Loving One Another

Commitment to God and to One Another



Love: a working definition

  • Seeing the need of someone else and doing what you can to alleviate it, acting with care and compassion
    • Example: God saw our need for a savior and sent Christ Jesus
    • Example: a parent providing for the needs of a child


Love: Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary

  • Unselfish loyal and benevolent concern for the good of another
    • Brotherly concern for others
    • Benevolent: marked by or disposed to doing good


Commitment: Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary

  • The state or an instance of being obligated or emotionally impelled
    • A commitment to a cause


Am I my brother’s keeper?

  • This question is asked when attempting to evade moral responsibility to care for or to love one another



Then the Lord said to Cain, “Where is Abel your brother?” He said, “I do not know; am I my brother’s keeper?”


Genesis 4:9 ESV



  • First Cain lied, saying, “I do not know.”
  • Second Cain became evasive, saying, “Am I my brother’s keeper?”
  • Cain did not want to take responsibility for his actions
  • Cain acted out of his emotional state without considering the retribution; the punishment administered in return for a wrong committed


Does the love for one another that Jesus commands go beyond the natural responsibilities we have already?

  • I think it does
  • Sacrificial Love
    • Making a choice to serve someone even at a cost to oneself
    • Giving something up for the sake of the need of someone else
    • Going beyond the merely convenient meeting of a need
    • For many, time may be the greater sacrifice than money


During His sermon on the mount, Jesus challenged people beyond what they had been taught. He told them what they had heard from others as their lesson, then saying, “But I say to you,” as he ramped up the challenge for their behavior.

  • This example was in the context of retaliation
    • Or that we ought to show greater love rather than retaliating



“And if anyone would sue you and take your tunic, let him have your cloak as well. And if anyone forces you to go one mile, go with him two miles. Give to the one who begs from you, and do not
refuse the one who would borrow from you.”


Matthew 5:40-42 ESV



During the same sermon, Jesus also spoke about loving your enemies.

  • Israel was under the occupation of Rome
  • This was a very real challenge of the day for the Jewish people
  • Is it so different today with our government?



“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you,”


Matthew 5:43-44 ESV



Jesus provides a reason for why we should do so.



“so that you may be sons of the Father who is in heaven.”


Matthew 5:45a ESV



If we are to be sons of the Father, we must follow the example of Jesus.

  • Truly living the way Jesus demonstrated for us
  • He walked this path on His trip to the cross
    • For our sake – love for others, for us


Jesus gives a micro-lesson on the great love of God for all people, good and wicked.

  • He offers His love and gift of salvation to all men and women
    • It is up to us to receive that love and gift
    • It is up to us to commit ourselves to Christ Jesus as our Lord and Savior
  • And a little side note, notice whose sun it is



“For He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.”


Matthew 5:45b ESV



Here is why I believe Jesus calls us to love one another beyond the natural responsibility we have toward one another.

  • He gives a contrast to what sinners do
  • He asks the question, “What reward do you have?” if you do the same



“For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? And if you greet only your brothers, what more are you doing than others? Do not
even the Gentiles do the same?”


Matthew 5:46-47 ESV



  • Jesus calls us to go above and beyond
    • Sacrificial Love
    • What more are we doing than the natural man?
      • Not just in principle, but in action!
        • Being “Doers of the Word”


Then comes the biggest challenge of the sermon, and it’s not a request.



“You therefore must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.”


Matthew 5:48 ESV



  • You MUST be
  • We can only do it when we are in Christ Jesus


This requires commitment.

  • Commitment as one who serves the Lord
  • Commitment to developing the relationship with the Father, with the Son, and with the Holy Spirit
  • Commitment to loving one another in the challenging ways in which we were instructed by Jesus
  • Commitment to sacrificial love
  • Commitment to daily dying to self


Our behavior, or what we do, our actions, is a reflection of our commitment.

