Fruit of the Spirit (1): Love

“The fruit of the Spirit is LOVE……..”(Galatians 5:22). This presents us with a big problem straight away! Because in English we only have one word for “love” and in Greek there are several. In English I can’t distinguish between my love of chips and the love I have for Hazel my wife. Where as in Greek there is “Eros” which is used for the love between a man and a woman. It is the love I have for Hazel. “Eros is desire that is intense and passionate. “Storge” belongs to the home and is used of the love between different members of the family. Then there is “Philia” which is friendship-love. Between friend there is an intimacy and understanding, an exchange of secrets, mutual confidence and trust but without the desire of “Eros.”
We come to the fourth word for love. It was really invented by the NT writers to describe God’s love. The word is “Agape” a very special and important word. When Paul says that “The fruit of the Spirit is LOVE it is “AGAPE” love. There is only one way you can define “Agape.” It is a RELENTLESS SACRIFICIAL PREFERENCE FOR THE OTHER PERSON in a marriage, in the home, among friends towards neighbours, strangers and foreigners (Everybody). It is the love God has for us!