Is there Christianity without our Living, Loving, the Life of Christ? John 13:34-35

John 13:34-35 Amplified Bible

34 I am giving you a new commandment, that you [a]love one another. Just as I have loved you, so you too are to love one another. 35 By this everyone will know that you are My disciples, if you have love and unselfish concern for one another.”

The Word of God for the Children of God.

Adeste Fidelis! Venite Adoremus! Dominum.

Gloria! In Excelsis Deo! Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia! Amen.

There is something Jesus said that I want you to seriously think about.

Jesus said to those who followed Him: “By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.

As we see a war-torn nations–a nations which are economically, socially, and politically sick and pained with out of control poverty, oppressed, confused and bewildered–we have to believe that this is the hour for the church to speak out.

This is the hour for the the Body of Christ, the church, to show forth the love and grace of God in Christ!

This is the hour for the nations to hear Christ saying throughout the church, “I am the way, the truth, and the life” (John 14:6).

There is something Jesus said I want you to seriously, severely think a lot about.

Jesus said to those who followed Him: “By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another” (John 13:35).

That verse of Scripture is tremendously important at this hour in history.

In another part of the Bible we find the same thing stated by John:

“Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. He who does not love does not know God, for God is love. In this the love of God was manifested toward us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him. In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins” (1 John 4:7-10).

The Bible repeatedly declares in no uncertain terms we who follow Jesus Christ should be just as much in love with each other, without exception, as God was in love with us when He sent His Son to die on the cross.

I want you to see what it means to love as God loves, because the Bible says, “God is love” (1 John 4:16).

The basic attribute of God is holiness, but love is another basic attribute of God.

It is a part of God’s nature to love, and all who know Jesus Christ as Savior also have this supernatural love instilled within their hearts by the Holy Spirit.

The greatest demonstration of the fact we are Christians is we love one another.

1 Corinthians 13, we have first a description of a man who does not possess love.

The Apostle Paul emphatically says,

“Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I have become sounding brass or a clanging cymbal” (1 Corinthians 13:1).

The Late Reverend Dr. Billy Graham puts it succinctly ….

“In other words, suppose I could speak with the oratorical strength of a William Jennings Bryan. Suppose I could speak with cryptic language like Winston Churchill. Suppose I could speak with the power of Franklin Roosevelt, in which he used to sway an entire nation in war and in peace. Suppose I could sing opera like the great Enrico Caruso. Suppose I had a thousand tongues that could speak a thousand languages all at the same time. The Bible says all that is nothing, and I am nothing, unless I have this divine, supernatural love that God gives.

The apostle Paul goes on to write,

Though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge … but have not love, I am nothing” (1 Corinthians 13:2).

“I could be a man of tremendous knowledge; I could understand all the mysteries and all of history, and be able to put all the patterns together. I could know the Bible from one end to the other; memorize thousands of verses of Scripture. I could be a great Bible teacher; I could even be a preacher from the pulpit–and have not love. I know people in this country who are conservative in their theology–people who would die contending for the inspiration of the Bible–and yet there is so little love. I might know the Bible from Genesis to Revelation, but if I had not love, it would mean absolutely nothing in the sight of God.

“I might be a man of great faith. The Bible says that I might have faith so that I could move mountains, but if I have not love, it is nothing. Suppose I could stand here today and say to that mountain, “Move into the sea,” and it would move! You would say, “Well, Billy Graham is certainly a man of tremendous faith to pray a mountain into the sea.” The Bible says that is absolutely nothing unless my faith is tempered with love.”

“I could be a man of great charity. The Bible says, “though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor … it profits me nothing” (1 Corinthians 13:3) unless I have this divine love that God gives. I could give everything I have to charity, but if the motive were not divine love, it means nothing in the sight of almighty God.”

Here in this country we give billions of dollars away, but sometimes I wonder if our motive is not selfish. We are always asking the other nations and the other people, “What return is America going to get?” The motive of all giving and all charity should be love. I could also be a man of consuming zeal. Paul continues, “though I give my body to be burned, but have not love, it profits me nothing” (1 Corinthians 13:3). Suppose I were like many Korean pastors during the Korean War. Seventeen hundred Korean pastors paid with their blood for their faith in Jesus Christ. Suppose I died at a stake or was shot for my faith in Jesus Christ. You would say, “Billy Graham is a man of consuming zeal. He died as a martyr.” God says it is nothing, unless I am filled with the love of God.”

