God’s Agape Love

“You have heard that it was said,
‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’
But I tell you love your enemies
and pray for those who persecute you”
Matthew 5:43

There are five words in Greek used to describe love. The first word is “mania” which is a love of lust or obsession – a love of possessions. “Eros” is emotional love or the feeling of love. “Philos” is brotherly or friendship love. “Storgy”, also known as motherly love, is the love for a dependent, and finally “agape” is love that requires no return of anything but is a love that is a choice regardless of the circumstances.

God loves us with agape love! Unlike Eros or Philos, Agape creates a straight line that neither fades nor grows in its perfect form (which of course only exists from God outward). You can see why in the King James Version, “Agape” was usually translated as “charity.”  It is a love freely given, and freely committed to.

  “You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you” (NOAB).

This is a love that is not contingent on the circumstances around the one offering agape love or the one receiving it. Why should we love our enemies with this Agape love? Mathew 5:46-47 says “If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? And if you greet only your own people, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that?” (NOAB).  One reason we should love our enemy is so that it will set us apart from the other sinful people and so they can see that we are different. Now if look back to Mathew 5:43b, “He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous” (NOAB).  We can add onto the last discovery  another reason that God has us loved with Agape love is because we are no better than any other because Jesus died and rose for both the righteous and unrighteous. So why should we act like we are better than those who harm us? Jesus was harmed by our sins, yet what did He do? That’s right! He died and paid the ultimate debt for the very people who put Him on the cross! He paid the debt for you and me! God loved me with agape love and has given me the power and ability and command to love others this same way.
(Above taken from a papr that Ethan Halydier wrote for his New Testament class.)

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