The TRIANGLE of Biblical LOVE
In the New Testament world, the Greek language was spoken all over the Mediterranean. Therefore, the early church letters were all written in Greek. Three main Greek words used for “love” are in Romans 12:9-10 and each Greek word teaches us what it means to be devoted to God and others within the community called the church.
- AGAPE = selflessness
- PHILEO = friendship
- STORGE = family affection
EXAMPLES of Biblical LOVE
The apostle Paul gave practical examples of the three kinds of love in Romans 12:11-21. These three statements should help us evaluate how strong or weak we are with each of these loves.
- PHILEO feels our friend’s pain and joy.
- STORGE treats our needy neighbor like family.
- AGAPE blesses the undeserving.
- This week, I will show love to __________________ by ____________________________.
Study and Discussion Questions
1. Who is the hardest type of person to love in your life? Do you have a difficult time loving those who are hurtful? Do you overlook the needy and lower class? Do you ignore your conviction to love to those closest to you (friends/family)?
2. Read through 1 Corinthians 13:1-13 for a description of agape. Study the characteristics of this divine overflow of the heart: patient, kind, not jealous, not proud, not rude, selfless, slow-tempered, forgiving, delights in truth, protects, trusts, hopes, perseveres. What does genuine love look like? Which characteristics do you fall short in?
3. Read the two greatest commandments (Mark 12:29-31). God tells us to “agape” Him and others. Since this type of love is not a feeling, what does it look like to love God and others?
Applying the Word to Life
4. As you look at the three different aspects of biblical love, which one are you strongest? Do you have solid friendships with others? Do you have a family bond with at least a few people? Do you have a zeal from God to live out agape? Make it a point this week to strengthen where you are weak
5. It takes “agape” to bless our enemies. It takes a supernatural love to leave revenge up to the Lord. Is there an enemy in your life you need to release to God? Do you need to bless him or her this week? What does it look like to bless them?
6. If love is hospitable, then how welcoming are you of others? How much do you take care of others’ needs? Are you known as a neighbor who can be counted on?