This week as we reflect on the death, burial, and Resurrection of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, I have also been reflecting on the love that we ought to have for one another in the body of Christ.
Together we have been saved by His grace and have been adopted as sons of God according to the kind intention of His will (Ephesians 1:5). We are fellow partakers of His grace, and therefore truly adopted brothers and sisters in Christ. And yet I am not sure if we really think about what this means, and how it should impact that way we live with one another.
When my husband Brent was born, his teenage mother placed him up for adoption. My in-laws adopted him, took him in, calling him their child, and giving him all of the benefits of being their child. Ken and Kathleen Sharp are his parents as much as Norman and Sharon Coren are mine. He didn’t even tell his best friend for years that he had been adopted, because according to him, it didn’t matter. His parents (who were unable to have any children of their own) adopted a little girl also. Denice is Brent’s sister as much as Courtney is mine. They still bicker sometimes, and yet they love each other, the way that siblings do. In fact the same way that we in the body of Christ are to love one another.
I encourage a reading through of 1 Peter 1 this week. It is a great reminder of Christ’s work and that which we are called to. Verse 22 describes how we ought to love one another.
“Having purified your souls by your obedience to the truth for a sincere brotherly love, love one another earnestly from a pure heart, since you have been born again, not of perishable seed but of imperishable, through the living and abiding word of God;”
Earnestly. That is how we are to love one another. Fervently and deeply are words used in other versions. And why are we to love one another deeply? Because we have been born again. It is Christ and His salvation that ought to unite us.
How does this look though? In our culture the idea of love, has become a lot about how we feel about others. And yet according to scripture, that is not what it is at all. It is much more about how we treat one another. Some words to describe love from 1 Corinthians 13: Patient, kind, not jealous, not arrogant, does not take into account a wrong suffered, does not act unbecoming, does not seek its own, bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things and endures all things.
If we in the Church were to really love one another deeply, how would it change our impact on the world, and the effectiveness of our Churches? The answer to the question, comes right from the words of Christ.
“By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”
So as we celebrate our Lord’s Resurrection, let us also love one another, for His Glory and in gratitude for that which He has done for us.
Soli Deo Gloria