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Gods' Love - Agape

1:   The word “love” in English has so many different definitions supposedly including
  • Romance
  • Eros
  • Storge
  • Philia
  • Self-love
  • Desire
  • Agape
  • Narcissism
  • Sex
  • Gay
The word “love” in English has so many various definitions as we all tend to know , for instance: I love my dog, my wife, cherry pie, my children, my sister, myself etc. 
But in the Greek there are three basic, main words for love.  Eros, Philia, Agape


One Greek word for love is “Eros”, from which we get the word erotic.  It has self-centered interests with its main focus being on physically receiving.  'Eros', means physical, sensual, romantic  affections and can be described as desires or erotic love. Many people wrongfully confuse this as being a love from God.. and they sadly do not tend to know any other levels of love.. such as  Philia  or next even Agape..

Eros is the false type of love that is most emphasized  in our society today- a sensual mostly love that is based on receiving- a passionate love depicted on TV and novels, or manifested by Gays.  One person once commented: “My friends do not fall in love; they mostly fall into lust.” 

A lot, lot of persons also today do LIVE BY THEIR FEELINGS, not by the word of God, they are mostly  led by and live by their own demonic lusts, the Eros love.. that is what a lot of these feelings still are.. even the feelings of high, excitements, desires.. they are not living in God's love or on His will for them.. This is not just the gays now, the adulterers, pornographers, but even most of ordinary supposedly good persons too who do this now, next too.

(John 8:44 KJV)  Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.
(2 Pet 2:10 KJV)  But chiefly them that walk after the flesh in the lust of uncleanness,
(1 John 2:16 KJV)  For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.
(1 John 2:17 KJV)  And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.

We need to walk by faith, walking in faith means always applying God's word personally.. then we will walk in the love and in the Spirit of God.. not in the lust of the flesh.

(Gal 5:16 KJV)  This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh.

In the  New Testament Greek there are only two  main words for love.    Philia  Agape

The New Testament is void of the word “Eros”;  it is only found in the New Testament classical Greek.


Another Greek word for love is “phileo”; it represents mutual  tender affection- the sharing, warm fuzzies.   It's love now  focus on both giving and receiving. 

 The word 'Philia means affection (as in Philadelphia which means brotherly affection or brotherly love (delphos = brother)).  

 Phileo is an emotional, brotherly  love, a  love which would best be illustrated in the Bible as that between David and Jonathan. 

The relationship between Lazarus and Jesus depicts this type of love as well:

Jn.11:3  So the sisters sent word to Jesus, "Lord, the one you love is sick."

Again when Jesus sees Mary crying, we read:

Jn.11:35-36  Jesus wept.  Then the Jews said, "See how he loved him!"

Then there was also the close disciple whom Jesus loved:

Jn.20:2  So she came running to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one Jesus loved, and said, "They have taken the Lord out of the tomb, and we don’t know where they have put him

It is on the basis of Phileo that we are commanded to a brotherly kiss out of fraternal affection

Ro  16:16   Greet one another with a holy kiss. All the churches of Christ send greetings However when Judas greets Jesus to betray him, the Greek word is not the word for kiss, but the word phileo- the word for love:

Mk.14:44  Now the betrayer had arranged a signal with them: "The one I kiss (phileo) is the man; arrest him and lead him away under guard."

It is important that the command to love is never phileo, because it is an emotional love that comes out of a mutual reciprocal relationship but rather Agape 

However, it must be pointed out that for a Christian to phileo love someone definitely also always includes the agape love as well. 

God the Father Agape loved his Son:

Jn.3:35  The Father loves the Son and has placed everything in his hands. But God also phileo loved Jesus because of their relationship:

Jn.5:20  For the Father loves the Son and shows him all he does. Yes, to your amazement he will show him even greater things than these.

God agape loves his church

Jn.14:21  He who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love him and show myself to him."

