Love is a Verb: Phileo

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Sun, Jan 24, 2016

Teacher: Yale Wall Series: Love is a Verb Scripture: John 21:15-19

January 24, 2015

Love is a Verb 

Love is a Verb - Phileo

Love is one of the most important themes and most repeated theme in the Bible. If you can boil the entire Gospel down to one word, it would be love.

The word "love" shows up:
319 times in the Old Testament,
232 times in the New Testament

So what does love mean?
If you look in an English dictionary, you’ll find things like:

“feeling an intense feeling of deep affection”
“feel a deep romantic or sexual attachment to someone”
“caring deeply for someone”
“to find pleasure in”

The New Testament was written in Greek, and Ancient Greek has 4 root words for love:

Agape - God’s love for us, our love for God, selfless brotherly love
Phileo - deep friendship, very emotional love
Eros - sexual passion, intimate love between a married man and woman
Storge - natural love, usually between parents and children or family members

Today we are going to be looking at PHILEO LOVE:

Brotherly love - to approve of, to like, sanction, to treat affectionately or kindly, to welcome, befriend, to show signs of love.

What it all boils down to is a tender affection

John 21:15-19
15 When they had finished eating, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon son of John, do you love (agape) me more than these?”

“Yes, Lord,” he said, “you know that I love (phileo) you.”
Jesus said, “Feed my lambs.”

16 Again Jesus said, “Simon son of John, do you love (agape) me?”

He answered, “Yes, Lord, you know that I love (phileo) you.”
Jesus said, “Take care of my sheep.”

17 The third time he said to him, “Simon son of John, do you love (phileo) me?”
Peter was hurt because Jesus asked him the third time, “Do you love me?”

He said, “Lord, you know all things; you know that I love (phileo) you.”
Jesus said, “Feed my sheep.

18 Very truly I tell you, when you were younger you dressed yourself and went where you wanted; but when you are old you will stretch out your hands, and someone else will dress you and lead you where you do not want to go.” 19 Jesus said this to indicate the kind of death by which Peter would glorify God. Then he said to him, “Follow me!”

1. Phileo love between God and Himself

God uses phileo to talk about his relationship with Himself….

A lot of the interaction we see with Jesus while on earth is with God the Father.

In John 5, we see a glimpse of what that relationship is like:

John 5:19-20
19 Jesus gave them this answer: “Very truly I tell you, the Son can do nothing by himself; he can do only what he sees his Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son also does. 20 For the Father loves (phileo) the Son and shows him all he does. Yes, and he will show him even greater works than these, so that you will be amazed.

He gives credit for the miracles to the Father and his reasoning is, “because the Father phileo loves the son”

2. Phileo love between us and other people

How do you invest in phileo love relationships?

It takes work, and it starts with one major thing:


If we want to experience this phileo love and care for others well, and be cared for well, then we need to start having ACTUAL relationships.

If we started looking towards other people’s needs, they would be taken care of AND we would be taken care of

Phileo love is a selfless love, and if we don't start serving the people around us we won’t share this brotherly, friendly love with anyone.

3. Phileo love between God and us

Phileo love with God is not a guarantee

Agape love is for everyone, and God agape loves you no matter what... It doesn’t have to be earned and you don't have to know anything about God to get his Agape love, but, phileo love is something that comes with commitment, time, and selfless service.

It is true that if we have accepted His free gift of salvation, that we have a relationship with Him.  The word that the Bible uses for that in Matthew 25:1 is oida, or “to know.”  But it is a whole different level to have a phileo love with God.

John 16:27

27 No, the Father himself loves you because you have loved me and have believed that I came from God.

John 20:2
So she came running to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one Jesus loved…

Salvation is the starting point - from there, we need to not just live with Him in our lives, we need to invest in that relationship.  We need to DO all of life with God.

Commitment can’t look like a 1 step thing where you have a phileo relationship with God or people over night.  This type of love takes time, sacrifice, and persistence, but, we can make a commitment to start on the path now.

Communication Card
1. I will work on selflessly serving people around me.
2. I will invest daily in my relationship with God.
3. I will share with my life group this week practical steps I will take to better give and recieve phileo love.

Click here to submit an anonymous relationship question for the open Q/A on February 16th at 7pm.


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