Yes, I think that’s correct. Love-in-action is wonderful, truly wonderful. When a person (for instance) gives and gives and gives again - to me – then I am attracted to that person and wish to give in return, to love-in-action in return. What if that same person (other things being equal) then wishes to love me as a very close friend? Is the answer to that, again, “it depends”? It depends on what some call “the chemistry”.
Take a closer look now at the words of Jesus in bold italics above and note his two underlined uses of “loved”. Both are agapao – loved-in-action.
On the first: "God so loved-in-action the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life." Yes, I can see the love-in-action of Almighty God in sending His only Son to be punished with death instead of me, in my place. I can see his love-in-action in actually going to a cross of shame so that I might have eternal life – not this present life which is rapidly coming to an end. Yes, I’m perishing. But he has, out of pure love-in-action, provided a way for me to defeat death.
And on the second: "And this is the judgment: the light has come into the world, and people loved-in-action the darkness rather than the light because their works were evil." Can you see the love-in-action of people you know in Jersey? Who or what are they loving in their actions? Do any of your friends speak about Jesus or mention that they love him? The love-in-action of many, many people in Jersey today is not towards Jesus. Their love-in-action often shows that they wish to have nothing to do with this good man.
He has loved us in the darkness. We have loved the darkness.
But what about phileo? John does use phileo – love-as-a-very-close-friend. Yes, he records that Jesus used it several times. Here are two occasions.
Jesus used phileo here: “Truly, truly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of his own accord, but only what he sees the Father doing. For whatever the Father does, that the Son does likewise. For the Father loves-as-a-very-close-friend the Son and shows him all that he himself is doing." Yes, the Father loves as a very close friend the Son – Jesus Christ Our Lord. That I can well understand.