Agape, and its verb form agapao, is one of the several Greek words  for love. The Bible also mentions phileo, or brotherly love, and refers  to eros, erotic love. The Greeks also spoke of storge, which is a  love between family members.

Agape love is a little different. It  is not a feeling; it’s a motivation for action that we are free to choose or  reject. Agape is a sacrificial love that voluntarily suffers  inconvenience, discomfort, and even death for the benefit of another without  expecting anything in return. We are called to agape love through  Christ’s example: “Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children, and walk  in love, just as Christ also loved you and gave Himself up for us, an offering  and a sacrifice to God as a fragrant aroma” (Ephesians  5:1-2).

We are to agapao God (Matthew  22:37), our neighbor (Matthew  22:39), and even our enemies (Matthew  5:43-46). We are not to agapao money (Matthew  6:24), darkness (John 3:19), or  men’s approval (John  12:43).

The New Testament has over two-hundred references to  agape love. Here are a few.

Matthew  24:12: With increased lawlessness in the end times, concern and caring for  others will fade.

Luke 11:42:  The legalism of the Pharisees, even their sacrifices, did not reflect a love of  God.

John 13:35:  The Christian life is characterized by sacrificial agape love.

John 15:9-10; Romans 13:10: When we  agape love God, we show it by obeying His commandments because His  commandments teach us how to love others.

John 15:13:  The greatest demonstration of love anyone can give is to die for his  friends.

John 17:26Romans 5:5; Galatians 5:22Agape love comes from God, not our own effort.

Romans 5:8; Revelation  1:5: It was agape love that caused Jesus to sacrifice Himself for  us.

Romans  14:15; 1  Corinthians 8:1: It is not loving to lead another into sin.

Colossians 3:19: Men are  called to show agape love to their wives.

James 1:12; 2:5: Love of  God will result in rewards in heaven.

2 Peter  2:15; 1 John 2:15:  It is possible to sacrificially love something that is not godly.

Although 1 Corinthians 13 is known as the chapter on love, there is no book  that speaks more about agape than 1 John. Two important themes come out  of 1 John. The first is that it is inconsistent and false to claim we  agape love God while not agape loving other believers. We cannot  love God without loving brothers and sisters who also love Him. The second is  that it is inconsistent and false to claim we agape love God if we don’t  obey Him. It is impossible to love God while ignoring what He says. The two are  inextricably connected, as Galatians  5:14 says: “For the whole law is fulfilled in one word, in the statement,  ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.'”