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People assume Biblical word studies is something as simple as picking up a concordance, but in reality there is so much more to it and I’d like to show you how to do more. Why does this matter? Because if we are to accurately preach the word of God and declare that we are doing accurate word studies it needs to hold up to any test or investigation by those listening to us. Many English-speaking people don’t understand the Greek language and its dynamics, they simply assume it follows the same rules as English. The truth though is far from it. Greek sentences and word structures are significantly different from English and even more so for Hebrew.

I’d like to use this post to give several things to consider the next time you do a word study. They are short and to the point, but will be more than sufficient to get you started.

  1. Use a proper concordance to find the word you are looking for. Once found find out what the original Greek or Hebrew word for that word is. The Strong’s Concordance can be a good place to start with, but you will require other sources as well.
  2. Next look at how many times the word is used throughout the Bible, and in what ways it was translated.
  3. How many times is it used by that author and how does he generally use the word. How is it translated in those places?
  4. How many times it is used in that book of the Bible and how is it translated each time.
  5. If applicable, how many times is in used in that passage, and is it translated the same way?
  6. Look up the meaning of the word in a good Greek Dictionary if possible or concordance.
  7. Find out how the word was used in the culture it was written in. How was it used in the Septuagint and in classical Greek?
  8. Reconstruct the meaning of the word considering all the above questions.
  9. Read up in a good commentary and see if the commentator comments concerning that word, as the word might have been used uniquely in the Greek and have a greater meaning than what is in a dictionary.
  10. Context, context, context. This is the most important part above all. When a word is used in any language it is used with a certain context in mind by the writer. Find this and you’ll know what meaning to apply a word. Just because the dictionary gives it 10 different words as possible meanings, doesn’t mean all 10 are applicable. The author intended only one of those and that is the one you need to discover.

These points above are guidelines to help you in this journey, but they are not full proof. You could do all of these and get it completely wrong but you might also be spot on and get a better meaning of what is going on. Even if you don’t get it 100% right you will have a better background of the word you studied to correct that in the future or explain why you had a particular opinion. Even the best scholars get it wrong, but like the saying goes, “Practice makes perfect.”

The more you do this the more you will know when to go into more detail and when the word has a simple meaning to grasp.

In personal devotions you might not have time to go this deep and spend so much time on this, but in those times it is still acceptable to do a brief word definition check. However, when one wants to really dig into the meaning of the word these steps would help you get that.

If you are comfortable with the Greek alphabet most of these things can be answered by one to three proper sources. Having a proper theological library in place or near you makes this easier. Otherwise a good Bible software package would help, there are some good ones to choose from, as long as you don’t get stuck with only using Strong’s (which is not the worst thing either if you really can’t afford anything else). Strong’s is great, but it is too simple for the depth most of you would be looking for. The types of books you’d be looking for is Greek/Hebrew Lexicon’s (you’ll need to know the Greek/Hebrew alphabet), a concordance to show you the Greek word, theological dictionaries, cross-reference books, word study books and so forth. There is so many sources available in regards to word studies, find them and use them, just don’t rely on one source alone.

I trust this brief explanation of word studies has helped you, it is a very simple process. The best final advice I can give is, explore, read and discover the truth behind the use of the word.

Today I’ll be writing on something I think most believers have neglected to some degree. This is making disciples of all the nations as can be seen in the book of Acts. Acts 2 alone expands the gospel to numerous nations, but still there are so many that are left out or who needs to hear the gospel for the first time. Luke 10:2-3 tells us “the harvest is great but the workers are few”, thus we need to mobilize everyone capable of preaching the gospel so the whole world may hear it and repent. From the books of Acts I have identified three different methods for us as believers to follow in regards to winning souls.

  1. Proclaiming
  2. Miracles
  3. Visions

Proclaiming

In Acts 8:4–25 after Philip has left Jerusalem due to persecution he heads to Samaria and starts “proclaiming the Messiah to them” (Acts 8:5, HCSB). The scripture does not indicate if this was by the leading of the Spirit or where specifically in Samaria he was preaching. It simply says that he was proclaiming. What Luke does say is that he was proclaiming to them the Messiah they were still awaiting. When they heard this and saw the signs, miracles and demons being cast out there was “great joy in that city” (Acts 8:8). This later leads to many salvations in the city including Simon the sorcerer. From this example the church needs to be reminded that Philip is not one of the twelve disciples, but one of the seven (Witherington III 1998, 279) and that “Philip is being portrayed as the same sort of positive evangelizing figure as Peter – one powerful in word and deed” (Witherington III 1998, 283). This is important for the church today so we will know this example is not just limited to the apostles, but it is open to all believers.

After Paul’s conversion he starts preaching in Damascus (Acts 9:20–25). “We see the energy of the man. A few days pass, only enough to get his proper bearings, and then he begins his work as a herald” (Lenski 1961, 369). This shows us that God does not need believers to have been believers for years for before they are allowed to evangelise. Rather if they have had a true conversion and change of heart they can immediately become witnesses for the kingdom as seen in many other places in Acts. Again Luke does not say the Spirit led Paul to do this, rather that he decided himself to start preaching. Eventually his life is in danger due to his preaching and escapes with the help of some believers. Luke does not indicate if anyone was saved by this preaching of Paul, but he shows that there were numerous sermons by Paul preached in Damascus convincing the Jews that Jesus is the Messiah.

Above we find two instances in Acts 8–12 where simply preaching out of a desire for the lost was the activity used to save the lost. These two believers did not simply just preach the word of God, rather they started preaching it in these areas as part of the great commission that they needed to obey and follow (Matt.28:18–20). Based on the examples above and Matthew 28, this should still be a continuing model in the church to follow as there are many lost souls who have not yet been saved.

Miracles

The second model we find which was as a result of healings and the resurrection of the dead. In Acts 9:32–35 Peter was travelling around and stopped in Lydda; there he found Aeneas who was paralyzed for eight years. Peter healed the man and the man got up and left. Luke does not state whether this man was saved, but it does say that “all who lived in Lydda and Sharon saw him and turned to the Lord” (Acts 9:35). Here healing was the key that lead to salvation. This is certainly a repeatable model for the New Testament church, and should continually be happening if believers believe in the full power of God in their lives.

Another example of this is found in the next paragraph where the believers in Joppa call Peter to come and resurrect Tabitha. Upon arrival he sends out all those who were crying, he then prays and in a similar fashion as to Aeneas says, “Tabitha, get up!” (Acts 9:40). She wakes up and Peter calls in her family. Due to this healing we find that Luke says “many believed in the Lord” (Acts 9:42). From the two examples above it is clear that healing leads to the lost being saved. Also in both examples above they were never directly led by the Spirit to perform these miracles, rather it is seems that they simply accepted it as something they have already been empowered to do by the Holy Spirit.

Visions

I have titled this as visions, it could also be titled as a “divine command” (1988, 174) as FF Bruce refers to concerning Acts 8:26. Nevertheless, under this category would be any  form of communication from the Trinity which leads the person to perform a certain task and people are saved in the process. I did not add the conversion of Paul here as he is focusing on models found by believers witnessing.

In Acts 8:26–40 Philip is led by the Lord to a road and instructed in his next steps there by the Lord again. The story continues as Philip explains the book of Isaiah to the Ethiopian. Eventually the Ethiopian turns to Christ and is baptized. After this Philip is again taken to another place by the Spirit.

The whole of Acts 10 shows another example of this. The Holy Spirit gives Cornelius a vision first which leads him to send men to fetch Peter. Second Peter gets a different vision three times, realizing God wants him to preach the word of God to the Gentiles coming to fetch him. These two visions are vital to the future church, as “by the Holy Spirit working through obedient servants, the way is being opened to receive Gentiles in the fellowship of the church” (Arrington 1999, 586). Due to these vision on the next day Peter follows the men and shares the Gospel in the home of Cornelius. While he was still sharing the Holy Spirit fell on the people there as on the day of Pentecost. As a result many are saved, baptized and brought into the kingdom.

These are only two examples of this category, but there are many others to be found in the Bible and church history. These are models we can follow throughout history where God speaks and as a result of His people following his instructions others are saved.

There is another aspect to this, these two instances above differ. The first one with Philip and the Ethiopian the attention is moved to the individual whereas Peter was preaching to a crowd. Why Luke makes this shift is not clear, one assumption is that the Ethiopian represents the ends of the known world by Greeks (Witherington III 1998, 290) and would have an effect on many in his area like Paul would have in the areas he ministered.

Conclusion

Above I have shown three distinct categories in which we can find models to use for evangelism. These need to be applied as need be, but any true church of God will be faced with many of the aspects found in these examples. What is central to the examples above is the Holy Spirit leading in the lives of those witnessing or that they are following the instructions of Jesus. When they were flexible to be used by God and to do what he has already instructed them, souls are saved.

Even though much has been written about this chapter in the Bible I’d like to share briefly what it meant to me this morning. It struck me between the eyes and honestly I might not yet have fully realized the implication but I’m meditating on it. When it comes to love I have always been bad at it, and whenever the opportunity for love came my way I’d jump at it like so many of us would. Yet I also know that many of these times I hurt the ladies I was interested in. And Vice-versa I’m sure most ladies would be able to identify. It doesn’t matter how long or short that love pursuit was, if it doesn’t work out it hurts and your heart gets a little more closed up to loving again. I believe this is the reason we see so many one night stands as well, simply because our hearts have gotten hurt too many times to allow love to penetrate it again. This defensive trigger can be called anything, but I like to call it “pride”, sometimes “shame” or even “fear”. It doesn’t matter what it is called I believe we had a contribution to this taking place. I think money and technology has contributed to this as well. And you might say, “What the heck are you talking about”, but admit it we have become so self obsessed because of money and technology and how we can display the best me that we have distanced people and life from the real me.

love11 Corinthians 13:1-3 talks about a man who is so spiritually capable and amazing that most people would look up to him in church or maybe even appoint him as a leader. The only problem is this person has no love, this person could heal every sick person you bring to him, but every sick person going away will not experience the love of God. Why fight for a cause you have no passion for? Why do a job for charity if you don’t love something about it? Why would you be someone who intercedes for other with God and not know and love God? Why have all the money in the world and not have love? This is what Paul was saying here, you could be the greatest person ever born on earth but without love you are still worthless.

If that was not enough the next part really got me. Paul says, “Love is patient”. I got thinking about the last lady I really tried to get things working out with. I thought, was I really patient? Sure I might not have been the only one at fault in any relationship I’ve tried to work out, but was I really patient in any of those? Was I really willing to wait and let God work? It seemed to me at that moment that my microwave generation syndrome had been controlling my relationships. I wanted it now and even better I wanted it yesterday. I know no one thinks like this and maybe not everyone is guilty but some of us do. I did. Infatuation is not patient, lust is not patient. It doesn’t have to be sexual to be infatuation or lust, it just needs to be out of line with God’s design.

Next Paul says, “Love is kind”. I immediately realized that I was not kind to this lady. I was not respectful. I certainly tried to be and I still try but I know I’ve had numerous thoughts of saying things that could have hurt her and just let her go on her way without caring about how even those words could cause a lasting pain in her heart still struggling to open up herself. Again infatuation or lust is not kind, if it does not get its own way it gets rude and throws all manners, respect and honor out of the window.

Paul says, “Love does not envy or boast”. These could probably be handled individually but they are both equally dangerous. Envy is wanting what someone else has. This could mean someone else’s wife or husband which does not belong to you. But as a single guy looking for a single lady not envying means not wanting love that I see everyone else have so badly that it controls me. Envy for me means not losing it because I see what others have. Not becoming jealous because others have a Godly relationship and then trying to compete with them so I do not feel left out.

