To Love – Learn How To Love Like Jesus Loves

Last update: Tuesday, June 21, 2016
To Love
Agapao love
Love chart graphic for the agapaō ‘to love’ bible study

agapaō ‘to love’ chart

Learn to love each other

1 John 4:7-8 Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God, and every one who loves is born of God, and knows God. 8 He who does not love does not know God; for God is love. (RKJNT) [Read 1 John 4:7-11]

Something to think about:
What does it mean “to love one another”? Is it possible to love every child of God? Jesus made it clear, as He said to His followers in John 13:34 I give you a new law: Have love one for another; even as I have had love for you, so are you to have love one for another. Work on it, make it happen, love each other. The Lord wants you to do it, it is not an option. (BBE)
Key Points:
  1. When we love and obey God, then we will love others – 1 John 5:2 By this we know that we love God’s children — when we love God and carry out his commands. (OEB)
  2. To love others you must first love, your own self – Luke 10:27 His reply was — “‘You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength, and with all your mind; and your neighbor as you love yourself.’” (OEB)
  3. Agapao love for others is to help them be at ease. It is to care; to love very much in a social or a good way.

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To Love
Each Other
picture for to love - lake evans, riverside, ca

“To Love – In this is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation (atonement) (sacrificial payment) for our sins. 11 Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.”
1 John 4:10-11 (NSB)

1 John 4:7-12 Dear friends, let us love one another, because love comes from God; and everyone who loves has received the new life from God and knows God. 8 The person who does not love has not learned to know God; for God is love. 9 The love of God was revealed to us by his sending his only Son into the world, so that we might find life through him. 10 His love is seen in this — not in our having loved God, but in his loving us and sending his Son to be an atoning sacrifice for our sins. 11 Dear friends, since God loved us in this way, we, surely, ought to love one another. 12 No human eyes have ever seen God, yet, if we love one another, God remains in union with us, and his love attains its perfection in us. (OEB)

NOTE: to help identify each word (various forms of ‘love’, e.g., loves, loved, loving, etc.) in bold and blue in this lesson come from the Greek ἀγαπάω agapaō (ä-gä-pä’-ō).

Agapaō love, what kind of love is this? Jesus advised us to love our enemies with this love [Matthew 5:44; Luke 6:27, 35]. To love our neighbor with this love [Matthew 19:19; Mark 12:31; Luke 10:27 (key verses: 27-37); Galatians 5:14].

Luke 10:29, 36-37 But he, desiring to put himself in the right, said to Jesus, And who is my neighbour? 36 Which of these three men, in your opinion, was neighbour to the man who came into the hands of thieves? 37 And he said, The one who had mercy on him. And Jesus said, Go and do the same. (BBE)

To love the Lord thy God with this love [Matthew 22:37; Luke 10:27; 2 Thessalonians 2:16)]. Jesus also tells us to love each other with this love [John 13:31-35 {(key verse: 34); reference 1 Thessalonians 4:9}; 1 Peter 1:22; 1 Peter 2:17; 1 John 2:10; 2 John 1:5] To my married brothers, in addition to sexual / sensual / intimate love (ἔρως érōs), this is the love you should have for your wife [Ephesians 5:25, 28, 33 (read verses: 25-33); Colossians 3:19; Ecclesiastes 9:9].

Ephesians 5:25, 28, 33 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church, and gave himself up for her; 28 So husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. 33 Nevertheless, let every one of you love his wife as himself; and let the wife see that she respects her husband. (RKJNT)


Agapaō is used more than agape, but is less known, so we begin our ‘LOVE’ series with agapaō; to love; beloved. I created a definition after careful review of the Scriptures, Greek lexicons1 and dictionaries1; agapaō simply means to love (in a friendly, non-sexual, intimate {in marriage man to woman; husband to wife}, or good sense); to love and be grateful to God (people of God).

  1. Christians for each other (including the unchurched and those considered enemies) – to welcome, to entertain, to be fond of; value, esteem, feel or manifest generous concern for.
  2. Husbands love for his wife – to treat her with affection, to caress, to love (ἔρως érōs) dearly; take pleasure and delight in (a short definition; coming this year ‘Love Beyond the Bedroom’; we will get into details at that time).
  3. God and His children – the active love of God for His children, and the active love we have for and faithfulness to God.

