"If we love our brothers and sisters who are believers, it proves that we have passed from death to life. But a person who has no love is still dead." 1 John 3:14 NLT.
God places a premium on our relationship with fellow Christains everywhere. I was left goggle-eyed many years ago when I found this verse, "Therefore, whenever we have the opportunity, we should do good to everyone—especially to those in the family of faith." Galatians 6:10 NLT. I thought God placed same value on everyone until I saw "especially those in the family of faith". When it comes to believers in Christ, God sees family. When He looks at humanity as a whole He sees creation. And God is a family "Man" and for Him family comes first.
Fellow Christians, nomatter their doctrinal inclinations, are family. That's why I personally prefer to call fellow believers brothers and sisters instead of friends. Friends sounds casual for me but brother or sister sounds like family; notwithstanding brothers and sisters can be friends too. We are more than "church members" we all carry the same spiritual DNA of the Spirit of God and we must hold our connection with fellow believers with such seriousness. We must love our family unconditionally. We must lay down our lives for fellow brothers and sisters. This is the only proof that we have eternal life.
Everyone who hates his brother for any reason, from skin pigmentation to economic class, abides in death and has not the life of God. Love is the proof of eternal life. But today, some are shunning and twisting this message of love in the name of protecting themselves. They do not want to open their hearts in love to their church family because they have been hurt and are "protecting" themselves from being hurt further by fellow Christians. This is wrong. Walking in love is risky business but that's who we are. Jesus went to the cross to die for us without any pledge from the rest of the world that they will honor His death by at least believing in Him, but He went and died anyway. We should not be deterred from the path of love or shut out compassion bowels because of isolated unsavoury experiences.
It is high time the church gets together and unite worldwide. We must immediately cast aside our differences, denominational preferences, and petty doctrinal inclinations, and embrace each other because we all belong to the same Vine whose life is flowing through all of us, His name is Jesus. We are all members of His body, of His flesh, and of His bones. In essentials we should find unity, in peripherals we should allow freedom, and in all things we should let love lead the way.
The life of God in me does not permit me to hate. I am born of love and in love I will remain.
*All Scripture quotations are taken from the New King James Version of the Bible unless otherwise indicated.
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