The Commandment to Love One Another

Love
The second fruit of the Spirit is joy which is the result of abiding in Him (v. 11). The second commandment is to love one another (v.12). He defines the extent of that love in the phrase, “as I have loved you,” which means giving sacrificially to others (vv. 13-14). Love is not an emotional feeling, but it is the act of giving. As we mentioned in the previous passage, the key word has been “abide” which means to keep in fellowship with Christ so His life can work in and through us to bring forth fruit. This involves obeying Him because we love Him. Because of their obedience, Christ could now call them friends. The result was to have joy as He produced fruit through them (vv. 15-16).

However, because God loves us He “prunes” us and encourages us to bear more fruit for His glory. The more we abide in Christ, the more fruit we’ll bear, and the more fruit produced then the more the Father prunes us so that the quality keeps up with the quantity. We are motivated by Jesus’ love and Jesus had great joy in pleasing His Father. One primary command Jesus gave to believers was that they must have love for each other (v. 17). Love one another is a command, not an option. Christians will grow by caring and nurturing one another. Christian love is not basically a feeling. It is an act of the will. The proof of our love is not in our feelings but in our actions. Oswald Sanders once stated, “We are as close to God as we choose to be. If we are His friend, we ought to be near His throne, listening to His Word, enjoying His intimacy, and obeying His commandments.”

Application

Is there someone whom I can show that I love and care about?  Is there a shut-in whom I could visit or a missionary I could  write to? Jesus  says, “This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you” (John 15:12).

 

John 15:12-17 (English Standard Version)

"This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends. You are my friends if you do what I command you. No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you. You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he may give it to you. These things I command you, so that you will love one another."

View this passage in NIV (Bible Gateway) »