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“The love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost” (Rom 5:5; KJV). In the Greek this form of love is agape (noun), an unconditional love. The word agape was not really used in the Greek until its use in the bible. The Greek verb phileo is the more commonly used word for love in non-bible Greek and is a brotherly love or affection that is dependent on our ability to love a person because of mutual attraction and feelings.

When Jesus asked Peter if he loved him in the 21st chapter of John’s gospel, Jesus used agapao (verb) but Peter could only reply with phileo. God commands us to use agape (John 13:34). With agape we can love the unlovable by faith. We may not be naturally attracted to some people but we are commanded to love (agape) them. Our greatest example of love (agape) is that of the Father for us: “For God so loved (agapao) the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life” (John 3:16; KJV). Christ died for us while we were sinners.

 If you want to understand love (agape) then read 1 Corinthians chapter 13, especially verses 4-8a: “Charity (agape) suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, Doth 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. Charity never faileth” (KJV). This is how God loves us and how we should love him and each other. Don’t get me wrong, we can have affection as well, but we must love all people with God’s unconditional love. Is that wow or double wow? Enough said.

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