Summary: There is a need for us to love ourselves as Christ loves us. How can we say we love God that we cannot see when we do not love our brothers and sisters that we can see. It is one of the most important commandments of God and it is the basic test that ever
John 13:31-35: 31"Therefore, when he was gone out, Jesus said, Now is the Son of man glorified, and God is glorified in him.
32If God be glorified in him, God shall also glorify him in himself, and shall straightway glorify him.
33Little children, yet a little while I am with you. Ye shall seek me: and as I said unto the Jews, Whither I go, ye cannot come; so now I say to you.
34A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.
35By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another."
When I was working with a company in Nigeria, I was given an identity card. But because we lived, ate and worked together in the yard, we all knew ourselves; all the gatemen and other workers knew me as a Surveyor in that company. So I did not carry any Identity Card because there was no need for it. Of what use then is the Identity Card? None you will agree with me
However, there was another company with a lot of workers; some of my friends were working with this company. They had a swimming pool, and anytime I wanted to use the swimming pool without going through their normal protocols, I would collect the ID card of one of my friends, enter their premises and make use of their swimming pool. I knew what I was doing was wrong, but I always justified myself that I was not going there to steal or destroy their properties, I was only going in to swim. The bottom line was that I used to enter the premises, enjoyed the facilities as one of the members of the staff of the company because I was putting on ID card of that company whereas I was not a member. So of what use again is the ID card? None, you will agree with me.
What identifies you as a Christian? What identifies you as a member of RCCG –Jesus Palace? Today the best way to identify Christians is that they come to church on Sundays, we carry Bibles around, speak in tongues, these are not bad, but we all know that people come to church for different reasons apart from the primary reason of loving God and seeking his presence. I want you to know that in every congregation, every character represented in the Bible from Genesis to Revelation is in the church. Some represent two or more Bible characters. So we have Adams that will be disobedient to God, we have Eves, we have Serpents, we have Cain that is a killer, we have Jacobs that are deceivers, Esaus that they are only interested in food. We have adulterers, fornicators, robbers on the right and left hands of Jesus. We have priests that are only religious. We have business men, Pharisees and Sadducees, Judases that will sell their brothers and we have Judases that will sell Jesus. The families of Sanballat and Tobiah are still with us today. The identity cards they are carrying are like the identity card I was carrying when I was entering another company premises and enjoying their facilities as if I belonged to that company. We may not know you but God knows you and your motives. The way it was possible for me to enter the company premises, so also it was possible for others to enter the same company with fake ID cards and caused problems inside.
However, at the same time, we have the Good Samaritans, Stevens, Josephs, Nehemiahs, people that were once sinners but they have repented. We have people that are looking towards achieving the character of Jesus Christ. We have Davids that are worshippers. Whom do you represent in the Bible?
The passage that we have read said “35By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.” Another version says “This is how everyone will recognize that you are my disciples—when they see the love you have for each other." Another one says “Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples.” Amplified says “35By this shall all [men] know that you are My disciples, if you love one another [if you keep on showing love among yourselves].
I want you to know that God is not a talkative, He speaks only once, let there be light, and there was light, so if God has to repeat something, it is special, if He has to say it the third time, it must be amazingly special. Between verses 34 and 35, Jesus said that we must love one another three times. In the same book of John 15:12, He repeated the same commandment that we should love one another. We can see how important the love of each other is to God.