Agape – the God Kind of Love
Agape refers to the God kind of love; the love that surpasses Philos (family love) and Eros (sexual love). There is no substitute for Agape. It is the very Spirit of God and therefore is not subject to compromise or distortion whatsoever. Agape is supernatural and cannot be achieved through human effort; it has to be the work of the Holy Spirit. As stated in the book of Romans, “the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.” (Romans 5: 5).
“If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love;”
God’s love is given to the believer to enable him or her to love as God loves and it can only be maintained as we live by the word of God, giving the word first place in our life. Jesus explains this to His disciples in the book of John, “If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in His love” (John 15:10).
Jesus taught His disciples that without Agape they would not be children of God nor would they attain to perfection, reflecting the Father’s nature. Jesus said to them “Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy. But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust. For if ye love them that love you, what reward have ye? Do not even the publicans the same? And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others? Do not even the publicans so? Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect”. (Matthew 5:43-48).
Agape is the dynamic of our devotion and the strength of our service for God
Our natural, human love does not have the capacity to love our enemies or to do what is good to those who despitefully use us or persecute us and say all manner of evil against us. Agape does! It is the dynamic of our devotion toward God and toward others, and the strength of our service for God. It prevents offense, heals wounds, and soothes pain, sorrow, and sadness. Agape is powerful. It breaks demonic shackles and causes demons to flee.
Every new believer in Jesus Christ is given a measure of love just as they are given a measure of faith. If the measure of love given is fully utilized, additional measures are given. If that measure is not fully utilized, additional measures are not given. As the measure of Agape increases the devil sees to it that the measure of opposition, rejection, hatred and difficulties increase with the hope of deterring the individual from using the measure of Agape that he or she has. If however, the individual is not deterred then God gives a proportionate measure of grace to counter Satan’s challenge. Here is where the believer and the cross come together for that all-necessary contest of spirit and flesh. If our love for God is greater than our love for the flesh we submit to the glorious working of the cross until it takes us to Galatians 2.20. In the words of the Apostle Paul, we too, would then be able to say, “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave Himself for me.”
Here is where the believer enters into the depths of Christ and begins the journey of intimacy with the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. We cannot operate in dominion and authority as true Christians until we have made this journey of intimacy and become one with the Father, Son and Holy Spirit and we can never begin this journey unless we embrace the cross and we will never entertain the cross unless we have Agape operating in us. Christianity is not what we make it to be or what we think it to be; it is the ‘life of Christ’ lived through those who He has redeemed through His death on the cross and His resurrection from the dead.
The love of God takes us to the cross as it did Jesus, where our old, fallen nature is dealt with and resurrection life emerges. So very few are willing to pay the price for this level and quality of Christianity where the true sons and daughters, apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers, emerge.
Agape is redemptive. It is what led Jesus to the cross. It is what empowered Him to endure the cross the grave until He completed the Father’s plan of redemption for mankind. It is what made Him say to His Father about His enemies, those who crucified Him, “Father, forgive them for they know not what they do.” (Luke 23: 34).
Agape is the true representation of God in our relationship with others.
The Body of Christ is intended to operate in agape with each member providing support where the other lacks. Agape lays down its life for the good of another. It sees a need and, often at its own expense, reaches out to meet that need without the expectation of anything in return. Agape chooses to forgive and will always pursue unity among the brethren, laying down its reputation and its rights for the sake of the kingdom of God, because this is what pleases the Father. Agape is the true representation of God in our relationship with others. It transcends natural boundaries and is that condition of heart that lines up with the Father’s heart. Scripture defines this love as follows:
Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal. And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing. And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing. (1 Corinthians 13: 1-3).
Agape moves God to act on behalf of a heart that is compatible with His. The Father will pour out His Spirit upon those who practice agape and, through these He will authenticate His Word by miracles, signs, and wonders. It is these to whom God will reveal His wisdom and His power, for those who love as He loves, prove that they are indeed sons of God.
Agape is the vehicle that takes us into supernatural living
Beloved, we need to pursue agape with all our hearts, soul, and strength. Agape is the vehicle that takes us into supernatural living, where we would have intimacy with God the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, and where we would benefit from divine favour, protection, provision, and blessings. When God sees His love exhibited through an individual, He sees a reflection of His heart, His nature, and His character . . . He sees His son.
This is the Christianity of God. God is restoring the truths that Satan has stolen from the Church of Jesus Christ and everything that is of God is established on the foundation of His love – Agape.