Sermons

Summary: Only the true understanding of this God's love will make us fulfill our great commission as Christians

There are so many concepts of love

This entry is a post from a singles group on the internet.

For all us people who say “I love you”

when we have no clue what exactly love is !!!

Something to ponder upon…

Are your palms sweaty, is your heart racing

and is your voice caught within your chest?

-It isn’t love, it’s a feeling

You can’t keep your eyes or hands off each other?

-It isn’t love, it’s LUST.

Are you proud, and eager to show them off??

-It isn’t love, it’s LUCK.

Do you want them because you know they’re always there??

-It isn’t love, it’s LONELINESS.

Are you there because it’s what everyone

wants??

-It isn’t love, it’S LOYALTY.

Are you there because she makes you feel like a man or he makes you feel like a woman

-It isn’t love, it’s LOW CONFIDENCE.

Do you stay for their confessions of love,

because you don’t want to hurt them??

-It isn’t love, it’s PITY.

Do you belong to them because their sight

makes your heart skip a beat??

-It isn’t love, it’s INFATUATION.

Do you tell them every day they are the only

one you think of??

-It isn’t love, it’s a LIE.

What then is LOVE?

Unlike English, in which the word love means many different things, Ancient Greek had four words to describe the range of meaning that our word love conveys.

The first word is eros, from which we get the English word erotic. Eros was the word often used to express sexual love or the feelings of arousal that are shared between people who are physically attracted to one another. The word was also used as the name of the Greek god of love, Eros (the Romans called him “Cupid”). By New Testament times, this word had become so debased by the culture that it is not used even once in the entire New Testament.

The second Greek word for “love” was storge, which referred to natural, familial love. Storge (a word not found in the Bible) referred to the type of love shown by a parent for a child.

The third Greek word for “love” was philia, which forms part of the words philosophy (“love of wisdom”) and philanthropy (“love of fellow man”). This word speaks of the warm affection shared between friends. Whereas eros is more closely associated with the libido, philia is associated with the heart (metaphorically speaking). We feel love for our friends and family, obviously not in an erotic sense, but in the sense of being kind and affectionate. However, philia is not felt between people who are at enmity with one another. We can feel philia toward friends and family, but not toward people whom we dislike or hate.

Different from all of these is the fourth Greek word for “love,” agapé, typically defined as the “self-sacrificing love.” This is the love that moves people into action and looks out for the well-being of others, no matter the personal cost. Biblically speaking, agapé is the love God showed to His people in sending His Son, Jesus, to die for their sins. It is the love that focuses on the will, not the emotions, experience, or libido. This is the love that Jesus commands His disciples to show toward their enemies (Luke 6:35). Eros and philia are not expressed to people who hate us and wish us ill; agapé is. In Romans 5:8, Paul tells us that God’s love for His people was made manifest in that “while we were still sinners [i.e., enemies], Christ died for us.”

So, moving from the base to the pure, we have eros, storge, philia, and agapé. This is not to denigrate eros as sinful or impure. Sexual love is not inherently unclean or evil. Rather, it is the gift of God to married couples to express their love for one another, strengthen the bond between them, and ensure the survival of the human race. The Bible devotes one whole book to the blessings of erotic, or sexual, love—Song of Solomon. The love between a husband and a wife should be, among other things, an erotic love. However, a long-term relationship based solely on eros is doomed to failure. The “thrill” of sexual love wears off quickly unless there are some philia and agapé to go along with it.

Outside of the New Testament, the word agape is used in a variety of contexts, but in the New Testament it takes on a distinct meaning. Agape is used to describe the love that is of and from God, whose very nature is love itself: “God is love” (1 John 4:8). Everything God does flows from His love. Agape is also used to describe our love for God (Luke 10:27), a servant’s faithful respect to his master (Matthew 6:24), and a man’s attachment to things (John 3:19).

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