"To Love and To Not Love"
Just as born again believers are spiritually united with the Lord Jesus Christ, so are we spiritually united with each other.
"So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another" (Romans 12:5).
The Apostle Paul teaches that we are all part of one body, and we belong to one another. This truth accounts for two seemingly contradictory realities concerning the matter of Christians and our relationship to one another. First, we understand why we love one another. "We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren" (I John 3:14). We also discover the reason we sometimes don't love one another. "Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them... And the God of peace shall bruise Satan under your feet shortly" (Romans 16:17; 20). The love of Christ dwells within us, leading us to self sacrificial devotion not only to God, but to one another. "Ye yourselves are taught of God to love one another" (I Thessalonians 4:9). However, the enemy of God also dwells among us, seeking always to foment unrest and division among believers in the Lord Jesus. He cannot attack the Savior's resurrected, glorified body that now sits on the throne of Heaven. So, Satan attacks the spiritual body of Christ, tempting us to forget that relationship to the Lord Jesus means relationship to our brothers and sisters in Him.
We do well to realize that that the love of Christ dwells within us, enabling our devotion to both God and to people (Romans 5:5). Through the Holy Spirit, our Heavenly Father empowers us to love fellow believers for the glory of God and their benefit. Such devotion will be attacked, however. Thus, we also do well to remember that the devil and his minions continually work to divide us. We also do well to make these matters very personal. Day by day, we prayerfully devote ourselves to our brothers and sisters in Christ. As the prophet Isaiah declared in response to God's calling, "Here am I. Send me" (Isaiah 6:8). We also prayerfully seek God's direction in the matter of our relationship with fellow believers. "Cleanse Thou me from secret faults" asked the Psalmist (Psalm 19:12). Again, our spiritual union with other Christians means that both love and the temptation to not love will characterize our earthly journey together along the path of righteousness. Both realities must be recognized and responded to if we are to fulfill the Lord's words that speak to our bond with Him, and with our brethren…
"By this shall all men know that ye are My disciples, if ye have love one to another."
Weekly Memory Verse
Be not afraid of sudden fear, neither of the desolation of the wicked, when it cometh. For the LORD shall be thy confidence, and shall keep thy foot from being taken." (Proverbs 3:25-26).