This is our last day of study and agape is the perfect word for today. Tomorrow we start posts about Sweet Hearts, and the heart of Jesus as February. Agape is the highest form of love, it is God’s love and it is unconditional. Even people who are turned into hell, it is the last resort, for rejecting His Son. God is love, but He made covenants and keeps them.
The Strong’s Concordance says that the Greek word, agapeo, or agape is actually to prefer. It is what God prefers, love. And God does prefer people who love Him and show Him preference and respect, reverence. Though He is not a respecter of persons and will save any who ask. It is not wrong to prefer someone’s company, it is a necessary part of love, agape to have someone who understands it. Christian people should prefer each other, sometimes dealing with difficult people or sinners, long term can draw from you, you have to have someone to pour into you for you to give out. Mainly, Jesus is the one pouring out His Spirit. But we need Christian fellowship, and especially one or two close confidants, and I mean people who are sincere, doers, and not just those who say they know Him.
Charity is a poor translation more in line with giving alms which is worthless without love in 1 Corinthians 13. God is love and 1 John 4:18 says perfect, complete love, casts out fear. Agape casts out phobon. Phobon is the root of phobia and we know there are lots of those. We all have our phobon and I want agape to put out any phobon that comes my way.
And 1 Peter 4:8, says above all to keep fervent in love. It is also defined as agape, love, goodwill. And what was the angel saying when Jesus was born? Peace, good will to men. Actually, there are three types of love in the Bible and we will go ahead and mention them all and their differences.
Philos, love that is sort of friend to friend, more of a general term or natural affection. People say they love apples, but that’s not love. You just enjoy eating apples. You can love your house, job or a place, a picture. Love is used to widely in many instances. Even if you look at synonyms, do you really adore your house? Puppies are adorable but not to worship.
Eros is a Greek god, but this too is love, more the fleshly, physical, and even leaning to a more sinful nature, the kind of passion that made Samson go after Delilah, it is not true love or pure love that God intended. It is much more the temptation, the kind of focus on lust, it can lead to seduction and destruction.
And of course our word, agape, which is divine love. God’s love to Jesus, Jesus to us, the intimacy of the Holy Spirit in us. We prefer believers and we prefer others above ourselves, it is giving, even if not always reciprocated, it is holy and pure, a sacred act to the Lord, even a form of worship. It is not a feeling, you can agape from the heart, when you don’t feel like it.
As I said I wanted to end our word study on a note of love, agape is the perfect word to end one study and begin another. I do love sharing the agape love of Jesus with you. Rebecca Jones / photo Lily Elsie, British Edwardian actress