Summary: 1 Corinthians 13 paints a picture of the "Agape" love Jesus has for us.
Video “Confused about love.”
Valentine’s Day is this week guys. I want to give you fair warning. This month is known as the month of love because we celebrate Valentine’s Day. But do you know why? Let me enlighten you. The most popular belief is that Valentine was a priest who served during the third century in Rome. When Emperor Claudius II decided that single men made better soldiers than those with wives and families, he outlawed marriage for young men. Valentine, realizing the injustice of the decree, defied Claudius and continued to perform marriages for young lovers in secret. When Valentine's actions were discovered, Claudius ordered that he be put to death. He eventually was made the Saint of Love by the Catholic Church and we celebrate this day each year to honor his memory.
We live in a world that seems to be confused about love. We throw around the word “love” very casually. We love our jobs, our cars, our homes, our gadgets, our pets and all of our things. We love our moms, dads, kids, and relatives. We love our friends, neighbors, and people at work. We love our spouses, our girlfriends, or boyfriends. We love our church, our Lord Jesus, and our God. We love so many things that we lose sight of the true meaning of love.
We live in a world looking for love. If you go to Amazon. COM you can find 334,289 books with the word “love” in the title. 14,554 of these books deal with discovering how to love yourself. There are 173,677 songs available with the word “love” in the title. If you prefer a movie you can find 28,261 with the word “love” in the title. And if you still haven’t found what you are looking for just Google love and it will give you a listing of 3,250,000,000 web-sites with “love” mentioned in the search.
In the English language the word “love” carries many meanings but in the Greek language there were four words used for love. Two of these words for love are found in the New Testament. Today I want to help us understand the different types of love and in doing so have clarity about love.
The first word the Greeks had for love was “Eros” (AIR-ose). It is the root word for our English word “erotic”. This type of love was the most commonly found. It was usually sexual by nature but it also described the love toward inanimate objects. This type of love is always selfish. It is a love that expects nothing in return.
When we say we love our cars we are feeling an “Eros” love. We do not expect our car to love us back. We describe this type of love between individuals as “one night stands” or “friends with benefits.” There are never any expectations of a lasting relationship.
I dare say that “Eros” love is still the most common type of love found. And this type of love is not mentioned in the Bible for good reasons.
Another type of love the Greeks expressed in their language was “Phileo” (FILL-ee-uh). This love was a love shared between friends. This love is shown when Peter reminds us “You were cleansed from your sins when you obeyed the truth, so now you must show sincere love to each other as brothers and sisters. Love each other deeply with all your heart.” (1 Peter 1:22)
The way we do this is found in Galatians 6:10 “Therefore, whenever we have the opportunity, we should do good to everyone—especially to those in the family of faith.”
“Phileo” love looks for opportunities to do something good for everyone especially our fellow Christians. Why? The answer is so that those who are lost in sin can see a deep, caring love between people of the faith and realize that the church family can offer them something that the world cannot.
Jesus reminds us that “The world would love you as one of its own if you belonged to it, but you are no longer part of the world. I chose you to come out of the world, so it hates you.” (John 15:19) Jesus says the world also offers “Phileo” love. You can see it in bars as strangers often share their heartaches and troubles over a few drinks. You see it on social media as hurting people relate the unfairness of life and broken relationships. The world will accept you as a friend and you don’t have to change. The church needs to accept these people as they are and allow the Holy Spirit to do the work of changing things. Often the church seems like the world hating those who are not a part of it.
The third type of love found in the Greek language is “Storge” (STOR-jay). This is a natural affection. This love is the type you feel the first time you look at a new born baby. This baby is a person that you have not had a chance to connect with but you instantly have a love toward. This love is actually often exhibited in the animal kingdom as an adult creature protects it’s young. Although the word “Storge” is not used in the Bible, we do find an example of it in Romans 12:10 “Love each other with genuine affection, and take delight in honoring each other.” This type of love can best be explained by combining the two words “Phileo” and “Storge”. We are to love those in the church with a natural affection based on a deep friendship.