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Vieraskieliset / In-english

The gre­a­test of these is love

Siionin Lähetyslehti
Vieraskieliset / In-english
24.5.2016 14.00

Juttua muokattu:

1.1. 23:32

A new com­mand­ment

The gos­pel of John inc­lu­des Je­sus’ fa­re­well ser­mon in which He re­pe­a­ted­ly ur­ges His dis­cip­les to mu­tu­al love or brot­her­ly love: “A new com­mand­ment I give un­to you, That ye love one anot­her; as I have lo­ved you, that ye al­so love one anot­her” (John 13:34).

This “new com­mand­ment” is a qu­es­ti­on of dee­per love than the ge­ne­ral love we show our neigh­bor, of which the Old tes­ta­ment and Je­sus al­so talk of el­sew­he­re in the scrip­tu­res. This “new com­mand­ment” love em­bo­dies it­self in the re­la­ti­ons­hip bet­ween Je­sus and his dis­cip­les. For examp­le, this is de­pic­ted in Je­sus’ gra­pe­vi­ne pa­rab­le: “I am the vine, ye are the branc­hes” (John 15:5). Je­sus al­so says: “Abi­de in me, and I in you” (John 15:4).

The mu­tu­al love of Chris­ti­ans is a re­sult of God’s love: “Be­lo­ved, let us love one anot­her: for love is of God; and eve­ry one that lo­veth is born of God, and kno­weth God” (1 John 4:7). In Paul’s let­ters, be­lie­vers are said to have been born again “by the word of God, which li­veth and abi­deth for ever” (1 Pe­ter 1:23). They are en­cou­ra­ged: “See­ing ye have pu­ri­fied yo­ur souls in obey­ing the truth through the Spi­rit un­to un­feig­ned love of the breth­ren, see that ye love one anot­her with a pure he­art fer­vent­ly” (1 Pe­ter 1:22).

The pre­mi­se for love is the sac­ri­fi­ce that God him­self gave in Je­sus: “And we have seen and do tes­ti­fy that the Fat­her sent the Son to be the Sa­vi­our of the world” (1 John 4:14). What fol­lows is that when “Be­lo­ved, if God so lo­ved us, we ought al­so to love one anot­her” (1 John 4:11). Be­lie­vers are wit­nes­ses of this love in their own li­ves.

The examp­le for the dis­cip­le’s mu­tu­al love was the gre­a­test pos­sib­le love that Je­sus sho­wed the dis­cip­les: “He­re­by per­cei­ve we the love of God, be­cau­se he laid down his life for us: and we ought to lay down our li­ves for the breth­ren.” (1 John 3:16).

Love uni­tes be­lie­vers to form a cong­re­ga­ti­on

The love that is born of the Holy Spi­rit joins Chris­ti­ans in one cong­re­ga­ti­on. Paul com­pa­res the cong­re­ga­ti­on to a hu­man body in which Christ is the head. The cong­re­ga­ti­on is one unit which has many mem­bers. In God’s king­dom, mu­tu­al brot­her­ly love is al­so seen in the equ­a­li­ty of all be­lie­vers re­gard­less of na­ti­o­na­li­ty, race, so­ci­al sta­tus and gen­der (Gal. 3:28). Ac­cor­ding to Paul, “For by one Spi­rit are we all bap­ti­zed in­to one body, and have been all made to drink in­to one Spi­rit” (1 Cor. 12:13). Be­lie­vers are God’s tra­ve­ling na­ti­on in one faith, one Spi­rit and one love.

Mu­tu­al love and eve­ry­day life

Mu­tu­al love al­so has a place in eve­ry­day si­tu­a­ti­ons. Love ma­kes us to share the gift we have re­cei­ved from God on be­half of our brot­her in need: “But whoso hath this world’s good, and seeth his brot­her have need, and shut­teth up his bo­wels of com­pas­si­on from him, how dwel­leth the love of God in him? My lit­t­le child­ren, let us not love in word, neit­her in ton­gue; but in deed and in truth” (1 John 3:17–18).

Apost­le Paul taught about sac­ri­fi­ci­al love in Chris­ti­an ho­mes and re­la­ti­ons­hips with near ones. To hus­bands he wri­tes: “Hus­bands, love yo­ur wi­ves, even as Christ al­so lo­ved the church, and gave him­self for it.” (Eph. 5:25–30). To all Chris­ti­ans he says: “Be kind­ly af­fec­ti­o­ned one to anot­her with brot­her­ly love; in ho­nour pre­fer­ring one anot­her” (Rom. 12:10).

Nur­tu­ring mu­tu­al love

Love is the af­fect of God’s Spi­rit and a re­qui­re­ment of re­mai­ning with God: “He­re­by know we that we dwell in him, and he in us, be­cau­se he hath gi­ven us of his Spi­rit” (1 John 4:13). The ene­my of souls works to break the con­nec­ti­on and love of the Spi­rit.

Love must be nur­tu­red: “And be ye kind one to anot­her, ten­der­he­ar­ted, for­gi­ving one anot­her, even as God for Christ’s sake hath for­gi­ven you” (Eph. 4:32). The New Tes­ta­ment let­ters show how many re­jec­ted the con­nec­ti­ons of God’s child­ren be­cau­se of sin. At the same time, they lost the pos­si­bi­li­ty for eter­nal life.

A part of mu­tu­al love is hel­ping a be­lie­ving brot­her or sis­ter who has fal­len in­to sin back to free­dom so that he or she would not lose their por­ti­on in God’s king­dom and the hope of ever­las­ting life. For this, the re­sur­rec­ted Je­sus gave His own the po­wer of the Holy Spi­rit to proc­laim the gos­pel of the for­gi­ve­ness of sins. Paul inst­ructs in which spi­rit to help one who has fal­len in­to sin: “Breth­ren, if a man be over­ta­ken in a fault, ye which are spi­ri­tu­al, res­to­re such an one in the spi­rit of meek­ness” (Gal 6:1).

Text: Vil­jo Jun­tu­nen

Sour­ce: Ajan­koh­tais­ta 2015, Suu­rin on rak­kaus

Trans­la­ti­on: AH

Jul­kais­tu eng­lan­nin­kie­li­ses­sä nu­me­ros­sa 11.5.2016


Kun To­tuu­den Hen­ki tu­lee, hän joh­taa tei­dät tun­te­maan koko to­tuu­den. Joh. 16:13

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