Updated: Oct 2
Fight dirty-use God's love
Question; is God’s love conditional or unconditional?
We are all born with the need to love and to be loved. That is why love is such a big seller of songs, books, and movies etc. The saying that ‘Love makes the world go round’ is probably at least partly true theologically speaking in the sense that it is the love of God that keeps the whole creation in existence.
In the English language 'love' has all sorts of different shades of meaning. For instance we say I love pineapple, I love my dog, I love my wife, or I love God. The depth of sentiment hopefully is not the same in these examples!
The fact that there are distinct types of love can be illustrated by the four Greek words for love used in the New Testament era :
1. Phileo; the love of a friend or a brother.
2. Storge; natural love like a mother’s love (for her child).
3. Eros; sexual love.
4. Agape; the love of God.
The first three are types of human love and at best are only pale reflections of the agape love, the selfless love of God. When the believer is filled and moved by the love of God then they can surpass the human loves.
An example might be, if a young man or woman with Christian parents is called to the mission field, the storge love of the parents might tempt them to dissuade their child. However, the agape love would overcome this and send them out with a blessing.
The love of God is not indulgent and can be tough!
There is a lovely revealing use of the two different words used in scripture for love i.e. agapeo and phileo in John 21:15-17. Jesus asks Peter if he loves (agapeo-selfless love) him twice but Peter answers with phileo (friendly or brotherly love). Jesus then uses Peter’s phileo when he asks a third time.
The message is that agape love is a sacrificial love that is willing to lay down its very life for God.
Agape (love) became the characteristic word of Christianity. The Holy Spirit brought new meaning to this word. Agape love is sacrificial and selfless and seeks to do good to all men but especially to our fellow believers. Where does this love come from?
Romans 5:5 Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us
Definition: To fight dirty means to use any means at your disposal to win in each conflict situation. In a physical fight it could be biting, gouging, head butting, a blow below the belt. Not observing the Marquis of Queensberry rules! Or using a weapon or anything else to hand!
Fighting dirty has the connotation of doing ‘whatever its takes’ to win whether fair or unfair. What about our spiritual battles in situations or where all the negative person to person interactions place especially when the living stones rub together .
Can the weapon of love be used in these circumstances?
 CS Lewis The four loves
The greatness of Love
Definition of agape love: 1 Corinthians 13 is the Greatest Gift 4 Love suffers long and is kind ; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; 5does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; 6 does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; 7 bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
8 Love never fails.
13 And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.
The power of love
Rom 8:37-39. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Love is the glue that holds us to God.
Love is the glue that holds us to each other.
We are stuck fast to God and each other!
Clearly this agape type of love is indeed the most powerful thing in heaven and the cosmos that nothing, yes absolutely nothing, can separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus.
In Part 2 we focus in in how might be used as a weapon and also give an opinion as to
whether God’s love is conditional or unconditional?