Text: “A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. By this (proof) shall all men know that ye are My disciples, if ye have love one to another.”
Good morning, proven Christian disciple! You and I have been saved by grace though faith in the once for all time Atonement Sacrifice of Jesus Christ, the Son of the living Lord God, at Calvary’s Cross. We trust not in ourselves for Salvation - or any so-called good works that we could ever do. Our Salvation is totally ‘…of the Lord…’ God, and by His matchless grace we are granted a Standing before His Holy throne - in His Son, Christ Jesus.
Hallelujah! We are genuine Christians, and we know it. We are genuine Christians if we seek to continually show it. Glory and praise to the Lamb!
“When my soul fainted within me I remembered the Lord; and my prayer came in unto Thee, into Thine Holy temple. They that observe lying vanities forsake their own mercy. But I will sacrifice unto Thee with the voice of thanksgiving; I will pay that that I have vowed. Salvation is of the Lord.” (Jonah 2:7-9
“Not by works of righteousness that we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost; which He shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour; that being justified by His grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of Eternal life.” (Titus 3:5-7)
“Yes, Dr McClinton, I am already aware of this truth - but you have addressed this study to ‘…proven Christian disciples…’, therefore, how do I actually PROVE to myself that I am indeed a genuine follower of Christ?”
In order to adequately answer such a frequently asked question, I immediately return each reader to our selected text for today. Please read it again. We prove we are genuine followers (disciples) of Christ Jesus by the obedience we seek to practice continually to His written teachings.
False ’Christians’ will not seek to obey the risen Christ - self still rules in their unregenerate, disobedient hearts!
Furthermore, our text for today’s study clearly sets out Christ’s commandment to every soul who would faithfully follow after him and partake of His great and Eternal Salvation: we must love one another.
“Beloved, let us love one another; for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God. He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.” (1 John 4:7-8)
Now, let us bring this Biblical principle into the everyday world in which we live, and ask ourselves the vital questions: Do we love our Christian brothers and sisters? Do we manifest such a Christian love that might prove beyond any doubt that we are in fact genuine followers of Christ? Well? Do we?
How many times do we learn of professing Christian congregations who are reputed to be ‘…sound in the details of their Biblical doctrine, but sadly lacking in any real Christian love.’? What a dismal situation!
‘The Pastor is detested because of his imperfections‘; ‘the choir sung that piece out of tune again‘; ‘the worship and praise was too happy-clappy‘; ‘the service went on too long‘ - many sing ‘I surrender all’ then, when they think about the cost of such committed surrender, sit with long faces devoid of any semblance of true Christian joy and love. What a sad state to be in!
Dry formalism is commensurate with latter-day Phariseeism - beware!
‘Happy-clappy’ liberalism is superficial, needing Biblical instruction - beware!
False love devoid of Scriptural truth is a dangerous balance - beware!
Carnal discord among professing brethren is forbidden - beware!
Strict, ritualistic religion and piety leaves Christ outside the church - beware!
The Lord Jesus in today’s passage for study is admonishing His disciples to truly love one another, encourage one another with such love; be there for each other in a spirit of mutual love and willingness to forgive faults. (James 5:16)
We the Church - universal and international - the true Body of Christ in this 21st Century; need to care for each other and strengthen each other with love and truth in a fine balance. In this manner, we can all ‘…grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.” (2 Peter 3:18)
Thought: How can we say we love God, yet detest our brethren in Christ? If we are loved by God, let us seek to love one another. Discipleship requires proof!