Another of the subjects Christ addressed during His earthly ministry was “The Imitation Of Love”…
Following Christ’s example of love is a new commandment given to us by Christ…
A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another;as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. (John 13:34-35)
The commandment to “love one another” was given to the people of God long before Christ gives us this teaching (Leviticus 19:18). Therefore, this command is not new in the sense of being taught for the first time.
If this is the case, why did Christ say He was giving them a new commandment? It is important we keep in mind that Christ’s entire statement is…
“A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.”
The “new” aspect of this command was that, now, they had a perfect example of love set before them. Never before had they been given the privilege of seeing a perfect, unconditional, eternal love on display. They were to follow the example of Christ that was set before them and, in doing so, they would find themselves loving one another. This truly was a new command they had never previously received.
Loving others with the love of Christ is proof positive of a genuine salvation experience…
By this shall all [men] know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.”
Christ emphasizes that loving others as ourselves is an unquestionable mark of genuine followers of Christ. Our love for our spiritual family, our physical family, our friends, our acquaintances, strangers, and even our enemies tells the world that we are the recipients of Christ’s love and saving grace.
The apostle Paul describes it in this way in Ephesians 5:1-2…
“Be ye therefore followers of God, as dear children;And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweetsmelling savour.”
During His earthly ministry, Christ showed His great love when He offered His life to the Father as payment for the sins of His people. In doing so, He displayed His great love for all to see. Following His ascension to be with the Father, when His people consistently demonstrate this same type of self-sacrificial love, it is also put on display for the world to see.
Our Lesson To Be Learned:
Following Christ’s earthly ministry, His people have the special privilege of following His example of love and self-sacrifice as we seek to love others as He has loved us. May we all look to Christ as our perfect example of love, and in doing so give of ourselves to others as He gave Himself to us.
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