When we are told to love God with all our capabilities, mental, physical and emotional, does it specifically mean with AGAPE love?
@mutts I think the New Testament defines love in reference to Christ - we love because and as He loved us in giving His life. While the term ‘agape’ is used in a unique way within the NT, I think what is more important than the term is the fact that our love is rooted in God’s love on the cross. Our love for God is a response to His love for us.
How would you define the term ‘agape’? How do you see as different from other words for love?
I John 4:19 - We love because he first loved us.
Romans 12:1 - Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship.
AGAPE ä gä’ pā, ἀγάπη, G27, is one NT word for love. It appears in the Johannine definition (1 John 4:8), “God is love.” It is that love demanded of man by the law of God and for man’s neighbor, whom man must love “as himself.” Agapé is, therefore, the fulfillment of the law as it relates to both God and fellow man (Matt 22:40); and of the trio “faith, hope and love,” agapé is the greatest (1 Cor 13:13). Agapé is also the power that overcomes evil.
The Heb., as does the Eng. language, has only one word for love (אָהַב, H170), and this word, as does love in Eng. usage, has a rich variety of meanings. While the NT with its two words for love, makes finer distinctions of meaning, even in the NT the distinctions are blurred in actual usage so that the meanings of each overlap.
Wonderful question! Here’s a specific instance in Matt:23:37:
“And he said to him, "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.”
I checked my Blue Letter Bible App and it looks like Jesus is using at least a form of Agape.
In the Strongs concordance it says Matt 23:37 is using agapaō G25. Agapē is actually G26. I don’t know Greek, however it would seem to me this G25 is much closer to Agapē than any of the other three Greek words for love. If anyone reading this post has taking some Greek and can clarify please do. I would welcome the correction if I am not hitting the mark.
You may want to check out https://www.blueletterbible.org (and other sources you may use) for more detail. In the mean time here’s a bit of a drill down via screen shot of G25 and G26:
Hope this helps!
Cheers and blessings,