JOHN 13:34 A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.
The love God has for us is unconditional (agape). God has always loved us when we were sinners; before the foundations of this world were laid; before we knew of His love for us. His love is unequivocally great, endless and matchless.
We were created out of love to love. 1 John 4:8 says, “The person who doesn’t love does not know God, because God is love.” This means if you have experienced love, you have experienced what it is to know God. He created us out of pure love, and we are to share that same love with others.
Jesus commands that we love one another in John 13:34. This is an order, not an appeal. An authoritarian order we must obey if indeed we are His children and followers. No wonder He said in John 13:35 that “By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”
Jesus rates loving God and one another as the greatest commandment. It is paramount and supersedes any form of service or law. Love is who God is, and we must know God to love right.
We are charged to not owe anyone this love experience. Apostle Paul writes in Romans 13:8 “Don’t be in debt to anyone, except for the obligation to love each other. Whoever loves another person has fulfilled the Law.” Though we may never fulfill our “debt” of loving others while we live on Earth, however, if we constantly work towards that goal, we will be following God’s laws and working to pay off what we owe.
WHY ARE WE TO LOVE ONE ANOTHER?
A. Love is of God and God is love (agape).
This is a divine love that comes from God. It is faultless as described in 1 Cor 13 to not keep record of wrongs. It is an unconditional love for all.
B. It is a proof that we know God.
Many profess to know God, but do not know Him in truth. They may know about God, but have not experienced Him nor His love. God’s love must be shared once experienced. Our love for others is the evidence that we have truly experienced God in our lives.
C. It is a proof that God is our father and are His children. Everyone that loveth is born of God. Love is who God is and like the saying goes – “The apple does not fall far from the tree”.
D. Love for one another fulfills all laws. It is the greatest law requiring our overwhelming acts of obedience and respect.
E. Loving one another represents Jesus Christ. There is no better way to represent Christ but through love. 1 Corinthians 13: 1-3 summarizes this. The chapter is often referred to as the love chapter. It highlights key components of true love. All we plan to do for the sake of pleasing Christ must be done from the place of love.
F. It is the fruit of salvation and the yardstick to measure its effects. It is evidence based and at the same time experiential in nature. The strength, height, width and depth of our relationships depends on this. Jesus said, “Ye shall know them by their fruits” (Matthew 7:16-20).
These are some reasons why we should love one another. I am certain that there are more reasons. However, let us endeavor with everything in us to fulfill Christ’s commandment no matter how difficult it may seem. We may sometimes choose who we want to love and who not to love but God chose to love all regardless of race, color, righteous and unrighteous. He loves us all.
Though we do not often feel deserving of His love, but the truth is God deems it fit that He gave Jesus as the Ultimate Sacrifice to redeem us from our fallen state. He did it for love. Let us in like manner love one another.