Christian Love

John 13:34  •  5 min. read  •  grade level: 4
" A new commandment write I unto you, that ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another." John 13:3434A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. (John 13:34).
What a lofty standard of love is set before us in the above words! We are to love one another as Christ loved us. Now how did Christ love us? Well, He loved us notwithstanding all our infirmities, all our failures, and all our sins. He did not love us because we had none of these things, but despite them all. His was a love that rose above every barrier, and proved itself superior to every hindrance. Many waters, even the dark waters of death, could not quench the love of Jesus. He loved us and gave Himself for us.
Now, this is to be our model. We are to love one another as Christ loved us. " Herein perceive we the love, that he laid down his life for us, and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren." " My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue, but in deed and in truth." " And this is his commandment, that we should believe on the name of his Son Jesus Christ, and love one another as he gave us commandment." " Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; arid every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God. He that loveth not, knoweth not God; for God is love." " Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another. No man hath seen God at any time. If we love one another, God dwelleth in us, and his love is perfected in us."
This is Christian love. It is the outflow of the divine nature in the believer. It may express itself in various ways. It may sometimes have to rebuke, reprove, and smite. Our great Exemplar had occasionally to do so in reference to those whom, notwithstanding, He loved with an everlasting and unchangeable love. It is a mistake to suppose that love is blind or cannot be faithful. Such love would not be worth having. Indeed it should be called fatuity, not love. True love sees my faults, and can reprove them. It can occupy itself with my faults in order to deliver me from them. It will take occasion, even from my very errors and infirmities, to display itself in its own elevated and holy activities. " Love suffereth long, and is kind; love envieth not; love vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil, rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth; beareth all things, believeth all things, endureth all things. Love never faileth:' " And now abideth faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love." 1 Cor. 13:4-8, 134Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, 5Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil; 6Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth; 7Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things. 8Charity never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away. (1 Corinthians 13:4‑8)
13And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity. (1 Corinthians 13:13)
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But there are two kinds of spurious love which we may just glance at, in contrast with the lovely moral picture presented in the above quotations. These are sectarian love, and clique love. We have to watch against these. We are in great danger of loving persons merely because they hold the same opinions as we do; or because their habits, tastes and predilections are agreeable to us. The former is love of sect; the latter, love of clique; neither is Christian love. We may traffic largely in both the one and the other, and not yield obedience to the " New Commandment"—not love others as Christ loved us. It is not Christian love to love our own opinions, or our own image. It is Christian love to love the image of Christ wherever we see it.
May we have grace to apply our hearts to the study, the cultivation, and the exhibition of genuine Christian love! May we drink more deeply into the spirit of Christ, and then we shall love people not because they agree with us or suit us, but because they are agreeable to Christ and reflect His blessed image. Oh! for a vast increase of Christian love!
I bow me, to thy will, Ο God!
And all thy ways adore;
And every day I live, I'd seek
To please thee more and more.
Thy will the end—the blessed rule
Of Jesu's toils and tears;
Thy will the passion of His heart,
Those three and thirty years.
And He hath breathed into my soul
A special love to thee,
A love to lose my will in thine,
And by that loss be free.
I love to kiss each print where Christ
Did set His pilgrim feet;
Nor can I fear that blessed path,
Whose traces are so sweet.
I have no cares, Ο blessed Lord!
For all my cares are thine!;
I live in triumph, too, for thou
Hast made thy triumphs mine.
And when it seems no chance nor change
From grief can set me free,
Hope finds its strength in helplessness,
And, patient, waits on thee.
Man's weakness, waiting upon God,
Its end can never miss;
For men on earth no work can do
More angel-like than this.
Lead on, lead on, triumphantly,
Ο blessed Lord! lead on;
Faith's pilgrim sons behind thee seek
The road that thou hast gone.
He always wins who sides with God,
To him no chance is lost;
God's will is sweetest to him when
It triumphs at his cost.
Ill that God blesses is our good,
And unblest good is ill;
And all is right that seems most wrong,
If it be His sweet will.