“I’m giving you a new commandment: Love each other in the same way that I have loved you. Everyone will know that you are my disciples because of your love for each other.”
Dear lady, I’m now requesting that we continue to love each other. It’s not as though I’m writing to give you a new commandment. Rather, from the beginning we were commanded to love each other. Love means that we live by doing what he commands. We were commanded to live in love, and you have heard this from the beginning.
Pay your debts as they come due. However, one debt you can never finish paying is the debt of love that you owe each other. The one who loves another person has fulfilled Moses’ Teachings.
The heart of the Gospel is the message that God loves us.
This love was revealed in Jesus Christ.
He died for us while we were yet sinners.
He has given us the ministry of reconcilation.
God reconciled us back into relationship with God by sacrificing the sinless One in our stead.
The blood of Jesus cleanses us from all sin.
The veil was torn, from top to bottom, when Jesus died.
It was a sign that it was God who removed the veil between us and Him.
It’s God’s intention that all people be saved by faith in Christ Jesus.
Faith comes by hearing.
And hearing by the message of the Gospel.
The revealed Word of God.
The message of the Cross is foolishness to those who are perishing.
But it’s the unequivocal truth.
What motivates us to preach the Gospel?
Do you remember what it’s like to be lost in sin, with no hope?
Do you remember how it felt when you first received the Good News?
It was like a weight had been lifted.
It was like the lights came on.
Finally, everything made sense.
Knowing the truth will set you free.
The Gospel needs to be demonstrated with power.
An intellectual understanding of Christ will not save you.
You need to encounter God.
And once you encounter Him, you need to follow Him.
If you don’t follow Him, then where are you going?
When Jesus called His very first disciples what did He say?
As he was going along the Sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and his brother Andrew. They were throwing a net into the sea because they were fishermen. Jesus said to them, “Come, follow me! I will teach you how to catch people instead of fish.” They immediately left their nets and followed him.
Jesus invites you to follow Him.
He invites you into a new way of life.
And He teaches you how to evangelize the lost and make disciples.
Those who respond reap the reward.
God initiates the relationship.
If you love Him, you will follow Him.
You will obey His commandments.
And He will lead you into all truth.
The truth is, God is love.
He loves us so much, He sacrificed Himself so that we could stay in relationship with Him even though He is holy and we are jars of clay.
Jesus fulfilled the Law of Moses.
And then He gave us a new commandment.
Love one another, as I have loved you.
Wash each other’s feet.
Remove the stains of the world from each other.
Be made holy.
Be perfect as He is perfect.
He didn’t give us an impossible task without giving us the means to accomplish it.
He gave us the Holy Spirit.
The power of God.
Living inside of us.
Preach the Gospel.
Cast out demons.
Heal the sick.