Understanding Biblical Love (agápē)

Updated: Jul 23, 2020


Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil; Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth; Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things. 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.

1 Corinthians 13:4-8

Jesus gave a new commandment, "That ye love one another as I have loved you"(John 13:34-35). This new commandment raises the bar for the expression of love among the disciples of Christ. The Apostle Paul goes on the define this love (agape) in 1 Corinthians 13:4-8. In this passage the Apostle outlines fifteen characteristics of love. In the above video Pastor Kent Jacob examines this passage and shares his understanding of the meaning of these characteristics of love. He provides definitions of each of the fifteen characteristics of love. A few question are included at the end for personal reflection.

Love suffers long (long-suffering; patience; endurance)

To be patient in bearing the offences and injuries of others. Being mild and slow in avenging; slow to anger; slow to punish. To have forbearance or fortitude. Longsuffering is that quality of self-restraint in the face of provocation which does not hastily retaliate or promptly punish; it is the opposite of anger, and is associated with mercy. Patience is the quality that does not surrender to circumstances or succumb under trial; it is the opposite of despondency and is associated with hope.