“Beloved, let’s love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God.”
The outcome of sound doctrine and following Christ will be the life of love. We are constrained to love each other, because love is from God who visits us with this mark of the Christian. We love because God imparts the gift of love to us His family.
It is tempting to think that doctrine is dry and will quench the spirit of love in the heart of the Christian. It can seem this way, as often Christians can get into arguments and debate about doctrinal issues and end up with schism and bad feelings. This is not the way of Christ. Doctrine that is false will lead to lack of love, but sound doctrine will build the Christian’s character and mind so that we can be receptive to the love of God.
“The law of truth was in his mouth, and unrighteousness was not found in his lips. He walked with me in peace and uprightness, and turned many away from iniquity.”
When the truth and righteousness of God infiltrates our character and behaviour, we walk in peace and love towards the Lord and our fellow human beings, particularly the people of God. We are constrained to love each other because we have been born again into the family of God and are now peaceable towards our fellow family members. This is the confirmation that we are in the family of God, that we love the Christ-likenesses in our sisters and brothers in Christ and seek to be like our Saviour too. It is the family resemblance that holds us together in the bonds of family love.
We also love the outsiders and seek to bring them the good news about forgiveness and the salvation of God,so that they can come into the family as well. The love of God extends to the weak and the spiritually poor and seeks such to come to Him and be in His kingdom.
“Listen, my beloved brothers. Didn’t God choose those who are poor in this world to be rich in faith and heirs of the Kingdom which he promised to those who love him?”
The love of God is extraordinary and extends to the least and the lowest, and this should be our attitude to other people. Our love should be our defining feature in our lives and we should be known for our kindness and compassion. This is the love of God and how we know we are of the household of faith.