“Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God.” - 1 John 4:7 (KJV)
The title of this week's blog encourages us to look at love from an exalted and elevated position. Love that causes us to soar comes from God who is high and lifted up! According to Scripture, He is above all things and all people.
“Is not God in the height of heaven? And behold the height of the stars, how high they are!” - Job 22:12 (KJV)
“Who is like unto the LORD our God, who dwelleth on high” - Psalms 113:5 (KJV)
On the other hand, love that causes us to crash and burn bitterly comes from a sinful and unreliable heart that regularly consumes a culture that enjoys a corrosive, conceited and corrupted understanding of love. Currently, today’s culture has vigorously rejected God's lofty understanding of love and replaced it with the repulsive mind of a reprobate. Consequently, they have descended to a duplicitous and destructive understanding of love that locks them into what the God of Scripture deems as lewdness and lawlessness.
We live in an oversexed culture. Our media, movies, and institutions of higher learning celebrate and sensationalize a sexuality that is unabashed and knows no bounds. Love acts that are cruel, confusing, and crippling (emotionally, spiritually and many cases physically) are characterized as cool and creative. Authentic and God-approved actions of love and intimacy are now being incinerated with a wicked flame that burns from a populace ignited by perverted passions. Furthermore an unbiblical, condescending and corrupt understanding of love that abandons the Almighty's design will deliver the following: a reprobate mind, a nation in spiritual ruin and a people lost in lust on Fatality Island. Let’s look at what the Scriptures have to say about this type of culture:
“Because that, when they knew God, they glorified Him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, and changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and four-footed beasts, and creeping things. WhereforeGod also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves: who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen. For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their womendid change the natural use into that which is against nature: And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet. And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient” - Romans 1:24-28 (KJV)
“Flee fornication. Every sin that a man doeth is without the body; but he that committeth fornication sinneth against his own body.” - 1 Corinthians 6:18 (KJV)
“But fornication, and all uncleanness, or covetousness, let it not be once named among you, as becometh saints; neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor jesting, which are not convenient: but rather giving of thanks. For this ye know, that no whoremonger, nor unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, hath any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God.” - 1 Corinthians 6:18 (KJV)
Note: Emphasis added by me.
Therefore, since God is love and He is the Most High God our understanding of love should be lofty as heaven and not as low as the earth.
In order to understand a spiritual and Biblical concept of love it would be to our advantage to visit the vocabulary of love among the ancient Greeks, who contributed the original language of the New Testament. Whereas the English language only has one word for love, the Grecians gave us four words to define “love.”
1) The first word for love was Eros. It description directs us to the word erotic. Hence erotic love is associated with sexual intimacy.
2) Storge (stor-jay) was the second word for love. It points the kind of love that is between a parent and child or between family members in general.
3) The third word for love is Phileo. Phileo refers to an affectionate, warm and tender platonic love. It also refers to a love that enjoys a deep desire for friendship or a brotherly love with another person.
4) Agape is the fourth word for love. It described an unchanging love. It is a sacrificial love that gives without demanding or expecting re-payment. It is love so great that it can be given to the unlovable or unappealing. It is love that loves even when it is rejected. It is a love that is supernatural. Its source is God.
Too often many people confuse and twist these four definitions of love ending up woefully wounded mentally, emotionally and spiritually. As a result of a natural, unbiblical and unspiritual understanding of love, they lose a lofty position of love and find themselves being laid out in a grave of guilt and emptiness that is never satisfied. A poor understanding of the word love leads to lobbying and looking for love in all the wrong places! It is true that you can say to someone, “I love you,” but truth be told, a person with an unbiblical and condescending love is really saying, “I want something from you.” They are indicating that rather than deferring and enjoying physical intimacy in God’s timing they would prefer to devour and recklessly ravish you. Avoid these destructive relationships by purposing to remember, “True love looks to give first as oppose to gratify.”
Join me next week as we continue discussing our purpose of securing a lofty position of love.
Not a Sermon But a Thought,