As we look at the word AFFECTION, we understand its meaning from the beginning of God’s Word, seeing that everything good begins with God. Affection is related to what we love; what we find to be pleasant and desirable. The right love is first revealed in God. He, through His Word, shows us true love and where our affections should be. Deuteronomy 33:3 speaks of the love of God for His people when Moses gave them His commandments. He gave His rules only to His people because He loved them; derived from H2245 chabab (khaw-bab) meaning to cherish (with affection) – love. Biblical affection seems to be a special love from God, and us to Him, the things of God and His people.
Old Testament H7521
Strong’s ratsah rä·tsä’a primitive root; to be pleased with, be favourable to, accept favourably. (See references)
King David, before his death, had planned to build the temple, but was only able to prepare for it. It would be his son, Solomon, who would build it. But because of his affection ~ his love ~ for God, he gave his gold and silver for it.
“Moreover, because I have set my affection to the house of my God, I have of mine own proper good, of gold and silver, which I have given to the house of my God, over and above all that I have prepared for the holy house,”
1 Chronicles 29:3
New Testament G3804
Strong’s defines affection: pathema pä’-thā-mä
subjectively, an emotion or influence:– affection, affliction, motion, suffering; affection for (denoting personal attachment, as a matter of sentiment or feeling) Galatians 5:24
“And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts.”
G5426 phroneo fron-eh’-o from 5424; to exercise the mind, i.e. entertain or have a sentiment or opinion; by implication, to be (mentally) disposed (more or less earnestly in a certain direction); intensively, to interest oneself in (with concern or obedience):–set the affection on, regard, savour, think. phroneo is used in several references for the word savour, Colossians 3:2
“Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth.”
The Spirit of Christ turns us from the affections of the flesh and the things of the world to “things above.” (We will elaborate on Colossians 3:1-4 in our next post, Intent, Tender, and Tenacious.)
4698 splagchnonc splangkh’-non probably strengthened from splen (the “spleen”); an intestine (plural); figuratively, pity or sympathy:–bowels, inward affection, + tender mercy.
Regarded by the Hebrews as the seat of the tenderer affections, esp. kindness, benevolence, compassion; hence our heart (tender mercies, affections, etc.) In 2 Corinthians 7:15, Paul speaks of Titus’ affection toward the believers at Corinth.
“And his inward affection is more abundant toward you, whilst he remembereth the obedience of you all, how with fear and trembling ye received him.”
Paul’s affection for the Gentile Christians uses the word homeiromai ho-mā’-ro-mī G2442 meaning to desire, long for, esp. the longing of love.
“So being affectionately desirous of you, we were willing to have imparted unto you, not the gospel of God only, but also our own souls, because ye were dear unto us.
1 Thessalonians 2:8
Romans 12:10 uses the word philostorgos fil-os’-tor-gos G5387 from G5384, (cherishing one’s kindred; parents, children, natural relatives, i.e . fraternal towards fellow Christians.
“Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honour preferring one another;”
From God’s affection for His people in the Old Testament, King David’s affection for God and His house, to the love of Christ in the New Testament, we are taught and delivered from our natural affections. Being raised with Christ to new life, we set our affections on Him and the heavenly life that awaits in glory with Him. In the meantime, our hearts are trained to show mercy and compassion on those of our own household and fellow believers.
Gracious Father, thank you for the example of your affections for your people, through the nation of Israel and us, who are new creatures in Christ. Teach us to exercise our minds in the things of your Word, so as to displace our affections for the things of this world with the things above which are eternal In Jesus’ name, we pray. Amen.