Q. “Do you Believe that Agape Love is unconditional love?” What does the Bible Say?
Let me share a few thoughts with you on this subject:
THE DEFINITION OF “LOVE”
THE GREEKS HAD FOUR WORDS WHICH WE TRANSLATE “LOVE”…
1. EROS – carnal, sexual love
2. PHILIA – the love of close friendship
3. STORGE – the love of family relationships
4. AGAPE – that love which seeks only the highest good of others
It is this love that is Paul defines in
1 Cor. 13:4-8
4* ¶ Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant,
5* does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered,
6* does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth;
7* bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
Jesus uses the same word in Matt 5:43-48:
43* ¶ “You have heard that it was said, ‘YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR and hate your enemy.’
44* “But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you,
45* so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven; for He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.
46* “For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same?
47 “If you greet only your brothers, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same?
48* “Therefore you are to be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.
A CLOSER LOOK AT “AGAPE”
1. “Agape has to do with the mind: it is not simply an emotion which rise unbidden in our hearts; it is a principle by which we deliberately live. Agape has supremely to do with the will.” (Barclay)
2. It is not an uncontrolled reaction of the heart, but a
concentrated exercise of the will
3. It is a caring love one which becomes involved with the need of others
4. It is does not depend upon the one being loved having to earn such love
5. It is not an exclusive love…
a. Expressed only to select few
b. But an all-embracing benevolence, shown toward all
THE PERFECT ILLUSTRATION OF “AGAPE”…
It begins with the God of love – cf. 2 Cor. 13:11
2 Cor. 13:11
11* ¶ Finally, brethren, rejoice, be made complete, be comforted, be like-minded, live in peace; and the God of love and peace will be with you.
His love is a completely undeserved love – Rom. 5:8
8* But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.
His love is an inseparable love – Rom. 8:35-39
35* Who will separate us from the love of Christ? Will tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?
36* Just as it is written, “FOR YOUR SAKE WE ARE BEING PUT TO DEATH ALL DAY LONG; WE WERE CONSIDERED AS SHEEP TO BE SLAUGHTERED.”
37* But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us.
38* For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers,
39* nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Indeed, His love is a great love willing to save sinners! – Eph. 2:4-7
4* ¶ But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us,
5* even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved),
6* and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus,
7* so that in the ages to come He might show the surpassing riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.
It finds its complete fulfillment in Christ
God’s love reaches its peak in His Son Jesus Christ – cf. Rom. 8:39 Jesus has fully demonstrated such love – Jn15:13.Therefore we come to know what love really is when we look at Jesus Christ – cf. 1 Jn 3:16
1 Jn 3:16
16* We know love by this, that He laid down His life for us; and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.
When it comes to God, He loves us with unconditional “agape’ love. That love is real and expressed in our obedience or in our disobedience. There is nothing we will ever do to seperate ourselves from the Love of God. When it comes to our love for our fellow man we are commanded to “love” (agape) one another (John 13:34). Even when we “do not like someone”, or “feel like it” we can still “love” them (seek their highest good) with agape love.