Our Love For The Brethren

Once we have learned how much God loves us, and have begun to love Him to that same extent it becomes a natural thing to love fellow believers. Jesus gave us the supreme command that was the fulfillment of all others in JOHN 13

JOHN 13:34-35 NKJV “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.”

The extent of this love toward the brethren is to be the same as God’s love for us.
ROMANS 13:8 NKJV “Owe no one anything except to love one another, for he who loves another has fulfilled the law.”

1 JOHN 4:10-11 KJV “Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another.”

We will learn that walking in the fullness of God as Paul stated in EPHESIANS 3 means to love our brothers in Christ so much that there is absolutely nothing we would not do for them even if it means giving up our very life.

1 JOHN 3:16 KJV “Hereby perceive we the love of God, because he laid down his life for us: and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.”

That is how much Jesus loves us friend, that He would even lay down His life for us if need be and it was needful.

GALATIANS 2:20 “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.”

Paul uses an interesting word in EPHESIANS 3:19, “And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God.” The word fullness in the Greek is “Pleroma” and means to be replete, crammed full, or no further need. He is saying that as we understand and walk in the fullness of God’s love we walk in all the fullness of God.

Many people confuse the baptism of the Holy Spirit and speaking in tongues with the “fullness of God.” Being filled with the Spirit and speaking in tongues is not a mark of Christian maturity, it is a gift from God to help us come to the fullness (pleroma) of the stature of Christ. (EPHESIANS 4:13) Maturity is not in giftedness but in the development of God’s character in us through consistent daily fellowship with Him through His word and prayer. As we mature in love and begin to love to the same extent that God does, then we are filled with all the fullness of God. Glory to His name. That is a great place to stop and shout for a while.

This is the way Jesus lived and why He was able to love us to the extent that He did on Calvary.

COLOSSIANS 1:19 “For it pleased the Father that in him should all fulness dwell;”

All the fullness dwelt in Him, in other words, Jesus was God’s love in action. He was so yielded to AGAPE love that there was no limit to what He would do for man; heal the sick cleanse the leper raise the dead, and finally die on the cross. Did you know that we as believers are capable of living in that kind of love, of all the fullness of God? Hold on to your hat as you read JOHN 1:16, “And of his fulness have all we received, and grace for grace.”

Those who have been born of God have received the same fullness that Jesus had in His earthly life, we can love to the extent that He did. When love gets control of our lives we will not be conscious of the sacrifice we are making to help people anymore, because no price is too great to pay to help someone discover God’s love for them and to help them receive all that Jesus died to give them. We won’t be murmuring about going the extra mile to serve among the people of God, but conversely we will rejoice at the opportunity to do something that will show the love that is bursting within us.

JOHN 16:23-28 “And in that day ye shall ask me nothing. Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall ask the Father in my name, he will give it you. Hitherto have ye asked nothing in my name: ask, and ye shall receive, that your joy may be full. These things have I spoken unto you in proverbs: but the time cometh, when I shall no more speak unto you in proverbs, but I shall shew you plainly of the Father. At that day ye shall ask in my name: and I say not unto you, that I will pray the Father for you: For the Father himself loveth you, because ye have loved me, and have believed that I came out from God. I came forth from the Father, and am come into the world: again, I leave the world, and go to the Father.”

Why did Jesus say we could expect answers to our prayers? Was it not because the Father Himself loves us? Beloved of God, He so loved us; we ought to so love each other. Whatever my brother may ask of me that is within my power to do I must do it.

1 JOHN 3:17-18 “But whoso hath this world’s good, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels of compassion from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him? My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth.”

When the church reaches this level of love the sinners will be seeking us out because they will see God in us in all His fullness. Jesus said in JOHN 12:32, “And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me.”

EPHESIANS 5:1-2 “Be ye therefore followers of God, as dear children; And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling savour.”

Let us press on to this high calling in Christ Jesus, not to be just people of power or gifts or signs but filled with all the fullness of God which is limitless love. God will demonstrate His mighty power through us and do the miraculous because it will be the proof of His love for all. Once while in Bible College as I was sitting in class the Holy Spirit revealed to me a beautiful truth. God reminded me that during the Viet Nam conflict the supplies that traveled overland by truck to the many outposts were vital to the soldiers who needed them. However, that precious life saving cargo could not reach its destination by land unless roads were constructed first. Love in our life is like the road, it must be built in our lives so that this precious cargo of Holy Spirit ministry can reach those who so desperately need it to deliver them from Satan’s bondage. Sometimes it takes heavy construction to make a road possible, so it is with us that sometimes God has much work to do in us to bring us to the place where we can walk in the fullness of His love. Oh what joy unspeakable it is to get even to the fringe of the fullness of God and see Him flow through us as He did through Jesus Christ.

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