“that if you CONFESS with your mouth the Lord Jesus and
BELIEVE in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead,
you will be saved.”
“So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.
But I say, have they not heard? Yes indeed:
‘Their sound has gone out to all the earth,
And their words to the ends of the world.’”
Now, let me talk to you about something. Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God. There
is a concept I have not taught in a long time that you need to get. When you read your Bible in the
New Testament, it was formally written in Greek. It has been translated into what you have now. Okay?
Our language is very poor - the English language at giving the true details of what a word means. For
instance, in English we have the word ‘love,’ and we love popsicles, we love our wife and we love our
cat. We love our bed, we love our house, we love our backyard, we love our car. Okay?
That’s poor language. Why? Because I hope you don’t love your car like you love your wife. There needs
to be some details and some definition put around that relationship. If the love for your wife and the love
for your backyard is the same, then we’ve got to define some things here. You see what I’m talking about?
So, we have one word in English – ‘love,’ and we spread it like mayonnaise over every relationship we have.
We love our friend, we love them, we love that. We just love everything.
Well, the Greeks didn’t do that. Greeks had 4 words for ‘love.’
Ø They had ‘storge’ - that was family love.
Ø They had ‘philia’ - that was friendship love.
Ø They had ‘éros’ - that was erotic or sexual love.
Ø They had ‘agápe’ – which as unconditional, unrestricted the love of God.
That’s why when Jesus came back to Peter in John 21 and saw him on the shore after he had denied Him,
He said, ‘Peter, do you love me?’
Why did He ask him three times?
Because Jesus kept saying, ‘Do you agápe me?’
And Peter kept saying, ‘I philia you.’
I wasn’t because Jesus was hard of hearing.
Peter said, ‘Yes Lord, you know I love you.'
Why did He ask him again? It’s because Peter was saying,
“I’ll be your friend, but there’s all this craziness around you all the time Jesus. I don’t know if I can
love you unconditionally. Ever since I’ve met you, I’ve had all kind of stuff happen to me. So do I
love you without restriction and without condition? I can’t say that.’
So Jesus didn’t stop asking until He got the answer He wanted. And finally Peter said,
“Yes, Lord. I can’t help myself. I love you. Agápe… unconditionally.’
Ron Carpenter, Redemption World Outreach Center