Fourth of Four Greek Words for Love
The Written Word
Over the last few weeks we have looked at three of the four Greek words for love; eros, the love shared between lovers; storge, the love shared within a family; and philia, the love of affection, of friendship. And for any who may not have read the previous blog posts, I would once again note that when I refer to the written word, I am referring to words put in writing, whether God’s words (the Bible) or the written words of this blog or my books, etc. And my desire in writing this blog is to pique your interest and stimulate your mind.
The Fourth of the Four Loves
Although we are looking at agape love last, it is the highest of the four loves. Not eros? Not the love of family? Not friendship or affection? How can agape possibly be the highest of the loves? How can it not be the highest of loves since as I John 4:8 and 16 clearly state, “God is love”?
When I googled agape love it gave this definition: “Agape love is selfless, sacrificial, unconditional love. It is the highest of the four types of love in the Bible.” Wow! Even Google got it right! I believe their definition was taken from this article at thoughtco.com.
In that agape is “selfless, sacrificial, and unconditional” it is a love of choice, choosing to put others first, choosing to sacrifice for the benefit of others, and choosing to put no conditions on one’s love for another. It was agape love that sent Christ to Calvary: John 3:16 – “For God so loved [agape] the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” And Jesus told His disciples, “Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends. You are My friends…” (John 15:13-14) Pretty awesome!
So what will agape love look like for us? It will mean choosing to treat others as Christ would have us treat them, whether lover, friend, family member or enemy. It will look like I Corinthians 13:4-8: “Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails.” This is not warm fuzzy love. As I said, this is love that chooses to treat people as described in these verses. “Lord, help me to love as You love!” Romans 5:8 tells us that “God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Yes, He loves you with that kind of selfless, sacrificial love. His love is there unconditionally, a gift. The question for us is will we receive His love by receiving Him?
The Written Word: Wrapping it up!
Agape love (selfless, sacrificial, and unconditional) enhances the other three loves. Eros is so much richer when it is not self-seeking, but seeks the benefit of the one loved. And agape love is indispensable to the unity of a family, to the ability to love in spite of shortcomings and faults. And is not unconditional love essential within true friendship? In essence, loving with agape love is sharing God’s love with those we love, because God is love; He is the source of such love!
Here is an article on agape love as applied to marriage: Focus on the Family
Once again, I would greatly appreciate your comments on this article.
The Written Word: This Week’s Intriguing Book!
This week I am introducing a non-fiction book: Unveiling John’s Vision, An Intelligible Unfolding of the Book of Revelation, an exposition of Revelation that offers practical insights that will help the reader better understand the visions and symbols found throughout the book.
The book of Revelation is the response of a loving God to a world that has turned her back on Him, and not only turned her back, but has actually turned against Him—a world that has become God’s enemy. Sadly, as I look at the world today, including America, I see a world that has made itself an enemy of God, and I see a church that has largely accommodated the culture that opposes the truth of the Word of God. We are ripe for the unfolding of God’s Revelation.
The visions of the future given to John in the book of Revelation are ultimately a call to repentance and renewed commitment to Christ.
Here is a review of the book that was posted on Amazon: “I have many books on my shelf regarding Revelation. All of them are helpful to some degree or another. Some give more speculation on various symbols than perhaps needed. The thing I appreciate about John Edgell’s book on Revelation is that he sticks close to the Scriptural account giving insightful understanding without delving into the realm of speculation when it comes to the various symbols. His view of the seven churches is not an unusual approach in seeing them throughout the church age. Others might take a more historical view within the first couple centuries. However, Edgell does a good job explaining where the church has come over the last number of centuries. His pre-millennial and pre-tribulational views are refreshing in the light of current theologians exposing a post millennial or amillennial view today. His faithfulness to hermeneutical principles of a literal, grammatical and historical frame of reference, especially concerning the church and Israel is to be admired. I appreciated Edgell’s consistent faithfulness to the Tribulation being a time of Jacob’s trouble, or Israel’s purging, rather than the church enduring this catastrophic period. Edgell presents Revelation as a practical outlook to future events giving the reader answers in how to live now in light of coming events. This too is refreshing and I would highly recommend it for a general read through, but more specifically as a tool alongside the Word of God in studying details of The Revelation. It was a pleasure to spend time in reading it through.
Robert W. Rodgers – March 29, 2018
The Rest of My Books
As mentioned in previous weeks, I write a broad spectrum of books, from a Christmas anthology to fantasy, pirate stories, fairytales, allegories and some non-fiction. All of my books can be found at Amazon (paperback and for Kindle) and Barnes & Noble (paperback). Remember, Christmas will be here before you know it, so you’ll want to take time to check out some good reading gifts.
Again, your feedback is welcome.