Love “One Another”

Spreading The Truth One Byte At A Time

By Ron Bender© 2008, 2013

Read The Bible

Love “One Another”

>Question: "What does it mean to love one another?"

Answer: In John 13:34 Jesus taught, “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.” Then He added, “By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another” (verse 35). How do we do this? What does it mean to love one another?

The “one another” in these verses is a reference to fellow believers. A distinguishing mark of being a follower of Christ is a deep, sincere love for brothers and sisters in Christ. The apostle John reminds us of this fact elsewhere: “He has given us this command: Anyone who loves God must also love their brother and sister” (1 John 4:21)

This medley of 22 “One Another” from God’s Word (there are a total of 56 in the New Testament) represents the heart of the Bible. This is what it means for people to be soul mates who are “deep-spirited friends” (Philippians 2:2b, MSG). These are the spiritual blessings of God’s love that we long for from “one another.”

The “one another” are especially important in marriage. They are what makes a community the “body of Christ.”

I’ve used these Scriptures (from the NIV) in small groups as a responsive reading. Group members take turns reading a “one another” verse out loud. And after each verse is read the whole group recites in unison the “one another” that defines them all:

“Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God” (1 John 4:7, KJV).

“As I [Jesus] have loved you, so you must love one another.  By this all men will know that you are my disciples” (John 13:34-35).

“Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honor one another above yourselves” (Romans 12:10).

“Live in harmony with one another” (Romans 12:16).

“Stop passing judgment on one another” (Romans 14:13).

“Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you” (Romans 15:7).

“Instruct one another” (Romans 15:14).

“Greet one another” (1 Corinthians 1:10).

“Serve one another in love” (Galatians 5:13).

“Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love” (Ephesians 4:2).

“Be kind and compassionate to one another” (Ephesians 4:32).

“Speak to one another with psalms, hymns and spiritual songs” (Ephesians 5:19).

“Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ” (Ephesians 5:21).

“Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another.  Forgive as the Lord forgave you” (Colossians 3:13).

“Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom” (Colossians 3:16).

“Encourage one another and build each other up” (1 Thessalonians 5:11).

“Spur one another on toward love and good deeds” (Hebrews 10:24).

“Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another” (Hebrews 10:25).

“Do not slander one another” (James 4:11).

“Love one another deeply, from the heart” (1 Peter 1:22).

“Offer hospitality to one another” (1 Peter 4:9).

“Clothe yourselves with humility toward one another” (1 Peter 5:5).

“If we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another” (1 John 1:7).

In Conclusion:

Christ’s love displayed through the believer is unlike the “love” generated by the flesh, which can be selfish, unforgiving, and insincere. First Corinthians 13:4–8 gives a wonderful description of what Christ’s love will be like in and through the believer who walks in the Spirit.

People don’t naturally love with a 1 Corinthians 13-type love. To love like that, there must be a change of heart. A person must realize that he is a sinner before God and understand that Christ died on the cross and rose again to provide him forgiveness; then he must make the decision to accept Christ as his personal Savior. At that point he is forgiven by Christ and receives God’s gift of eternal life—in fact, he becomes a participant in the divine nature (2 Peter 1:4). In Christ he knows that he is genuinely loved by God. The new life the believer receives includes a new capacity to love like Christ loves, for the believer now has living within him the unconditional, sacrificial, forgiving, eternal, and holy love of God (Romans 5:5).

To love one another is to love fellow believers as Christ loves us. Those who love like Christ in the Holy Spirit’s power will give evidence that they are disciples, or learners, of Jesus Christ.


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