Loving One Another

Understanding the Red Letters   Part 8

“The second is like it, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’  On these two commandments depend the whole Law and the Prophets“ (Matthew 22:39-40).

Now we come to the second great commandment in the Law, “Love your neighbor as yourself.”  Again, this is an old covenant command.  So let me cut right to the chase.  For new covenant believers, “loving others as you love yourself” puts the bar way too low.

In John chapter 13, Jesus gave us a new command for a new covenant, “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another” (John 13:34).  Do you see the new standard for new covenant believers?  Jesus is asking us to love as Jesus loves.  Or said a couple of chapters later, “This is My commandment, that you love one another, just as I have loved you (John 15:12).  Jesus’ love for us is now the love we imitate, the love we demonstrate toward one another.  What does that love look like?

It loves unconditionally.  It loves without grievance.  It forgives.  It welcomes and accepts your brother and sister no matter where they are on their spiritual journey.  It keeps no records of wrongs committed.  This is gracious love.  This is agape love.

But here is what may be the most beautiful piece of the puzzle.  This kind of love is impossible to pull off.  It is impossible to accomplish as part of a “to-do” list.  It is impossible to do in the flesh.  It can only move forward when empowered by the Spirit, empowered by Christ in us.  Just like our new love for God our Father, our loving others is not out of obligation.  It is literally who we are as children of Love Himself.

At God’s core, His essence is love.  Love is not merely an attribute of God.  It is His very being.  “Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God.  The one who does not love does not know God, for God is love(I John 4:7-8).

God is love.  God has made you His child.  And as His child, you are infused with His love.  Christ in you is Love in you.  And His love is meant to be given away.  This is the straight-line path to your new freedom to love one another.

Our friend Joel Brueseke summarizes it well, “In Christ, we love God and we love others, not by obeying laws, but by first knowing His unconditional love for us, and in union with Him we express it to others.”

One thought on “Loving One Another”

Comments are closed.