Posted by: forfreedomalone | 20/02/2016

Love one another

Nineteen times in the New Testament we are told to “love one another”. Every one of those exhortations is to believers, not to unbelievers.

Twice, in 11 verses, Jesus prays that they would be “one, as we are one”. Not “one with us”, but “one with one another”.

Here we have two statements of ‘be-haviour’ for believers, neither of which are much seen today in the church.
We are to love one another, as Christ loved the church (or body), which is to say, lay down our lives one for another. We are to support, defend, protect and stand in the line of fire for one another. We are not to walk away from, attack, leave exposed, nor fire the weapon at, our brothers and sisters.

We are not told to love the world, but one another. Does this mean we should not love the world? No indeed!
It means we cannot love them until we love one another. All love directed at the world, while we are pulling one another apart, will be humanistic love and a complete waste of time. It is be in opposition to the Gospel and commands of Jesus.
Our instructions are to preach the Gospel to the world and to love one another. We are trying to preach the Gospel to one another and love the world. It won’t work.

We are to be one. One body. One church. One voice. One.
Just as Jesus and the Father were one, so are we to be, one with each other.

So how do we respond when a minister sins?
What do we do when one of our own falls from grace?
How to we treat that one in our midst whom we find irritating?

Well, to date, we eat our own. We attack, we humiliate, we criticise and we turn our backs upon.

What should we be doing?
We should close ranks. Protect, pray over, support, love, as he loved us.
Of course, there is a place for removing the minister from his position, for counsel and, perhaps profession treatment, but there is no place for distancing ourselves nor for turning on our own.

Until we learn to love one another and to be one, the world will never see the love of God in us. We will just be a cleaner version of them.

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