What is Love?
God didn’t send Jesus in the world to die on the condition that if people believed in Him He would love them. He sent Jesus into the world to reconcile the chasm between God and mankind because He loved everyone unconditionally, whether we believe in His sacrifice or not. God’s love is not contingent on our belief in Him. God wants to be involved with each and every one of us intimately – God desires to share the unsearchable depths and richness of His love. We are promised that it will radically change us for the better.
In John 3:16, the Apostle used a specific term for “love,” and this word is “agagpe.” The Greeks had several words to describe love, whether it be “brotherly love” or an intimate “love” you would experience with your wife. Agape is defined as goodwill for all people. It is an ever-increasing, abundant, and overflowing love, desiring nothing in return, and neither precipitates reciprocality. It is a love that carries no interests, or is precariously attached to our inflating ego. Agape has nothing to do with whether or not we like people or not, and is not to be confused with sentimentality, sympathy or empathy. Agape love is unconditional love, God’s love, the truest of all loves, one that is self-sacrificial and freely given. When we love others at this level, it isn’t because we like them or enjoy spending time with them, but because we promised to seek and serve Christ in all people we meet, respecting their dignity and the sanctity of every person we should encounter.