written that out loud I realize it doesn’t make sense out of context, so let me go back a little bit.
I’ve been having trouble sleeping lately (big surprise). When that happens, I usually pass the night trying to pray through questions I have about faith and life, and lately I’ve been praying about love. You see, I have known great love, intimately, purposely, lavished on me with unwavering determination for 30 years, three months, and three days. Then, too soon, came the day when cancer took my wife’s body, set her spirit free, and left me behind sleepless and alone. Now, more than a year after hearing the hum of Amy’s last breath, I keep wondering why the pain of losing this love (at least here on this earth) has kept such a stranglehold on me for so long after she has died.
I’ve thought about it a lot, and read about love and the meanings of love. I’ve also studied the Greek terms for love, especially the Greek word agapē which is supposed to be the highest expression of love—a pure, selfless, unconditional thing. But as I meditate on the love I’ve experienced, examining how it shaped and reshaped me, even agapē seems not enough to explain it.
We need to find ourselves rooted in the truth that “God is love”—something the Apostle John taught us both (1 John 4:16). If that’s really true, then love encompasses more than just the highest expression of selflessness. Inherent in Christ’s personhood is every shade and texture and breath and aspect and heartbeat and death knell and meaning of whatever love is.
This is probably why 1 Corinthians 13 describes love (and by extension God) with a laundry list of concepts: “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres…” This is also why, within each of us, the presence of God (who is love) naturally expresses itself in “love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control” (Galatians 5:22-23).
So if God is love, and God is all these things, then love is all these things, which makes it more than simply agapē. His love is not just the highest form of love, it is ALL of love—love that laughs, that rests, that waits and forgives and so much more.