Thoughts on Christian Love from 1 John 3:11-18

Ancient people had no concept of love as an emotion, love was always action; love was always what you do and don’t do. You can’t say you “love” someone when you don’t show it, that’s not love. Hate is not necessarily active, although it can be; hate is simply the absence of love. If you do not love, then you hate.

Jesus showed love and we must show it, too. Most of us will not be called upon to give our lives for another in the sense that we will die so that another may live. But all of us are called to give our lives for another in that we live unto God by living for our brothers and sisters in Christ.
Too many people in the church live for themselves, they are more concerned about what others are doing for them rather than what they can do for others. Often when there is division and strife on the church, these people are in the middle of it. Rarely do you see people causing trouble who are concerned about ministry.

How do we love in the church, love the way Jesus loved? A good place to start is Romans 12:15: “Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep.” Love is being available when my brother or sister needs me, to weep with them, rejoice with them, or just to sit with them. If you withhold something from a brother in need you are saying by that action (or lack of it) that you are yourself cut off from the love of God because no one who knows God’s love can possibly be void of the desire to spread that love to others.

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About Michael R. Jones

Pastor and PhD candidate writing on Paul's theology of suffering.
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