When the people who feel their spiritual leprosy come to church, they really do not care about the music or the padded pews. What they really want to know deep down and secretly is, “If I go there, will they really love me? Would they love me if they really knew me?” This is a secret question that unbelievers have and, truth be told, it is a question that many believers have as well.
D.L. Moody, the famous 18th century evangelist, once said, “A man may be a good doctor without loving his patients; a good lawyer without loving clients; a good geologist without loving science; but he cannot be a good Christian without love.”
The Meaning of Love
What do these verses teach us about the meaning of true love?
- Love is the result of justification by faith and the gift of the Holy Spirit. (Rom.5:1-8)
- Gifts, knowledge, and service are all valueless without love. (1 Cor.13:1-3)
- Love is the chief Christian virtue. (1 Cor.13:13; Cf. Gal.5:22)
- God’s love demands allegiance and loyalty. (1 John 2:15-17)
- Love is a mark of true knowledge of God. (1 John 4:7-11)
- If you are hating your brother, you cannot be loving God at the same time. (1 John 4:20-21)
- Faith in Christ and love for believers are inseparable. (1 John 5:1-3)
The Message of Love
What message does a love for the brethren send?
- Loving one another is the distinguishing quality of being a true follower of Christ. (John 13:35)
- Loving other believers is the evidence of spiritual life. (1 John 3:14)
- Love provides conclusive evidence of the Spirit’s indwelling presence. (Gal.5:22)
The Manifestation of Love
Anyone can say he loves Christ and other believers, but how can you tell? How does a true love for the Lord and believers look and how should it express itself?
- It is to be an unhypocritical (Rom.12:9)
- It is to be a fervent (1 Pet.4:8)
- It is to be a serving (Gal.5:13; Cf. Heb.6:10)
- It is to be a practical (1 John 3:16-18)
 As quoted by John Blanchard, Gathered Gold, p.389