The Loves Of God


I love my own child in a way that I do not love other people's. So it is with the Father.

There is a love that He extends to everyone; and there is a love He reserves for those around Him. For example:

John 3:16-17 . . For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth on him should not perish, but have eternal life. For God sent not the Son into the world to judge the world; but that the world should be saved through him.

The Greek verb for "loved" in that passage is derived from agapao, which is typically impersonal. It's a benevolent kind of love that expresses itself in things like kindness, generosity, courtesy, pity, and good will. In other words: God sympathizes with the world's sinful condition and has offered to do something about it; but that shouldn't be construed to mean that He likes the world. In point of fact, God quite despises human life on the whole and regrets its creation. (Gen 6:6)

And then there is the love that God feels for those around Him; for example:

John 16:27 . .The Father himself loves you, because you have loved me, and have believed that I came forth from the Father.

The Geek verb for "loves you" and "loved me" is derived from phileo which is a family kind of love felt among kin folk that exceeds benevolence because it fosters attachments. Phileo is tender, devoted, and sentimental; always consisting of fondness, loyalty, and affection.

1John 3:1 . . How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God!

In other words phileo goes beyond hospitality: it's an affectionate level of love that speaks of bonding and acceptance, whereas agapao usually does not.


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