In this post, we continue to answer the question, “How Do I Know I Am Saved?” We’ve discussed three tests thus far, looking at our relationship to Jesus Christ , the world , and sin. Today, we look at the fourth test. On Sunday, Pastor Rob kicked off our “Church of the Future” series, looking at Deuteronomy 6:1-9. Before turning to this passage, he mentioned the story of Jesus in Matthew 22:36-40. In this story, someone asks Jesus, “Which is the greatest commandment in the Law?” Jesus responds, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself.” In our first post on our relationship to Jesus Christ, we looked at the first commandment. Today, we look at the second commandment, answering our fourth test question, “What is my relationship to people?”
What Is My Relationship to People?
“Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God. Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love” (1 John 4:7-8).
“We love because he first loved us. If anyone says, ‘I love God,’ and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen cannot love God whom he has not seen. And this commandment we have from him: whoever loves God must also love his brother” (1 John 4:19-21).
If we are honest with ourselves, we would readily recognize that people are difficult and often times difficult to love. Even more so, we recognize that we ourselves are difficult to love. Between our own sin and the sin of others, loving others is just a difficult task. John recognizes this and makes it a point to say this: God is the source of all love. In the two passages from 1 John above, John makes several important statements: “love is from God,” “God is love,” and “we love because he first loved us.” Simply put, you and I cannot love others without God first loving us. If Jesus has saved us, then we have experienced God’s love and we can then love others. Therefore, because Jesus has saved us, our life should be predominantly characterized by love for others.
Has My Life Been Predominantly Characterized By Love for Others?
So, has your life been predominantly characterized by love for others? A love for others isn’t a new concept. From the very beginning, we see God’s desire for us to love others. Think about the Ten Commandments. The last six commandments refer to how we treat other people. As mentioned above, Jesus says the second greatest commandment is to love others. Then in 1 John we see countless commands to love others. In particular, John commands us to love one another. He writes, “Beloved, love one another.” He even goes on to say that if we say we love God and yet hate people, we are liars. He rhetorically asks, “how can we love a God who we have never seen and yet hate people who we see?” When we love others we not only demonstrate our love for them, but we also show our love for God. If we know Jesus and our lives are predominately characterized by love for others then we can have confidence of our salvation.
As you go about your day and week, how are you loving others? How is your heart toward others? Do you need to ask for forgiveness from someone? Do you need to reconcile a broken relationship? Also, how are you actively loving others? How can you help those around you? What needs can you fulfill for others? As you seek to love others this week, ask God to show you how you can specifically love others.