God sets high standards for us.  He wants us to have love for all.  C. S. Lewis spoke of 4 kinds of love.  The Greek words for these are:

Stroge – Family Bonds

Eros – Romantic

Phileo – Friendship/ deep affection

Agape – Willfully deciding to do what is best for another

New Testament uses Agape

John 3:16

God loves every person and reaches out to all.

John 13:34

God commands that we love each other.  God wants us to choose to do what will bless others.

Matt. 22:37-40

Choose to do the right thing.

Matt. 5:43-45

God gives us the ability to choose to do the right thing even  when it is hard to do.  We can love the unlovable.

1Cor. 13:4-7

Emotions come and go, but agape has the staying power.  Feelings can be deceptive, agape is based on deciding to do what is best for the person.

New Testament using Phileo (or both agape and phileo):

Matt. 10:37

Deep affection for people can interfere with our service to God.

John 21:15-17

Jesus is asking Peter if he Is committed (agape)to him.  Peter has strong feelings(phileo) for Jesus. Jesus wants Peter to be committed (agape). 

Romans 12:9-10

We must have commitment and brotherly affection to develop as a church.

1 Thess. 4:9-10

God taught this church to be committed to each other.  Brotherly affection can’t be taught, but the Spirit can develop it in you.

Heb. 13:1, 1 Peter 1:22, 2 Peter 1:5-7

Obedience to Jesus can heal our hearts for sincere love.  Agape is a selfless love.

Robert Lee, 4-30-06, p.m. 

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