Understanding Love

We’re beginning our Marriage & Family Month, and the title of this morning’s sermon is, “Understanding Love.”

One of the weaknesses of the English language – which has really hurt our understanding of love – is we only have one word for love.
B/c we’re so used to English, we don’t think of how weird it really is to only have one word for love, but let me try to show you:

  • I love popcorn.
  • I love chess.
  • I love my wife.

Isn’t it weird I use the same word to describe the way I feel about popcorn or chess as I use to describe how I feel about my wife? If a guy says he loves
baseball and he loves his wife, HOPEFULLY he loves his wife differently than he loves baseball!

We can be even more specific…

Even the people we love involve different kinds of love, but we’re forced to use the same word. For example, we don’t think about it b/c we’re so used to
it, but I have to use the same word when I say:

  • I love my friends.
  • I love my kids.
  • I love my wife.

But the truth is, even though I love these people, I love them differently, or I have a different love for each of them. The love in each of these relationships is different. We don’t love our spouse, children or friends the same way.

Now the New Testament is written in Greek, and Greek has four words for love. I want to do three things w/ these words:

1. I want to briefly describe them.

2. I want to give you a biblical picture of each of them.

3. Then I want to tell you how they relate to marriage and family.

Let me tell you why I want to do this…

After you understand the first three words for love: eros, storge, and phileō, you’re going to better understand agapaō
(pr: ah-guh-pah-oh); everyone seems to say agape, but when I checked it out on BLB, which has a function so you can listen to the correct pronunciation,
it’s agapaō (pr: ah-guh-pah-oh).

I have heard agapaō love described many times, but I never really got it until this last week when I was able to contrast it w/ these other forms
of love. I considered myself somewhat familiar w/ these forms of love prior to this sermon, but I cannot tell you how much better I understand a gapaō after understanding these other forms of love.

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve taught Eph 5, used it in counseling, shared it during pre-marital counseling. I have covered the verses in Eph 5 more
than I have covered anything else in Scripture. But this week as I studied the other forms of love it really helped me understand what agapaō
really means. I don’t think it’s too much to say the only way we can fully understand agapaō is by being able to contrast it w/ these other forms
of love – or you could even say by being able to contrast it w/ what sometimes masquerades as agapaō love. By being able to understand what a gapaō is not, we’ll really be able to understand what it is. So I’m hoping that once you understand these other forms of love, you’re going to
have a much better understanding of agapaō too.

And I want you to understand agapaō for two main reasons…

First, THEE command for husbands is, “Eph 5:25 Husbands, LOVE your wives, just as Christ also LOVED the church and gave Himself for her.

The word love occurs twice in this verse and both times it’s the word agapaō. It’s used to describe:

1. First, the way husbands should love their wives.

2. Second, the way Christ loves the church or lovse you. It’s the same word used in John 3:16 when it says For God so loved the world…

So we need to understand the word agapaō for three reasons:

1. So husbands know how to love their wives.

2. So wives know how to be loved by their husbands; so wives know what to expect from their husbands.

3. And so we understand God’s love for us.

LESSON 1: EROS IS PHYSICAL ATTRACTION.

The first Greek word for love is eros; this is where we get our word erotic. It’s used to describe the feeling people have when they’re
physically attracted to someone else. When people say, “I am so attracted to this person” they mean, “I feel so much eros toward this person.” As you can tell this isn’t so much what we think of as love, as it is a feeling or could even be lust.

Now I really wrestled w/ whether to cover eros or not, b/c it’s not used in the New Testament. I even had Pastor Doug and Jessica look over my
notes and give me their thoughts. We all thought to include it for three reasons:

1. First, even though eros is not in Scripture, the principle of eros is contained in Scripture, specifically in the Song of Solomon as
you see the strong physical attraction between the man and woman.

2. Second, physical attraction is important, so I wanted to discuss it, but more importantly I wanted to discuss it so we don’t confuse it w/ a gapaō…b/c many people have wanted to get married b/c of strong feelings of eros and many people have been frustrated by their marriages
when eros was gone.

3. Third, since we’re engaging in this series w/ young single people, I think it’s especially important to sort of warn them about eros and make
sure they don’t confuse it w/ real love.

Now we shouldn’t think of eros as wrong or bad. It’s the feeling or attraction husbands and wives should have for each other. But eros is
very conditional: it comes and goes. It can wear off. It can change w/ certain things like time and age. It’s very selfish. It’s completely about the
individual instead of the other person.

Now here’s what’s unfortunate…and this is mostly for the younger, single people here…

Unfortunately, many people confuse eros w/ real love and they want to get married b/c of eros they feel for someone. When marriages are
based on eros alone they’re doomed to fail b/c when the eros is gone, so too then is the relationship gone. The thrill and excitement of eros must be carried along by a deeper love and commitment.

—-

Now for the married people, eros is an important part of the relationship. If you lack eros for your spouse, let me give you a few
encouragements…

First, protect your eyes: don’t look at people or things you shouldn’t. There are two reasons you shouldn’t do this:

1. The first and most important reason is it’s sinful. If for no other reason than it’s what God’s commanded we should protect our eyes.

2. But the second reason we should protect our eyes is if you don’t it destroys your eros for your spouse. Get used to doing what I call “ripping your eyes away.” If you don’t do this, you’ll lose all eros for your husband or wife.

Second, if you lack eros read Song of Solomon. We want to find answers to life’s problems from Scripture, and the answer to an absence of eros is found in that Book. As you read, pray God restores or increases your eros for your spouse. It is a great prayer request.

LESSON 2: STORGE IS FAMILIAL LOVE

The second Greek word for love is storge. It refers to natural affection, or familial – or family love – like the way a parent feels toward a
child or the way siblings feel toward each other. This love doesn’t relate to marriage, but it does relate to families.

The word storge isn’t used in the New Testament, but the word astorgos (pr: ah-store-goss), is used in the New Testament twice. Astorgos is storge w/ an “a” in front of it, making it the opposite of storge, so it actually means w/o love or w/o natural
affection. Here are the two verses where astorgos is used in the New Testament…

1. Rom 1:28 refers to people who

did not like to retain God in their knowledge, therefore God gave them over to a debased mind, to do those things which are not fitting; 29 being filled with

…then it has a long list of things these people are filled w/ and verse 31 says undiscerning, untrustworthy, UNLOVING (or w/o familial
love). This specifically means the lack of love that should exist between family members.

2. The second place astorgos is used is in 1 Tim 3. Verse 1 says know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: 2 For men will be…then it has this long list of ugly things people
will be in the last days and verse 3 it says UNLOVING (or astorgos) , unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control.

If you want a biblical picture of astorgos – or a biblical picture of the absence of storge, or the absence of familial love – think of
Cain murdering Abel. It’s the absence of natural affection or love family members should have for each other. A modern day example of astorgos
would be mothers having abortions; murdering your child is the height of astorgos.

Now if your children have ever fought w/ each other, or you’ve ever fought w/ your children, or you’ve ever fought w/ your parents, or any other
combination of family members fighting w/ each other, you’ve lacked storge…which means every family has lacked storge at times. Every
family has arguments: kids arguing w/ parents, parents arguing w/ kids, kids arguing w/ each other. It’s good to pray for God to increase the storge of our families.

LESSON 3: PHILEŌ IS STRONG AFFECTION.

The third Greek word for love is phileō. It refers to strong affection or kindness between friends. It forms part of the words philosophy
, which means love of wisdom, or philanthrophy, which means love of fellow man.

Here are a few places the word phileō is used so you can better understand it:

  • Matt 6:5 [The religious leaders] love
    (phileō) to pray standing in the synagogues and on the corners of the streets. They had a strong affection for doing this!
  • When Jesus wept at Lazarus’ death, in John 11:36 The Jews said, “See how He loved him!” They said, “See the brotherly love Jesus has
    for Lazarus!”

· That’s why the church of Philadelphia in Revelation 3 is the church of brotherly love.

When people consider themselves great friends or best friends this is the love they have for each other. Pro 18:24b There is a friend who sticks closer than a brother. That’s phileō love or strong affection.

If you want a biblical picture of this love, think of the David and Jonathan: 1 Sam 18:1 When [Jonathan] finished speaking to Saul, the soul of Jonathan was knit to the soul of David, and Jonathan loved him as his own soul.

Now here’s something I found that was very interesting…

There’s one word in the New Testament that actually combines the words phileō and storge into one word, and that’s philostorgos (pr: fill-ah-star-goss): it’s phileō and storge together. It occurs in Rom 12:10 when it describes
the relationship Christians are supposed to have w/ each other. It says Be kindly affectionate (philostorgos) to one another with brotherly love (philadelphia – related to the word phileō) , in honor giving preference to one another.

  • ESV Love one another with brotherly affection.
  • NAS Be devoted to one another in brotherly love.

Philostorgos
is defined as,
“the love which Christians cherish for each other as brethren.”
It’s the love Christians are supposed to have for each other!

So we’re talking about marriage and the family, but here we’re talking about our church family or spiritual family too! In combining the words
storge
and
phileō
it’s

a familial love – b/c we’re a family – combined w/ a strong affection or fondness for each other. Believers in Christ are children of the same heavenly
Father, and we’re to be devoted to one another in love. As part of God’s family we should have strong affection for each other.

Now here’s how phileō relates to family and marriage…

The members of a family should be very close friends…and a married couple should be best friends! Sometimes b/c we think so much about the romance or eros of marriage, we forget that marriage should actually be the union of two best friends. In many ways phileō is a great description of
what the relationship between family members should be and what marriage itself should be: a very deep and close friendship. Your spouse should be your
best friend.

· I’m always sad when I see men or women who are closer friends w/ other men and women then they are w/ their spouses.

· I’m always sad when I hear people say, “Oh, my spouse is taking off for a week. It’s going to give me a wonderful break!”

If you and your spouse lack phileō, let me give you two encouragements…

First, you can have friends of the opposite sex, but make sure you’re not too close. I’m not even saying you can’t have close friends of the opposite sex,
but I am saying you can definitely be too close to friends of the opposite sex.

Even if you know that your feelings for someone of the opposite sex are completely healthy, you can’t control how someone else feels about you. You don’t
want to become the object of someone else’s affection b/c you’re such close friends! I would encourage all of you to err on the side of caution and do not
ever become the good listener or the shoulder or even friend that someone’s spouse should be.

Recently I’ve heard of four prominent men experiencing failures in ministry, and three of them – related to sin w/ individuals of the opposite sex. More
than likely all three situations began w/ friendships that became too close!

Second, if you feel like your marriage or family, lacks close friendship or phileō, pray God restores or increases the phileō in your
family!

LESSON 4: AGAPAŌ IS:

· PART I: UNCONDITIONAL

A
gapaō
(pr: ah-guh-pah-oh) is the fourth and most important form of love. Agapaō is completely different than the other three, and one of those reasons
is it’s completely unconditional. All the other forms of love are conditional on the other person:

  • You feel eros for someone b/c of the way someone looks or acts. But if the person changes, eros changes. Eros is completely
    conditional on the other person.
  • David and Jonathan had phileō love for each other b/c of the traits and qualities they had in common and admired in each other…but if those
    traits or qualities changed, their phileō love for each other would change.

But agapaō is completely independent of what a person looks like or does or possesses or is like.

The other forms of love can be merited or earned, but that’s not the case w/ agapaō:

· You could try to make yourself more attractive physically to earn eros love.

  • You could try to earn someone’s storge love by being a better son or sibling or parent.
  • You could try to increase someone’s phileo for you by doing things that make you a better friend, or by doing thing w/ your friend or trying
    to take on qualities or attributes that make you a more desirable friend

But agapaō can’t be earner or merited; there’s nothing you can do to increase or decrease agapaō. It is completely
unconditional. It can only be given. This is what makes it so unique and distinguishable from other forms of love.

Agapaō loves whether it’s reciprocated or whether it receives love in return. Agapaō is completely independent of how someone
has acted toward you or treated you. Let me say this very clearly: agapaō loves even when it’s rejected; it loves even when it’s mistreated and
scorned.

—-

Let me give you a beautiful biblical picture of the unconditional nature of agapaō love…

In the Old Testament God told a prophet named Hosea to marry a prostitute named Gomer. We don’t know if Gomer was a harlot when Hosea married her or if God
was letting Hosea know she would become one after they were married.

They got married, and by the end of chapter 1, they have 3 children and only the first one belongs to Hosea. By the time you reach chapter 3, Gomer has
left Hosea to pursue her career as a harlot or to pursue adulterous relationships. Since God doesn’t give us the details of Gomer’s sin, we’re sort of
forced to piece together what happened…

Gomer moved from man to man, until she finally found herself broke and destitute. Because of her inability to take care of herself she was forced to become
a slave. Remember, in the OT you could become a slave when you didn’t have the money to take care of yourself.

Now we’ll talk more about husbands and wives next week, but if someone asked me, “What should I be willing to do for my wife if I really loved God and wanted to be a great husband? How far should I be willing to go?” I would
tell him to read Hosea 3. Listen to these verses…

1 Then the Lord said to me, “Go again, love a woman WHO IS LOVED BY A LOVER and IS COMMITTING ADULTERY.

So Gomer left Hosea, but God sent Hosea back to his wife and it says while she, “is loved by a lover and is not “was”) committing adultery.” God sent Hosea back to Gomer while she was involved in a relationship w/ someone else and loved by that person.

Just going back to her after all her unfaithfulness would have required an almost unimaginable amount of forgiveness and grace, but here’s the really
important part: God didn’t just instruct Hosea to return to Gomer, God instructed him to actually love her; God wanted Hosea to love Gomer.

What good would there be in going back to her if he wasn’t going to love her? Sometimes guys will act like: “Well, I’ll be married to her, but I’m not going to love her.” That’s not real love.

Hosea’s love was going to have to be unconditional b/c his wife definitely wasn’t loving him. Verse 2 says…

2 So I bought her for myself for fifteen shekels of silver, and one and one-half homers of barley.

When Hosea went after Gomer like he was commanded to do he found her in the process of being sold as a slave to the highest bidder, probably at some form
of slave auction. You can’t miss the heartrending twist that prior to being sold here, that had already been her life for some number of years.

So here’s the sacrificial love of Hosea:

  • He had to buy his wife back.

· He had to do this publicly before all these people who knew the kind of woman she was.

· He had to forgive her and love her despite how she had acted toward him.

That’s unconditional love. That’s agapaō.

—-

Now here’s a real-life Hosea and Gomer story of agapaō that Katie and I are very familiar w/ in case you think stories like this don’t
really happen today…

When we were in CA we were involved in marriage evenings w/ our good friends Dave and Naida. They asked me to teach on Eph 5 and they shared about
marriage, which always included their testimony. Much of the testimony revolved around Naida’s unfaithfulness to Dave early in their marriage before they
were Christians.

Naida would tell how she was running around on Dave, living w/ other men. Sometimes he wouldn’t even know where she was for days. The part of the story
where Naida always became emotional is when she said she’d been out w/ some guy for days, and she was going to come home and hopefully have pushed Dave far
enough that he’d divorce her. She said when she walked in, Dave was sitting in a chair reading his bible and he looked up at her and said, “I am so glad you’re home. I was so worried about you.”

LESSON 4: AGAPAŌ IS:

· PART I: UNCONDITIONAL

· PART II: SACRIFICIAL

The previous forms of love are about feelings and emotions:

  • Eros
    you feel attraction.
  • Storge
    you feel familial love.
  • Phileō
    you feel strong affection or friendship.

But agapaō is not about romantic feelings or feelings of brotherly love or feelings of close friendship; it’s about sacrifice. It’s an act of the
will.

I can’t stress this point strongly enough b/c the world makes love sound like a feeling, but agapaō is about what we willingly,
sacrificially do for others.

Jesus told a Parable that perfectly illustrates the sacrificial side of agapaō love in action. Here’s the background to it…

A lawyer questioned Jesus about how to inherit eternal life. Jesus asked him in return what’s written in the Law and he correctly answered by saying, “Love the Lord with all our heart, soul, strength and mind, and our neighbor as ourselves.” The word used for love in the verse is a gapaō. So the lawyer understood to receive eternal life he had to have agapaō for God and his neighbors.

But then it says the man wanted to justify himself so he asked, “Who is my neighbor?” Basically he said, “Who should I love?”

Jesus answered by telling the lawyer The Parable of the Good Samaritan. Let me share part of it w/ you…

Luke 10:34
(when the Samaritan found the injured man it says…)

So he went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine; and he set him on his own animal, brought him to an inn, and took care of
him.

35

On the next day, when he departed, he took out two denarii, gave them to the innkeeper, and said to him, ‘Take care of him; and whatever more
you spend, when I come again, I will repay you.’

Now why does this parable so perfectly picture agapaō love?

First, the Good Samaritan’s love was unconditional; it wasn’t conditional on anything the man had done for him. Why did the Good Samaritan help the man?

· Was it all the years of good times they’d spent together?

· Was it all the wonderful things the injured man had done for him?

· Was it the Samaritan’s expectation that the man would pay him back in the future?

· The fact is he’d done absolutely nothing for him and he didn’t expect anything in return

Second, the Good Samaritan’s love was sacrificial:

  • It took time and effort.

· He bandaged his wounds, and there were no first aid kits in those days, so he made the bandages from his own clothes.

· He used oil and wine to clean his wounds.

· He put the man on his animal and walked to the inn and took care of him there.

· He paid for the man and said he’d pay even more in future if it was needed.

The third way the Good Samaritan’s love is shown it he loved even though he was despised. The Good Samaritan helped a Jew, and guess how the Jews felt
about the Samaritans? The Jews hated Samaritans, so what you see is agapaō love even when it’s hated!

—-

Let me briefly show you a place – or relationship – in Scripture that uses phileō and agapaō love together so you can better understand
them. Please turn to John 13:36

36
Simon Peter said to Him, “Lord, where are You going?”

Jesus answered him, “Where I am going you cannot follow Me now, but you shall follow Me afterward.”

37
Peter said to Him, “Lord, why can I not follow You now? I will lay down my life for Your sake.”

Peter just professed his undying love for Jesus. He said he was even willing to lay down his life for Him! He was saying that’s the sacrifice he was
willing to make! John 15:13 Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends. Peter said he
had this greatest of love for Jesus!

38

Jesus answered him, “Will you lay down your life for My sake? Most assuredly, I say to you, the rooster shall not crow till you have denied Me three
times.

It got even worse after this, b/c there was more than one time Jesus tried to warn the disciples that they would forsake Him and in a later conversation in Matt 26:33 Peter said, “Even if all are made to stumble because of You, I will never be made to stumble.”

Now we all know what happened that Peter betrayed Jesus three times. Jesus made eye contact w/ him, then the cock crowed and Peter went away feeling the
worst anguish of his entire life.

Now please turn to John 21. This is after Jesus’ resurrection and He appears to the disciples on the shore when they’re fishing. Peter’s
denial took place only a few days before this. Jesus is going to have a conversation w/ Peter that is going to be very painful for him, and here’s why…

1. First, Jesus is going to ask Peter the same question three times, reminding Peter of his three denials.

2. Second, being asked the same question three times will make Peter feel like Jesus doesn’t believe him.

3. Third, guess what Jesus calls Peter throughout the account? Simon. Peter means rock, being called Simon would remind him of his humanity and weakness.
The text itself will even refer to him as Peter, but Jesus will continually call him Simon. This will make Peter feel like Jesus doesn’t think he’s a rock
anymore.

15a
So when they had eaten breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter,
“Simon, son of Jonah, do you love
(agapaō) Me more than these?”

There are a few possibilities regarding what Jesus might be asking:

  • He might be asking, “Do you love me more than these fish?” which would be to ask, “Do you love me more than fishing?”
  • Or He might be asking, “Do you love me more than you love these other disciples?” or “Do you love me more than fishing?”

But here’s what I think Jesus was asking: “Do you love me more than these other disciples love me?” Remember Peter pridefully said, “Even if all the other disciples deny You, I won’t!” He was declaring he loved Jesus more than anyone else loved Him, and now Jesus is asking if
he still believes that!

Regardless of which question He was asking, we can be sure Jesus was questioning Peter’s love him…a very painful question for Peter to be asked after his
recent denials.

Now you need to know the word Jesus used is agapaō. He asked Peter if he had unconditional, sacrificial love for him.

15b
He said to Him, “Yes, Lord; You know that I love
(phileō) You.”

He said to him,
“Feed My lambs.”

Peter was well aware of how he had failed his Master, and he’s so humbled by it that when he responds he used the word phileō. Now he’s hesitant
to even tell Jesus he has the same kind of love for Him that He was asking about. He’s broken and humbled and fully aware that his previous actions
prevented him from being able to claim the highest love for Christ.

16
He said to him again a second time,
“Simon, son of Jonah, do you love
(agapaō) Me?”

He said to Him, “Yes, Lord; You know that I love
(phileō) You.”

He said to him,
“Tend My sheep.”

This time Jesus drops the words more than these and simply says “Do you love me?” It’s almost like he’s making the
question a little easier, but he still uses the word agapaō…and again Peter responds with the word phileō.

17a
He said to him the third time,
“Simon, son of Jonah, do you love
(phileō) Me?”

This time Jesus uses the word phileō. Jesus stopped asking him if He had agapaō for Him.

17b
Peter was grieved because He said to him the third time,
“Do you love
(phileō) Me?”

This time Jesus used the word phileō and you can see that it really hurt Peter. This shows Jesus even calling into question the phileō
Peter said he felt for Jesus. John MacArthur said, The implication that Peter’s life did not support even that level of love broke Peter’s heart.”

Finally Peter said to Him…

17c
And he said to Him, “Lord, You know all things; You know that I love
(phileō) You.”

Jesus said to him,
“Feed My sheep.

I wanted you to see this for two reasons…

First, I believe it shows a good contrast between phileō and agapaō so you can see the much higher calling associated w/ actually having
agapaō for someone. It’s much more than just saying you love someone, it’s actually living it and making the sacrifices associated w/ it…which
Peter didn’t do, but will do in his future.

Second, I hope this might make us consider the love we have for the Lord. I can’t help but read this account and picture Jesus asking me, “Scott, do you love Me?”

· When Jesus looks at my life, what kind of love does He see for Him?

· Would Jesus have to ask me three times if I love Him to help me see that I really don’t love Him as much as I think?

LESSON 4: AGAPAŌ IS:

· PART I: UNCONDITIONAL

· PART II: SACRIFICIAL

· PART III: GOD’S LOVE FOR US

Think of John 3:16 For God so loved the world

· He made beautiful trees for us.

· He gave us marriage as a gift.

· He blesses us w/ children.

· He established the church so we could have wonderful friends and family.

All these things are true, but they don’t reveal God’s agapaō for us b/c they don’t involve sacrifice. God’s agapaō is shown in the
tremendous sacrifice He was willing to make.

I want to ask you to look at a verse in Scripture that defines love for us. Please turn to 1 John 4:10, toward the very end of your
bibles.

1 John 4:10
starts off w/ the words: This is love…

So you know after he says those words he’s going to tell us what love is. So what would you expect him to say?

· Love is that feeling you have that’s different than any other feeling you’ve ever had.

· Love is when you can’t think of anyone else.

But listen to what John says: 1 John 4:10 This is love not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins.

The more I’ve thought about this verse and how it defines love the more I’ve come to appreciate it. This verse shows the unconditional nature and
sacrificial nature of agapaō. Let me get you to circle two things in this verse:

  • Circle the words not that we loved God and write, “unconditional.” God loved us even though we didn’t love Him; that’s
    unconditional love.
  • Circle the words sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins and write, “sacrificial.” God’s agapaō is shown in
    the sacrifice He made for us.

Let me get you to please look at one more verse: Rom 5:8 God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

This verse also captures the unconditional and sacrificial nature of agapaō:

· Please circle the words while we were still sinners and write, “unconditional.” If God loved us while we loved Him, that
wouldn’t be unconditional, but the fact that He loved us when we didn’t love Him, when we were in rebellion to Him, shows the unconditional nature of God’s
love.

· Pease circle the words Christ died for us and write, “sacrificial.” This is the sacrifice that demonstrates God’s a gapaō for us.

God did this when we didn’t deserve it, when we didn’t love God, when His love wasn’t reciprocated. God didn’t sacrifice His Son for us b/c we deserved it,
or b/c there was something admirable in us allowing us to merit it. That’s what made it agapaō love.

I don’t think I really understood God’s love until I became a parent. At that time I realized what it felt like to have unconditional love.

Sometimes children are cruel. You can imagine children telling their parents that they hate them, but the parents still feel just as much love. You might
even try to hug your children sometimes when they’re angry w/ you and they fight against you, but you still love them just as much.

The parent might say

“I love you so much. I always will. There’s nothing you could ever do that would ever make me stop loving you. There’s nothing you could ever do that
would make me love you any less. Even if you’re mad at me, even if you tell me you hate me, I still love you just as much and I always will.”

That’s agapaō love.

Just yesterday I was having a conversation w/ Rhea. I brought her into my office this morning to ask her if I could share this story and to try to remember
how exactly it took place, but neither of us could remember. She started asking me if I would love her if she did these different things wrong. I told her, “Yes, I love you so much and there’s nothing you could ever do that would make me stop loving you or love you any less.”

That’s God’s love for us. He’s chosen to set His love and affection on us. That’s why He created us to have a relationship w/ Him and to worship Him and
give Him the glory and honor He deserves.

If you’ve surrendered your life to His Son Jesus Christ God looks forward to spending eternity w/ you. If that’s not something you’ve done though, you
won’t face God as a loving Father, you’ll face Him as a just Judge who’s forced to punish you for your sins b/c you wouldn’t let Jesus take that punishment
for you. If you’ve never surrendered your life to Jesus, Pastor Doug and I will be up front after service and we’d love the opportunity to talk to you.

LET’S REVIEW THESE LESSONS:

LESSON 1: EROS IS PHYSICAL ATTRACTION.

LESSON 2: STORGE IS FAMILIAL LOVE

LESSON 3: PHILEŌ IS STRONG AFFECTION.

LESSON 4: AGAPAŌ IS:

  • PART I: UNCONDITIONAL
  • PART II: SACRIFICIAL
  • PART III: GOD’S LOVE FOR US

· And to give you an idea of next week, PART IV WILL BE AGAPAŌ IS: HOW A HUSBAND IS TO LOVE HIS WIFE.

Author: Scott LaPierre