The main NT word for love, agapáœ, occurs 137 times as a verb and 116 times as a noun. Both noun and verb are usually translated “love” (in the AV 29 times as “charity”). Like its Hebrew equivalent it expresses desire, leading to quest (“they loved the praise of men,” John 12:43), or it may mean a discriminating choice, whether of the world (“Demas, in love with this present world,” 2 Timothy 4:10), of God (“You shall love the Lord your God,” Matthew 22:37), or of men (“Love your enemies,” 5:44). – International Standard Bible Encyclopedia (ISBE) via PC Study Bible

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To Love
Like Jesus Loves
picture for to love - lake cunningham, san jose, ca

“To Love – A new commandment I give to you, That you love one another; as I have loved you, so you also love one another.”
John 13:34 (RKJNT)

John 13:31-35 When Judas had gone out, Jesus said, “Now the Son of Man is glorified, and God is glorified in him. 32 If God is glorified in him, God will also glorify him in himself, and he will glorify him right away. 33 Children, I am still with you for a little while. You will look for me, and just as I said to the Jewish religious leaders, ‘Where I am going you cannot come,’ now I tell you the same. 34 “I give you a new commandment—to love one another. Just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. 35 Everyone will know by this that you are my disciples—if you have love for one another.” (NET Bible)

This kind of love is the John 3:16 love of God for people shown through His sacrifice; also His correction [Hebrews 12:6; paired with the Hebrew H157 אָהַב אָהֵב ‘ahab (aw-hab’) (or raheb {aw-habe’}) v. 1. to have affection for (sexually or otherwise); 1 John 5:1-2]. John 3:16 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish, but have eternal life.” (WEB) This is the love Jesus had for Mary (Magdalene), Martha and Lazarus [John 11:1-16 (key verse: 5)], for John (the disciple/apostle) [John 13:23] and for all of the followers / imitators of God (God’s chosen) Ephesians 5:1-2. If you have agapaō love you will obey the Lord and do what He says [John 14:15-18; Hebrews 1:9].

John 14:15-18 If you love me, you will keep my commandments. 16 And I will pray to the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you forever; 17 That is the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it does not see him, neither does it know him: but you know him; for he dwells with you, and shall be in you. 18 I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you. (RKJNT)

To love with discipline / correction

Hebrews 12:3-11 For consider him who endured such hostility from sinners against himself, lest you grow weary and fainthearted. 4 You have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood in your striving against sin. 5 And you have forgotten the exhortation which speaks to you as sons, My son, do not think lightly of the discipline of the Lord, nor faint when you are rebuked by him: 6 For whom the Lord loves, he disciplines, and scourges every son whom he receives. 7 You must endure for discipline. God deals with you as with sons; for what son is there whom his father does not discipline? 8 But if you are left without discipline, of which all are partakers, then are you are illegitimate children, and not sons.

9 Furthermore, we have had earthly fathers who corrected us, and we gave them respect: shall we not much more be in subjection to the Father of spirits, and live? 10 For they disciplined us for a short time as seemed best to them; but he disciplines us for our good, that we might be partakers of his holiness. 11 At the time, no discipline seems to be joyful, but painful: nevertheless, afterward it yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness for those who have been trained by it. (RKJNT)

Scriptures to read and study

1 John 4:7-21 (focus verses: 7-8, 11-12, 19-21 key verse: 11); John 13:31-35 (focus verses: 34-35; key verse: 34); Matthew 5:43-48 [(focus verses: 43-46; key verse: 44); compare Luke 6:27-36 (key verses: 27-28)]; Matthew 19:16-22 [(focus verses: 17-19; key verse: 19); compare Mark 12:28-34 (focus verses: 28-31; key verse: 31)]; Matthew 22:34-40 (key verse: 37); compare ; John 3:1-21 (focus verses: 10-21; 14-17); 1 Thessalonians 4:9-12 (key verse: 9); 2 Thessalonians 2:13-17 (key verses: 13, 16); Hebrews 1:5-14 (focus verses: 8-9; key verse: 9); Hebrews 12:3-11 (key verse: 6; compare Proverbs 3:11-12); James 2:1-13 (focus verses: 8-13; key verse: 8); 1 Peter 1:22-25 (key verse: 22); 1 Peter 2:13-17 (key verse: 17).

Highly recommended-Luke 7:36-50 (focus verses: 38-50; key verses:44-48); Luke 10:25-37; 1 John 3:10-23 (focus verses: 10-14, 18-23; key verse: 18); 1 John 4:7-21 (key verses: 7-8, 10-11, 12, 19-21); 1 John 5:1-5 (key verses: 1-2); Ephesians 5:22-33 (key verses: 25, 28, 33).

To Love
picture for to love - loma linda university

“To Love – This is [one] way we know that we love God’s [spiritually reborn] children: [It is] when we love God and obey what He commands us to do.”
1 John 5:2 (AUV)

1 John 4:17-21 In this way love is made complete in us, so that we may be without fear on the day of judging, because as he is, so are we in this world. 18 There is no fear in love: true love has no room for fear, because where fear is, there is pain; and he who is not free from fear is not complete in love. 19 We have the power of loving, because he first had love for us.

20 If a man says, I have love for God, and has hate for his brother, his words are false: for how is the man who has no love for his brother whom he has seen, able to have love for God whom he has not seen? 21 And this is the word which we have from him, that he who has love for God is to have the same love for his brother. (BBE)

Agapaō is the kind of love mentioned in 1 John 2:15 “Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.”

Finally, my brothers and sisters, I pray you have better knowledge of what it means to love agapaō style. Before you go: 1 John 3:17-18 “Suppose someone has enough to live [the world’s possessions/goods] and sees a brother or sister [fellow believer] in need, but does not help [closes off his heart/compassion from him]. Then God’s love is not living in that person [How does God’s love abide/remain in him?]. 18 My children [2:1], we should love people not only with words and talk [in word and tongue], but by our actions and true caring [or by showing true love through our actions; in deed and truth].” (EXB) ♦ 1 John 3:23 “And this is his commandment, That we should believe in the name of his Son Jesus Christ, and love one another, as he commanded us.” (RKJNT)

Learn to love others and the Lord with agapaō love, be blessed my friends— Tim.

Related articles:

Lovingly Forgive Each Other || Bible Study Series || Greek word studies || Definition of Eros Love in the Bible || Philosophy of Love – eros

1 References Greek lexicons (Gl) / Greek dictionaries (Gd): Gl | Gl | Gl| Gl | Gd | Greek Word Study (Transliteration-Pronunciation Etymology & Grammar) Gd

Question for “To Love – Learn How To Love”: Have you learned to love like Jesus?

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Copyright information:
(AUV) It is our understanding that the An Understandable Version is in the creative commons via e-Sword | Bible in Basic English (BBE) Public domain. | (EXB) The Expanded Bible Scripture taken from The Expanded Bible. Copyright ©2011 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved. | Quotations designated (NET) are from the NET Bible® copyright ©1996-2006 by Biblical Studies Press, L.L.C. All rights reserved. | (NSB) The New Simplified Bible may be quoted without express written permission of the publisher. Please give credit to the New Simplified Bible when quoting from it. New Simplified Bible. All Rights Reserved Worldwide. Copyright (c) 2003 | Open English Bible (OEB) The OEB is under a Creative Commons Zero licence – that is, it is in the public domain. Read the current release of the OEB New Testament online. | (RKJNT) Revised King James New Testament – public domain. | (WEB) World English Bible – public domain.

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Bishop Pettiford

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  1. I enjoy your words i read but its so hard
    When you show love and the same person crushes you.

    • @William Jackson, thank you for visiting the site and commenting. Yes, people can hurt us, but try finding comfort in knowing your suffering is similar to that of our Lord. He shows His love for us, but often we crush Him. Please stay encouraged and follow the Lord’s example and continue to show agapao love.

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