Love One Another, Jn 13:34-35

Our text is Jn 13:34.  Do you know one of the reasons you are now saved?  Because Jesus commanded, “Ye must be born again,” [Jn 3:7].  And it’s a good thing that we are saved because now we are going to heaven and without being born again we would wind up in hell.  Plus, we now have many of the benefits of eternal life.

Do you know why you were baptized in water, or why will you will be, after you got saved?  Because Jesus commanded, “Go ye therefore and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost,” [Matt 28:19].  And it’s a good thing because it is a visible testimony of what the Spirit of God has done for you in the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ.  Our baptism also shows our public break with our former religion and willingness to obey God’s commands.

Do you know one of the reasons you are in church today?  Because the Lord says, “Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is…” [Heb 10:25]. And it’s a good thing that we are here because without a good church we will never grow to the spiritual maturity that the Lord desires for us.  Furthermore, the local church is the God-ordained organism for carrying out the Lord’s work till Jesus comes.  Together we are much more effective in our work for the Lord than we would ever be working alone.

You see, it’s a good thing to do the Lord’s commandments.  When he tells us to do something, we ought to do it.

Well, in our text, the Lord has given us a very specific commandment.  It is the one he called “a new commandment.”  He said “Love one another.”  And if that’s what he told us to do then that is what we ought to do!  And it’s a good thing if we will love one another.  By loving one another:

The love of God is demonstrated – Jn 13:34, “as I have loved you.” Jesus Christ loved us unselfishly, unconditionally, and sacrificially.  He wants us to love each other the same way.  

This is the love about which Paul wrote in 1 Cor 13:1-8.  This isn’t love in word, this is love in deed [1 Jn 3:18]. He says to husbands, “love your wives even as Christ also loved the church,” [Eph 5:25].  When husbands love their wives that way they strengthen their marriages.  When we love each other that way, we strengthen the church.  By loving new converts that way, they know that they are truly accepted in the beloved [Eph 1:6].

The Lord’s disciples are manifested – Jn 13:35 – he didn’t say, “By this shall all men know that ye are disciples…” He said that they may know that ye are MY disciples.  Lots of people profess to be the Lord’s disciples.  They even have a church called Disciples of Christ.  But the distinguishing characteristic of the Lord’s disciples is when they see that “ye have love one to another.”  This is not just any ordinary love, but the love that can only come from God [Rom 5:5].  The world knows nothing of this kind of love.  It becomes a testimony to them of how much God loved them.  With this kind of love we can draw the lost to Christ. 

The bond of the Church is perfected – Col 3:14 – charity is the bond of perfectness.  The devil will tear a church to pieces if he can.  He’s a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour [1 Pet 5:7]. And he’ll rend the whole body of believers if he can get in.  Paul said we are not ignorant of his devices [2 Cor 2:11].  That’s why he told the church in Corinth to forgive that wayward brother who had repented.  He knew that devil could take a thing like that and tear a gaping whole in the body of believers.

The church of Ephesus was one of the best working churches of the seven mentioned in Revelation.  But the Lord said “thou hast left thy first love,” [Rev 2:4].  We must always remember that love for one another is the first thing.  

Conclusion: If you do not love your brothers and sisters in Christ, that is an indication of a stunted relationship between you and the Lord.  Grow in your love of God so that you can grow in your love for each other.  And if you don’t know the Lord, you will never know what it is to truly love and be loved until you do know him.   You can know him today by receiving Jesus Christ and being born again through faith in his finished work on Calvary.