John 13:34-35 NIV - “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. 35 By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”
Jesus repeatedly gave His clearest commandment to His followers: LOVE ONE ANOTHER. He also indicated that this love for each other in the Church would provide an advertisement to the world that nobody will be able to miss. In other words, being a Christian who demonstrates genuine love for other Christians provides evidence to unbelievers along with a visible reason to believe in the Lord Jesus. Though there are different Greek words for “love”, Christ’s use of “love” in John 13:34-35 is the word agape. The Greek word translated as “one another” is the single word allelon. Finally, the original New Testament Greek word for “reason, defense, answer” (see 1 Peter 3:15), is the word apologia. Evangelism for members of Christ’s Church often involves this simple “AAA membership” reminder: agape + allelon = apologia. Sincere love for one another in God’s family results in visible evidence for why others should believe in and desire the life that is in Christ. Now with whom - or in what area - do you most need God’s help when it comes to practicing love for one another? Do you view love for others in the church as an apologetic or evangelistic witness? What logically happens if the world witnesses Christians’ lack of love for one another?
1 Peter 4:8-11 NIV - Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins. 9 Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling. 10 Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms. 11 If anyone speaks, they should do so as one who speaks the very words of God. If anyone serves, they should do so with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. To him be the glory and the power for ever and ever. Amen.