What a brilliant life this man lived–this mythical man the Bible describes. He was a man of eloquence, knowledge, power, charity, zeal, but the Bible says he was absolutely nothing without love.”

“What a powerful thing love must be! How much stock God puts in love.”

“You say, “Well, Billy, what do you mean by love? What is a demonstration of love?” We have it demonstrated in 1 Corinthians 13. This might cut some of us to the heart. It is going to probe down deep, because one thing that the church of Christ in America lacks is the demonstration of love, and Jesus said, “By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another” (John 13:34-35).

This love that the Bible is talking about in 1 Corinthians 13 “suffers long” (verse 5). In other words, it is patient. It is kind. It “does not envy.” There is no jealousy in this divine love that God gives. It “does not parade itself.” It is “not puffed up,” gives itself no airs. It is a love that demands humility. It never pushes itself to the top, never tries to promote itself, never tries to advertise itself. It is always in the background, truly humble. The thing that we need in the church today is genuine, old-fashioned humility.

Then, again in 1 Corinthians 13:5, the Bible says love “does not behave rudely.” It is always courteous and gracious at every turn. It “seeks not its own,” is never selfish. God looks after you, and you are to look after others, the Bible says. It is not easily provoked–not touchy or irritable. If people have to handle you with kid gloves, have to watch out what they say to you, you don’t know anything about this love that God is talking about.”

Love “thinks no evil” (1 Corinthians 13:5). It never holds a grudge–never has malice. It rejoices not in iniquity, but in the truth (1 Corinthians 13:6). It is never glad when another falls. I know so many Christians today who, when they hear that another Christian has fallen, say, “Isn’t that too bad?” but they don’t mean it! They are happy that the other Christian has fallen because that places them just a little higher on the ladder of estimation in other people’s eyes.”

“Then the Bible says that this love “bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things” (1 Corinthians 13:7). It is slow to expose the evils and faults in others. It is eager to believe the best, and it is always hopeful and optimistic concerning the future. The Bible teaches that love is greater than faith and hope (1 Corinthians 13:13). Love is the greatest thing in all the world.

I will never forget when singer and composer Redd Harper came to Christ in Hollywood. He said that to him the most amazing and thrilling thing after he came to Christ was this fact: “I found that I loved everybody, no matter what race or color or creed they might be. I just wanted to go hug the whole world.”

“When radio broadcaster Stuart Hamblen came to Christ, he said the same thing: “I fell in love with the whole world. There were certain people who had different racial characteristics from myself that I did not like before I was converted, but after I gave my heart to Christ, I fell in love with every one of them.”

Only this divine love that God gives will make us love others, and before we have revival in America we must have that kind of love among God’s people.”

However, the greatest demonstration of love was God sending His own Son to die for you. You did not deserve to have Him die for you. You are a sinner!”

“The Bible says that you know nothing about this love if you are outside of Christ. It is impossible for you to have this divine love, because it is a gift of God only to those who love Christ.”

But–God loves you! It makes no difference how deep in the mire of sin and transgression you have gone. God loves you today! He proved it by sending His Son, Jesus Christ, to die for you on the cross.”

“At this exact moment you can receive Christ into your heart. God will give you this supernatural love until you too love the whole world. That is the solution to the international problems that we face at this hour. It is the solution to your personal problems–to let Jesus Christ come in. When Jesus Christ comes in, His love comes in, His Life enters in, the love of God shines out everywhere you are.

Romans 5:8-10Amplified Bible

But God clearly shows and proves His own love for us, by the fact that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Therefore, since we have now been justified [declared free of the guilt of sin] by His blood, [how much more certain is it that] we will be saved from the [a]wrath of God through Him. 10 For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, it is much more certain, having been reconciled, that we will be saved [from the consequences of sin] by His life [that is, we will be saved because Christ lives today].

I am reminded of the comprehensiveness of these words by so renowned a preacher, teacher, the stature, influence of Late Reverend Dr. Billy Graham.

Indeed, when I remind myself of them from time to time by reading, listening to his evangelistic crusades on the internet and You Tube, I am reminded of one more truth – as much as these words continually reach me, and I pray would too reach you the reader of this blog, “If I had not the love of Jesus in my heart ….?”

The same love of Jesus which He had in His Heart to do what He did for us …..

Even though we were at constant enmity with each other and with Him too …..

What then is “My Christianity?”

What then is my “Sermon in Shoes?”

— Turn the Volume of Your Computer or Your Phone to MAXIMUM! —

MY CHRISTIANITY ABSENT MY LIVING THE LOVE OF CHRIST.
MY CHRISTIANITY ABSENT MY LOVING THE LIVING CHRIST?

Christianity absent Living and Loving the Living Love of Christ is pointless! 

It is infinitely worse than nothing, it negatively affects the world around us. 

Have you ever had someone talk at you? 

Not talk to you or with you, but at you. 

Where it becomes evident that the person that is supposed to be conversing with you is not actually involving you in the exchange. 

They are just expressing their love of and preoccupation with themselves all over you. 

It is like a verbal vomiting attack. 

They have no interest in any response from you or your feeling about what they are saying.

They are just in getting their “two cents worth” out of what they want to say.

How does that make you feel?

It is really hard to have any interest in the subject that person is talking at you about, right? 

You want to pull the ripcord and get out of there as quickly as you can. 

Loved is just about the last emotion that comes to mind, isn’t it? 

This is Christianity without love. 

It is lots of words and thoughts coming at people, but it is missing the part that makes it alive and vibrant.

Have you ever heard a really unpleasant noise? 

Like hearing someone scratch their nails on a chalkboard or the sound of a dentist’s drill in your ear as they stand over you and drill out your tooth. 

It is terrible, terrifying, annoying and effects you down to your very bones. 

The louder it gets the worse it is.

This is the picture of religion without love from the Bible. 

Christianity is no exception. 

It is an expression of selfishness that comes off as really monstrously bothersome, unpleasant, unsettling and unnerving to those around. 

Yikes, it sounds kind of harsh, doesn’t it?

1 Corinthians 13:1-3Amplified Bible

The Excellence of Love

13 If I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not [a]love [for others growing out of God’s love for me], then I have become only a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal [just an annoying distraction]. And if I have the gift of prophecy [and speak a new message from God to the people], and understand all mysteries, and [possess] all knowledge; and if I have all [sufficient] faith so that I can remove mountains, but do not have love [reaching out to others], I am nothing. If I give all my possessions to feed the poor, and if I surrender my body [b]to be burned, but do not have love, it does me no good at all.

This is the idea that Paul is getting at in his first letter to the church at Corinth.

Paul is often called the Apostle to the Gentiles but it is even more obvious from his writings in this thirteenth chapter, that love is equally as important to him.

SAVIOR JESUS WITHOUT LOVE … IS NOT SAVIOR JESUS

Religiosity without love is nothing! 

It is also really annoying! 

This is what Paul says in these verses.

C’mon, say what you really mean Paul!

He compares loveless Christianity to two really annoying discordant sounds of his day.  

We don’t hear noisy gongs or clanging cymbals much today but the idea is something making a ton of noise and is deafening, jarring and irritating. 

Think of perhaps a fire engine’s siren, though less rhythmic. 

If the Apostle was writing today, he might have written if you don’t have love it is like a thousand nails moving up and down and all over upon the chalkboard. 

It is a sound that is clear and not easily misunderstood. 

One that is so wrong that no matter how loud you make it doesn’t come close to getting any better or less bothersome and irritating – it is just louder bad noise.

Paul was writing to Christians who were noisy gongs. 

Their lives had become so caught up in themselves they had lost sight of love in the following of Jesus. 

Their church was acting like 1000 ancient religious nails on the chalkboard.

Much like a person talking at you, they had made everything about them and their expressions of self. 

They were supposed to be following Jesus but in fact, their church was about their pride. 

Their faith was self-centered and self-serving.

Church became a contest to see who could speak the loudest or in the best tongue.

Without His Love, No One Sees Jesus…Even in Church

Since they made life all about them rather than Jesus, it was impossible for them to demonstrate true love for others. 

Loving yourself that much precludes loving others with any authenticity. 

You just care too much about taking care of yourself to care much for others.

The flesh is a greedy beast to feed.

The Corinthians were so prideful and self-focused in their walks with Jesus, even their use of the gifts of the Holy Spirit was worthless. 

Paul says it is nothing to prophesy or speak in tongues if we don’t have love.

Even worse, their actions were like the noisy gong or clanging cymbal. 

They were creating an unmistakable, discordant, and annoying impression for everyone around them. 

Paul goes so far as to say that it would have been better if they did not meet as a church for all the damage they were doing.

For their lack of love, they were changing the beauty of God’s own gifts given through His will through His Spirit into something worthless and off-putting.

What was meant to be the Body of Christ moving perfectly together throughout the known world to testify to God’s glory became one uncoordinated hot mess.  

