Understanding the difference between Philio, Eros, and Agapao is the key to understanding God’s true love for us. Unless we understand His love for us we will always fall short in showing our love toward another person.
Philippians 1:8-9 “8 For God is my witness, how greatly I long for you all with the affection of Jesus Christ. 9 And this I pray, that your love may abound still more and more in knowledge and all discernment”
The affection from Jesus Christ is stronger than any affection we can know here on earth, and is impossible for the non-believer to ever walk in. Our earthly understanding knows “Eros” the Greek word for sensual affection. This is where the word the erotic comes from and was used in the bible and translated as love in verses relating to the relationship between a husband and wife. We also understand “Philio” another Greek word translated in the bible as love when it relates to brotherly love or a strong affection for a family member or friend. For example I “Eros” love my wife, she excites me and lights my fire so to speak. I also “Philio” love my wife as she is my dearest friend, but I also “Philio” love some of my closest brothers and sisters in the Lord. I have a sweet dear affection for them and enjoy their fellowship. Both of these types of love pale in comparison to the affection Jesus has for us, which is also the same affection Paul had for the Philippians. The word “Agapao” was first used in the New Testament Matthew 5:43 when Jesus was talking to His followers about loving their neighbor. There is not a word in modern language for this type of love, nor was it used in the Old Testament. Jesus had this kind of love for us in that He laid down His life that we might live. To have this kind of affection for someone as Paul did for the Philippians is to desire the absolute best for that person. And for that person to have the relationship with Christ that Jesus gave His life for. There is no stronger love than this and married couples should also have an “Agapao” love for each other as well. Even if the “Eros” or “Philio” decrease in a marriage for whatever reason, if Agapao love is present and strong, the “Eros” and “Philio” can be stirred back up regardless of what caused “Eros” or “Philio” to slip away. When married couples divorce, stating they are no longer in love with each other I question if they ever were in “Agapao” love in the first placed.
This kind of love, “Agapao”, will not grow un-nourished. Paul states this in verse 9 with his prayer for their increase in knowledge and discernment. To know and understand the true love of Christ is to begin to move in compassion and love for the un-lovely or the lost. Agapao recognizes the lost are also loved by God and that Jesus died for them as He did for the believer. We must grow in this love if we are to reach others for Christ. It is easy to want God’s best, “Agapao” for a good person, a friend, or an un-saved family member. But in Matthew 5:43-45 Jesus tells us to “Agapao” our enemy. 43 "You have heard that it was said, 'You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.' 44 But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, 45 that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; Do you want to be a true son or daughter of God? The desire to spread the gospel personally or to give into a ministry freely that spreads the gospel unconditionally is to walk in this kind of love. Even though the Philippians have already moved in this level of love by giving into Paul’s ministry, he still prays for their increase in knowledge and discernment. The kingdom of heaven is not stagnant and there is not a resting place until we finish our work here on earth. Children of God are called to press forward and the best way to prevent slipping back is to never stop growing in Christ. Agapao love is based on knowledge of God’s love for us and 2 Peter 1:3 states this perfectly, “ pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory When you know that God truly is with you and loves you then you can truly love your neighbor as yourself. You will also begin to realize that even your enemy is also your “neighbor”, as you grow in understanding of the gospel of Jesus Christ.
Copyright The Power of Grace Ministries. All rights reserved.
Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California,
Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New Your, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming