There are two Greek words for love that play an important part in everybody’s life that can greatly hinder a Christians walk. The first is eros love. At its inception in Greek writings eros meant self love. It was later changed to describe a more sexual love. Although none of the New Testament writers used this word, Paul writes about it in his letter to the Philippians. Phil 2:20-21 – For I have no one like-minded, who will sincerely care for your state. 21) For all seek their own, not the things which are of Christ Jesus. 2 Tim 3:1-2 – But realize this, that in the last days difficult times will come. 2) For men will be lovers of self. The word “lovers of self” is closest to eros and it is the Greek word “philautos” (fil’-ow-tos), meaning fond of self, selfish or lover of self. This was used only once in the New Testament. Eros love represents the fallen nature of mankind in sin with a strong self will. Eros love in a Christian brings forth a perverse and vain representation of the Gospel and hinders it greatly.
Another word for love is the Greek word “phileo”. Phileo love means tender affection or to have affection for or personal attachment, derived from sentiment or feelings. It is here that most Christians go astray and come under a curse. It is not God who curses us, but our own feelings which are not connected in our love for Jesus Christ. 1 Cor 16:22 – If anyone does not love the Lord Jesus Christ, let him be accursed. O Lord, come! The word for love here is the Greek word “phileo”, tender affection. God commands that we affectionately love Him first before anyone or anything else to protect us from the power that sin has on our affections. Matt 10:37 – He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. Here again the word for love is “phileo”. Why would God tell us something like this? Doesn’t He want us to have loving affection for our family members? He does want us to have these relationships, but when we love Him first His Spirit will teach us how to love others affectionately without being hurt. Our own affections can lead us into devastating results over and over again. This kind of love is what God originally gave mankind from the beginning. Men and women need this kind of love. The problem with “phileo” love is that it doesn’t have the staying power to maintain a relationship with another who violates that love or does not have the same affections. The power of sin is a death sentence for maintaining a loving affection for one another. God’s love which is the Greek word “agape” has with it grace and power to hold relationship together. Our affection can also lead us to have affections for lifeless objects, hobbies, recreation, and positions. Matt 23:6 – And love the uppermost rooms at feasts, and the chief seats in the synagogues.
God created us and equipped us with the necessary attributes and characteristics that we could sustain life and well being on earth without Him, but not without much suffering. Eternal life is a choice. Without Him in our lives we are only a vapor of what He called us to be. His love is the bonding agent of creation and without it there is chaos. Rom 8:21 – that the creation itself also will be set free from its slavery to corruption into the freedom of the glory of the children of God.