For this is the message that you have heard from the beginning, that we should love one another.
1 John 3:11 ESV
When John writes this is what you have heard from the beginning, he means just that. What John is saying here is that to love one another is a direct command from Jesus himself; A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another.John 13:34 ESV
What John is sharing here is not simply a suggestion, but a commandment from the Lord Himself. As disciples of Christ we have been commanded to love one another. John isn't the only New Testament writer to relay the importance of this commandment, Paul and Peter do so as well. See Romans 12:10, 1st Thessalonians 4:9 and 1 Peter 1:22. A commandment is not optional. It is not something we do when we choose, it is what we are to do at all times. To disobey a commandment of the Lord is to sin. So, if we are not showing love to a fellow believer for whatever reason, we are sinning.
So today, if we consider ourselves to be disciples of Christ we have no choice but to love our fellow disciples. The love of one Christian for another is of great importance, it shows that we truly are his disciples. As Jesus said; “By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another." John 13:35 ESV
© 2013 Leo J. Woodman