As saints of Christ and disciples of His Word we are taught to love thy neighbor has ourselves. We are taught to speak the truth in love and to walk in love. “And now abides, Faith, Hope, Love, these three; but the greatest of these is Love.” 1 Corinthians 13:13. It is love alone that makes us in the likeness of God.
The love of God is an agape love. God’s love for His Son, His creation and those who follow the Lord Jesus Christ is a perfect and supreme love. “Phileo” love is “a fondness of” or “feeling friendly toward” someone. Love is only recognized by the actions it produces. The love of God for us is seen in the gift of His Son as a Sacrifice for our reconciliation, redemption and salvation. God’s “action” in sending Jesus as our Sacrifice and Saviour produced our salvation.
The sugar coated, fake until you make it, motivational gospel is chock full of fondness of one another. Please don’t misunderstand, we are exhorted to be affectionate one to another with brotherly love (Romans 12:10). The point in this discussion is to contrast the “fondness or affection” toward one another because we don’t know nor care about their weaknesses, the bondage they may be under or the oppression they are feeling, as opposed to knowing these things and loving them anyway. We don’t love them because they are successfully denying their problem. We don’t try to make them comfortable in their sin. We love them in their problem and pray with them for their deliverance. God’s love toward us was not complacent but active. “…freely ye have been given, freely give.” Matthew 10:8 has been mistakenly interpreted as “freely give so we can freely receive”. This scripture has become a form of works as many do not understand God’s agape love because of their phileo love for Him.
Many in the church today have a phileo love for God because the only requirement for agape love is having no requirement which lays waste our works. The church today is exhausted and crippled from man trying to rehabilitate the oppressed saint with 40 days or 12 steps instead of pointing them to the place where that bondage has already been defeated…the Cross of Jesus. These brothers and sisters who are truly seeking God are being led to the slaughter of the psychological gospel by wolves in sheep’s clothing. The seducing spirits of demonic doctrine will point one anywhere but the Cross of Jesus for deliverance.
The Gospel of Jesus is active. The agape love of God for us is active. It is God’s love in us that produces actions. When we attempt to imitate Christ through our actions, the world loves us. When God’s love in us produces Christ like actions, the religious, self righteous world will hate you. God’s agape love for us was shown active in His Son, Jesus Christ and Him Crucified. We do not have to earn His love as evidence by His action. Once we come to the understanding of the sacrifice made on the Cross of Jesus we will begin to understand the agape love God has for us. Once we begin to understand what the Sacrifice of Jesus accomplished for us, we will understand our victory over sin, hell and the grave…and then we give freely the Good News of the gift we have been given in Jesus Christ as our Saviour. – Donna Warren