Part 2

by Pete Macinta

NOTE: When I write "AGAPE", "PHILEO", "EROS", I include all their main forms / declensions in the Greek

In part 1 of REAL LOVE we learned that God in His wisdom created us with the capacity of three types of love, viz., AGAPE, PHILEO, and EROS. We also saw that we were born with a sin nature and these three loves or at least two if you are not saved, may be out of place and may not be situated upon the sure foundation of Jesus Christ. Sometimes our interpretation of Who Jesus is and why He did certain things is not centered upon the Word of God, but, upon human reasoning. The gray column to the right will give you an example of what I mean.

Sin disrupts our lives so that we lose fellowship with God and our relationship with others is on shaky ground with priorities out of order (as illustrated to the left.).

One Of The Worse Sermons I Ever Heard!

In the summer of 2001 we were invited to the Wesleyan Camp in Denton, MD., to hear a sermon from a series that week on "What Ever Happened To Holiness?". I will not go into details here but before I get to the main thing I want to say the man stabbed marriage twice in the back. It was a stab in the back, not a direct attack, leaving in his hearer's minds that divorce is an option. During his message, he asked us to think why Jesus was "easy" on the woman at the well ( John 4:9-29 ) while not letting the man born blind ( John 9:1-38 ) get away so "easy". Doing this with other comparative passages this "preacher" attempted to place in our minds the thought that holiness was relative to a situation and not absolute. Also, in the course of his sermon, he brought the Word of God down to the same level as the by-laws of man. So, the man ably answered his own question. "Preachers" like him have twisted the Word to the likings of human minds: that is exactly what has happened to holiness.
I invite you to get a King James or New King James Bible and read John 4:9-29. I have read that passage numerous times and never once did I think He let that lady off "easy". V. 18 nailed her! By the way, as you read that passage, know that the Greek word translated as "husband" can also be translated as "man". She had no husband. The husbands she did "have" as lovers on the side were not her husbands and she was never married to them - and they were married to someone else. Our Lord's reply convicted this needy woman and she changed the subject. As the disciples returned, she found a reason to leave, BUT, in so doing, called her neighbors to see the Messiah. I am of the opinion, her heart changed at verse 18 and she asked God to forgive her sins. If you want the an evaluation of this passage by a Greek scholar, please consult A. T. Robertson's Word Pictures Of The New Testament

Even at the
49th General Council Of The Assemblies Of God

one person used the woman at the well passage and claimed that this woman had actually been married to all five men! Imagine that! Understand that divorce back then was one sided in favor of the man. From what I understand there would be no way her society would permit her to remarry 4 times. Yet, some of the voters were swayed partly by this. I know of one that abstained on a crucial vote. It was at the 49th General Council that the Assemblies of God voted to credential those that are divorced and remarried if the remarriage occured prior to salvation. Yet, 1 Tim. 3:2 is clear...

A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of ONE wife, vigilant, sober, of good behaviour, given to hospitality, apt to teach;

Yes, there is forgiveness from God, but it does not remove the earthly consequences of our sins. Nowhere in the New Testament or in Early Church History ( to 200AD ) do we see a divorced and remarried man hold the office of bishop or deacon.

Jesus dealt with sin. Why? Because He loves us. That is why He wants to be the foundation in our relationships. Thinking and behaving in another manner than what Jesus would gets us off that foundation. This is one reason why that after the early 1980's divorces in Christian marriages increased, matching that of the divorce rate of non-Christians. The illustration above gives a bit of an explanation. Many Christians began to neglect the sure foundation, Jesus Christ. They began to base their thinking upon the way the world thinks and behaves.

Another negative result of leaving the foundation of Jesus Chirst was that their priorities became confused and internally they did not place AGAPE, PHILEO, and EROS in proper order. I will illustrate the proper order below.

Please avoid the same tragic errors they have made. Do the following FAITHFULLY with your whole heart and you will be more enabled to stay on the foundation of Jesus Christ and keep the levels of love in proper order:

READ and STUDY the Holy Bible

Ask God to help you to love it! Ask Him to help you to understand what you need to understand. BELIEVE what it says BY ACTING UPON what you read.

