Summary: Chris's command to "love one another" means ore than just sentimental love. Christ's love I selfless and demonstrates whether or not we truly love God.
It’s easy to misunderstand the instructions.
The US Department of the Interior once conducted an experiment using migratory birds. The birds were tagged with metal strips reading "Wash. Biol. Surv."—for Washington Biological Survey. The code was changed, after a farmer from Arkansas wrote to the department: "Dear Sirs, I shot one of your crows. My wife followed the cooking instructions attached—she washed it, boiled it, and served it. It was the worst thing we ever ate."
Jesus gave us instructions that sound quite simple: Love one another
But, he did not want us to be confused
He gave clarification about his commands.
He illustrated how to live as he commands us to live.
First, let’s look at his command
Christ’s Command to Love is Clear
John 15:12 “This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.”
John 15:17 “These things I command you, so that you will love one another.”
John 13:34-35 “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.””
“Love” is mentioned 28x in John 13-17
Why such an emphasis on love? The answer is found in two parts - God’s CHARACTER and our need to demonstrate our love for him. Both of these components are found in 1 John 4:7-8 “Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God. Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love.” (1 John 4:7–8, ESV)
Part one is that God is love. V. 7 “God is love”
Part two is that our love for God is demonstrated in how we love others v. 8 “anyone who does not love, does not know God.”
Tom Blackaby defined this component in the following way: “God has always connected our relationship toward those around us with our relationship with him” Tom Blackaby, “The Commands of Christ”
Christ’s Command to Love is easily misinterpreted
There is a difference between Worldly love and godly love.
Worldly love is primarily Emotional. It responds to kindness shown. It is primarily selfish in nature. Illus - the people helping the Apostle Paul. “For they all seek their own interests, not those of Jesus Christ.” Phil 2:21
On the other hand, godly love is focused on others. It is selfless
“Love does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful;” (1 Corinthians 13:5, ESV) (KJV “seeketh not its own”
Philippians 2:3 “Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves.”
God’s love is so unnatural, that even the most fundamental relationships have to be reminded to love!
Husbands reminded to love their wives. “Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her,” (Ephesians 5:25, ESV)