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Love | Week 2: Agape

The kind of love that God has shown to us and the kind that he calls us to, is very different from the way in which our culture defines love. If you think about it, love is often expressed as nothing more than a matter of emotion. Love is lived out in a very transactional sort of way. In other words, there is a “what’s in it for me” mentality. Opposite of that is Agape (Greek for the kind of love God shows us); this is unconditional and therefore a selfless love. The example that we find in Jesus is far more than emotional. Love, expressed like God loves, requires a deliberate mindset and a conquering of the will. As C.S. Lewis puts it, “Love is not affectionate feeling, but a steady wish for the loved person’s ultimate good as far as it can be obtained.” 

 

READ Romans 5:8

 

But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

 

READ the passage again and consider these related questions.

 

What do you think was the impetus for Christ’s willingness to die for us?

 

Describe the differences between love that is based on emotion and Agape love?

 

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS:

 

Read 1 Corinthians 13:6

 

1. Love cannot be impartial.  Agree or disagree?

 

2. What is the necessary link between love and righteousness?

 

Read 1 Corinthians 13:7

 

3. In what ways does love require us to protect the reputations of others?

 

4. Why is it important to try and believe the best about others? How do we guard against naïvety?

 

5. Like the father in the parable of the prodigal son, how must our love reflect a perpetual hope for others? What does this look like practically?

 

6. Why is a persevering love for others so difficult? How is it a reminder of God’s grace?

 

7. Why must the various forms of love (passionate, parental, friendship, etc.) all fall within the framework of Agape?