The Greater Love (Part Two)

Written by Larry M. Jaynes:

I John 2:8 – Again a new commandment I write unto you {referring to the new commandment that Jesus gave in the Gospel of John 13:34}, which thing is true in him {Christ} and in you: because the darkness is passed, and the true light now shineth.

The new commandment that Jesus gave to us originally was only available to himself until he had redeemed humanity. However, since Christ has redeemed us, this new commandment gives us the ability to enjoy the spiritual love of God that once only Jesus knew, but now we can know it also. We can daily realize what Jesus had taught is true, for the love of God is in him and it is in us. “The true light that now shineth” means that we indeed can experience this “greater love.”

I John 2:10 – He that loveth his brother {a fellow Christian believer} abideth in the light, and there is none occasion of stumbling in him.

When we love as Christ loves we are abiding in the light. How often when we walk in the light will we even have an occasion to stumble? Never!

I John 3:16 – Hereby perceive we the love of God, because he {Jesus Christ} laid down his life for us: and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.

This is a verse of Scripture that we best look over very carefully. First we can now perceive with understanding, God’s actual love, because we now have it. We currently have the love of God in our hearts because Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. Then comes the phrase “we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren” and we may think “No way I am doing that!” In real life very few people can honestly up and die for someone else. They may say it, yes, but carry it through?

In the Gospel of John 15:13, Jesus said “greater love hath no man {no one} than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.” No one other than Jesus had this greater love. John 15:13 was pointing to a future moment in the life of Jesus that would end his life in a horrible, torturous death. However, I John 3:16 is looking back in time to when “he laid down {past tense} his life for us.”

Today we have this greater love that Jesus utilized, but for us in God’s family we are never encouraged or directed to die for one another! Rather we are instructed and encouraged to live for one another in love, and live immersed in the light of God’s love. Man’s love at its strongest point could encourage one to say, “I would lay my life down for you.” However, God’s love in its greatest emphasis encourages us to live for one another, not die. Also notice that I John 3:16 does not say to die for each other. We are only encouraged to lay down our lives in service, and what we are to serve is the love of God!

Well, praise God for knowing His truth. There is no profit in dying, especially when your God desires that you enjoy the more abundant life (John 10:10). Jesus taught that only one would suffer and die. Yes, it took the love of God for Jesus to accomplish this for you (for all sinners, so anyone could be saved), but now God’s “greater love” is given to enhance your life each and every day.