As a new Christian, I am constantly amazed by God’s love for His people. We’ve been discussing the love that drove God to offer His only son as a sacrifice in our Bible study. We’ve realized that agape love is kind and forgiving. The Bible has helped us comprehend the entirety of Agape love. Last week, just when we thought we had covered everything there is about this topic, one member asked, “How many times is agape love mentioned in the Bible?”
The number of times agape love is referenced in the Bible varies greatly. This is mostly determined by the Bible version being used. The term “agape” is thought to appear 115 times in the NASB New Testament Bible translation. Agape, which has its roots in the Greek language, is said to have been used nearly 106 times in the New Testament, with the book of 1 John marking the majority of the use.
Continue reading this article to understand more about what agape love is, what its traits are, and what it means to Christians today, among other things.
What does agape love really mean in the Bible?
The book of 1 Corinthians 13:1–13 beautifully conveys the meaning of agape love. Agape love is God’s purest expression of love for humanity. It is defined as unselfish, unconditional, and sacrificial love that can only be expressed and demonstrated through one’s actions.
The Bible states in John 3:16 that God loved the world so much that he gave his only son, and it is the best definition of Agape love. Throughout the Bible, believers are encouraged to have this type of love for one another, which is distinct from brotherly love, romantic love, or family love. Agape love draws people together; it is a universal love that does not discriminate.
What are the characteristics of agape love?
Agape love is best exhibited through unselfish actions, and it has certain traits that set it apart from other types of love. These characteristics are as follows:
Unconditional love is agape love
Agape love is known to have no fixed restrictions; it is a pure love that is ready to prioritize the needs of others before one’s own.
Agape love is self-sacrificing
Sacrifice is a difficult pill to swallow, but God displayed agape love by providing his very own son as a sacrifice, according to John 3:16. Abraham likewise demonstrates agape love and obedience to God by offering his only son to God after a long struggle with being childless.
Universal love is agape love
This kind of love is extended to everyone, regardless of ethnicity, religion, tribe, culture, social status, or even physical appearance. It is not materialistic or superficial, and it embraces and includes people of various backgrounds.
Agape love is selfless love
Agape love is altruistic; it considers the sentiments and well-being of others. It prioritizes the needs of others before one’s own requirements.
Agape love is merciful
Forgiveness is frequently tough, and even when we forgive as humans, we tend to remember what was done to us. But agape love, which is love in its purest form, forgets all wrongs and wipes the slate clean to give people a fresh start. Agape love is forgiving and does not keep track of wrongs, as written in 1 Corinthians 13:5.
Agape love is eternal
Agape love is thought to be everlasting. It is unlimited, unending love. It lives and loves, and the circle revolves around love, just as God loves, but he also loves himself. Because Christ is the essence of love, agape love has no beginning or end.
10 instances of agape love in the Bible
Colossians 3:19: “The Bible encourages husbands to wholeheartedly love their wives.”
John 3:16: God exemplifies agape love by offering his one and only son as a sacrifice for sinful people.
Revelation 1:5: According to the Bible, Jesus sacrificed his blood for our sins.
Ephesians 5:1-2: The Bible here exhorts Christians to behave in the same love that Christ exhibited, which led Him to offer Him as a sacrifice for humanity.
Galatians 5:22: According to the Bible, one of the fruits of the Spirit that Christians should have is love.
Romans 5:8–9: In this verse, God demonstrates that he did not regard our guilt but rather died for us while we were still sinners, demonstrating that there is no greater love than this.
John 15:13: According to the Bible, the greatest sort of love is when someone chooses to lay down their life for their friends.
Matthew 22:37–38: The Bible exhorts Christians to love the Lord with all of their hearts, minds, and souls, as this is the greatest commandment.
Philippians 2:3: This verse encourages Christians to be unselfish and considerate, always prioritizing the needs of others.
Luke 10:30–34: Jesus tells the tale of the Good Samaritan, demonstrating how a man aided a stranger in trouble out of practical agape love. Christians are encouraged to be welcoming to outsiders.
What does agape love mean for Christians today?
For the modern Christian, agape love is extremely important. This is the love that God has for mankind. God expects individuals who profess to be Christ’s followers to show the same love and grace to others. Agape love demonstrates to Christians how to conduct their lives on earth in their daily interactions with others. As Christians, agape love calls us to love God and others, to be kind and share with others, to teach the gospel and testify to others, to forgive and care for others, just as Christ did while on earth, and to be His ambassadors.
Practical Examples of Agape Love
One thing we should realize as Christians is that agape love is intentional; it is a choice to love others even when they are not loved back. It is to devote one’s life to a cause that improves people and reflects God on Earth. It should not be confined to huge acts; minor acts done here and there can also be considered practical demonstrations of agape love. Some well-known practical instances of agape love that believers can imitate include:
One can demonstrate agape love by doing charity work in their immediate community, such as providing food, clothing, and shelter to those in need; cleaning the environment; providing free medical health checks and drugs to the vulnerable; assisting those who are differently abled without pay; and even providing scholarships and opportunities to orphans and the poor.
There is a great need for assistance in many children’s shelters, hospitals, homeless shelters, animal shelters, churches, prisons, schools, and other places that do not require monetary compensation for their services and skills. It means a lot when someone is sincerely committed to helping others in whatever manner they can to make their lives and days better.
People sometimes mistake us, or we find ourselves on the wrong side of the fence as a result of events such as wars, stigmatization, and prejudice. Agape love requires us to forgive those who have injured us in some way, and we can do this by forgiving the racist, the terrorist who killed our family, or the manager who rejected us for a job because of our tribe. Agape says to forgive.
The world is full of injustice and incidences of unfairness that ruin the lives of others. Agape love is demonstrated by those who struggle for and promote the rights of the weak. Because agape love is all-inclusive and disregards race, religion, or socioeconomic class, activism is a practical means to address injustices and bring about equality.
Being kind to strangers
The Bible tells us in Luke 10:25–37 the tale of the good Samaritan, which has been told numerous times. This is a basic depiction of Agape love. A love that spreads generosity to all without regard for the distinctions that separate us When you are intentional about helping strangers and improving the lives of those you do not know, you demonstrate agape love, as Mother Teresa did in India.
As a devout Christian, I have always been passionate about the Christian faith. This inspired me to pursue a degree in Religious studies and a Masters in Theology in college. I have also been privileged to teach 4 Christian courses in a college and university. Since I am dedicated to spreading the word of God, I am actively involved in the Church. Additionally, I share his word online and cover diverse topics on the Christian faith through my platform. You can read more about me on the about us page.