Our true identity in Christ is love – Part 3
Because the world lacks the Christ-like kind of love, the Church has been raised to be a showpiece of what the world does not have.
Jesus was very explicit about our bearing the banner of love. He said this is what would distinguish us from others. He gave it as a command to us.
“A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also loved one another. By this, All will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another” (John 13:34-35). We are left with no other option about this identity.
What Is Love?
God is Love. God is the embodiment of true love. He demonstrated what love is by sending his Son, Jesus to die on the cross for us, (1 John 3:7-11). To love the Jesus way, we must connect with Christ, Who gives the Spirit of love and embodies what love is all about. Just as God loves us we should love others.
The believer, who fails to show love, has not experienced the transformation of God. “No one has seen God at any time. If we love one another, God abides in us and his love has been perfected in us.”
Different Kinds Of Love
Three Greek words differentiate the various kinds and degrees of love. The Greek word Phileo is the root word for philanthropy. The Greek work Agapao means sacrificial and unconditional love. The word Eros is the root word for erotic. This kind of love is based on feelings.
Jesus’ encounter with Peter in John 21:15-25, was meant to reveal what kind of love Peter had for Jesus, the Phileo or Agapao. The Agapao love is the highest kind of love we should have. We all have to evaluate ourselves to know what kind of love we have for God and for one another.
True Love inspires and motivates. True love motivates us to act towards those we love. True love is not reticent, but active and exemplary.
The Christ-like love is sacrificial. 1 John 3:16 says that Jesus demonstrated love by laying down His life for us. “By this, we know love that he laid down his life for us. And we also ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.” True love is sacrificial. It must cost us something to love. The Christ-like love must be demonstrated in a practical way.
The Christ-like love is selfless. True love is not focused on oneself but on others. Jesus did not focus on Himself, but on those He loved and died for. Love motivates us to give. Max Lucado says, “We are most like God, when we are giving…Every gift reveals God’s Love…but no gift reveals His love more than the gifts of the Cross.”
Love is the bond of perfection. It is the spiritual glue that knit and binds us together as God’s children. Hence, Paul commands us to “put on” love like a garment (Col.3: 14).
Love is the greatest. Paul wrote that the greatest of all virtues and gifts of the Spirit is love. When every fruit or gifts of the Spirit would have faded and ceased, love will continue to exist. Love endures forever.
Love abides all through eternity.
If Christ-like love is our true identity, then we must show it and live it out for all to see and acknowledge.
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