In many ways agape, the fourth and highest kind of love, is in a class by itself. Because of its unique nature, this love needed a unique word to describe it. No ordinary word for love such as phileo, storge, or eros” “was sufficient to plumb the depths of meaning represented in this highest degree of love, so, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, New Testament writers coined the word agape to fill the need. Outside of the New Testament, agape is found in only one instance in ancient Greek texts, in a passage describing parents’ love for their only child. Essentially, agape is a uniquely biblical word for a uniquely biblical concept, which is in keeping with its uniquely spiritual nature.
Agape refers to divine love, the love God has for His people as well as the love His people give back to Him. It is also the kind of love that the people of God are supposed to have toward one another. Unlike phileo and storge, agape carries no obligation, holds no expectations, and lays down no conditions. Agape is unconditional love. Unlike eros, which is the epitome of selfishness, agape acts first and foremost for the good and welfare of another. Rather than self-serving, agape is self-giving, a sacrificial love that pours itself out for the sake of someone else.”“The greatest example of agape in action was when Jesus Christ, the sinless Son of God, poured out His life on the cross for the sake of sinners (which includes all of us) that they might become children of God. This truth is encapsulated in one of the most well-known verses in the Bible: “For God so loved [agape] the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life” (Jn. 3:16).
God alone is the source of agape. Apart from Him it cannot be known. He has revealed it through Jesus Christ, and gives it freely to all who become His children by faith—who believe in and trust in Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord—who then pass” “it on to others. God loves all people in the world with divine agape, but only those who are of the community of believers know that love by personal experience. To the world at large, agape is an unknown quantity.
One of the best illustrations of the agape relationship between God and His people is found in the New Testament Book of First John:”

vision, purpose, destiny,


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