In Part 4 of the Discovering Love series, we concluded that the only
way to be the Body of Christ is to love one another through the offenses that happen between us.
This is where true evangelism begins. If we could master this in the church, we would have something the world cannot duplicate. Forgiveness. Unconditional love. Reconciliation. Jesus tells us how to identify one of his disciples. It wasn’t because they healed people. It wasn’t because they prophesied, or were martyred.
If you love each other, everyone will know that you are my disciples. – John 13:35 (CEV)
This command is a common thread through the New Testament. How do we miss its importance?
“Love others as much as you love yourself.” – Matthew 22:36-40
“If you love others, you have done all that the Law demands. ” – Romans 13:8
“All that the Law says can be summed up in the command to love others as much as you love yourself.” – Galatians 5:13-15
“You will do all right, if you obey the most important law in the Scriptures. It is the law that commands us to love others as much as we love ourselves.” – James 2:8-9
“Now you sincerely love each other. But you must keep on loving with all your heart.” – 1 Peter 1:22-23
“If we claim to be in the light and hate someone, we are still in the dark. But if we love others, we are in the light, and we don’t cause problems for them.” – 1 John 2:9-11
“I am writing to tell you to love each other, which is the first thing you were told to do. Love means that we do what God tells us. And from the beginning, he told you to love him.” – 2 John 1:5-6
The most poignant scripture sums up the rest and is found in 1 John:
You can tell God’s children from the devil’s children, because those who belong to the devil refuse to do right or to love each other. From the beginning you were told that we must love each other. 1 John 3:10-11
The importance of loving one another is well established in the scriptures. Next week, we`ll end the Discovering Love series by looking at how our lack of love was prophesied by Jesus.