Dear friends in Jesus Christ,
Its with ample Joy that I’m writing to you, on How you can be a Superhero with the greatest power that is available to us.
Yes my friend, Love has the power to conquer hearts, it has the power to speak up, it has the power to get hurt yet forgive, it has the power to heal and to create anything and everything.
Just as there are different meanings for the word ‘love’ in the English language, so there are different meanings in the language of the Bible, especially the New Testament. To keep this article down to a manageable size, I will concentrate on the New Testament words for ‘love’.
The Greek words for ‘love’
It appears that, in New Testament times, there were at least three different Greek words that we translate as the English word ‘love’. This variety actually helps us in the work of translation because each of the four different Greek words carries a slightly different definition from the other three. This makes it a little clearer as to what the original means. These words were:
- STORGE: This is the type of love signifying the natural affection between kinfolk. This word appears only occasionally in the New Testament and only in compound form.
- PHILEO: This Greek word for love signifies, “…spontaneous natural affection, with more feeling than reason” (Elwell, p. 1357). Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance defines phileo as, “to be a friend to…fond of an individual or object; having affection for (as denoting attachment); a matter of sentiment or feeling”.
- AGAPE: This Greek word for love is by far the one that appears most frequently in the New Testament. It is, “…generally assumed to mean moral goodwill which proceeds from esteem, principle, or duty, rather than attraction or charm… [it] means to love the undeserving, despite disappointment and rejection…Though agapehas more to do with moral principle than with inclination or liking, it never means the cold religious kindness shown from duty alone, as scriptural examples abundantly prove” (Elwell, p. 1357).
Christ followers are commanded to love one another
Jesus said that loving one another is not an option for the believer; it is a commandment. However, His commandment came with an example of how it is to be fulfilled, “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another” (John 13:34 ESV, cf. 1 Thessalonians 4:9).
Love is a sign that we are Christians
“Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ has been born of God, and everyone who loves the Father loves whoever has been born of him. By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and obey his commandments” (1 John 5:1-2 ESV).
“By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another” (Jesus speaking in John 13:35 ESV). It has been, and continues to be, my experience that an almost tangible feeling of love exists wherever a group of Christians gathers. It can be no other way for a people who are filled with God’s love.
Love for Jesus inspires obedience to Him
Jesus said to His disciples, “If you love me, you will keep my commandments” (John 14:15 ESV). This means that those who love Jesus will want to please Him. We should want to please God, not as a means of trying to earn our salvation, but out of gratitude for what He has done in forgiving our sins.
Other places in the New Testament tell us that this desire to obey Jesus is a natural reaction from those who are His followers, “Jesus answered him, “If anyone loves me, he will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him” (John 14:23 ESV; see also John 14:21; 2 John 1:6). It follows therefore, that those who do not obey Jesus, do not love Him and are thus not saved.
We are to love (agape) our enemies
The love of God transcends our anger or hatred; it allows us to forgive those whom we otherwise would be unable to forgive (cf. Romans 12:19-20). Jesus told His disciples, “But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you” (Matthew 5:44 ESV; cf. Luke 6:27-28).
Conclusion: the greatest example of agape love
In the New Testament, the Greek words that we translate ‘love’ have nuances that help us understand them a bit better. However, God has not left us to wonder what He views as love. He has given us the clearest example in His Son. The greatest example of love is Jesus Christ coming to earth in human flesh to die on a cross for our sin.
“… but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:6-8 ESV; cf. John 15:13).
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16 ESV).
It is this love that we, as Christians, hope to share with a sinful, lost, and hurting world.
Now if you still want to know what Love is I would encourage you, to read with me, what St Paul wrote to Corinthians in 1 Corinthians 13
The Gift of Love
13 If I speak in the tongues of mortals and of angels, but do not have love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. 2 And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing.3 If I give away all my possessions, and if I hand over my body so that I may boast,[a] but do not have love, I gain nothing.
4 Love is patient; love is kind; love is not envious or boastful or arrogant5 or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful;6 it does not rejoice in wrongdoing, but rejoices in the truth. 7 It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
8 Love never ends. But as for prophecies, they will come to an end; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will come to an end.9 For we know only in part, and we prophesy only in part; 10 but when the complete comes, the partial will come to an end. 11 When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child; when I became an adult, I put an end to childish ways. 12 For now we see in a mirror, dimly,[b] but then we will see face to face. Now I know only in part; then I will know fully, even as I have been fully known.13 And now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; and the greatest of these is love.
God Bless you all
God Be Praised Forever and ever, for He is good.
God is the only thing you need right now to become a Superhero,
So anywhere you are, just kneel down and pray.