This is also where boasting comes in. Love is also that thing that makes sure you do not boast with something you have that others don’t. I know many people put great pictures on Facebook about their better halves but isn’t this sometimes driven by boasting. Isn’t those Facebook statuses about your wife really boasting? The Bible does say we should love and respect our other halves, but it does not say we should boast with them. They are not an object to be paraded around with. They are a person that needs your attention, not the attention of the world. Do not let those weaker than you stumble because of your boasting.

The next part really hit me hard and joined up with “love is patient”. It says, “It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful”. This really got me, as many times in my pursuit of a lady I would want something to happen, but I would want it to happen in my time. This might apply differently to you, but I was ok with any details she would add to it as long as it happened on the day I wanted it. And if this did not happen my way I’d become highly irritable, as now I would need to wait another week, month or year. But this isn’t love. Love is not selfish, love is willing to sacrifice comfort for what lies ahead. Infatuation and lust is irritated by anything that takes time.

Paul writes further, “It does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth”. How many times have we soothed our conscience just to get what we want when it comes to love. Have we ever broken a law or celebrated a breakup that would benefit us? This is not love, love does not delight at the pain of others. Love does not lie about intentions just so it could get something later. Infatuation manipulates and controls like that. Lust does whatever it can despite the pain it might cause to get what it wants now.

“Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things”. Firstly do we bear the issues of those we love or do we cast it off as if it doesn’t matter, as if we are just in this for the love but any pain and hurt that person has they need to address on their own. Secondly do we believe all things? I believe in our world where we can check and test so much of what is said and done we still owe it to our partner or even those we are pursuing to believe them. To not doubt them unless they are lying plainly. This is the hardest thing for me, trusting someone. I believe texting makes this exceedingly difficult as you lose touch with the emotions messages are sent with, allowing room for lots of doubt. Thirdly love hopes all things. Do we really stand in hope that what that other person said or wants is what they will pursue and succeed in? Do we really hope in what God has promised, or do we run ahead or ourselves. Lastly do we really endure this process of love? Do we really endure with patience, kindness, hope? If not we need to ask if this is love to me or have I made it infatuation?

In a final word from Paul then, “Love never ends”. Despite all that has been said above, God guides and instructs us in our relationships. I did not write this to give anyone a reason to separate from each other, but rather a reason to draw closer to God and one another. Love never ends, we cannot decide to quit when the going gets tough after a week of dating, neither after years of marriage. Love is the one thing that will continue and that will keep us glued together. I hope this has meant as much for you as it did for me.

JesusI want to write this blog from out of my personal studies, I believe there are others that will find hope and peace in this short article. I will post some more concerning the rest of the passage a bit later.

Christ Our Source – Phil. 2:1

Paul starts this passage with the conjunction “therefore” signifying what could be a conclusion to his previous statements, despite this being a very long conclusion. Still there is several eternal principles for all believers in this very rich piece of scripture. The first paragraph of this passage gives numerous principles, yet the writer will only focus on what Paul says Christ offers us directly. It is vital to remember Paul is writing to a church of Gentile believers as the city of Philippi was a Roman city.

“If you have any encouragement from being united with Christ” (Phil. 2:1), in this verse Paul provides the first principle for believers through the ages. He says that believers can find encouragement when they are in Christ, yet this is only for believers as Paul clearly uses the phrase “in Christ”. The word “encouragement” comes from the Greek word “paraklēsis”, which is very similar to the word “paraklētos” used for the Holy Spirit. This word though can mean a few things even in this context, anything from “encouragement, consolation or joy” (Strong 2014). Therefore, whenever we need encouragement or consolation, we can simply go to Christ as our source of encouragement due to the work he did on the cross.

