John’s plea to believers is simple. We must love each other. This is a physical act of self-sacrifice, not just an emotional affection. But the reason we must love isn’t utilitarian. It isn’t ultimately a matter of social contract or because society is esoterically “fueled by love.” It is a matter of creaturehood and ontology. Love for each other is an indicator of connection to God. It is a facet of who he is. It is so much a facet of who he is, that we can truly say that “God is love,” although we can say that he is other things. Seeing love is indistinguishable from seeing God. To know love is to know the Father. As new creatures in Christ, we take on this mantle. To know our love is to also know God’s love. It is in this sense that we can be called the Body of Christ. After all, Christ is the perfect demonstration of God’s love. It is in this sense that we are to love one another. The love that we show each other is a testament to our new nature and God’s true nature. Believers must understand that their love for each other is a testimony about their identity, and more importantly about who Jesus is. Even the non-believer seems to acknowledge that the essence of a true deity has to be love. If believers can’t do that with each other, why would they ever put faith in what we believe in?
This post first appeared at JoshMcGary.com