The LORD appeared to us in the past, saying: “I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with unfailing kindness; (Jere. 31:3 NIV).
What manner of love is it that allowed the Father to sacrifice His only begotten Son? God’s love for His children is so strong that He gave His only Son as a sacrifice for all mankind. When a Father and Son relationship is intensely close, the Son imitates the Father, and that’s exactly what Jesus did; (John 5:20). He gave His life in order to reconcile us back to the Father; restoring the most important relationship that we can ever have. Now, that’s love!
Those whom God loves He draws them by the influences of His Spirit upon their souls. In the midst of our sins, He called us out of the darkness. The Father sent the Son to pay sins death penalty; He redeemed us out of satan’s hands. There’s no greater sacrifice than when a man gives His life for another man; (John 15:13). That’s real love!
4 Types of Love:
Agape love speaks of the most powerful, noblest, type of love. A sacrificial love. It’s more than a whimsical type of feeling; it’s an act of will. Show this type of love is a choice. It’s a choice to be kind, to sacrifice, to consider another’s needs greater than your own; (Phil. 2:3). This is the “God type” of love; the love that God has for His people. This love prompted the Father to sacrifice His Son. Jesus is Agape love personified. This love is unique and is distinguished by its nature and character; (1 John 4:8). Everything that God does extends from His love. Agape love is selfless, sacrificial, and unconditional love, the highest of the four types of love in the Bible.
Phileo love (or philia), refers to brotherly love and is most exhibited in a close relationship. Best friends will display this generous and affectionate love for each other. The Scriptural account of David and Johnathan provides an excellent illustration of phileo love; (1st Sam. 18:1-3). Since phileo love involves feelings of warmth, and affection toward another person, we do not have phileo love toward our enemies. However, God commands that we must learn to love the unlovely, and those who are hostile toward our faith; (Luke 6:28; Matt. 5:44). We must learn to see them through God’s eyes, as another soul in need of a savior.
Agape and Phileo appear at different points throughout Scripture. The relationship in our lives will either be governed by Agape or Phileo love.
Eros love is a passionate or sexual love. Eros is the source of the English word erotic. Eros is important within a marriage relationship and is created by God. Eros can be abused or mistaken for storge love. The Bible is clear that sexual immorality out of control eros is a sin; (1st Cor. 6:18; 1st Thess. 4:3).
Storge love is an affectional love, the type of love one might have for a family member or a spouse. A natural occurring, unforced type of love. The account of Mary, Martha, and Lazarus provides an example of sibling storge love; (John 11).
Picture Perfect Love
Love is patient, love is kind, it does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud, it is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs, it does not delight in evil, it rejoices with the truth, it always protects, it always trusts, it always hopes, and it always perseveres. Love never fails; (1st Cor. 13:4-8a).
Real love does not set out to hurt anyone! If you’re in a bad relationship where someone claims to love you but is abusing you, that is not love. This person may have been hurt, and now has become their abuser. Get out of it that relationship before you are destroyed! The condition of a person’s heart is visible. What’s inside of a person’s heart is revealed on the outside. Spiritual fruit is visible; (Gal. 5:23-24).
God desires to show His perfect sinless love to a world that is totally confused about what true love is. Christ’s love is a continual feast. God’s children are the conduits of His love, as they are empowered by the Holy Spirit; (1 John 3:11). The type of love that God desires cannot be produced without the leading and strength of the Holy Spirit. (Continue to page 2)