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)
Wives to love their husbands and their children. “and so train the young women to love their husbands and children,” (Titus 2:4, ESV)
Love God, who has done so much for us!
Christ’s Command is Clearly Illustrated
By Further Commands
1) Love your enemies. “But I say to you who hear, Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you.” (Luke 6:27–28, ESV)
2) Turn the other check. “To one who strikes you on the cheek, offer the other also, and from one who takes away your cloak do not withhold your tunic either. Give to everyone who begs from you, and from one who takes away your goods do not demand them back.” (Luke 6:29–30, ESV)
3) Surrender your prerogative of being right
4) Willingly accept financial loss when loving others requires it. 1 Corinthians 6 - not suing other Christians
5) Forgive without restriction. “Pay attention to yourselves! If your brother sins, rebuke him, and if he repents, forgive him, and if he sins against you seven times in the day, and turns to you seven times, saying, ‘I repent,’ you must forgive him.”” (Luke 17:3–4, ESV)
6) Go and be Reconciled.
Matt 5:23–24 “if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there before the altar and go. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift.”
Romans 12:18, ESV “If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all.”
7) Show mercy
Luke 10:36–37, ESV “Which of these three, do you think, proved to be a neighbor to the man who fell among the robbers?” He said, “The one who showed him mercy.” And Jesus said to him, “You go, and do likewise.””