The Great Commandment
We concluded last weeks blog with Paul’s exhortation in 1 Thessalonians 4:9-10. It should be noted that he had commended them for their love, but urged them to love more. Was there an outcome from his exhortation? We find in his next letter to them 2 Thessalonians 1:3 the answer, “and the love everyone of you has for each other is increasing”.
Now we look at some instructions from the Apostle Peter, “Now that you have purified yourselves by obeying the truth so that you have sincere love for your brothers, love one another deeply from the heart”. (1 Peter 1:22)
In this verse Peter tells the church that obedience to Christ (the truth) positions us as pure, so that we will have a sincere (unfeigned, undisguised) love for one another (reciprocal, mutual), and to love deeply (see definition paragraph 5) from the heart (the centre of physical and spiritual life).
“Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins”. (1 Peter 4:8)
If we were to dig deeper into the meaning of this verse it could be translated as follows,- before everything else, love with intent, earnestly, assiduously (with great care and perseverance), because love hides, veils (to hinder the knowledge of a thing) a great number (the whole number) of mistakes and wrongs.
It should be obvious that this is no ordinary human love, and that our Lord Jesus and His Apostles determined that this was essential for the Christian believer.
I conclude this series of blogs with these statements.
*Jesus commanded us to love one another, so we must.
*Our love for one another is evidence of our love for God, and of our salvation, and is a witness to the world.
*If we try to love using our own efforts we will fail.
*We cannot love as He loved without His love being deposited in us.
*We must seek power to understand and receive God’s love.
*The Holy Spirit gives God’s love to us, so we are empowered to love!