Christianity: The world’s religion
of love!

“Teacher, which is the great commandment in the law? Jesus said to him, 'You shall love the
Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the first
and great commandment. And the second is like it: 'You shall love your neighbour as
                                                         (Matthew 22:36-39 – NKJV)
The world is full of many great religions, however none is like the Christian religion.
True Bible based Christianity is a religion of love to the fullest extent, more so than
any other religion.

First of all, the God of the Bible is a God who is love (1 John 4:8). He is not simply
a God of love, He is love.

As a God who is love He naturally loves the world (John 3:16). This means He
loves each and everyone of us. He actually loves us each deeply and intimately. In
fact He cares about us so much He numbers the hairs on our head (Luke 12:6-7)!
Some say, “With all of the problems in the world, why would God concern Himself
with me?” Well He does and it’s because He loves us, deeply loves us.

He even loves us when we are bad, when we sin (Romans 5:8). In fact He not only
loves us as sinners, He loves us to the greatest extent as sinners. Jesus said the
greatest extent that we can love someone is to lay down our lives for them (John
15:13). God through Jesus laid down His life for us on a cross to pay the penalty
for our sin (John 3:16).

Truly God is a God who is love who deeply and intimately loves each and
everyone of us. He even loves us to the greatest extent when we are sinners,
literally when we are evil in His eyes.

The Bible’s God is love and this more than everything makes Christianity a religion
of love.

Now as a God who is love, God naturally commands love. In fact His greatest
command is that we love Him with all our heart, soul, and mind (Matthew 22:36-38).
What loving God ultimately involves is obeying His commandments. In John 14:15
Jesus says, "If you love Me, keep My commandments.” I John 5:3 says “For this is
the love of God, that we keep His commandments”.

Of all of God’s commands that we can keep, the two most important are to believe
in Jesus and love our neighbour. I John 3:23 says it this way:
“And this is His
commandment: that we should believe on the name of His Son Jesus Christ and
love one another, as He gave us commandment”.

The reason God wants us to believe in Jesus is so that we can be saved from hell
and spend eternity with Him. God wants us to be saved from hell because eternity
with Him will be awesome and He wants everyone to enjoy it (2 Peter 3:9). In fact
He desires it so much He sent His Son Jesus to die for us (John 3:16).

In case you are not aware, according to the Bible all human beings are sinners,
which means among other things that we commit evil, we fall short of God’s glory,
and we disobey God. The Bible says there is a penalty for sin and that penalty is
death, which ultimately is eternal death in a place called hell, which is a place of
eternal separation from God. To be separated from God for eternity is actually the
worst place imaginable, a place of eternal torment.

God doesn’t want this to happen to any of us so He has come up with a plan to
save us, and His plan is very simple. It involves sending His Son Jesus to earth to
pay our penalty for us by dying on a cross. Jesus was a sinless Man who did not
deserve to die and His one single death was so valuable that it paid the penalty for
everyone’s sin. Now if we want to be saved, all we have to do is believe in Jesus
(through trusting Him as both our Lord and Saviour and repenting of our sins and
following Him the rest of our lives) and God will account Christ’s death as the
payment for our sin.

This is God’s plan of salvation and it came at a great cost – the death of Jesus.
Truly if you want to love God, the best thing you can do for Him is believe in His
Son so that you can be saved and spend eternity with Him.

Now the reason God wants us to love one another is because loving our
neighbour as ourselves is what all of God’s commands are based on.

Romans 13:8-10 says this:
Owe no one anything except to love one another, for
he who loves another has fulfilled the law. For the commandments, "You shall not
commit adultery," "You shall not murder," "You shall not steal," "You shall not bear
false witness," "You shall not covet," and if there is any other commandment, are
all summed up in this saying, namely, "You shall love your neighbour as yourself."
Love does no harm to a neighbour; therefore love is the fulfilment of the law.

Loving your neighbour as yourself is God’s second great command (Matthew 22:
39) and it simply means to do good for others and not evil, it means to help and
not to hurt. This is truly what God wants from each of us. As such if we want to love
God, this is what we need to do, we need to love each other.

What are some of the things we can do for each other in order to love one another
as ourselves? The Bible has a number of commands that relate directly to this,
and they include the following:

  • Forgive each other from the heart
  • Be reconciled to one another
  • Be merciful
  • Be patient
  • Do violence to no one
  • Do not love in word only
  • Let your love be genuine
  • Go the second mile
  • Don’t let the sun go down on your wrath
  • Please your neighbour for good
  • Don’t provoke one another
  • Don’t envy one another
  • Do good to all men
  • Don’t weary in doing good
  • Exhort one another
  • Don’t judge one another
  • Live peaceably with one another
  • Love from a pure heart
  • Speak truth to one another

These are all practical things we can do to love each other and help each other
through life.

The Bible however doesn’t stop at simply telling us to love our neighbours as
ourselves, it also tells us to love specific people.

For one, through Jesus Himself, it tells us to love our enemies. Among other things
it tells us to bless them, do good to them, and pray for them (Matthew 5:43-48).

For another, it tells husbands to love their wives, wives to love their husbands, and
parents to love their children (Ephesians 5:25, Titus 2:4). In particular, it tells
husbands to love their wives as Christ loved the church and gave Himself for her,
which is the highest type of love a person can give.

It also tells the church to love the members of the church in the same way Christ
loved us – again the highest type of love a person can give.

Truly loving God, loving our neighbours, loving our families, loving the church, and
loving our enemies is what Christianity is all about. As such it truly is a religion of

The only thing is however is the Christianity that is lived out in the world by the
church is not always reflective of this. Certainly there are many in the church who
live this out, but unfortunately they are many who also fall short. The problem with
this is the saying “one bad apple spoils the whole bunch” fits in this situation.
When one Christian falls short of loving, it reflects badly on the whole church.

What can the church do?

First of all, we all need to recognise that these scriptures on love are commands
that we need to keep. We also need to recognise that these commands are not
simply a handful of commands among hundreds that we need to keep, but rather
they are the core commands of scripture. They truly represent what Christianity is
all about it. The Bible calls love “the more excellent way” and it is literally the way
we need to live our lives.

1 Corinthians 12:31-13:13 says this:
“I show you a more excellent way. Though I
speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I have become
sounding brass or a clanging cymbal. And though I have the gift of prophecy, and
understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and though I have all faith, so that I
could remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. And though I bestow all
my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, but have not
love, it profits me nothing. Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love
does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its
own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the
truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love
never fails . . . And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of
these is love.”

Second, when we fall short, we need to repent.

What we all need to do is take a look at our lives, and line them up with these
scriptures. If we are missing the mark, we need to straighten things out.

It actually is quite simple, but it takes effort from each and everyone of us.

Truly if Christianity is to be seen by the world as the world’s true religion of love we
all need to measure up the standard Christ calls us to – the standard of love done
at the highest level.
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