Thursday, 6 September 2012

On Sunday I preached in church on this verse:

"Now that you have purified yourselves by obeying the truth so that you have sincere love for each other, love one another deeply, from the heart."   (1 Peter 1.22)

As I mulled this over and read around the verse I discovered that there are two different types of love referred to here.  The Greeks had (and, for all I know, still have) more than one word for love, depending on what kind it is.  In this verse the sincere love is philadelphia, a brotherly love, the love of a good, functional family.   The "love one another deeply, from the heart" is agape, a tougher, unconditional love. 

It seems that Peter has reason to remind the churches that as family together they should already have a brotherly love.  But now it needs to go even deeper, they need to love each other in tough times. 

I suspect that we all gave assent to this when we read it together and prayed about it afterwards.  But then two days later (just two days) we had a Church Meeting where we seemed to forget all that. 

How painfully slow we are to change. 

And how patient God is. 


  1. Isn't Philadelphia a cheese? Thought it was Philia or Philios...;)

  2. Hi Anonymous, love your poetry!

    Thanks for making me recheck my reading, as another post this week shows, I'm not perfect! I'm also no greek expert.

    According to Kelly, Whitman, Howard Marshall and Grudem the noun that he uses is phildaephia, literally "botherly love" or "love for the brethren".

    It is also a cheese and I flirted with illustrating it as such on the PPT. I also resisted and didn't choose 'Philadelphia Freedom' as a title or the closing hymn :)