What is agape love? It is a type of love. While the English language only has the word love, the ancient Greeks had multiple words for different types of love. Here are some of the ways the Greek differentiated love:
- Eros: romantic, passionate love
- Philia: intimate, authentic friendship, sometimes known as brotherly love
- Erotoropia or ludus: playful, flirtatious love or bantering with a friend
- Storge: unconditional, familial love, often of a parent and child
- Agápe: the highest form of love, a faithful, unconditional, self-sacrificing type of love
John Wrote of Agape Love
In John 4:7-21, John used agape or a derivative of agape 29 times. John tells us that self-sacrificing love comes from God to us. It is a gift. Love is who God is and embodies everything God does. Because God is love, each person of the Trinity demonstrates it through action. 1 John 4:9 God showed how much he loved us by sending his one and only Son into the world so that we might have eternal life through him…13 And God has given us his Spirit as proof that we live in him and he in us. 
God gives us His agape love as we believe, and the Spirit dwells in us. Our love for others provides proof of our spiritual rebirth and relationship with God. When we remember the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross, it helps us to love others. Jesus’ kindness and generosity help us respond to others similarly. When we run short on love, our loving God can refill us.
Don’t Trivialize God’s Love
Because of human nature, our culture has often tried to turn “God is love” to say “love is God.” This allows them to do whatever they define as love and say it is of God. Or it has been said that a loving God would never send anyone to hell, so all will go to heaven no matter lifestyle or beliefs. These statements are false. This is not what John is saying.
Because God loves us, He teaches and disciples us. He knows what is best and desires us to follow His ways. Even when He disciplines, He does so with love to benefit and bless us. 1 John 4:17 And as we live in God, our love grows more perfect. So we will not be afraid on the day of judgment, but we can face him with confidence because we live like Jesus here in this world.
Living in God’s agape love transforms us to be more and more like Jesus. God’s love transforms us and spills out as love for others. Our loving actions point back to God and invite others to seek Him. To learn more, listen here: