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Fukuoka, Japan
Christian blogger, KJV Bible apologist, legal researcher, teacher, learner, family man, writer, entrepreneur, born Jamaican, son of the soil, traveler... it's complicated. "For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, [are called]: But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty; And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, [yea], and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are: That no flesh should glory in his presence." 1 Corinthians 1:25-29 (KJV)

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"I will praise thee, O LORD, with my whole heart; I will shew forth all thy marvellous works." ~ Psalm 9:1 (KJV). This blog contains and explains the truth of God's Word. The Epignosis of the Word of God is what every servant of God must teach.

Monday, January 2, 2012

HOLY BIBLE 101 - What is LOVE?

Everyone craves LOVE! Some crave their own version of love. Some crave other people's projection of love. Some misinterpret other emotions and mistake them for love. But, what is TRUE LOVE? What is the source of TRUE LOVE? How can a person find TRUE LOVE? To answer these questions we must analyze the word LOVE.

Think about this: the word 'LOVE' is a loosely used term in the English language. I love God, I love my wife, I love my Dad, I love spicy curry, I love writing, I love cooking and I love football. Surely these are not all the same type and degree of love yet we use the same word to describe all.

Do I love spicy curry in the same way that I love football? Do I love Dad in the same way that I love writing or cooking? Do I love my wife in the same way that I love God?

To begin to better understand LOVE let us consult the Greek and C.S. Lewis' book The Four Loves, Harcourt, Brace 1960. :) The Ancient & Modern Greek languages have many different words for love. Here are four (4) that I know of, that describe different aspects of LOVE.

NOTE: There are five (5) words below but we cannot include the first as akin to love for obvious reasons.

1. PATHOS (Strong's G3806)
This may also be called "lust". This is a depraved vile passion that includes inordinate sexual appetites. It is described as 'inordinate affection' in Colossians 3 and Christians are urged to KILL it.

"Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry:" (v.5 KJV)

Many people mistake this for love and are held captive by it's enticing grasp. PATHOS is an affection but it is NOT love.

This may also be called "romance". It is a passionate emotion, with a major focus on sensual connection and a minor focus on sexual desire and longing. This Greek word is not found in the Holy Bible but is described by Lewis. He says:

"A man in this state really hasn't leisure to think of sex. He is too busy thinking of a person. The fact that she is a woman is far less important than the fact that she is herself. He is full of desire, but the desire may not be sexually toned. If you asked him what he wanted, the true reply would often be, "To go on thinking of her."" [pg. 133]

While EROS may not focus on sex it does not exclude sex. Lewis himself admits that "at a later stage the explicitly sexual awakens" in this type of man. EROS is an emotion but is not true love.

This may also be called "affection". According to Lewis, it is the most natural, sensitive, and wide spread type of 'love'. He says:

"The Greeks called this love storge (two syllables and the g is "hard"). I shall here call it simply Affection. My Greek Lexicon defines storge as "affection, especially of parents to offspring"; but also of offspring to parents. And that, I have no doubt, is the original form of the thing as well as the central meaning of the word. The image we must start with is that of a mother nursing a baby..." [pg. 53]

Lewis explains:

"The importance of this image is that it presents us at the very outset with a certain paradox. The Need and Need-love of the young is obvious; so is the Gift-love of the mother. She gives birth, gives suck, gives protection. On the other hand, she must give birth or die. She must give suck or suffer. That way, her Affection too is a Need-love. There is the paradox. It is a Need-love but what it needs is to give. It is a Gift-love
but it needs to be needed." [pg. 54]

Even though STORGE exists without coercion it exhibits a GIFT-NEED / NEED-NEED relationship. For it to become true love NEED must be eliminated and another element added. STORGE is affection but it is not true love in and of itself.

4. PHILOS (Strong's G5384)
This may also be called "friendship". According to Lewis this expression of love, or true friendship, is the same as the love that David and Jonathan shared and is almost non-existent now.

"...the soul of Jonathan was knit with the soul of David, and Jonathan loved him as his own soul." (1 Samuel 18:1 KJV)

"I am distressed for thee, my brother Jonathan: very pleasant hast thou been unto me: thy love to me was wonderful, passing the love of women." (2 Samuel 1:26 KJV)

Lewis says very few modern people equate this type of friendship with love. Is it that mankind has grown so cold that the ability to love in this way has diminished? Has PATHOS become prevalent and in it's prevalence corrupted PHILOS?

PHILOS is used throughout the New testament. One such example is the conversation Jesus had with Peter in John 21:15-17.

Jesus asked Peter three times if he loved Him. The first two times, in verses 15 and 16 Jesus used the word AGAPAO, which refers to that LOVE which Christ himself has for mankind. Peter used the word PHILEO in his response to Jesus. PHILEO derives from PHILOS and refers simply to friendship. The third time Jesus asked the question, verse 17, Jesus used the word PHILEO and Peter felt sorrowful.

"He saith unto him the third time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? Peter was grieved because he said unto him the third time, Lovest thou me? And he said unto him, Lord, thou knowest all things; thou knowest that I love thee."

Twice Jesus asked: Peter, do you love me the way that I love you? Peter's answer was: I love you as a friend. Then the third time Jesus asked: Peter, do you love me as a friend? Peter was hurt and sorrowful because it was the truth, he only loved Jesus as a friend and not unconditionally. This may explain why he eventually went on to deny Jesus three times.

How many of us love in this way and need to examine ourselves? PHILOS is a lovely affection but it is not unconditional love.

5. AGAPE (Strong's G26)
This may also be called "charity" or "unconditional love". It is described in the Holy Bible as the greatest virtue.

"Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal. And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing. And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing." (1 Corinthians 13:1-3 KJV)

The word charity is translated from the Greek word AGAPE, pronounced ä-gä'-pā. It is very different from our modern word charity, which refers merely to kindness.

Biblical CHARITY (true love) denotes affection, good will, love, benevolence and brotherly love. Most importantly, TRUE LOVE: suffers long, is kind, does not envy, is not boastful, and is not prideful (v.4). TRUE LOVE does not behave disgracefully, is not self-seeking, is not provoked easily and does not calculate evil (v.5). TRUE LOVE does not rejoice in acts of injustice or unrighteousness but rejoices in truth (v.6). TRUE LOVE protects from imminent danger, has confidence in truth, hopefully trusts, and endures until rewarded (v.7). TRUE LOVE is never without power or effect (v.8).

We see here that AGAPE is the epitome of LOVE and that GOD is love's ultimate personification since He IS love. Anyone who does not love does not know God.

"He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love." (1 John 4:8 KJV)

It stands to reason that once we FIND GOD, we find true love and become vessels of LOVE (God). We can expect that vessels of this true LOVE will automatically demonstrate LOVE and will gravitate towards each other. The search for anything other than AGAPE is futile.

Be LOVE (agape) and be LOVED!

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