“If any comfort from his love” (Phil. 2:1), this verse testifies about the comfort we can find in the love of Christ. Again there is the same introduction of “if any” which is a figure of speech used to emphasis a series, making it clear Paul is still talking about Christ. It can then be said that through the love of Christ there is comfort for those who believe in him. Yet the word for “comfort” is only used once in the New Testament, and could also mean “gentle cheering, encouragement” (Mounce and Mounce 2008, 1133). Not only does the Christ’s love provide “comfort” (Strong 2014), but it could also provide encouragement and gentle cheering.

“If any common sharing in the Spirit” (Phil. 2:1), this refers to relationship. The words Paul use here can have a different meaning, the words “common sharing” comes from the Greek word “koinōnia” that has a stronger meaning as “fellowship, partnership” (Mounce and Mounce 2008, 1099). Thus Paul says Christ is our source of fellowship with the Holy Spirit. Christ Himself said He will send the Holy Spirit for us (John 15:26).

“If any tenderness and compassion”, lastly Paul tells the Philippians that tenderness and compassion can be found in Christ. This is simple, and yet so deep as the word used for compassion according to Mounce means, “compassion, kindness, in relieving sorrow and want” (2008, 1123). Not only is Christ the source of all the previous points, but he is the one who takes away our sorrow and want.

I write this blog today with much love, care and appreciation towards my Pentecostal brothers. I also write this with a hope and dream of seeing transformation in the Pentecostal church. What is wrong with the Pentecostal church you might ask? Much and yet nothing. This is always more tricky to answer than it should be, but I’d like to deal with the topic of Pentecost and the Pentecostals.

pentecost-canadaFor a long time this has been a hot topic in many churches, and though it is sad to say though I am Pentecostal too, we have been wrong mostly. By this I do not imply that the Pentecostal experience is wrong and unbiblical, but the methods we have used to support our experience has been invalid as solid hermeneutical principles. Let me explain, Acts 2 has long been the foundation for our Pentecostal experience as well as Acts 8, 9 and 10 and some others. Yet we tend to interpret these narratives as teaching when they are written as historical narrative. Gordon Fee a great Pentecostal and Evangelical scholar writes, “unless Scripture explicitly tells us we must do something, what is only narrated or described does not function in a normative way, unless it can be demonstrated on other grounds that the author intended it to function this way.” (How to Read the Bible for All its worth, pg. 106). From reading this many of us know we have numerous times taken stories from Acts and made it teachings and even doctrine, yet this is not accurate exegesis. What now? Does our belief in baptism with the Holy Spirit according to Acts 2 become invalid? Certainly not, we simply need to change our perspective of interpretation then we should find the same meaning yet again in Luke’s writings.

Thankfully Fee also admits in numerous of his writings that if authorial intent can be found doctrine can be drawn from that writing if it aligns with the authorial intent. There are several great Pentecostals like Menzies and Stronstad that have done amazing work in this area so far, yet many non-Pentecostal are not convinced and many Pentecostals don’t even know these two authors. Thus as Menzies has mentioned, we Pentecostals tend to interpret our Bible through our experience, and though this might have been an applicable approach 100 years ago with the advent of the Pentecostal church it is time for us to move on.

Now without writing a 20 page essay I’d like to encourage the rest of the Pentecostal body of brothers to rise up to this challenge and situation. Here are a few things you could do to help change this dilemma we find ourselves in.

1. Get hold of the work of Menzies and Stronstad. The best step to get into this topic is to buy the books of those who have already done so much work in this area of Pentecost. Some other writers to consider is William W. Klein, Craig L. Blomberg, Robert H. Stein and Walter C. Kaiser.hermeneutics

2. Stop doing experiential exegesis. I’m not suggesting we throw experience out of the door, but as Pentecostals we need to avoid doing eisegesis (reading our experience into the Bible). Rather if we use proper Biblical exegesis and it does not correspond to our experience leave the experience part till we find it somewhere else in scripture or if you do make mention of your experience without Biblical backing, do not preach it as doctrine.

