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Saturday, February 1, 2014

Agape, Charity, Love

Thesaurus

Agape - affection, benevolence, bountifulness, clemency, generosity, goodness, goodwill, grace, humanness, humanity, kindliness, love, mercy, tenderheartness

Charity - grace, humanity, kindness, selflessness, ministry, gift, donation, philanthropy, giving, contribution, offering, assistance, encouragement, favor, guidance, relief, rescue, service, aid, humanitarianism, tenderheartness

Love - adoration, affection, appreciation, devotion, fondness, tenderness, cherishing, delight, 
devotedness, enchantment, fervor, fondness, sympathy, brotherly love, admiration, fellow-feeling,
benevolence, tenderness, appreciation, favor, homage, honor, regard, care, concern, endearment,
friendliness, good will, kindness, treasure, respect

History

Agape (/ˈæɡəpiː/[1] or /əˈɡɑːpeɪ/; Classical Greek: ἀγάπη, agápē; Modern Greek: αγάπη IPA: [aˈɣapi]), Love that is spiritual, not sexual, in its nature. Definition: Agape is selfless, sacrificial, unconditional love, the highest of the four types of love in the Bible.

Often translated "unconditional love", is one of the Koine Greek words translated into English as love, one which became particularly appropriated in Christian theology as the love of God or Christ for humankind. In the New Testament, it refers to the covenant love of God for humans, as well as the human reciprocal love for God; the term necessarily extends to the love of one’s fellow man. Although the word does not have specific religious connotation, the word has been used by a variety of contemporary and ancient sources, including biblical authors and Christian authors. Greek philosophers at the time of Plato and other ancient authors have used forms of the word to denote love of a spouse or family, or affection for a particular activity, in contrast to philia (an affection that could denote friendship, brotherhood or generally non-sexual affection) and eros, an affection of a sexual nature. Thomas Jay Oord has defined agape as "an intentional response to promote well-being when responding to that which has generated ill-being."




John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten (produced) Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

A journalist of Time Magazine has described John 3:16 as "one of the most famous and well-known Bible verses. It has been called the 'Gospel in a nutshell' because it is considered a summary of the central doctrines of Christianity."  The verb translated "loved" in this verse is ἠγάπησεν (ēgapēsen), past tense of "agapaō".


Bible



1 Corinthians 13 (KJV)
1 Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal.
2 And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing.
3 And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing.
4 Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up,
5 Doth not behave itself unseemly (not proper or appropriate.) , seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil;
6 Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth;
7 Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.
8 Charity never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away.





Charity in 1 Corinthians 13 means: suffering long, kindness, rejoices in the truth, bears in all things, believes in all things, hopes in all things, endures in all things, Charity never fails: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away.

Charity in 1 Corinthians 13 does not: envy, vaunt (boast, brag, flaunt, strut, swagger, put on an act, advertise, display, parade, show and tell, showcase) is not boastful, conceited, flaunting, self-centered, self-important, selfish, showy, stuck-up, vain, uppity, superior, proud, scornful, on an ego trip, pompous, overbearing, haughty, domineering, egotistical, contemptuous, conceited, cocky, bragging, bossy, arrogant, know-it-all, loud mouth,  narcissistic, phony, swollen-headed, pushy, smart-alecky, proud, prideful, self-admiring, snobbish, not easily provoked, thinks of no evil, does not rejoice in iniquity.









1 John 4 (KJV)

7 Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God.
8 He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.
9 In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten (produced) Son into the world, that we might live through him.
10 Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation (peace offering) for our sins.
11 Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another.
12 No man hath seen God at any time. If we love one another, God dwelleth in us, and his love is perfected in us.




18 There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love.

If you fear in love, it's not love. Perfect love does not torment it protects. It calms, assures, eases and comforts. ~ Karmen



Matthew 22 (KJV)
35 Then one of them, which was a lawyer, asked him a question, tempting him, and saying,
36 Master, which is the great commandment in the law?
37 Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.
38 This is the first and great commandment.
39 And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.
40 On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.




Matthew 5 (KJV)



43 Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy.
44 But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;
45 That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.
46 For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans (tax collectors) the same?


History
Agape received a broader usage under later Christian writers as the word that specifically denoted "Christian" love or "charity" (1 Corinthians 13:1–8), or even God himself (1 John 4:8, ὁ θεὸς ἀγάπη ἐστίν, "God is Love").

The term agape is rarely used in ancient manuscripts, but was used by the early Christians to refer to the self-sacrificing love of God for humanity, which they were committed to reciprocating and practicing towards God and among one another. When 1 John 4:8 says "God is love," the Greek New Testament uses the word agape to describe God's love.

Agape has been expounded on by many Christian writers in a specifically Christian context. C. S. Lewis, in his book The Four Loves, used agape to describe what he believed was the highest level of love known to humanity – a selfless love, a love that was passionately committed to the well-being of the other.

The Christian usage of the term agape comes almost directly from the canonical Gospels' accounts of the teachings of Jesus. When asked what was the great commandment, "Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets." (Matthew 22:37-40) In Judaism, the first ("...love the LORD thy God..."), is part of the Shema.

In the King James Version of the New Testament, the word agape is translated "charity" [in some places] which has a contemporary connotation of giving to meet needs of the less fortunate.

In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus said:
You have heard that it was said, 'You shall love (agapēseis) your neighbor and hate your enemy.' But I say to you, Love (agapāte) your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven; for he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. For if you love those who love you, what reward have you? —Matthew 5:43-46

Anglican theologian O.C. Quick cautions however that this agape within human experience is "a very partial and rudimentary realization," and that "in its pure form it is essentially divine." Quick suggests that,
If we could imagine the love of one who loves men purely for their own sake, and not because of any need or desire of his own, purely desires their good, and yet loves them wholly, not for what at this moment they are, but for what he knows he can make of them because he made them, then we should have in our minds some true image of the love of the Father and Creator of mankind.

In the New Testament the word agape is often used to describe God's love. However, other forms of the word agape (such as agapaō) are at times used in a negative sense. Such examples include:
2 Timothy 4:10 (KJV) For Demas hath forsaken me, having loved this present world, and is departed unto Thessalonica; Crescens to Galatia, Titus unto Dalmatia.
John 12:43 (KJV) For they loved the praise of men more than the praise of God.
John 3:19 (KJV) And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.


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