How Is Your Love Life? Part One

Galatians 5: 19 – 26

“By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.” (John 13:35)

Love such as Christ spoke of is revealed to be a product of a Holy Spirit-filled life.  In Galatians 5:22 we are given a list of the “fruit” of the Spirit.  Upon first looking at the passage it appears there is an improper verb tense used.  The word “fruit” is singular, but the result is plural. This is easily understood when we understand the meaning of what the Greek word translated “fruit” means to our modern mind.  It was the word “karpos” which can be translated as “harvest.”  The time of harvest is still called the fruiting season in some areas.  In this light the writer was saying “The things the Holy Spirit harvests in a believer’s life are…”  The first one is love. The harvest of the Holy Spirit in the life of a believer is love.

The world has a different meaning when speaking of love. An understanding of the Greek words for love helps the comprehension of what Jesus meant. There are various words and word meanings for love.

Agape is the Greek word in our text translated “love.”

Eros speaks of love means a physical attraction between persons on a sexual level.  Their word for that emotion was not related to what was meant by agape.  We get our word “erotic” from their word eros.

Philos, was the Greek word for a kind of love which we describe by friendship or brotherly love.  It is warm affection apart from any sexual attraction at all.

Agape is the Greek word most often translated “love” in the Bible.  The word emerged in the Bible era meaning “”the ultimate willful act of self-sacrificing for the welfare of someone else.” The agape kind of love is Calvary’s love.  The proto-type of agape is the love Christ showed us.

Only when we love Him with a love that is self-sacrificing for His welfare can we get eros and philos working right.

Tragedy of tragedy is that in our society an attempt is made to define all love by the definition of eros, that is, sensual, fleshly love.  The world has difficulty understanding how brotherly love can exist without sexual involvement.  Or, that self-sacrificing love can be expressed without expecting some sexual favor in return.

Try substituting some of the meanings of EROS in John 3:16: “For God so loved the world…that He felt romantic about it…that He got a tingling sensation down His spine…that He had a friendly spirit of tolerance and brotherhood toward it no matter what it believed…”  NOT!

God loved so much that “He gave His only begotten Son.”  Love is an act of willful, self-sacrificing for the good of another. God showed that kind of love.

Jesus said, “By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.” (John 13:35)

When we have agape, that is, self-giving love for Jesus that we truly love Him. Evaluate your regard for Jesus. Is it self-giving?