To understand the straight forward scripture in the closing of the Book of I Corinthians; or the First Epistle, we should take time to remember the many reproofs and rebukes the Lord inspired Paul to write to this rather carnal group of believers. There was much strife and contention, there was much need for growth and Christian maturity; just as there is in all new, or baby Christians. It seems to sum it all up, in the words we read in vs. 22 “If any man love not the Lord Jesus Christ, let him be Anathema Maranatha.” There are two main Greek words in the New Testament used for our English word [love]. One is the word meaning: unconditional love; just as the Lord has for us, as we read in John 3:16 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” The word for love means: to love, to feel and exhibit esteem and goodwill to a person, to prize and delight in a thing.
We do have a command to love the Lord in this way, in all of the synoptic gospels: “Master, which is the great commandment in the law? Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment.
Here, we are commanded to love the Lord, with this unconditional love; a love feast, love from the heart. It is not the same word used in I Cor. 16; but rather the word is [phileo]: to approve of, b) to like, c) sanction, d) to treat affectionately or kindly, to welcome, befriend. It is very similar to our English word: like. The Corinthian church, and then every Believer is admonished to know that the key to Christianity; which if applied, would end the strife and division in churches; would end the desire to be seen first; and many other contentions; is to love the Lord.
But while we’re commanded to love the Lord with all our hearts; to at least have the latter type of love for Christ is demanded with a curse as punishment, if we do not. If any man love not the Lord Jesus Christ, let him be Anathema Maranatha. The word Anathema means accursed; as accursed from Christ, which is the sentence upon everyone who dies without being born again. We must take this passage, and realize, with such a punishment on those who do not even like the Lord Jesus, and approve of Him and His way of life; they do not have the Lord Jesus in their hearts.
Romans 10:9 “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.”