Is there Good News? There is good news. The Word of God and Jesus offers an understanding of the source, character, requirement and value of love.
What matters the most: The love of Jesus is based on the nature and actions of God our Father. Jesus delights in His love of us. Jesus sums up God’s goal (command) for us as one of loving God and our neighbors. That is our mission and life! That is all God wants for us. There is no other purpose.
This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends. You are my friends if you do what I command you. No longer do I call you servants, for the slave [servant] does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you. You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he may give it to you. These things I command you, so that you will love one another.
English Standard Version. (2016). (John 15:12–17). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles.
What it’s all about: Jesus demonstrated His love for us by dying on the cross so that we can be reconciled to God the Father. Jesus has sealed us with the Holy Spirit. The death of Jesus is how we know what love is. Now this is some good news!
The way I see it: I must confess that I am not the best at love. I am challenged many days. Let’s dig in. There is much to learn on how to love.
- 1 John 3:16 — We know love by this, that He laid down His life for us; and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.
- 1 John 4:10 — In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins.
- Ephesians 5:2 — And walk in love, just as the Messiah also loved you and gave Himself up for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God as a fragrant aroma.
- Ephesians 5:25 — Husbands, love your wives, just as the Messiah also loved the church and gave Himself up for her.
What we should do: I get to decide whether to love or not. So do you. I often am not loving. I can be mean and cruel. I have no defense. “Master Jesus the Messiah, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner.”
“You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the great and foremost commandment. “The second is like it, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ ~Jesus
The Greek word here is ἀγάπη agape. The Greek word agape is often translated “love” in the New Testament.
How is “agape love” different from other types of love? The essence of agape love is goodwill, benevolence, and willful delight in the object of love. Unlike our English word love, agape is not used in the New Testament to refer to romantic or sexual love.
It does not refer to close friendship or brotherly love, for which the Greek word philia is used. Agape love involves faithfulness, commitment, and an act of the will. It is distinguished from the other types of love by its lofty moral nature and strong character. Agape love is beautifully described in 1 Corinthians 13.