How To Love | The Institute for Creation Research
How To Love

“Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit unto unfeigned love of the brethren, see that ye love one another with a pure heart fervently” (I Peter 1:22).

There are many exhortations in the Scriptures urging Christians to love one another, but none give more explicit directions as to the character of this love than this verse. We are to love all people, even our enemies (Matthew 5:44) in one sense, but here Peter is speaking specifically of “love of the brethren” (one word in the Greek, philadelphia).

However, the love enjoined here is not merely brotherly love, but agape love—that is, sacrificial love—a love like that of Christ. “He laid down His life for us: and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren” (I John 3:16).

Such love is also to be unfeigned love. “Let love be without dissimulation” (or “hypocrisy”—Romans 12:9). Furthermore, it is to be pure love—spiritual love, not physical. This aspect cannot be emphasized too strongly in today’s permissive society, where even true spiritually minded Christians all too often fall into sin.

Finally, it should be a fervent love—that is, a strong and enduring love. Although the Greek word here is used only this once in Scripture, a very similar word is translated “without ceasing” in Acts 12:5 (“prayer was made without ceasing”).

Our love for our Christian brethren therefore should be a sacrificial, sincere, chaste, and enduring love. And all of this is predicated on obedience to God’s word—“obeying the truth through the Spirit” is the premise of our text.

“We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren,” says the Apostle John. “He that loveth not his brother abideth in death” (I John 3:14). Therefore, we must see that we love one another with a pure heart, fervently. HMM

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