Jesus fulfilled the commandments of the Old Testament and then gave a new commandment. The new commandment is “That ye love one another,” [Jn 13:34]. It is simply stated, just like the ten commandments. People say that the Bible is hard to understand. There is nothing difficult to understand about, thou shalt have no other gods before me, thou shalt not kill, thou shalt not steal, honor thy father and thy mother, or “love one another.” You can state Jesus’ new commandment in three words. Notice these three things about the new commandment:
The command to love – Jn 13:34 – “that ye love one another.” Jn 15:12; Jn 15:17. Jesus commanded us to love one another. God teaches us to love one another [1 Thes 4:9]. The Spirit leads us to unfeigned love of the brethren [1 Pet 1:22]. The Trinity is totally occupied with this command. 1 Jn 4:7 “Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God.” This love for one another is a God-thing; not a human thing. It comes from God. Rom 5:3-5 says that the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost. It survives the tests and trials of life.
The example of love – Jn 13:34 – Jesus said, “as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.” Jesus gave us his example to follow. Love each other like I have loved you.
- His love is a sovereign love – Jn 15:9 – “As the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you: continue ye in my love.” His love is superior to all other love in the world and he is unlimited in his capacity to love.
- His love is a sacrificial love – Jn 15:13 – he laid down his life for us. We should be willing to love others even when they don’t love us in return. No wonder the disciples sold their possessions and willing distributed to each other. They loved each other sacrificially.
- His love is an inseparable love – Rom 8:35-39 – there is nothing that can separate you from the love of Christ. Therefore, there should be nothing that can separate others from our love for them.
The testimony of love – Jn 13:35 – “By this shall ALL men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.” Religious people may have fancier buildings, brighter lights, louder music, snazzier websites, and so forth. But if you have love one for another, there is nothing man made that can top that.
Pastor Randy said recently that testimony matters. People can be turned away from the Lord by a bad testimony. Conversely, people can also be brought to Christ by your good testimony. And there is nothing more powerful than the testimony of love. Would to God that ALL men knew that we are his disciples by our love for each other.
By obeying this new commandment, we would never need to coerce or manipulate people to give to missions, or to minister to the elderly, or to minister to those in need, or to minister to the lost. These kinds of things are the natural outgrowth of obedience to Christ’s new commandment.
Conclusion: Love one another. That’s not hard to understand. And that’s not hard to do if you love God. Just do what Jesus commanded and he will give you the love and grace to do it.