Vol. 1 No. 2

October 14, 2009

Dear Fellow Member of The OAK Initiative,

    Last week we addressed how our basic job description as human beings is to love God, which if we do will cause us to love one another as we should also. Before proceeding with this week’s practical application of who we are going to seek to do this in OAK, I want to discuss a few more basic characteristics of God’s love.

    As Christians we should not consider the dictionary as the primary source of defining biblical words, but we should use the Scriptures themselves to do this. For example, there are three different Greek words translated “love” in English translations, each of which is a different kind of love. One is philo, which is about the love between friends, which is based on a common interest. The next is eros, from which we derive the English word “erotic,” which does not just mean sexual love, but describes the basic love between a man and woman whose primary interest is each other. The third Greek word translated “love” is agape, which is generally defined as unconditional love, though it is actually much more than that. Using three words like the Greek can be more descriptive than just using one word such as we do in English, but actually even the greatest human language will fall short of a perfect description of love. There are some realities that are simply beyond what can be broken down into language. We therefore must use the whole of Scripture to discern their definition. Even then, as we are told In I Cor.13:8, we will still only “know in part.” Even so, to be obedient to the part that we have can have major impact in our world.

    It is for this reason that Psalm 119:160 says, “The sum of Your word is truth.” To get the whole truth you have to perceive the whole. The Scriptures do not just get definitions for words, but the definition of God’s love is explained by how His love for us compelled God Him to act, and to relate. Just as we put the value on any commodity by what someone is willing to pay for it, we can put the value on our fellow man by the price God was willing to pay for them—the most valuable commodity in all of creation—His own Son. As we are told in John 3:16 that is how much the Father loves us, enough that He gave His own Son. That is the value that God place on you, me, and everyone else on this planet who He desires to be saved.

    So, to see other people through God’s eyes that is how valuable they are. Knowing this, we should treat all other human beings with that kind of dignity and respect. This is regardless of their political views, their sexual orientation, or their religion. This does not mean that we do not disagree with them about these things, but we should resolve


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