In the Bible, you’ll find basically two Greek words for ‘love’ in the New Testament, which are ‘phileo’ and ‘agape’. Phileo is a self-centered type of love. In other words; I love that person because something that person does pleases or satisfies me. The other is ‘agape’ which is the God kind of love. Agape love is all about seeing the value of the object loved. When God loves He sees a substance/value inside of that object. He didn’t love us because of what He could get from us; He loved (agaped) us because He saw a value/substance in us that He could conform to the image of Christ.
John 13:34-35 says, “A new commandment (or a new law) I give to you, that you (agape) love one another; as I have (agaped) loved you, that you also (agape) love one another. By this all will know that you are my disciples, if you have (agape) love for one another.” Notice we are to love others just like Jesus loved us and the only way we can walk in this (agape) love is by faith. Christ dwells in our hearts by faith and by faith we have to believe the love of God is on the inside of us, not because we feel it. We access the things of the Kingdom by faith and believe what God says. God says that love is in us and by faith we bring it out. You might be asking, “Well, how do I do that?” Philemon 6 says “that the sharing of your faith may become effective by the acknowledgement of every good thing which is in you in Christ Jesus.” Start by acknowledging that the love of God is in you; you give because the love of God is in you; you pray because the love of God is in you; you talk about Jesus because the love of God is in you, and that you pray for the sick because the love of God is in you.
1 Corinthians 13:1-8, talks about this agape type of love and I want to give you a paraphrase of it: This kind of love will sacrifice for the blessings of others, it’s a love that suffers long, is kind, does not envy, does not vaunt itself, is not puffed up, will not behave unseemly, does not seek it’s own desires, can not be provoked, thinks no evil, will not rejoice in iniquity, but it will rejoice in the truth. It is a love that bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things, and it’s the kind of love that the Bible says will never fail. This is the kind of love that every born-again believer is called to live and walk in.
Philippians 2:5-7 says, “Let this mind be in you which also is in Christ Jesus, who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross.” God Almighty expects us to think and act just like Jesus. He thought in such a way that He humbled himself and became a servant to please God the Father. How? By looking at the substance in mankind and laying aside His life for what He saw in them. Can you envision what the world around us would be like, if the ‘church world’ had this kind of mind and walked in this agape kind of love?