The Love of Man

Richard Thetford

In John 14:21 Jesus says: “He who has My commandments and keeps them, it is he who loves Me. And he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and manifest Myself to him.” If we truly love Jesus, then we will keep His commandments, which also shows that we love the Father. In addition to Christ and God the Father, we should love the brotherhood. Peter writes: “Honor all people. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the king” (1 Pet 2:17). Unfortunately some Christians in the church today feel like they can treat their brethren wrongly and still be true to Christ — but God’s Word tells us this is not so (1 John 3:14-15). We also have an obligation to love our neighbors and our enemies (Gal 5:14; Matt 5:44). Our love should also extend to loving the truth of God’s Word, for without it we cannot be saved. The apostle Paul states: “and with all unrighteous deception among those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved” (2 Thes 2:10).

How Should Man Love?

Our love should be a whole-hearted devotion to God. Listen to what Jesus says in Mark 12:30: “And you shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength…” There is no doubt that if every Christian exhibited this kind of love for the Lord, then true Christianity would be practiced every day. A clear example of how we should love is recorded in John 13:34: “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another”. If we will love others, as Christ loved us, then our life will be pleasing to Jesus and to others. I encourage every Christian to read, understand, and apply the passages of Mark 12:30 and John 13:34 to their life every day! Children of God should love sincerely and perfectly as they strive to be like Christ (Rom 12:9; 1 John 3:18; 2 Cor 8:8; 1 John 4:17-18).

Why Should Man Love?

We should love because Jesus loved us first. “We love Him because He first loved us” (1 John 4:19). Do we want to be known by God Himself? In order for God to know us the Bible teaches that we must love Him (1 Cor 8:3). What is it that demonstrates to God that we do love Him? Jesus said: “If you love Me, keep My commandments” (John 14:15). Here we can see that if we really do love God, then we will keep His commandments that He has given to us through His Word, the Bible. It is a foolish thing to say that we love God and at the same time fail to keep His commandments and/or love the brethren. In order for us to have life we must love the brethren and God (1 John 3:14). In John 13:35 Jesus says: “By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.” We show others that we truly are disciples of Christ when our love for one another is demonstrated. Do you want to go to heaven? Of course you do! We all want to go to heaven but the problem is that many people who say they want to go to heaven do not strive to do the things that God has asked them to do in order to receive the crown of life. Please notice what is recorded in the book of James 1:12: “Blessed is the man who endures temptation; for when he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him.” Once again we see that we will only obtain our heavenly crown when we love Him.

I want to encourage all of us to make sure that we truly demonstrate our love for God, Christ, and one another. If we fail to do so, we will forfeit our eternity with God, Christ, and each other!