The Characteristics of Agape Love

What are the characteristics of agape love?  We are going to list the characteristics today and then take a longer look at each characteristic as we go along.

I Corinthians 13:13 says, “And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but THE GREATEST OF THESE IS CHARITY (love).”
I John 4: 8 says, “He that loveth not knoweth not God; FOR GOD IS LOVE.”
These verses tell us two very important facts about our Christian walk.  First, love is greater than faith and hope.  But, make no mistake, faith and hope are also both very important to our Christian walk.  Second, if we do not love, then we do not know God because HE IS LOVE.  Love is God’s character and, as His child, our character must reflect His character.  ANYTHING that is not of love is NOT of God.  There is no middle ground.

God’s love is defined in I Corinthians 13:4-8 (AMPC)

Love endures long and is patient and kind; love never is envious nor boils over with jealousy, is not boastful or vainglorious, does not display itself haughtily.

It is not conceited (arrogant and inflated with pride); it is not rude (unmannerly) and does not act unbecomingly. Love (God’s love in us) does not insist on its own rights or its own way, for it is not self-seeking; it is not touchy or fretful or resentful; it takes no account of the evil done to it [it pays no attention to a suffered wrong].

It does not rejoice at injustice and unrighteousness, but rejoices when right and truth prevail.

Love bears up under anything and everything that comes, is ever ready to believe the best of every person, its hopes are fadeless under all circumstances, and it endures everything [without weakening].

Love never fails [never fades out or becomes obsolete or comes to an end]. As for prophecy (a]the gift of interpreting the divine will and purpose), it will be fulfilled and pass away; as for tongues, they will be destroyed and cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away [it will lose its value and be superseded by truth].

We need to read these verses and really get them down in our hearts.  Since the love of God is in us, we are able to do everything that is listed in these verses.  We CAN endure long and be patient and kind.  Our love CAN bear up under anything and everything that comes.

Love is the most potent characteristic of God because He IS love.  His nature IS love.  And when we were born again, His love was imparted into our hearts by the Holy Spirit.  Therefore, we are able to walk in God’s love rather than our natural human love.  This does not mean we will not encounter people or situations that seem to make it difficult to exhibit the love of God, BUT His love in us means that we CAN walk in love in every situation.

So, walking in love means we will:

  • endure long
  • be patient and kind
  • never envy or be  jealous
  • never be boastful or vainglorious
  • not be haughty
  • not be conceited, arrogant or inflated with pride
  • not be rude or unmannerly
  • not act unbecomingly
  • not insist on our own rights or our own way
  • not be touchy or fretful or resentful
  • take not account of an evil done to us
  • not pay attention to a suffered wrong
  • rejoice when right and truth prevail
  • will bear up under everything and anything
  • be ready to believe the best in everyone
  • have unfailing hope

Love is the way to victory, love is what makes our faith work, love is a fruit of the Spirit and walking in love is how we show that we love God.