14. February 2014 · Comments Off on Love – Four Greek Words · Categories: Bible Teaching

There are at least seven Greek words that are translated as “love.” In one form or another, two of these are in the original Greek texts of the New Testament: agape and phileo. Other variations, root forms, and/or similar Greek words are: agapao, philia, philos, philadelphia, philandros, & philoteknos.

Here are three others: ludus, or playful love, philautia, or self-love, and pragma, or long-lasting love (as a commitment instead of a feeling).

The four Greek words translated as “love” that might be the most important are:

Agape – love without qualification. This is love that is based on the character of the one doing the loving, and not on the character and/or actions of the one being loved. This is how God loves us. This is the love shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost. This is the love we, as Christians, are to have for one another. This is based on a decision to love, rather than any feeling or emotion. We would have fewer divorces, possibly no divorces, if the two would walk in this love.

Phileo (philia) – the love of a friend (brotherly love). This love, contrasted with agape, is based on the character of the one being loved. Someone treats you right, you love them. Someone has qualities you admire, you love them. You enjoy the company of someone, you love them. Too many marriages are solely based on this kind of love. Without agape, when your spouse no longer treats you the way you love, divorce can occur. But with agape, the love that is based on a decision, you’ll continue to love the other person regardless of how you’re treated. And the love in you, if you’ll act on that love, will respond with kindness even when mistreated.

Storge – the show of affection. This love can be demonstrated as a hug or handshake, or when you’d pet your dog or cat. I might mention, if you mix storge with phileo, without agape, you might get into trouble and end up in eros.

Eros – sexual love. This love is physical, emotional, sensual, and sexual. Again, too many marriages are based on this love. And so, when it ends, or when it cools down, their marriage isn’t based on much else, and they have trouble.

All four of these should be in a Christian marriage. Three of these might be in other relationships. Agape is the most important. Let us love one another. – Tony McCanless

08. February 2014 · Comments Off on Faith Can Be Exercised · Categories: Bible Teaching

Did you know you can exercise your faith? There are similarities between muscle in the natural body, and faith in our spirits. Rom 12:3 tells us God has dealt to everyone the same measure of faith, but like muscle, it can be developed. And like natural parents, He expects more of His children as they grow–or as they should.

2 Th 1:3 indicates that faith can grow. In Luke 17:5, the apostles said to the Lord, “Increase our faith.” Jesus responded by talking about a seed, which increases in fruitfulness after being planted–with more seeds, too. Planting seeds of faith causes increase. Using faith causes increase. The right diet is also important. Faith comes by the Word (Rom 10:17). Avoiding hindrances is also important. Faith works by love (Gal 5:6). Thorns choke out good seed (Mark 4:19).

Jesus is the developer of your faith (Heb 12:2). The Spirit is your teacher and will bear witness with Bible teaching you hear. God is intimately involved with you. He knows where you are personally and individually. Stay in fellowship with Him. Walk in the Light as He is in the Light (1 Jn 1:7). Dwell in the secret place and abide under the shadow of the Almighty (Ps 91:1). He will not allow any trial to come to you that you’re not able to handle, but will show a way of escape (1 Cor 10:13). He wants you to grow in faith. He wants you to exercise your faith.

Rom 12:2 mentions that we are not to be conformed to this world, but transformed by the renewing of our minds with the Word of God. The world will try to influence you into its way of believing and acting. There are many applications to this, but I’m in a healing ministry, and my thoughts tend to go that direction. The world says that it’s flu season, stock up on the medicine. The world says you have a back pain, go to the doctor. And this can be good advice, but Christians should always consider the Word first. I’ve not had even an aspirin since Jan. 1980. I go to the Word first. I read healing Scriptures. I command it to go in Jesus’ Name. The healing is sometimes instant, sometimes progressive. Not everyone is at the same level. And no one does everything perfectly. There should be no condemnation or guilt once we go to the Lord in repentance and receive His mercy. Thank God for His mercy! But I’ve noticed that it seems to be more difficult to get some mature Christians healed of serious conditions, if they have not had a lifestyle of considering God first in small areas. Learn to trust God for the healing of a cold or headache. When it’s not serious, this can be a good way to grow and exercise. David was not ready for Goliath until he faced the lion and the bear. Use your faith in small areas. You’ll be better prepared if something serious comes. Grow in faith. Grow in God. – Tony McCanless