Love as revealed to us in the Scripture

February, “when our hearts turn to love”.  I think that should be year-round, but that is the saying that we hear in February.

If you are like me, I forget the different kinds of love expressed in the Scripture.  Regretfully, we have not the richness of multiple forms of expression of love that were used in the Scripture.  We love pizza and we love one another with the same word!  I searched my Bible dictionary to refresh my memory.

Because of the hundreds of references to love in the Bible, it is certainly the most remarkable book of love in the world. It records the greatest love story ever written-God’s unconditional love for us that sent His Son to die on the cross.

Agape (Pronounced: Uh-GAH-pay) is the highest of the four types of love in the Bible. This term defines God’s immeasurable, incomparable love for humankind. It is the divine love that comes from God. Agape love is perfect, unconditional, and pure.

1 John 4:7 Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. 8 He who does not love does not know God, for God is love. 9 In this the love of God was manifested toward us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him. 10 In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins. 11 Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.

Love is not only one of God’s attributes; it is also an essential part of His nature. “God is love,” the Bible declares He is the personification of perfect love.  Such love surpasses our powers of understanding.  Christian love is the fruit of the Spirit of Jesus in the believer (Gal 5:22).

His love is also:

  • Everlasting—Jer. 31.3 The LORD has appeared of old to me, saying: “Yes, I have loved you with an everlasting love; therefore, with lovingkindness I have drawn you.
  • Free- Hos 14:4 “I will heal their backsliding I will love them freely.
  • Sacrificial- John 3:16 For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.
  • Enduring to the end- John 13:1 Now before the Feast of the Passover, when Jesus knew that His hour had come that He should depart from this world to the Father, having loved His own who were in the world, He loved them to the end.

The other terms for love are                                                                                                         Eros (Pronounced: AIR-ohs) is the Greek word for sensual or romantic love.

Storge (Pronounced: STOR-jay) is a term for love in the Bible with which you may not be familiar.  This Greek word describes family love, the affectionate bond that develops naturally between parents and children, and brothers and sisters.

Philia (Pronounced: FILL-ee-uh) is the type of intimate love in the Bible that most Christians practice toward each other. This Greek term describes the powerful emotional bond seen in deep friendships.  Philia originates from the Greek term phílos, a noun meaning “beloved, dear … a friend; someone dearly loved (prized) in a personal, intimate way; a trusted confidant held dear in a close bond of personal affection.”  

We cannot understand the depth of GOD’s love.  It is just one of His incomprehensible characteristics.  We can only bask in it.  It is inexhaustible.

Reach out and show someone love this month.  Real love is in short supply!

Sandy Pace
IOKDS VP/Spiritual Life Director