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‘Agape’ Love - the Bond of Perfection

Copyright © Andrew J. Shreeve 2006

 

 

And above all these things put on charity (agape-love), which is the bond of perfection

Colossians 3:14

 

The Greek word ‘agape’ translated charity, or love, in the English, is the same word used to describe God. He that ‘agape’ not, knoweth not God; for God is ‘agape’ (1 John 4:8)! God is love! I remember reading in Vines expository dictionary that a meaning of agape is ‘having a deep and constant interest in an unworthy object’. The sense of agape is one of unconditional, non-judgemental love. Deep loving interest not based on the merit or performance of the one receiving the love.

 

Agape is further revealed as we come to understand the gospel. In the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ we see humanity in rebellion towards God and full of selfishness and sin. Yet our holy God maintains interest in us not judging us according to what we deserve. Instead the Lord does what is necessary to obtain our redemption, our acquittal from guilt, and our restoration into a righteous state to enjoy eternal communion with him. This is the ultimate example of agape! The gospel reveals the nature of love within God. The gospel reveals the agape of God.

 

And now the Lord instructs us to put on this same agape towards others. As we seek the best interests of others we walk in agape. As we are non judgemental towards people, believing in their, redemption and, restoration into a righteous state through faith in Jesus Christ we walk in agape. This is the bond of perfection. Agape is the highest form of human relationship, the best of fellowship and communication.

 

Agape is within us through the indwelling Holy Spirit; the ‘agape’ of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us (Romans 5:5). Praying in unknown tongues is a great way of keeping ourselves tuned into the love of God within us. But ye, beloved, building up yourselves on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Ghost, keep yourselves in the love of God (Jude 1:20-21). As we exercise the gift of the Holy Spirit through praying in unknown tongues we sensitize ourselves to our own spirit and the Holy Spirit within us. This assists us to flow with the Holy Spirit who is agape. This builds us up spiritually and keeps us in the agape of God.

 

Another way of keeping in the love of God is through meditation of God’s exceeding great and precious promises. It is through God’s covenant promises that we partake of God’s divine nature which is agape. Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature (2 Peter 1:4). God is agape and God is the Word (John 1:1). As we receive God’s Word into our spirit through meditation (Mark 4:20) we are receiving God, we are receiving agape. The promises of his covenant are the most expressive elements of his Word revealing His love for us. It is through receiving these promises into our spirit that we will receive faith (Romans 10:17). Faith enables us to draw God’s power demonstrating the reality of God’s promises. As the promises are fulfilled in our lives we experience the reality of God’s agape.

 

The Lord expands our understanding of agape in 1 Corinthians 13:4-8. This is the attitude God has towards us and the attitude we should have towards others. Agape suffereth long, and is kind; agape envieth not; agape vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, does not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil; rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth; beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things. Agape never faileth. This expanded definition of agape is tremendously helpful in our application of human relations. Imagine if we all walked towards one another in true agape! How the world would change.

 

One attribute of agape I have found helpful is simply to believe the best in others. Always give people the benefit of the doubt. Don’t create a negative or judgemental scenario of others in our imagination. Rather choose to believe innocence in others, and even the best, when confronted with unexplained circumstances.

 

Another outstanding feature of agape is the desire to protect and not expose others sins.

 

And above all things have fervent agape among yourselves; for agape shall cover the multitude of sins

1 Peter 4:8

 

Agape love does not desire to humiliate another person or expose their sins. Rather agape tries to hide and protect the sin, weakness, and vulnerability of others. Agape attempts to restore another to a place of righteousness with God through faith and hope that they will respond to God’s great love.

 

Make the decision to put on agape love! Take some time to meditate the scriptures in this teaching. Allow your mind to be renewed in the knowledge of agape love. Meditate God’s great promises, pray in the spirit in tongues and allow yourself to become consumed with the living God who is agape.

 

I agape / love you, Andrew

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