The command is to love

Dave Black makes the following statement (concerning 1 John) on his blog:

The study of love and its ethics of obedience remains very much on my personal agenda, and I have not yet slaked my thirst for the brilliant analysis offered by John. Love, for John, is the transference of one’s loyalties from the present kingdom of man to the coming kingdom of God. Love binds us to Jesus Christ and then thrusts out into the world for whom Christ died, back into the darkness, back into real relationships with real pain. Love is not fully Christian unless it is love for the world.

As John says (for example, see 2 John 5-6), the command from God is to love one another, and love one another is God’s command. We obey God when we love others.

But, what does it mean to love others? Our understanding of love – at least the kind of love that God desires from us and works through us – is the same kind of love that God demonstrated toward us – going, giving, serving, humble, sacrificing love. This is how we know what love is, and this is the kind of love that God works through us.

What about other kinds of love? Well, they may be good in some circumstances, but affection or warm feelings are not God’s love. In fact, even professed love is lacking unless it is accompanied by going, giving, serving, sacrificial action.

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