In May, the church is teaching about 1 John, which repeatedly emphasises "love one another". In the Mandarin congregation, we spent four consecutive Sundays discussing 'loving each other'. Brothers and sisters asked why I kept repeating this theme. I explained that this is the theme of 1 John. The Bible repeats it four times in different chapters. We are studying the whole book and should preach according to the Bible. That is faithfulness to the Bible.
In the context of the book of 1 John, there was heresy and discord among the members of the church. Therefore, John wrote the letter to the church, teaching them that God's greatest intention was for Christians to love each other. God not only used John to repeat this message repeatedly in 1 John, but also recorded in the Gospel of John 13-17, the night before he went to the cross, that Jesus himself taught his disciples to love each other. The visible heart of Jesus Christ shows how much He desires Christians to love one another.
This also shows that although we have believed in the Lord and become Christians, we still need to learn how to love each other. Because of our sinful nature, we live with a self-centered and self-righteous attitude. Therefore, we don’t want to understand other people. We don’t have compassion or empathy. We would not love each other.
But thank God, there is a promise in the Bible, 1 John 5:15 “If we know that he hears us—whatever we ask—we know that we have what we asked of him.'' The context is not only about loving each other but also reminds us to pray for sinners. Thank God that praying for others is also an expression of mutual love. So, the scriptures also say in 1 John 5:3 “In fact, this is love for God: to keep his commands. And his commands are not burdensome,'' It is not difficult to love one another, not because we have the ability to love, but because in Christ, we rely on Him and allow His love to flow through us to others. Thank God for giving us the strength to love and to pray. We will have stronger faith to live out loving each other.