Greetings brothers and sisters in the Lord,
The word for love in I Corinthians Chapter 13 is agape. It is the word for love to parents, wife, children, king or country, as one’s own.
This is a sacrificial, selfless love for others. God’s love for us is agape love. Agape love is not based on circumstances or emotions.
Brennan Manning wrote about God’s love and mercy for us. The Good News means we can stop lying to ourselves. The sweet sound of amazing grace saves us from the necessity of self-deception. It keeps us from denying that though Christ was victorious, the battle with lust, greed, and pride still rages within us.
As a sinner who has been redeemed, I can acknowledge that I am often unloving, irritable, angry, and resentful with those closest to me. When I go to church I can leave my white hat at home and admit I have failed. God not only loves me as I am, but also knows me as I am. Because of this I don’t need to apply spiritual cosmetics to make myself presentable to Him. I can accept ownership of my poverty and powerlessness and neediness.(Manning, The Ragamuffin Gospel)
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.John 3:16-17 NIV
Agape love is a commitment expressed in the marriage vow to have and to hold, from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, until death do us part.
Love is what the Spirit creates in the life of the believer and in the believing community. Love is the chief of the Spirit’s fruits. We see love mentioned first in the list of the fruit of the Spirit.
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law”Galatians 5:22-23.
That’s not only to give love the place as the most important fruit but also to suggest that love is itself a summation of all the other fruit. Love is the pinnacle, the apex, the summit, the greatest of all of the Spirit’s fruit.
John Piper also wrote about agape or radical love in the following devotional: The Key to Radical Love