Unit 2: The 3 major types of love
THE 3 MAJOR TYPES OF LOVE
There are three Greek words translated into the one English word “love”; eros, which suggests sensual desire – it does not appear in the New Testament; phileo, which is used for friendship or love of one’s friends or relatives – it conveys a sense of loving someone because he is worthy of love; and agape, which is God’s love: the purest, deepest kind of love – it is expressed not through mere emotions but as an act of one’s will.
Agape is God’s supernatural, unconditional love for you revealed supremely through our Lord’s death on the cross for our sins. It is the supernatural love He wants to produce in you and through you to others, by His Holy Spirit. Agape love is given because of the character of the person loving rather than because of the worthiness of the object of that love. Sometimes it is love “in spite of” rather than “because of.”
God underscores the importance of this kind of love through the inspired pen of the apostle Paul, as recorded in 1 Corinthians 13. In this beautiful and remarkable passage of Scripture, Paul writes that, apart from love, anything that you might do for God or others is of no value. Consider these words:
“If I had the gift of being able to speak in other languages without learning them, and could speak in every language there is in all of heaven and earth, but didn’t love others, I would only be making noise. If I had the gift of prophecy and knew all about what is going to happen in the future, knew everything about everything, but didn’t love others, what good would it do? Even If I had the gift of faith so that I could speak to a mountain and make it move, I would still be worth nothing at all without love. If I gave everything I have to poor people, and if I were burned alive for preaching the Gospel but didn’t love others, it would be of no value whatever.” (I Cor. 13:1-3)
In other words, no matter what you do for God and for others, it is of no value unless you are motivated by God’s love.