Love is one of the most common topics in Christian teaching today. Often, this love is reduced to tolerating sin, and in some cases, abuse. But what is real, Christian love in the church?
Primarily, this love is an identification with Christian brothers and sisters as part of oneself. For example, if I love my brother as myself, then I consider his rent my rent. However, the height of this love is expressed in identifying with the salvation of others. “For now we live, if you stand fast in the Lord,” says the apostle Paul. And the apostle John likewise, “I have no greater joy than to hear that my (spiritual) children walk in the truth.” This love comes from the Holy Spirit. It bubbles up in the heart (super)naturally, and effortlessly, when 1) we are holy, and 2) we maintain peace with our brethren. This broadcast goes in depth into how to maintain that peace.
Moreover, this love isn’t optional. Instead, it’s explicitly connected to the success of the Great Commission. Jesus said that, because of the love Christians had for each other, the world would know that God sent him. Likewise, in the book of Acts we see that the disciples were of “one accord” at the Day of Pentecost. Their unity and love were a prerequisite for the initial baptism of the Holy Spirit. And, their “one accord” was a condition for continued revival.
May you truly love your brothers and sisters as Jesus loves you!