Simultaneous Love for the Lord and love for each other is what is supposed to keep the Body of Christ in harmony. 

Since it was nowhere to be found, the Corinthian church was stumbling around like a newborn colt. 

They were doing a lot but not everyone would call it beautiful at the same time.

The Love of Christ, Love of His Life is Supposed to be our Calling Card

John 13:34-35Amplified Bible

34 I am giving you a new commandment, that you [a]love one another. Just as I have loved you, so you too are to love one another. 35 By this everyone will know that you are My disciples, if you have love and unselfish concern for one another.”

We may be shocked by this idea, or not shocked enough by this idea, but look around at some portions of the church today. 

You don’t have to go far on the internet to see pastors preaching with such anger and hatred, that what comes across is quite ugly and lacking in power.

There are others who are doctrinally sound but so intellectually focused that the Gospel that they preach comes across as being cold, aloof and forbidding. 

They have the truth of the Bible but without the love of God, it is creating and introducing and delivering a really confusing picture into where chaos reigns. 

They have lost sight of God’s love so they have completely lost the message brought to us by Jesus Himself.  For God so loved the world He sent His Son.

God is love. 

Jesus is God and is also therefore love. 

Jesus was sent into this world as a man because God so loved the world. 

Jesus said that the greatest commandments were to love God and love our neighbors while we are loving ourselves as God sacrificially first loved us. 

Jesus said that the world would know us as disciples by our love. 

Love is so essential to who God is and to what we are as Christians that Paul makes his really strong statement. 

Without love, even Christianity is nothing. 

We can never lose sight of love and still live the life that Jesus has for us in Him.

God is love. 

A life lived absent the first love of Christ, is a life without God prominently in it. 

So if we have gotten far down a path that looks like Christianity but is not filled with love, do a 180 degree turn – dare to turn around – to face God – facing you. 

If we are working really hard for the church but are doing it in anger and spite and resentment, or out of our “duty and obligation – that is, works” stop it. 

If we are so busy with “serving others” we have no time to love the people we are supposed to be serving…just stop. 

It profits us nothing and creates a jarring discordant sound. 

Only start again when we are able to say for certain that it is the love of Jesus compelling us and the love of the Holy Spirit coming through us.

No matter what it looks like to our eyes, if we don’t have love we are nothing.

Why? 

Great Question … I am very glad you asked it in such a Kairos timely manner!

1 John 4:7-8Amplified Bible

God Is Love

Beloved, let us [unselfishly] [a]love and seek the best for one another, for love is from God; and everyone who loves [others] is born of God and knows God [through personal experience]. The one who does not love has not become acquainted with God [does not and never did know Him], for God is love. [He is the originator of love, and it is an enduring attribute of His nature.]

Because Scripture is clear – if there is no love then Savior Jesus is not with us. 

He is love and brings love wherever He walks.

He is love and brings love wherever He Talks.

He is love and brings love wherever He Ministers to God’s Children.

We all want to be something, someone like Christ in the Body of Christ, right?

RIGHT?

How do you recognize Jesus’ followers?

How do you find Christians?

Jesus said they love each other just as he loved the disciples.

In the immediate context this means he is willing to give sacrificially and extravagantly by dying for them at the cross, and he is also willing to love selflessly and practically by washing every single one their “filthy” feet.

His ministry reveals he will do almost anything in between extravagant and practical.

Imagine if we all gathered in fellowship to read and study and pray the Gospels and committed to love each other in the same way Jesus first showed his love!

Envision that first Love displayed through yourselves and the Body of Christ.

What do you anticipate seeing?

What do you expectantly hope and pray to see?

What do you actually see?

BETTER YET … WHO DO YOU SEE?

So, for the sake of God, the Father and God the Son and God the Holy Spirit,

Go Live and Live greatly! 

Go Love and Love greatly!

In the name of God, the Father and God the Son and God the Holy Spirit,

Let us Pray,

Father of all Charity and Compassion and God of all grace, I thank you for teaching me to love through the words and teachings and example of my SAVIOR Jesus. May my words and actions reflect his love toward your people today, tomorrow, and until you bring us all home to you. In the name of Christ, my Great Example, I pray. Amen.

Adeste Fidelis! Venite Adoremus! Dominum.

Gloria! In Excelsis Deo! Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia! Amen.

https://translate.google.com/

Author: Thomas E Meyer Jr

Formerly Homeless Sinner Now, Child of God, Saved by Grace.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: