God uses his own example to define and show us what his love (agape) looks like.
Scripture shows us that God’s love (agape) is the sacrifice and laying down of one’s life for another so that other person may live. The only way that someone can truly live is through Christ who is the Life.
The Father sacrificed by sending and giving up his only begotten Son for us, giving us life in Christ (if we believe in Him).
- For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life – John 3:16
- By this the love of God was manifested in us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world so that we might live through Him – 1 John 4:9
- But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ – Eph 2:4-5
- In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins – 1 John 4:10
The Son sacrificed by laying down his own life, shedding his blood, and giving himself up for us so that we could be joined to Him as our life.
- For one will hardly die for a righteous man; though perhaps for the good man someone would dare even to die. But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us – Romans 5:7-8
- walk in love, just as Christ also loved you and gave Himself up for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God as a fragrant aroma – Eph 5:2
- Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her – Eph 5:25
- We know love by this, that He laid down His life for us; and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren – 1 John 3:16
- “Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends.” – John 15:13
The Holy Spirit is constantly laying down His life by not speaking about Himself, but rather speaking about Christ who is the only source of Life to us and the world.
- “When the Helper comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, that is the Spirit of truth who proceeds from the Father, He will testify about Me” – John 15:26
- “But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I said to you.” – John 14:26
- “But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all the truth; for He will not speak on His own initiative, but whatever He hears, He will speak; and He will disclose to you what is to come. He will glorify Me, for He will take of Mine and will disclose it to you. All things that the Father has are Mine; therefore I said that He takes of Mine and will disclose it to you” – John 16
- The Spirit is seen through the unnamed servant in Genesis 24 who followed Abraham’s (picture of the father) directives to find a bride for his son Isaac.
- The servant led the bride Rebekah (picture of the Church) to Isaac (the son – picture of Christ).
- The servant never spoke of himself or his own interests.
- Many speculate that the servant was Eliezer (Gen 15:2) – Eliezer in Hebrew means helper of God.
The second of the greatest commandments said to love one’s neighbor AS yourself. Christ gave us a new commandment: love one another MORE than yourself by sacrificing and laying down your life for the other – as He loved us.
- “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another.” – John 13:34
- “This is My commandment, that you love one another, just as I have loved you.” – John 15:12
- Because we have the agape of God in us through Christ, we have, through Christ, the same ability to love as He loved. We have the very same love in us that the Lord has and had in Himself when deciding to come and die for us sinners. We are partakers of the divine nature in Christ (2 Pet 1:4)
- Since “the love (agape) of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us” (Rom 5:5), are we going to let it out and flow through us to others?
- This requires us to “pray without ceasing” – talking to the Lord and asking Him how He wants to love in each situation – and choosing (not just feeling) to obey the Spirit’s prompting and the word the Lord already spoke through scripture to sacrifice and lay down our life for someone else.