3. Study the topic of Pentecost and publish some work of your own. There is no better way to contribute than by writing your own article or book on this topic. Nonetheless I’d like to encourage you not to criticize our non-Pentecostal brothers, for they help us to test the validity of our writings. Therefore rather ask them if they could from a non-Pentecostal background agree with your hermeneutics and why or why not.

4. Avoid interpreting Luke-Acts through Paul. As will be seen in the writings of both Menzies and Stronstad, we cannot interpret the writings of Luke through the writings of Paul. They are both theologians in their own right and should be handled in that way. Simply put the Pneumatology of Paul is mainly for salvation whereas Luke is mainly for service.

There are many other points we could add to this discussion but if you stick to these I believe we can rise up as Pentecostals to a level of exegetical quality like never before. Let us unite as Pentecostals, and get over our piety church differences. Let us also fellowship with our non-Pentecostal brother and learn from them. And lastly may the words we preach be true and accurate to God’s Word.

Bless you

A Pentecostal Brother

Leading like Jesus

I recently read a book called “Jesus on Leadership” by C. Gene Wilkes, a must read for any leader. This book was fascinatingly simple while being completely revolutionary. While reading this book, my eyes started opening up to how poor our attitudes as Christians (me included) can be, especially leaders.The-Mudd-Partnership-What-is-servant-leadership-

Wilkens writes this whole book on his own personal experience with servant leadership and Jesus’ life model of serving. Many people don’t realize this but Jesus wasn’t successful because he was the son of God. He could easily have failed while being on earth in the form of man. Yet Jesus succeeded because he humbled himself unto obedience towards God the Father. Jesus tells us that he came to do “the will of the Father” and that he only does what the Father tells him to do, not his own will. Think about this, the Bible tells us that Jesus was tempted with sin just like every other man, yet he did not fall to sin. Have you ever thought about what sins he was tempted with? Surely one of them would have been selfishness, greed, self-exaltation, or self-preservation. Isn’t this some of the biggest sins leaders are faced with?

Still Jesus says in John 6:38, “For I have come down from heaven not to do my will but to do the will of him who sent me”. In our western modern-day society there isn’t many places where we can see a clear example of this. Yes we have robots or computers that do our will but even they rebel in their own way. To me the best example of this would be a slave. A slave has no rights, and a slave has no will of his own except for the will of his master. When his master says, “Come”, he comes. When he says, “Go”, he goes. If his master no longer wants him, he could simply kill him. To that slave his life is not his own, his life is completely controlled by his master. Am I then suggesting Jesus was a slave without a free will on earth? No, surely just like us God gave him a free will or his death would have been in vain. Rather Jesus choose to become obedient to God’s will despite his own will. Therefore Jesus sets an example for us to follow as leaders. As leaders we need to remember that when we became believers we sacrificed our wills unto God. Sure like Jesus we might be tempted and unlike Jesus we might fail, but we need to lead in complete submission unto God and not our flesh and mind.

Another example we find about Jesus is in Mark 10:45 where he says that He came not to be served but to serve. Isn’t this the complete flip of what we see in leaders today? It seems to be that people think that when they are a leader people are supposed to serve them, when Jesus showed us the opposite, he was serving the people. Everything he did was for them, every sinless moment was spent in thought of them.

Jesus tells us in Luke 19:10, “For the Son of Man came to seek and to save what was lost.” When you help you neighbor find his lost dog or property, are you serving or being served? Yes, you are serving, and this is again showing the mind of Christ, a servant attitude.

