What is Christian love?
My wife used to joke that people who ended their cards with ‘Christian love’ don’t really love you at all! But Philippians 1 stands out in my mind, where Paul tells the Philippian church that he longs for them with the affection of Christ Jesus (v.8). And this affection he feels for them is not only right for him to feel (v.7), but is rooted in their common experience of the grace of God (v.7).
I love the sisters in my own family for a lot of reasons. But chiefly perhaps because we share the same father and mother. We are in the same family, so we are bonded together.
The reason we should love our brothers and sisters in Christ, including those older than us, is because we have the same heavenly Father. Also because we were all evil, wretched sinners, but have been saved by the grace of God and adopted as sons into his family. There can be no stronger bonds with any other human beings.
Is it possible that we feel more attached to the people we sit with each week in the football stadium, sharing our love for a particular team, than we do with those we stand close by in church every Sunday? Is it possible that we even have strong negative feelings towards a brother or sister in Christ?
That is not natural; it is not right and it should never be.
So next Sunday as you get up, get dressed, read your Bible and pray, ask God to show you your fellow church members in a new light. And then you’ll unashamedly confess before your Father in heaven that you love them.
This is how the world knows that we are his followers – that we love one another as he has loved us!
Re:formation is a group of young people who believe passionately in a high view of Scripture and a low view of man; desiring theology and preaching above emotion driven clichés. They aim to produce music that is both theological and God-honouring. If you would like to be kept updated email firstname.lastname@example.org