Love DefinedBut what is love?The word is in such common use todescribe such a diverse range of actionsand emotions that it is essential to defineexactly what love is.
Love DefinedThree Greek words for ‘love’Greek had three words for love. Although thereis some overlap in their use, eros usually refersto sexual ‘love’, philia is the general word forlove, and when biblical writers speak aboutGod’s love they usually use agapē.
Love DefinedThree Kinds of Love • Eros is physical love that results from sexual 1. Eros desire and is appropriate only between a husband and wife. • Eros is based on need— ‘what the other person can do for me’.
Love DefinedThree Kinds of Love • Philia is human love, the natural 1. Eros fondness and kindness 2. Philia between friends is the dominant characteristic of philia. • Philia is based on mutuality—‘what we can do for each other’.
Love DefinedThree Kinds of Love • Agapē is divine love, that which is 1. Eros based on the nature of 2. Philia God himself. • Agapē is more than a 3. Agapē wave of emotion, it is a decision of the will to always act in another person’s best interest.
Love DefinedEros Philia AgapeSexual love Natural love Divine loveBetween loves Between friends From God to manBased on needs Based on likes Based on valuesWhat can you do for What can we do for What can I do forme? each other? you?I love me and use I love you; you love I love you and serveyou. me. you.
Love DefinedAgapē, or divine love, is the spirit which says, ‘Nomatter what any man does to me, I will never seekto harm him; I will never seek revenge; I will alwaysseek nothing but his highest good.’ Agapē isunconquerable benevolence, invincible good will. Itis a principle by which we deliberately live. In otherwords, it is a deliberate principle of the mind and adeliberate conquest of the will. It is not simply awave of emotion (Rozell).
Love DescribedMatthew 22:37-40Jesus replied: ‘Love the Lord your God with allyour heart and with all your soul and with allyour mind.’ This is the first and greatestcommandment. And the second is like it: ‘Loveyour neighbour as yourself.’ All the Law and theProphets hang on these two commandments.’
Love DescribedLove operates in three dimensions: 1. Upward: Love for God 2. Outward: Love for others 3. Inward: Love for self
All Christian love is rooted inTHE LOVE OF GOD
Love DemonstratedJohn 3:16 Romans 5:8For God so loved the world But God demonstrates his ownthat he gave his one and only love for us in this: While weSon, that whoever believes in were still sinners, Christ diedhim shall not perish but have for us.eternal life.1 John 3:1How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that weshould be called children of God!
Christians demonstrate love in response toTHE LOVE OF GOD
Love DemonstratedHow are we to show love? John 14:15, 23-24 ‘If you love me, you will obey what 1. Love for God I command …’ Jesus replied, ‘If anyone loves me, he will obey my teaching. My Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him. He who does not love me will not obey my teaching. These words you hear are not my own; they belong to the Father who sent me.’
Love DemonstratedHow are we to show love? Galatians 5:22-23 1. Love for God • patience • kindness 2. Love for others • goodness • faithfulness We examine these in detail in the rest of this study.
Love DemonstratedHow are we to show love? Biblical self-love • Do what God says is best for 1. Love for God you. 2. Love for others • Submit to Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour. 3. Love for self • Nurture your relationship with the Lord. • Say no to harmful lusts and sins that appeal to your flesh.
Love DemonstratedThe concept of loving yourself is a double-edgedsword. There is a biblical kind of self-love, and asinful kind of self-love. The biblical kind of self-love is treating yourself with agapē, thatis, being a good steward of your life under God’sinstructions. The sinful kind of self-love isselfish, living to please the desires of your flesh.
Love DemonstratedSelfishness StewardshipHaughty HumbleFelt needs Real needsObey passions Apply principlesSelf-satisfaction Self-disciplineRuled by greed Ruled by God
Conclusion1. Love defined: agapē is the kind of love God shows us: acting for another’s highest good.2. Love described: we must love in three dimensions: God, others, and ourselves.3. Love demonstrated: as obedience towards God, as fruits towards others, and as stewardship towards ourselves.