Strong Words About Love
For this is the original message we heard: We should love each other. We must not be like Cain, who joined the Evil One and then killed his brother. And why did he kill him? Because he was deep in the practice of evil, while the acts of his brother were righteous. So don’t be surprised, friends, when the world hates you. This has been going on a long time. The way we know we’ve been transferred from death to life is that we love our brothers and sisters. Anyone who doesn’t love is as good as dead. Anyone who hates a brother or sister is a murderer, and you know very well that eternal life and murder don’t go together. This is how we’ve come to understand and experience love: Christ sacrificed his life for us. This is why we ought to live sacrificially for our fellow believers, and not just be out for ourselves. If you see some brother or sister in need and have the means to do something about it but turn a cold shoulder and do nothing, what happens to God’s love? It disappears. And you made it disappear. My dear children, let’s not just talk about love; let’s practice real love…. Again, this is God’s command: to believe in his personally named Son, Jesus Christ. He told us to love each other, in line with the original command. I John 3:11-18, 23 (The Message, MSG)
The Apostle John has been called the Apostle of Love. Numerous times in the Gospel of John, he called himself the disciple whom Jesus loved. He had a deep revelation of the love of God. And in the epistle of I John, he has some strong words about loving one another. According to this passage, it is not optional to love one another- it is a command. And if anyone does not walk in love towards the brothers and sisters in Christ, he is the same as a murderer- an unbeliever. Love is the core essential element of the Christian life. As a matter of fact, the book of Galations tells us that faith works by love, so love must be in operation for our faith to be effective.
When you’re placed into the Anointed One and joined to him, circumcision and religious obligations can benefit you nothing. All that matters now is living in the faith that is activated and brought to perfection by love. Galations 5:6 (The Passion Translation, TPT)
Love is the central component of the two commands given by Jesus, therefore it must be the primary thing in our lives.
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. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets. Matthew 22:36-40 (KJV)
When we make love our primary goal, loving both God and man with the unconditional love described in I Corinthians 13, then the other parts of the Christian life will fall in line. When the church walks in the love that Jesus prayed we would walk in, then the world will be won to Christ and Jesus will return to take us home.