But God also loves us because of the relationship we have with his Son:

Jn.16:27  No, the Father himself loves you because you have loved me and have believed that I came from God. The relational phileo love for Christ is in the context of relationship, else the Bible says we will be cursed.

1Co.16:22  If anyone does not love the Lord— a curse be on him. Come, O Lord!

However if we are in a relationship with the God, he will rebuke and discipline us as the need arises:

Re.3:19  Those whom I love I rebuke and discipline. So be earnest, and repent.

Therefore phileo love comes from a relationship which shares common interests- both giving and receiving.


Finally there is the Greek word for love: “agape” which represents an attitude of love that is non selfish. It has a self-less interest with its focus on primary giving to others.  Agape can be described as unconditional positive regard, a personal state of mind that spurs us into helpful, needful action in personal simplicity, humility, compassion and equanimity. Agape is the higher form, manifestation  of God's true love for all of us  which we all still do need to personally have, promote, cultivate by letting God have full control of our lives.

The Greek word agape is mostly  foreign to classical Greek because it’s origin is from God: 

1Jn.4:7        …for love comes from God.

The first disciples of Jesus Christ were incapable of agape love until after Pentecost, for agape love comes from the Holy Spirit alone:

Ro.5:5  And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us.

The fact that the disciples were void of agape love prior to Pentecost  becomes clear in John 21 where Jesus uses the word agape:

Jn.21:15  When they had finished eating, Jesus said to Simon Peter, "Simon son of John, do you truly love me more than these?" "Yes, Lord," he said, "you know that I love you." Jesus said, "Feed my lambs."

Peter’s response was “I phileo love you.”  Did Peter not understand the question?  Jesus repeats himself:

Jn.21:16  Again Jesus said, "Simon son of John, do you truly love me?" He answered, "Yes, Lord, you know that I love you." Jesus said, "Take care of my sheep."

Again Jesus uses the word “agape”, yet Peter again responds with phileo, love based on a relationship.  Jesus in his third attempt asks, “Peter do you phileo love me?”

Jn.21:17  The third time he said to him, "Simon son of John, do you love me?" Peter was hurt because Jesus asked him the third time, "Do you love me?" He said, "Lord, you know all things; you know that I love you." Jesus said, "Feed my sheep.

Peter could not experience agape love in and of himself, its origin is of God:

1Jo 4:8  for God is love.

Agape is an outward manifestation of an inward change

1Co 16:14  Do everything in love.

Agape love is a love that is based on the one doing the loving and not on the one receiving the love being lovely or worthy of that love:

Ro 5:8  But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

The love of God could not be understood by man until Christ died on the cross:

1Jn.3:16  This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers.

Agape love is the highest love as it is selfless, this differentiates it from all human forms of love:

Jn.15:13  Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.

Agape love is not based on feelings, therefore it can be commanded:

Jn.15:12  "This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.

Agape love is not based on relationship, we are now called to love more then our neighbor, our enemy:

Lk.6:27-28   But I tell you who hear me: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you.

There is much confusion these days on what love is.  Phileo always tries to please the one that is being loved.  Agape always does what is best on behalf of the person even though it might not be perceived as love at that time:

Ro.8:28  And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.

Is everything good that God allows in our life, “no”; but because of his love for us, it will be for our good. 

He.12 :5-6    "My son, do not make light of the Lord’s discipline, and do not lose heart when he rebukes you,  because the Lord disciplines those he loves, and he punishes everyone he accepts as a son."

In the same way, if we agape love someone, we might have to tell them how God perceives their actions.  Some people say the things others want to hear, instead we need to say those things they need to hear:

Eph 4:15   Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will in all things grow up into him who is the Head, that is, Christ

Therefore let us enjoy the phileo love we have for each other as we do life together, but let us also love with the same love that God has always willing to reach out to those who do not know the love of God. There are many kinds of love, but the greatest of these is agape love.

 (James 1:17 KJV)  Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.

...and when we love one another with agape love, we do love God also.


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