Christian Love

John 13:34  •  4 min. read  •  grade level: 6
“A new commandment give 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 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, and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God. He that loveth not, knoweth not God; for God is love.”
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, hopeth all things, endureth all things. Love never faileth.”
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 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. O! for a vast increase of Christian love!