Sep 25

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LOVE (2)

In this second article on love, we need to learn what kind of love is more demanding of us! We have looked, ever so briefly, at the three Greek words translated love. Just to refresh your memory, they are: 1) Agape, 2) Philia, AND 3) Storge. There is a fourth Greek word (Eros) translated “love” but it is not used in the New Testament; therefore, we will not look at it.
In my search, I found this that might be helpful in our understanding of the three Greek words; 1) Storge – empathy bond, 2) Philia – friend bond, and 3) Agape – unconditional “God” love. You can see why we tend to lean toward “agape” – love, as it is said to be “unconditional.” But, we must never forget that “unconditional love” does not mean the one who is so loved, never means acceptable! It is easy to prove that God loves humanity “unconditionally and desires that all humanity is saved. Here read these words: “Who (God, frw) will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth” (1 Tim. 2:4). No question, God loves all mankind! The words in Romans, also shows this: “But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us” (Rom. 5:8). As we read these words, it is clear that God’s “unconditional” love, never means that we are acceptable to God, only that he loves us!
Let us now move to the hard area! So, you are saying, what do you mean, “the hard area?” The “hard area” is our love for each other. You see, we are far from being “perfect” in our actions toward each other. In fact, we sometimes make ourselves hard to love! However, before continuing this thought, let us notice a few things that are inseparable. One is that love obeys. Jesus said, and this is a universal truth, as it never changes; here are Jesus’s words: “If ye love me, keep my commandments” (John 14:15). These words were true in the “garden of Eden,” they were true throughout the Mosaic age, and it is true in the age of Christ. John wrote: “And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments” (1 John 2:3). But, John did not stop here but wrote these “hard to accept” words: “He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him” (verse 4). The person who “twists” the word of God to fit his own desires, is one that does not love Christ! Even if the things written by inspiration are “hard” to understand in places, it is no excuse for us to cry, “It is too hard for us to understand!” Here let us turn to Peter’s words about some of the things Paul wrote, they are: “As also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction” (1 Pet. 3:16). The Greek word translated “hard to be understood” is “dusnoetos” and means: “difficult of perception” (Strong). Being “difficult” does not mean impossible! Here is a good place to call attention to Luke’s words about the Bereans: “These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so” (Acts 17:11). It is the responsibility of the individual to study, to study hard enough and long enough, in an effort to “search” the scriptures daily to see the truth! This is true of our subject, “love,” as “love” is a requirement, if we are to be acceptable to God! There is no greater goal
So, Jesus said: “Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets” (Matt. 7:12). It is easy to do unto others, but it is hard to do unto others as you would have them do unto you! This is a quotation from Leviticus 19:18 and it is called “the golden rule!” This would not be so hard, if we were always easy to get along with but we are not! Therefore, the “golden rule” requires us to do unto others, even when they are not acting as they should. Is this not what we would like others to do unto us? This is what love calls for; not only in others but in ourselves toward others! We might say it this way, “How would we like others to react toward us, when we are less than “good?” Are you ever less than good toward others? Be honest now!
Let us take a look at what Paul wrote: “Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God” (Eph. 5:21). The Greek word translated “submitting yourselves,” is “hupotasso” and means: “reflexively to obey: – be under obedience.” (Strong). Have you ever thought about this requirement? This is to be done, “in the fear of God!” This comes in a context of: “Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord” (verse 22). Yes, it is the same Greek word as in verse twenty-one, “submitting” and “submit.”
Who said, “loving one another was easy?”

Frank R. Williams

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