The First Greek word for love is Eros
Phileo simply means friendship or companionship. This manifests in human relationship. This is not to be confused with a man and woman cohabiting without marriage. Cohabitation is not God’s plan, marriage is. Most friendships are built around Phileo. It is something you see in someone that attracts you to be his or her friend. For every marriage there is something in your companion which is attractive. That is what you need to discover. When you do, your spouse will become your best friend.
Storge love is the natural bond between mother and infant, father, children, and kin. William Barclay states, "We cannot help loving our kith and kin; blood is thicker than water" The Bible encourages Christians to be supportive and caring at all times and most especially to those in need. The supportive and caring love is Storge. It is a love demonstrated indeed and in truth.“ [My] Little children, let us not love in word, neither with the tongue; but in deed and truth.” (1 John 3:18)
The Fourth Greek word for love is AGAPE - that love which seeks only the highest good of others. The meaning of this word for love stands in sharp contrast to that of the other three words. This word alone points to a completely self-sacrificing love, a love that lacks self-interest, self-gratification and self-preservation. Agape love is motivated primarily by the interest and welfare of others. The word agape is used very sparingly by Greek secular writers, but in the New Testament, agape is the Greek word most frequently used for the love for God (Matt. 22:37, John 14:15), the love for spouses (Col. 3:19, Eph. 5:25), and the love for enemies (Matt. 5:44, Luke 6:35).
Agape love is unique and is distinguished by its nature and character. Agape has to do with the mind and will. It is not an uncontrolled reaction of the feelings and emotion, but a concentrated exercise of the will. It is a caring love one which becomes involved with the need of others. It begins with the God of love. 1 John 4:7-8 says, “Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.”
Agape love is divine in the sense that it is the love shown between the Persons of the Godhead from all eternity. The Bible refers to this in John 3:35: “The Father loves the Son” with this agape love. This is the love of the eternal Father to the eternal Son. The Father also loves the Holy Spirit. The Son and the Holy Spirit, likewise, love the Father. There is loving communion taking place continually among the Persons of the Trinity. Jesus was the greatest expression of love that ever came into the world, but it is never recorded that he ever said the words, "I love you!" Why? Jesus did not love with just words but in deed and truth (1 Jn. 3:18). Love can be known only from the actions it prompts.
The greatest expression of God's love is communicated to us in John 3:16: “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” Romans 5:8 proclaim the same message: “But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” We can see from these verses that it is God's greatest desire that we join Him in His eternal home, heaven. He has made the way possible by paying the price for our sins. He loves us because He chose to as an act of His will. Love forgives. How incredible that the Creator of the universe would love you and me in this way! Do you know and experience the security and sweetness of His care? Gratitude and praise should flow from your heart. In turn, love others deeply out of thankfulness for the love that you have received.
The love of Christ in its sweetness, its fullness, its greatness, its faithfulness, passes all human comprehension. His matchless and unparalleled love towards us is so vast and boundless and its depths immeasurable. Love of Christ is indeed measureless and fathomless; none can attain unto it. Before we can have any right idea of the love of Jesus, we must understand his previous glory in its height of majesty, and his incarnation upon the earth in all its depths of shame. But who describe the majesty of Christ? When he was enthroned in the highest heavens he was very God of very God; by him were the heavens made, and all the hosts thereof. His own almighty arm upheld the spheres; the praises of cherubim and seraphim perpetually surrounded him; the full chorus of the hallelujahs of the universe unceasingly flowed to the foot of his throne:
There is nothing in this world that men prize so much us they do Love. Show me a person who has no one to care for or love him, and I will show you one of the most wretched beings on the face of the earth. Why do people commit suicide? Very often it is because this thought steals in upon them—that no one loves them; and they would rather die than live.
God's Love is a supernatural Love that is poured into our hearts the moment we invite Jesus into our lives. It's God Himself who comes into our hearts at that moment, and He is that Love! Human love wants to possess and be possessed by the world. Divine love wants to establish its inseparable oneness with the world and then it wants to divinely enjoy this oneness. Supreme Love transforms human love into divine love and blesses divine love with boundless joy and divine Glory. “God’s Love is a gift because there are "no strings attached" to it. There are no conditions to fill-nothing to earn, nothing to do and nothing to be. Agape Love just loves unconditionally, spontaneously and continually.
Jesus is our living, breathing sign of the immeasurable love that God has had for all of us from the very beginning. Christ is the living promise that we are never ever alone. No matter where we are in life, no matter in what condition we find ourselves, no matter how far we might astray away, or how unfaithful we are, God, the supreme lover, will pursue us in love for eternity! It’s a love that never stops shining and the Gospel of Jesus Christ is the greatest love story ever written! The Bible says the greatest act of love is when one lays down his life for his friends (John 15:13). The God of the Bible displays this kind of love. Bible is the classic love story with all the right Ingredients: infatuation, pursuit, risks and relationship.
We are told of the breadth, and length, and depth, and height, of God's love. Many of us think we know something of God's love; but centuries hence we shall admit we have never found out much about it. That Love is a great ocean; and we require to plunge into it before we really know anything of it. God's love is not only unchangeable, but unfailing.
One of the greatest theologians that ever lived, Karl Barth, was asked to be a guest lecturer at the University of Chicago Divinity School. At the end of a captivating closing lecture, the president of the seminary announced that Dr. Barth was not well and was quite tired, and though he thought that Dr. Barth would like to be open for questions, he shouldn't be expected to handle the strain. Then he said, “Therefore, I will ask just one question on behalf of all of us."
It was the perfect question for a man who had written literally tens of thousands of pages of some of the most sophisticated theology ever put into print. The students held pencils right up against their writing pads, ready to take down verbatim the premier insight of the greatest theologian of their time. Karl Barth closed his tired eyes, and he thought for a minute, and then he half smiled, opened his eyes, and said to those young seminarians, "The greatest theological insight that I have ever had is this: "Jesus loves me, this I know, for the Bible tells me so."
The love of Christ in its sweetness, its fullness, its greatness, its faithfulness, passes all human comprehension. For this love of Christ is indeed measureless and fathomless; none can attain unto it. Before we can have any right idea of the love of Jesus, we must understand his previous glory in its height of majesty, and his incarnation upon the earth in all its depths of shame. But who can tell us the majesty of Christ? When he was enthroned in the highest heavens he was very God of very God; by him were the heavens made, and all the hosts thereof. His own almighty arm upheld the spheres; the praises of cherubim and seraphim perpetually surrounded him; the full chorus of the hallelujahs of the universe unceasingly flowed to the foot of his throne: he reigned supreme above all his creatures, God over all, blessed forever.
Who can tell his height of glory then? And who, on the other hand, can tell how low he descended? To be a man was something, to be a man of sorrows was far more; to bleed, and die, and suffer, these were much for him who was the Son of God; but to suffer such unparalleled agony--to endure a death of shame and desertion by his Father, this is a depth of Agape love which the most inspired mind must utterly fail to fathom.
Napoleon Bonaparte said "I know men and I tell you that Jesus Christ is no mere man. Between Him and every other person in the world there is no possible term of comparison. Alexander, Caesar, Charlemagne, and I have founded empires. But on what did we rest the creations of our genius upon force. Jesus Christ founded His Empire on love; and at this hour millions of men would die for Him."
Agape is the only Love that can make us whole, meet our needs and give our lives the meaning and purpose that we are all seeking. In other words, it's the "bond" that ties everything together and makes everything possible. Without Agape love, truly we are nothing!?
“If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast but do not have love, I gain nothing. “Love is patient and kind; it is not jealous or conceited or proud; love is not ill-mannered or selfish or irritable; love does not keep a record of wrongs; love is not happy with evil, but is happy with the truth. Love never gives up; and its faith, hope, and patience never fail. Love is eternal. There are inspired messages, but they are temporary; there are gifts of speaking in strange tongues, but they will cease; there is knowledge, but it will pass. For our gifts of knowledge and of inspired messages are only partial; but when what is perfect comes, then what is partial will disappear.”
Without Christ’s love, all our good deeds—even service for the Lord—will profit us nothing. In God’s eyes, a loving and pure Heart is more important than all our impressive words, knowledge, generosity, and self-sacrifice. When we stand before Christ to be judged for our good works, those deeds done for selfish reasons will not be worthy of reward. We are all blinded to some degree when it comes to our motives, so discerning why we love God or do good deeds is imperative. As Psalmist prayed (Psalm 139:23-24) “Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.” May God help us to search our heart’s hidden intentions, and replace any self-centered motivations with the excellent way of Christ’s love. Then our works will be of eternal value.
God bless you