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Don Stewart :: Whom Is the Believer Supposed to Love?

Don Stewart
Once a person becomes a Christian their life should be characterized by love. This love should be directed in several directions.

1.Love God

Above all, our love should be directed to God. In the Old Testament this was made clear.

Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one. Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength (Deuteronomy 6:4,5).

When Jesus was asked about the greatest commandment, He too emphasized that God should be loved above all.

Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law? Jesus replied: 'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind' (Matthew 22:36,37).

How do we show that we love God? Simple. We keep His commandments.

If you love Me, you will obey what I command (John 14:15).

2.Love The Believers

First and foremost, the Christian will be characterized by the love they show to one fellow believers.

A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you love one another (John 13:34,35).

Peter wrote:

Show proper respect to everyone: Love the brotherhood of believers, fear God, honor the king (1 Peter 2:17).

3.Love The Unbelievers

The believer also needs to show loved for the unsaved. The Bible says that God showed His love to the world by sending Jesus.

For God so loved the world that He gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life (John 3:16).

The Apostle Paul spoke of his motivation.

For the love of Christ urges us on, because we are convinced that one has died for all; therefore all have died (2 Corinthians 5:14).

4.Love Your Neighbor

We are also commanded to love our neighbor. Jesus was asked about the greatest commandment.

Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law? Jesus replied: 'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.' This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: 'Love your neighbor as yourself' (Matthew 22:36-39).

What does this mean? This is another way of saying loving others-which, of course, would include both believers and non-believers. We love our neighbor by keeping the commandments that would effect those close to us. For example, we should provide for our family.

If anyone does not provide for his relatives, and especially for his immediate family, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever (1 Timothy 5:8).

We should also help with the needs of fellow believers.

Share with God's people who are in need. Practice hospitality (Romans 12:13).

The list goes on. Basically we love our neighbors by obeying what God has commanded us to do.

Summary

The badge of the Christian is love. First, we are supposed to love God. Next we are to love our fellow believer. Finally, we are to love the unbelieving world.


CONTENT DISCLAIMER:

The Blue Letter Bible ministry and the BLB Institute hold to the historical, conservative Christian faith, which includes a firm belief in the inerrancy of Scripture. Since the text and audio content provided by BLB represent a range of evangelical traditions, all of the ideas and principles conveyed in the resource materials are not necessarily affirmed, in total, by this ministry.

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