  • To a spouse or family member
    • Forgiving quickly
    • Faithfully supporting and encouraging
  • To a group
    • Faithful attendance for whatever purpose the group meets
    • Punctuality; respecting the time of others
  • To fellow believers
    • Faithful support for one another in love
      • Encouragement and meeting of needs
    • Putting others before oneself
  • To the yet-to-be believers
    • Always showing love and value for them
    • Willing to give of time and resources for their sake
  • Most importantly, to God
    • Faithful in relationship with Him
    • Faithful in living out the Word and its teachings


Jesus gives us the example of ultimate love for others.



Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends.


John 15:13 ESV



Is this laying down your life in death only? How about laying aside one’s own life for the sake of loving and caring for others?



When they had finished breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon, son of John, do you love Me more than these?” He said to Him, “Yes Lord; You know that I love You.” He said to him, “Feed My
lambs.” He said to him a second time, “Simon, son of John, do you love Me?” He said to Him, “Yes, Lord; You know that I love You.” He said to him, “Tend My sheep.” He said to him a third time, “Simon,
son of John, do you love Me?” Peter was grieved because He said to him a third time, “Do you love Me?” and he said to Him, “Lord, You know everything; You know that I love You.” Jesus said to
him, Feed My sheep.”


John 21:15-17 ESV



Peter’s life had been built around the business of being a fisherman. Jesus was now calling him to lay that aside and take up this pastoral role as a part of being an apostle.

  • Simon Peter was to lay down his life
  • His life was now to be lived for the sake of others
  • We have received the command from Christ Jesus as well
    • Love one another
    • Spoken to His disciples
    • Loving fellow disciples



“A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are My disciples, if you have love
for one another.”


John 13:34-35



  • This was, and is, a command for every believer
  • Disciples loving one another
    • Even sacrificially
    • The priority of who to love?
  • This is also where commitment to one another comes into view
    • The command requires some level of commitment to be fulfilled in love rather than because it is a commandment
    • Fulfilled relationally rather than religiously
  • And how much greater a love when it extends beyond the fellowship of believers


Our love for one another ought to be a reflection of God’s great love for us. This is seen no better than in Paul’s teaching to husbands concerning how they ought to love their wives.



Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave Himself up for her,


Ephesians 5:25 ESV



  • Christ Jesus laid down His life for the church, for the body of Christ
    • He did not do it for a religious institution
    • He did it for the salvation and sanctification of mankind
      • Those who believe will reap the benefits of His sacrifice
    • The husband is to show sacrificial love for his wife
      • Providing for her needs
      • Laying aside his own selfish desires
      • Leading her in the way of Christ for her salvation and sanctification


This is laying one’s life down in both the living and the dying which is what Jesus had demonstrated for us.

  • In Life
    • He laid aside personal ambitions, etc.
    • He showed us how we ought to have an intimate relationship with God, the Father
    • He showed us how we ought to follow the leading of Holy Spirit
    • He showed us how we ought to love one another
  • In Death
    • He willingly sacrificed His life for our sake
    • He was bruised for our iniquities and wounded for our transgressions
      • By His wounds we were healed
    • He was beaten, battered, bloodied, and pierced to the shedding of His blood for the forgiveness of our sin


This brings us to the question of what we are willing to do. If we are to follow Christ Jesus, imitate Him, and mature to be like Him, we are told exactly what we must do by Jesus.



And He said to all, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.”


Luke 9:23 ESV



He continues by telling us what would occur based upon our decision whether we ignore the call or if we answer the call.



“For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will save it.”


Luke 9:24 ESV



Will we preserve our grip on this mortal life that is relatively short, following the ways of the world, and lose out on eternal life? Or will we live this life in love for others and for the sake of Christ and the Kingdom of God, securing our life to come in eternity?


It’s not about doing works to earn our salvation. It is our actions, words, and attitudes reflecting what is in the abundance of our heart. Are we truly growing in love for one another?


We are also told what is expected of us by God.



He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the LORD require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?


Micah 6:8 ESV



Go and serve the Lord through obedience in love from the abundance of your heart.