Agape

The essence of agape love is self-sacrifice. This means substitution, taking punishment or suffering meant for others in order to spare them greater pain. Our divine example is the cross of Jesus Christ. Self-sacrifice also means giving of oneself in order to help other people. Again, our divine example is Jesus as the “bread of life.” In the church, agape love is sharing God’s gifts with others, bearing their burdens in prayer, and helping the weak.

Written works

Bible: Genesis 42-44; Exodus 12, Leviticus 16, Numbers 21, Isaiah 53, Jonah 1-4, Matthew 25-27, Mark 14-15, Luke 15, 22-23; John 6, 13-15, 18-19; Acts 4-5, Romans 12, 1 Corinthians 9, 12-14; 2 Corinthians 8-9, Philippians 2, 1 John 3-4

George Herbert: “Redemption,” “Sacrifice”

Sir Philip Sidney: “Leave Me, O love”

John Greenleaf Whittier: “Immortal Love”

Films

“Jesus of Nazareth” (1977) – trial and cross portion

“The Last Sin Eater” ()

“Like Dandelion Dust” ()

“Saving Sarah Cain” (2007)

“The Shunning” ()

Songs

Hymnals:

“This Blood” (Rita Springer)

“Worthy is the Lamb” (Hillsong)

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4 thoughts on “Agape

  1. Poem – What is love?

    Two men came to Jesus
    With different motivations.
    They asked Him the same question
    Relevant to all the nations:

    Which is the Most Important?
    The answer was the same.
    Jesus did not manipulate
    He was not there to play a game.

    “Love the Lord your God” said Jesus
    as He quoted from The Law –
    to fulfill and not abolish
    was His purpose, full of awe.

    Jesus did not make all Scripture
    Into one new great commandment.
    He summarized The Law and Prophets
    “First and Greatest” and “The Second.”

    The Love of God is higher
    Than the love of any man.
    Receive from God, give back to God-
    Then to others, that’s His plan.

    The Love of God involves much more
    Than simply “love your fellow man.”
    Worship, trust, and pray to God,
    and obey Him – that’s His plan

    To worship and pray to neighbors,
    Whoever they may be,
    Or trust and obey our enemies
    Would be idolatry.

    The love of God is first and greatest,
    And the love of man is second.
    “All we need is love” are words
    of dead Beetles on the pavement.

    “The entire law is summed up in a single command”
    are not the words of Jesus our Salvation.
    It’s false teaching of Paul the Pharisee
    an “accuser of our brethren.”

    “Love” without God is Satan’s word through Paul
    in his chapter to the Corinthians.
    “I will show you the most excellent way”
    is the road to eternal perdition.

    Where is God in Paul’s chapter on love?
    Nowhere in view of the eye.
    Paul sings about himself like a Mexican Mariachi
    “I, I, I, I.”

    Jesus is The Most Excellent Way
    Not the words of a Pharisee.
    The words of Jesus are very clear.
    Jesus said, “You must follow ME.”

    • You’re a DTS and CFNI grad? Wow. This poem reeks of apostasy, plain and simple. How dare you call Paul an accuser of the brethren! Now you want to rewrite the New Testament, throwing out all his books? What gives you that right? Don’t forget that Luke wrote the gospel of Acts; most of it covers Paul’s ministry. Do you want to throw out Acts and Luke’s gospel too, since he ministered to and with Paul? Where will it stop?!

      • Dear beloved sister 220lily, chosen instrument of God,
        Thank you for taking time to respond.
        Can you quote some Scripture to show me where exactly I am wrong?
        Here is a parable that makes the same basic point as the poem….

        Parable of the House Painters

        A homeowner called his friend, who was a painting contractor. “Friend, I want to hire you and your team to paint my house and my garage. Paint the house first, and I’ll stay in the garage until you’re done. Then when the paint is dry, I’ll move back into the house, and you can paint the garage.”

        The painting contractor hired a new foreman named Paul, and gave him the homeowner’s instructions. (Paul insisted that all the workers show respect for him by addressing him as “Boss Paul.”) Paul called the team of painters together and told them:
        “Boys, we need to paint this garage and house. The quicker we do it, the more profitable it is for us. So get to work! Since the garage is smaller, we can finish that quicker. Then those who finished the garage can go help the others finish the house.”

        One worker objected: “But Boss Paul, those were not the owner’s instructions! We are supposed to paint the house first. Only after the house is finished and the paint is dry can we go and paint the garage.”

        Paul replied: “I’m Boss, you work for me, and you do as I say. We are painters, and we paint. We don’t have time for debates about ‘which one is first’. We need to get to work applying that paint to the garage and house as quick as we can. Which owner would be upset if we finished early? The job is to paint the garage and house – what difference does it make ‘which one is first’”?

        “It makes a big difference to the owner,” the worker objected. To which Paul replied, “you’re fired.” Paul then took his team of painters, and started painting the garage and the house.

        When the homeowner returned in the evening, he was furious. He had nowhere to sleep, and had to go stay in a hotel for several days. The homeowner’s friend, the painting contractor, apologized, and explained:

        “I hired a new foreman named Paul, but that was a huge mistake. He ignored your instructions that I passed on to him. You don’t know him, and I’ve just barely met him.
        To be extremely polite, I could say that Paul ‘says some things which are difficult to understand.’ To be more direct, I could say Paul talks like an arrogant megalomaniac with a messiah complex, proclaiming; ‘I am not under the law’ but yet making up his own laws as he goes along, that everyone else has to obey. Paul said: ‘I became your father…. therefore I urge you to imitate me,’ and ‘I have become all things to all men.’ Paul thinks he’s Boss, and doesn’t need to listen to your instructions that I gave him.”

        In Matthew 22 and Mark 12, Jesus identified two commandments, saying one of them is the first and greatest most important one. Which one is it? The one in Deuteronomy 6:4-5, or the one in Leviticus 19:18 ?

      • You didn’t answer my questions. You aren’t seeing the big picture either. Leave Paul out of the New Testament canon and what’s left? Leave out those who wrote about or supported him and what’s left? Not much. You don’t have the authority to alter the canon, unless that’s your purpose.

        The Holy Spirit, through Peter, has warned believers about people like you. He says that Paul’s epistles contain “some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction” (2 Peter 3:16, KJV). So it seems that Paul is the architectural lynchpin of the New Testament (Ephesians 2:20). Wresting his epistles also makes you spiritually unlearned and unstable. You’re destined for destruction (hell). You’re the heretic, not Paul. He’s in heaven; unless you repent, you won’t join him.

        Any more comments by you on this blog will be deleted. I don’t give Godspeed to apostates and heretics. Goodbye.

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