Why is “love” repeated four times in this title? You may be familiar with the song, a round:
Love, Love, Love, Love, the Gospel in a word is love,
Love thy neighbor as thy brother, Love, love, love.
Musically the repetition works nicely. And the message is clear… the GOOD NEWS of the gospel is love.
In John 15:9–17 Jesus taught the disciples about love by teaching about four directions of love. Like the round and the compass, the four directions of love teach us perspective.
First, the Father loves his Son, Jesus. The depth of this love is difficult to imagine. A perfect holy God loves his perfect holy Son. This is perfect love in its purest form.
Second, Jesus taught the disciples that just as God loves Him, He loves them. So, the perfect holy Son, loves the imperfect, unholy disciples “just as” God loves him. Paul describes the vast love of God as he prays in Ephesians 3:17-19
. . . so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.
“Amazing Love, how can it be? That Thou, my God, should die for me.”
Third, Jesus told them that He himself abides in His Father’s love. We read in the gospels that Jesus often went off by himself to pray. And after that He did the Father’s will. So, He took time with the Father to bask in His love and receive his marching orders for the day. This abiding in the Father’s love gave Him strength and direction.
Fourth, the disciples are to love one another. Love is an action word. Love does. Romans 12:9-21 provides a dissertation on love in action for fellow believers. The list is clear – not optional, and not easy unless we are abiding in our Savior’s love. Love . . .
>> sincerely, >> with devotion, >> honoring one another above ourselves, >> practicing hospitality, >> blessing those who persecute us (yes, even fellow believers can feel persecuted by one another), >> live in harmony, >> don’t be proud but willingly associate with those of low esteem, >> don’t be conceited, >> don’t repay evil for evil, >> live at peace with all men as much as it lies within us, >> don’t take revenge – God will repay, >> don’t be overcome with evil but overcome evil with good.
The list of actions defines how loving each other is done.
“As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love…This is my command. Love each other.” (John 15:9,17)
Life Application Questions