In the last Post I alluded to the different ways, "LOVE," is used in the Word of God. In order to preface their importance, you have to go back to the first and greatest of all Commandments from our Lord. "THOU SHALT LOVE THE LORD THY GOD, WITH ALL THY HEART, AND WITH ALL THY SOUL, AND WITH ALL THEY MIND." The word, "love," appears a little more than 300 times in Bible, and its derivations like, loves, loved, etc., appear another 300 times. It also can very depending on what version of the Word of God you are using; however, the point is that this word was important. Jesus and his Disciples used it repeatedly so that the early church, and its saints would clearly understand love in all of its forms and remains a key feature that separates the true children of God from all else.
Searching through Christian writer's interpretations of the original Greek, and comparing it to prominent secular authors, like Erich Fromm, we get a gap about as wide as the Grand Canyon. His spineless treatise, "The Art of Loving," misses not only the bullseye, but the entire target. This secular discourse, among others, make it clear that this world's version of love has little or no resemblance to what God shows us in Scripture. Here are the different ways that love is used in the Bible:
- AGAPEO is the Greek verb used for the highest form of love. It means an "active devotion to the welfare and happiness of the one loved." This loves gives without ever calculating the cost and without ever expecting a reward. The recognition for this godly love happens when your soul is counted among the faithful. Jesus refers to this love in Matt 12:24, when he says that "the LOVE of many shall wax cold." He is talking to believers then and about believers in the future. Has your love begun to wax cold?
- STORGIA is the Greek word natural family affection. For example, everyone loves their mother.
- PHILEO is the Greek word the affections of friendship.
- EROS is the Greek word for sensual or erotic love.
It is important, some say "crucial" to know the differences when you are reading your Bible. John 13:35 says, "By this shall all men know ye are my disciples, if ye have AGAPEO one to another." I fear many of us have either begun to, "wax cold," or know someone who already has done so...It is a direct sign of the end of days when even believers begin to follow this path. Satan has a believer right where he wants them when true AGAPE love steadily disintegrates into spiritual winter. Even if you never freeze, practicing, "sloppy agape," is not only dangerous to your soul, but it also dims the light of your Christianity, because you are now no different than most.
Hypocrisy abounds and often it is impossible to see the saints from the hypocrites. Old Testament Pharisee's prove that hypocrisy has been around a long time. Jesus knew this all to well when he said, "My Little Children, let us not AGAPEO in word, neither in tongue, but in deed and in truth." You can write about it all you want, you can talk the talk, but unless it shows up in your life, accompanied by truth, you are seriously wasting your time and God's...
More to follow on this tiny, but critical word.
The Digital Disciple