Express your love to Jesus by thanking Him and praising Him.
Desire to want more of Jesus, more of His Presence, more of His Holy Spirit. ASK God to make you hungry.
This is simply communicating with God through Jesus Christ. Ask God to help you think and behave like Jesus would think and behave. Remember though, this is communicating with God, NOT just TO God. We need to be willing to listen to what He may tell us and obey it.

You may ask God to change your spouse, but you should first ask Him to change you!

O b e y
Obedience to God is an expression of our love to Him. The more we love God, the more we will obey Him. DISOBEDIENCE is a dangerous path...
"For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. ..." 1 Sam 15:23
If you have children, there will be a better chance of your children obeying you if YOU faithfully obey God. Remember...

Authority is granted
in proportion to
authority obeyed.

-Pete Macinta

By faithfully and wholeheartedly DOING the above things you will be able to stay on that sure foundation of Jesus Christ, and keep AGAPE, PHILEO, and EROS in their correct order.

On the previoius page I gave you a description of AGAPE, PHILEO, and EROS and illustrated them with graphics,

As you can see, I have made EROS the smallest. That is because most marriage counselors would agree that EROS, in healthy minds, plays the smallest role in marriage. However, as we will see below, it is not insignificant. If not used and placed properly there will be trouble! Also, EROS is to be controlled by a higher level than itself, otherwise EROS is sinful LUST.

PHILEO must be more than EROS. PHILEO should overide EROS. For example, there are times that one spouse is sick or hurting (etc.) and honestly cannot participate in EROS love. The PHILEO in us understands and respects that need.

The largest of all three loves is AGAPE, and controls both the PHILEO and EROS. As mentioned on the previous page, if we permit it, AGAPE will provide a double shield protecting your relationship with your spouse from both trials and temptations. Remember that the only way to insure that AGAPE is within you is to surrender to Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior.

AGAPE, compared to PHILEO and EROS is FOUNDATIONAL to PHILEO and EROS. It needs to be the primary love within us. Upon AGAPE, PHILEO will rest, and then EROS, being the lesser, rests upon PHILEO and AGAPE. All three, AGAPE, PHILEO, and EROS must firmly rest upon the sure foundation, Jesus Christ. Hence, the weakest, EROS, is supported by the stronger. Therefore when some type of negative force comes down upon us, such as a trial or temptation, we remain firm in our relationship with our spouse.The following illustration expresses this point.

Some Temptations We May Face Include:
  • Infidelity
  • Despair
  • Unforgiveness
  • Pornography
  • Un-Christlike Anger
  • Some Trials We May Face Include:

  • Lack of Finances
  • Ill Physical Health
  • Poor Mental Health
  • Disagreement Over Child-rearing
  • Losing A Job
  • Losing A Loved One
  • Marital Interference From Relatives and Friends

    As we learn to place AGAPE, PHILEO, and EROS in the proper order in our lives, there is less friction in our marriage. Growing in Christ is a learning experience, and as we listen and obey the Master, our Savior straightens things out in our lives and we become more like Him.

    Here are some possibilities of how AGAPE, PHILEO, and EROS can be out of place ( hope you don't get seasick watching these illustrations! ).

    Further down this list I note that the DOUBLE PROTECTIVE SHIELD is compromised BUT understand clearly that it is COMPROMISED ON ALL OF THESE LEVELS TO SOME DEGREE!!!
    This will happen whenever AGAPE is not the first foundation laid upon Jesus Christ!

    Here, AGAPE is rightfully laid upon Jesus Christ, but EROS is next instead of PHILEO. The individual needs to make more of an effort to mentally view their spouse as their friend.


    Getting a bit worse, AGAPE is playing second fiddle. It is great that this person places EROS last, but their view towards their spouse will have more of tendency toward a worldly view, and not a Christlike view. The individual should read and study the Bible passages on AGAPE.


    Here EROS is predominate but yet the individual in someway will place AGAPE before PHILEO. The individual needs to realize that EROS may not always be there - on either side, and that physical details need to be in the background.


    Here AGAPE is the last thing in the person's mind. It's nice they PHILEO their spouse greater than the EROS, but AGAPE is clearly out of place and there is a greater chance that it may not provide that DOUBLE PROTECTIVE SHIELD as mentioned on the previous page.


    This is the worse! All three loves are out of order. Also, here and in ERROR PEA, whenever AGAPE is last the person, when he/she tries to speak from or act from AGAPE, will seem hypocritical to his/her spouse and those around the individual.

    A Word About Eros

    Determine in your mind, with the help of God, that your spouse is the most beautiful / most handsome person in the world. Definitely ask God to help you to do this. We are constantly bombarded with gorgeous babes and fantastic hunks as we see magazines, advertisements, TV, etc.. You can with God's help still have a good bit of eros within you but it is focused upon your spouse.

    The Holy love God will help you to love your spouse despite the gray, the wrinkles, and so on. You will love spouse regardless.


    I have mentioned on the previous page that HOW we speak to our spouse is important. Never belittle your spouse in public or in private. Always season your speech with the grace of God. Respect your spouse as you wish to be respected.

    A Special Prayer

    Hopefully you have seen something on both of these pages that will help you in all relationships and / or may help someone else. Prayer is a very powerful tool that God has given to us. Permit me now to guide you in a prayer where you ask God to help you to make the necessary changes in your life. The following prayer is only a model. You can pray using your own words if you wish, but do pray. Let's pray:
    Father, I thank You for Your faithfullness and that You are the God of all love. I thank You for Your love to me and to everyone else. Father, cleanse me where I am wrong and show me where to change and how to change. Help me to obey You in all things. O my Father, I bring before You [ my/my relative's/my friend's relationship with _____](or)[my/my relative's/my friend's marriage ], asking you to touch hearts, pouring in Your holy love and forgiveness. Help me / them / us to respond to Your holy Word and to Your Holy Spirit. Father, just as You are gracious help me / us / them to be gracious. Just as You are forgiving, help _______ to be forgiving. Oh God of true love, help us to love. My Father, where satan is attacking I ask in the Name of Jesus Christ that You rebuke satan* even now and help us to recieve Your holy love. I ask You to bind the forces of satan and touch our human spirits that we may be truly free in You. Father, help _______ to ward off the unholy influences of the world. Our Father, I know that You love us, and gave us Your Son to free us from our sin. I / we commit my / our lives to You. Help us to love You by aiding us to obey.
    Father I ask You to forgive me for _______________. Help me / _______ to forgive _______.
    Thank You Father for hearing my / our prayer. Help us to listen to You, and this I / we pray in Jesus's sweet Name, Amen.
    Some Verses On AGAPE
    Lu. 6:27, 32, 35
    John 8:42
    Mt. 24:12
    Mk. 12:30, 31, 33
    John 14:15, 21, 23
    Rom. 5:5, 8
    Rom. 12:9
    Rom. 13:8
    Gal. 5:6, 13, 14, 22
    Eph. 2:4
    Eph. 5:2
    Php. 1:9
    Php. 2:2 and please read that whole chapter to see how to be like Jesus
    1 Jo. 3 (whole chp.)
    1 Jo. 4 (whole chp.)
    1 Jo. 5 (whole chp.)
    1 Co. 13 (whole chp.)
    Some Verses On PHILEO
    Rom. 12:10
    1 Cor. 16:22
    1 Th. 4:9
    1 Ti. 6:10
    Tit. 2:4
    Tit. 3:4 & 15
    Heb. 13:1
    1 Pet. 1:22
    1 Pet. 3:8
    Rev. 3:19
    John 11:3, 36
    John 16:27
    John 20:2
    Mt. 10:37
    John 5:20
    John 12:25
    3 Jo. 9
    Rev. 22:15
    To the right I have a column that lists some of the verses containing AGAPE and PHILEO. Get a concordance that lets you know what Greek words are being used where. You will see that in certain places the apostles, through the Holy Spirit, use AGAPE in close conjunction ( the same verse or very near the verse ) with PHILEO. Hence, the inference is that AGAPE inherently elevates PHILEO. Some of those passages are, 1 Thess. 4:9, Rom. 12:9-10, and 1 Pet. 1:22.

    Thank you for taking the time to read these two pages. May God richly bless you as you put into practice that which you have learned!

    May God grant you the help you need and the heart we all need to have.

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    BMP and JPG files converted to GIF by the LVIEW program by MMedia Research.

    BMP to JPG with CONVERT.

    Text and images, ©2002, 2016 Pete Macinta
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