What is "LOVE"
It is very difficult to define love in the Biblical sense because the English word "love" means something completely different from the sense of "agape" love. Modern Christianity tends to use the English sense of love as a feeling of romantic love - such as "Lets all fall in love with Jesus". Or affection as in "Love your neighbor - give them a hug."
However Agape Love means something very different - it is sacrificial duty - which may be totally apart from affection or romance. For example:
1Jn 4:9 In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him.
1Jn 4:10 Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.
1Jn 4:11 Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another.
God sent Jesus to die for a people He was sorry He made and whom He hated.
The love Jesus demonstrated was sacrificial duty unto God and toward us by dying on the cross that we can be forgiven.
Joh 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
The essence of Biblical love is sacrificial duty - towards Jesus, towards our brethren, towards our spouses and even towards our enemies.
The key to understand love is that the degree of duty is different in each case depending on the relationship.
1. The love towards Jesus is the sacrificial duty of keeping His commandments even unto death.
Jn 5:3 For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments.
2. The love toward our brethren is the sacrificial duty to love them as we love ourselves and even to lay down our lives in service if necessary.
Joh 13:34 A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.
1Jn 3:16 Hereby perceive we the love of God, because he laid down his life for us: and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.
3. The love toward our enemies is the sacrificial duty of being kind and patient etc. - even though they may hate us. (see 1 Cor 13:4)
Luk 6:27 But I say unto you which hear, Love your enemies, do good to them which hate you,
Pro 25:21 If thine enemy be hungry, give him bread to eat; and if he be thirsty, give him water to drink:
4. The spousal love for women is the sacrificial duty of obeying her husband.
5. The spousal love for men is the sacrificial duty of laying down their lives to serve their wives even as Christ loved the church.
Eph 5:22 Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord.
Eph 5:23 For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church
Eph 5:24 Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing.
Eph 5:25 Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it;
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