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What Is Love?
Love is not what we think.
In our society there are many definitions for love. There’s a passionate love, where our emotions go wild. There’s a familial love where we say that blood is thicker than water. There is also a love for others; sometimes this is described as “brotherly love.”
But the greatest of all love is best described by the Greek word, “Agape.” This is an unconditional love, which is a love that gives without any expectation in return. It literally describes the love that God has for us as He gave to us His Son, Jesus Christ, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish (John 3:16).
So agape love is not what we can get from others, rather it is love that we give away freely.
But the Apostle John gives us another definition of love.
“This is love, that we walk according to His commandments.” (2 John 1:6a)
And so if love is walking according to God’s commandments, what are God’s commandments?
When asked what was the greatest commandment, Jesus said, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” (Matthew 22:37-39)
Jesus then said that all the law and what the prophets said hang on these two commandments (Matthew 22:40). It is these two commandments that everything in life is based upon.
To make sure this message isn’t lost in translation Jesus said, “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another.” (John 13:34)
And so when we love others with the same love God loved us, that is, with His agape love, then we will fulfill God’s great commandment, and then we will walk in accordance with His commandments, which is what the Apostle John says is love.
Wednesday Evening Bible Study