“We know that we have passed out of death into life, because we love the brethren. He who does not love abides in death” (I John 3:14).
We display God’s transforming work through Christ by how we as Christians love each other in a gospel community. The evidence the Apostle John wants us to see played out in our life is “love the brethren;” that is, love the church. Love is not a mere feeling or words to say. In short, love works its way into the life of the church by honoring and living in harmony with one another (Romans 12:10-16), instructing one another (Romans 15:14), having equal concern for one another (ICorinthians 12:25), serving one another (Galatians 5:13), carrying each other’s burdens (Galatians 6:2), forgiving each other (Ephesians 4:32), singing praises to God with one another (Ephesians 5:19), encouraging one another daily (Hebrews3:13), gathering regularly for worship (Hebrews 10:25), confessing sins to one another (James 5:16), praying with one another (James 5:16), and having each other in our homes regularly (I Peter 4:9). This is not even half of the commands of love in the local church, but this gives us a glimpse of how love plays out in the lives of followers of Jesus.
Does this sound like you? Do you want to love and be loved like this? Jesus told us, “By this everyone will know that you are My disciples, if you love one another” (John 13:35). Are you a disciple of Jesus? Have you left death into life and express love in the church? Love is dirty and it gets into everybody’s business and everybody’s in yours. But God’s love forgives and transforms. God did not save you to face this world as a lone ranger. The Christian life cannot be lived solo, but is played out in the life of a loving gospel community.
Church, let us love one another. Let us be forgiving, confessing sins, praying, instructing, encouraging, building each other up, and live as a loving gospel community for the good of the brethren to the glory of God.