We opened our study on “one another” commands last week with a brief discussion concerning the hierarchy of God’s biblical requirements for the Christian life. When we looked at the breadth of the “one another” commands, we found that they are all directly related to the command to “love thy neighbor as thyself.”
We then looked at a number of specific “one another” commands. Though we did not list all of them, I pray you appreciate the depth and breadth of our Savior’s expectation. We know we can never truly accomplish all that which our Savior requires. Regardless, in striving to selflessly obey His commands we show our love to Him (Jn 14:15).
Today we begin to narrow in on individual “one another” commands. As a study, we will consider not just the command itself, but the context surrounding the command that gives us guidance in implementing the command in our lives. Simply saying we need to love one another will not normally cover all the bases, and an infinite God knows this. Therefore, He gives us examples of how deep our love should go in a variety of situations and applications. This opens our study today.
Though we will begin by looking at John’s gospel, we will consider two other key passages concerning our love for one another. Therefore, John 13:34 is where we begin. We will also look at 15:12 and 17 of this gospel. We will consider 1 Thessalonians 4:9 and 1 Peter 1:22 with our study today.
One is remiss to talk of the love of God and love we should have for one another as believers without mentioning 1 John 3, especially verses 13 through 16 (sermon here). This is a section of scripture where the apostle of love tells how we can know God’s true love. We also learn that it abides in us. What a glorious passage. We learn more about the love that abides in us through chapter 4 verses 7-12 (sermon here), and we learn how to discern between a true and false love of God in 4:20-5:1 (sermon here). We do not desire to omit 1 John 4:11. However, this and other passages from the apostle John are covered extensively in a previous exposition. John the apostle is well known for his description of love, God’s love for us, and how God demonstrates that love toward us (Rom 5:8). We also do not want to ignore 2 John 5, which is very much a repeat of John 14:15, where John teaches that love is really obedience. You best display your love through obedience. This means disciples, husbands, wives, children, employees, church members or whatever capacity you occupy at the time. Your love is perfected in obedience. Continue reading