3 John 1:1-4, “The elder unto the well beloved Gaius, whom I love in the truth. Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth. For I rejoiced greatly, when the brethren came and testified of the truth that is in thee, even as thou walkest in the truth. I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth.”
The high esteem which God has for His human children and the high regard which they, in turn, should have for Him and other people.
Because of the hundreds of references to love in the Bible, it is certainly the most remarkable book of love in the world. It records the greatest love story ever written: God’s unconditional love for us that sent His Son to die on the cross John 3:16; 1 John 4:10, “Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.”
Love is not only one of God’s attributes; it is also an essential part of His nature. “God is love,” the Bible declares in 1 John 4:8, 16 that God is the personification of perfect love.
Such love surpasses our powers of understanding Ephesians 3:19. Love like this is everlasting Jeremiah 31:3, free Hosea 14:4, sacrificial John 3:16, and enduring to the end John 13:1.
Two distinct Greek words for love appear in the Bible:
The word phileo means “to have ardent affection and feeling”– a type of impulsive love.
The other word agapao means “to have esteem” or “high regard.”
In the memorable conversation between Jesus and Peter, there is a play upon these two words John 21:15-17.
Jesus asked, “Simon, do you love [esteem] me?” But Peter replied, “You know that I love [have ardent affection for] You.”
Then Jesus asked, “Simon, do you love [have ardent affection for] Me?” And Peter responded that his love was agape love– a love that held Jesus in high esteem and which was more than a fleeting feeling.