the weblog of Alan Knox

Love is the command; the command is love

Posted by on Nov 26, 2009 in blog links, love, missional, service | 3 comments

Dave Black makes the following statement (concerning 1 John) on his blog (Tuesday, November 24, 8:17 am):

The study of love and its ethics of obedience remains very much on my personal agenda, and I have not yet slaked my thirst for the brilliant analysis offered by John. Love, for John, is the transference of one’s loyalties from the present kingdom of man to the coming kingdom of God. Love binds us to Jesus Christ and then thrusts out into the world for whom Christ died, back into the darkness, back into real relationships with real pain. Love is not fully Christian unless it is love for the world.

As John says (for example, see 2 John 5-6), the command from God is to love one another, and love one another is God’s command. We obey God when we love others.

But, what does it mean to love others? Our understanding of love – at least the kind of love that God desires from us and works through us – is the same kind of love that God demonstrated toward us – going, giving, serving, humble, sacrificing love. This is how we know what love is, and this is the kind of love that God works through us.

What about other kinds of love? Well, they may be good in some circumstances, but affection or warm feelings are not God’s love. In fact, even professed love is lacking unless it is accompanied by going, giving, serving, sacrificial action.

Its easy to talk about love and to study love and even to teach or preach about love. Its harder to love. But, love is the command.


3 Comments

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  1. 11-26-2009

    Alan,

    Dave said, “real relationships with real pain”. Yes!

    Real love entails real risks, which go against our natural instincts for self protection and preservation.

  2. 11-28-2009

    Great post. When I would read Jesus’ statement in John, if you love me you’ll keep my commandments. I used to focus on my own sinfulness – and boy that’s a lot. But I failed to realize what he was talking about.

    Jesus was just about to be taken into custody and within a few hours would be on the cross. He said that -then highlighte ONE COMMAND. Love one another as I have loved you. By this they will know you are my disciples by your love one toward another.

    Thanks for this post.

  3. 11-30-2009

    Aussie John and John Lunt,

    May we all begin to live a life of love as taught and demonstrated by Jesus Christ.

    -Alan