|The Christian Principles of the Four Types of Love|
When John, the apostle wrote, God is love, he used the word, Agape. Agape Love is the love that God is. There is also a selfishness that some people call love, which is eros. This is a love that takes what does not belong to it, it is selfish. From eros, we get the word, erotic. There is a brotherly love, philadelphia, which is simply a meeting of two who have common interests, career, etc. It is something that God designed and built into creation, and there is value in it. Then, there is natural affection. The Bible doesn't use the word, natural affection, but it does use a word that means the lack of natural affection. Natural affection is something that God designed and built into human beings. It makes even unbelievers love their own families and feel sorry for someone who is going through problems. It is purely natural, and a good thing that God built into every person. When wickedness gets too great, even natural affection fails.
For us, as Christians, we are concerned with agape (noun) love or agapao (verb) love. This is the kind of love that is righteousness and holiness/sanctification. This is God's good news about righteousness and holiness: they are free gifts to us from God. (Romans 5:17) Love fulfills all the commandments. (Romans 13:8-10) Sin is a lack of Agape Love. We were created to flow in the power of this Love that is God--His Spirit flowing through us continually. This is the only place of fulfillment. The Love of God is shed abroad in our hearts (minds) by the Holy Ghost. (Romans 5:5) But how?
The Love of God is shed abroad by grace and grace is accessed through faith. That's what "by grace through faith" means. (Ephesians 2:8-9) That needs some explanation.
God always moves first, speaking a vision of hope into our spirits and our minds. He shows us who we are to be, what the Church is, how we are to fit into the Church, and what is and is not the Church. This is the vision of hope, which is not hope-so hope. It is a vision of reality.
God speaks. We hear. We don't harden our hearts (minds) against God. (Hebrews 3:15) Faith comes by hearing and hearing by an utterance of God. (Romans 10:17) Faith is not the make-believe of the Atheist, Evolutionists, Old-Earth Dogmatists, and Naturalists. Faith is belief in reality, but not just any kind of belief. Faith is the supernatural belief and trust that is imparted by God when we hear His voice. It is literally the faith of God, God's very Own faith that He gives us as a gift. You are saved by grace through faith, and that (faith) is not of yourself. It is the gift of God lest any man should boast. (Ephesians 2:8-9)
Faith gives us access to grace. (Romans 5:2) So, God speaks, leads, we hear, faith comes and gives access to grace. The Bible also tells us that it is grace that does the work. (1 Corinthians 15:10) What work? The works of God's Love in thought, word, and deed. Whatever is not of faith is sin. (Romans 14:23) If God didn't lead you to do it or if it was not God doing it through you, then it is sin. Sin is the opposite of Love. Love doesn't sin. God is Love, and God does not sin. We are saved to good works. Ephesians 2:10) We are saved from slavery to sin. But, it doesn't end there.
What we have just described is righteousness, which is in the moment. It is a moment by moment occurrence. God leads, we yield, and God thinks His thoughts, speaks His words, and does His works through us. Righteousness is something you do. More correctly, it is something that God does through you. Holiness, or sanctification, is something you were created to become.
Don't be conformed to this world but be transfigured by the renewing of your mind. (Romans 12:2) The battle is currently for the mind. Satan wants to direct our minds one way. The Holy Spirit leads us into righteousness. When we listen to God and ignore Satan, part of our carnal mind dies, we die to self. At the same time, Christ is more fully formed within us. (Romans 6:6, Galatians 5:24) We become more like Jesus. (Romans 8:28-29) Our nature is changed or transfigured. A permanent change is made to our minds. Of course, if we choose to obey Satan at any time, the exact opposite change is made. We re-crucify Christ in our minds and we become more enslaved by Satan. We become more like Satan.
With holiness comes redemption. Redemption is being set free from slavery to Satan and all his demons, free from the pressures of the culture, and free from our own fleshly nature. It is the truth, reality, that sets us free. (John 8:32) Lies enslave us. (Colossians 2:8) Our natural minds are filled with many lies and misconceptions. However, by grace through faith, God's Truth shines His Light into our minds and destroys those lies one my one. (2 Corinthians 10:5)
The whole Christian walk is a walk from glory to glory into God's Love. (2 Corinthians 3:18) Not only do we do the works of Love, but we also become His Love, from faith to faith and from glory to glory. (Romans 1:17) The path of the just is as a shining light that grows more and more until the totally complete day. (Proverbs 4:18) That day is the day of the fullness of His Love when the Church will come in the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God to a totally mature and complete man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ. (Ephesians 4:11-13)
Last updated: Feb, 2013
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