A last but vital example I want to mention is  Luke 14:8-11, where Jesus talks about where to sit at a table when invited at a feast. Jesus tells his disciples to choose the lowest place rather than the best seat. For if you choose the best seat the host might move you to another seat as that seat was meant for someone else. But if you were to sit at the lowest place the host might move you to the best seat. And then Jesus say’s, “For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.” Most leaders these days would go to the spot of honor as soon as they arrive at any feast. They would assume as a leader when they attend a feast that they should be given a seat of honor due to their position. Yet this is further from the truth, Jesus says in the kingdom of God it is about humbling yourself rather than exalting yourself. Would it be possible to see more of these leaders again today? Let us rather be led by a servants attitude, who has nothing to prove but has complete trust in his master/father.

On the misunderstood issue of serving, I cannot go into complete detail as there is much that can be said about this. The most important aspect on serving is that when a master sends his servant to go and do something, or even a father sends his son to do something, that person goes to perform the work as with the full authority of the one who sent him. Like a policeman, if he gets sent by the state to stop a car, that car will stop as the policeman holds the authority of the whole state behind him. Yet while stopping cars for speeding he is serving the nation. Thus there is a fine line between thinking a servant will just be trampled by people wanting to abuse him and knowing that when you hurt the son of the father that the father is also hurt.

Therefore, let us lead with the authority of God and the humility and love of Christ to bring about change in this world and see the return of Christ.

Spreading the Love

L-O-V-E the most powerful four letter word we know. Yet do we truly understand the meaning of love? Many of us frequently associate it with emotions we feel in regards to someone of the opposite sex, someone who makes our stomach turn and our mind go from Einstein to average Joe. As amazing as that sounds and as much as we long for it, if you are single or too young to have experienced it, this is not the ultimate level of love.

This love we associate with emotions to someone of the opposite sex can be very shallow, and fleeting. This love can appear today and be gone tomorrow, like a drop in a bucket of water. This love is what we call falling in love, yet people always tend to fall out of love soon after it. This love can even be called infatuation.

Some of you might ask is there any other type of love then? Surely there is, in the Greek language there are five types of love.

  1. Mania – This is nearly not love, the better word is obsession. Much like deep desire, coveting, and longing for something or someone. A direct translation would be “madness” or “beside yourself”.
  2. Eros – This is the root word for “erotic”, but it describes sexual love as well as all emotional love. This is the love I explained in my introduction, a love that says, “I love you”. This love is neither bad nor good, as long as it is kept in its proper place.
  3. Philos – Philos is the brotherly love, or the love between friends. This is the love I would have for next of kin and is something that grows with time.
  4. Storgy – It is best called the “motherly love”. The love someone has for their child. This is one of the stronger loves, but do not belong in marriages.
  5. Agape – Here is where I’d like to place some emphasis. Agape love is completely focused on the one loved, and not on the lover.  It is a love that is not selfish. It is the God type of love. It is this love 1 Corinthians 13 talks about. This love is always constant and never fades up or down. This love is the perfect love, a love that only exist with God.

As you can see from our brief Greek study, we have confused the love we expect from God to be something it is not. For God’s love is not fleeting. It is not selfish. It is not shallow. It is not prideful. It does not hurt. It does not fail. It remains constant. It is the perfect love.

It was this agape love that made God send His only son, Jesus to die on the cross for our sins. This was done unconditionally of any sins you might commit while here on earth. This sacrifice was planned though even before the day Adam and Eve sinned.

However, “it does not end there” as they say in the info commercials. This is the love that caused God to send His son so that your sins could be forgiven also had something else in store. God’s intention was never just for salvation, His intention was to establish the kingdom of God on earth. This means that all of the goodness that flows out from love normally is poured out over those God loves. This goodness includes food for the hungry, clothes for the naked, and physical nourishment and growth. God’s plan was always to bless those He loved, just look at Adam and Eve before they sinned, they lived in a perfect Ethiopia where they needed nothing but to enjoy life. Thus when Adam and Eve sinned God promised to restore that perfect state that was lost through the blood of Jesus.

It might be a hard perspective to understand if you have never heard it, but that is God’s plan for you. Open your heart and accept His love for your life. It will be a choice you will never regret.

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