The Command to Love, Part 1

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There are some passages of scripture that are very well known, but unfortunately not much heeded. Let us consider Christ’s command and examine what is contained in it, and look for what can be discovered.

Our Lord Jesus Christ was with His disciples, He was soon to be arrested and killed. He had important things to say to them in preparation for His departure and for their future ministry. This was not a request but a command, “you must love one another”.

It needs to be remembered that according to Jesus own testimony, He only said what He heard the Father saying (John 7:16; 8:28). So we know this to be the will of God.

It should also be noted that the “Great Commandment” preceded the “Great Commission”. But the Great Commission also contained the requirement that the disciples were to teach their disciples to obey everything Christ commanded them. So this is a perpetuating, generation-to-generation command. Therefore we all are to love one another, be witnesses, and make disciples and teach them to love one another.

It is also critical to understand that Jesus said, “By this”, their love for one another, “all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another”. So a primary witness to the world is the love Christians should have for one another.

Love is of course the very heart of Christianity, God doesn’t just love, He is love! But he demonstrated His own love for us in sending Christ to die for us (Romans 5:8, John 3:16).

We need to also recognize that Jesus in His command also defined how we were to love, “As I have love you, so you must love one another”. Maybe this is the point we lack faith for. Is this possible, did the first disciples have a special anointing to love that we don’t have? God doesn’t ask us to do something that He doesn’t empower us to do! So where does the power to love come from? Please read Romans 5:5. God pours out His love into our hearts by His Spirit.

There is much more to be shared on this critical matter. The church everywhere prays for souls, renewal, awakenings and revival, but I leave you with this to ponder. If we loved one another like Christ loved us, what effect would this have on our Christian witness, and the world around us?

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