For those who listened to the show today our subject for the month is love. Today we focused on the premise of love as it relates to the life of the Christian. The rhetorical question is an oxymoron. Christians understand the first rule of how to receive the perfect love. The perfect love was freely given to us unconditionally through and by the action of Jesus Christ and God. The ability to love someone despite their constant shortcomings is the root of Christianity. Therefore, unconditional love is the characteristic required to confirm your belief in Jesus Christ as personal Lord and Savior of one’s life.
Our discussion today highlighted several instances where we witness the result of the errors perpetrated as love. The error is another four letter word we call “lust” and it is running rapid throughout the world. The question is why are we allowing it without the force of resistance to oppose it? The discussion of two specific results of the lust of the world reared its ugly head once again in the news. Herman Cain and the four accusers who bring to light sexual inappropriate behavior by him and Paterno the former Penn State coach accused of sexual misconduct throughout his trusted years of coaching, lead the headlines this month.
The nightmare befell me when I read an article headline about Paterno which compared the type of cover-up to that of the church. What a disgraceful comparison to make. Yet, it was obviously offered because of its resounding truth. The writer understands that many will be able to relate to the level of betrayal of one who has been freely given authority over many lives using the church as an example. The other example of love gone to a place of confusion is the seven-year viral video of a father beating his daughter. The daughter claims she released this because she loves him and the father states he beat her because he loves her as well.
These instances and issues prove to be the constant struggle we have in discerning when to express the ‘phileo’ and ‘agape’ types of love. The Christian becomes one by way of an ‘agape’ love, yet we remain in the mode of executing a ‘phileo’ type love. The feeling love ‘eros’ is reserved for the intimate union of marriage because of the exchange of intimacy. The ‘agape’ love is expected to accompany ‘phileo’, and ‘eros’ as the operation of expressed love in the marriage. The wedding vows clearly support both, but when we walk outside of the will of God we see deadly and painful results of ‘phileo’ love misdirecting the expression of ‘eros’ as seen in the headlines with Cain and Paterno. The explanation and details given are more easily said than done. The inability of the church to bring flesh under subjection of the spirit is making a mockery of living an abundant Christian lifestyle.
FOUR TYPES OF LOVE
There is much confusion today on the
subject of love because we are limited to only one English word (love) with a
broad range of meanings. For example, if I said, “I love my wife, I love my dog,
I love apple pie,” obviously I am not talking about love in the same degree or
In the New Testament period there were four major Greek
words that were used.
Eros Love – A word that was not
actually used in the New Testament but was alluded to. It meant physical
passion; its gratification and fulfillment. The Greek word is probably not used
in the New Testament because the origin of the word came from the mythical god
Eros, the god of love. It is inferred in many scriptures and is the only kind of
love that God restricts to a one-man, one-woman relationship within the bounds
of marriage (Heb. 13:4; Song 1:13; 4:5-6; 7:7-9; 8:10; 1 Cor. 7:25; Eph. 5:31).
Storge Love– Storge is the natural bond between mother
and infant, father, children, and kin. William Barclay states, “We cannot help
loving our kith and kin; blood is thicker than water” (N.T. Words, 1974).
Phileo Love – Phileo love is a love of the affections. It
is delighting to be in the presence of another, a warm feeling that comes and
goes with intensity. The Bible encourages it but it is never a direct command.
God never commands phileo since this type of love is based on the feelings. God
Himself did not phileo the world but rather operated in agape love towards us. I
cannot have a warm tender feeling toward an enemy but I can agape love them.
Agape Love – Agape love is God’s kind of love. It is
seeking the welfare and betterment of another regardless of how we feel. Agape
does not have the primary meaning of feelings or affection. Jesus displayed it
when he went to the cross and died for you and me regardless of how He felt. In
the gospels Jesus prayed, “Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me:
nevertheless, not as I will, but as thou wilt” (Mt. 26:39; Mk. 14:36; Lk.
22:41-43; Jn. 18:11). Jesus sought the betterment of you and me, regardless of
His feelings. Matthew 7:12 states it this way, “So whatever you wish that men
would do to you, do so to them; for this is the law and the prophets”
We can agape our enemies regardless of how we feel. If they are hungry, we
can feed them; if they thirst we can give them a drink (Rom. 12:20-21). We can
choose to seek the betterment and welfare of others regardless of how we feel.
Jesus was the greatest expression of love that ever came into the world,
but it is never recorded that he ever said the words, “I love you!” Why? because
95 percent of all love is non-verbal. Jesus did not love with just words but in
deed and truth (1 Jn. 3:18). If your actions contradict your words, what are
people going to believe, your words or your actions? Your actions of course.
Vine’s Expository Dictionary states, “Love can be known only from the actions it
prompts” (p. 21).
What do you think about your love walk, the churches love walk or lack there of? Do you have a response or opinion about the three current events subjected to recognize our spiritual condition? GospelCNTRO wants to hear from you. If we read your response on our show we will send you a free copy of the current GospelCNTRO.com magazine. We will only win the fight by walking, sharing and allowing God to show himself to us together. We look forward to hearing what you have to say.
You are loved, blessed and anointed. Now all we need to do is walk in it, God bless you.
Rev. Christene Duncan