Some things just get me going, I mean get me so aggravated that smoke comes out of my ears. One of those things is when people, especially those who represent themselves as ministers and Bible teachers misrepresent the Bible. Those who try to explain that the word has a certain meaning in the original language and then flub the definition of that word, showing themselves to be at the very least incompetent fools and at the other end, heretics.
I was sitting in on a Bible class today and they were talking about how God is a God of love. That is right. How God loves everybody. That is correct again. Then it was the word for love is agape and that is the God kind of love. Really? Are you sure about that Bible scholar?
We know that the Bible says in John 3:16 that God so loved the world. That word is agapao, which means much love and is what they get the word agape from which actually means a love feast. (You can look up Strong’s G25/26 to verify this if you want)
When I think of this kind of love I remember Thanksgivings past of my childhood, when my Mom would make turkey, stuffing, sweet and white baked potatoes, creamed onions, turnip, green beans, and my favorite mom’s stuffing. We would follow that up with homemade apple and pumpkin pies. It was a feast. There was so much food we could not eat it all. We would have leftovers for days. This kind of love is that type of abundance. But even the Bible bears out this is not just of God or a God kind of love.
For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same? (Matthew 5:46)
What love is that? The same love that God had towards the world, agapao. If sinners can have this love for one another, then it is not just a God kind of love, but the difference is that God showed it perfectly because it is His nature (God is love -1 John 4:8) and He sacrificed the best He had, His only begotten Son, God held nothing back to restore the relationship between man and God. Jesus in turn demonstrated the greatest love by laying down His life for His friends. We demonstrate our love towards Jesus by our obedience and keeping His commandments (see John 15:13 and 14:15).
Yes all these words for love are agape or agapao.
We as God’s children strive to imitate Jesus in having this love towards others. God demonstrates this love to its perfect conclusion but it is not the purview of God alone. We must make sure we handle the Bible correctly.