A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.
— John 13:34–35 —
Aleksey Kolomiytsev: Word of Grace Bible Institute | USA
Of Christ’s many attributes that made deep impressions on unbelievers, Jesus highlights perhaps the greatest one in this passage. Neither theological knowledge, nor religious activity, nor acts of sacrificial giving reveal true Christianity to the same extent as when believers love one another with the love of Jesus Christ. God’s love arises from the loving heart of the Father, and does not depend upon external factors and conditions. As He was training His disciples, Jesus presented love as the most reliable sign of the presence of true faith. There is a serious reason for this. Christians can truly love only when they do it with the love of Jesus Christ, when they are truly saved by Him, know Him, and are filled with Him. People express love in diverse ways. Man’s love—regardless of how it’s shown—is radically different from the love of God. God’s love arises from the loving heart of the Father, and does not depend upon external factors and conditions. It utterly stems from the goodwill and kind disposition of a loving heart. Only this type of love is capable of overcoming evil which fills the world surrounding it. Only this type of love can bring light and warmth amid darkness and the cold of humanity oppressed by sin. Only this type of love can overlook the faults of others, patiently bearing in oneself their burdens, and helping others to overcome them. The heart capable of generating such love must be extremely strong and perfectly independent of someone or something. This is why it is impossible to learn such love. People are incapable of practicing it. Such love can only fill our hearts when we have received it from Christ. Friend, do you have this love for Christ and His people?