Christians are a representation of the life of God and all that God is. For we know that one of the most fundamental characters of God is that ‘He is love’.
“He who does not love does not know God, for God is love.”
- 1 John 4:8 NKJV
God is love and all that He has and does is from love. As His children, we also have the mandate of representing and expressing the love of God to men as well.
The brethren must be first partakers of this love that is dwelling in us through the Spirit of God. [Romans 5:5]
Jesus said this:
“A new command I give you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another.”
- John 13:34 NKJV
Jesus taught his disciples to love one another, and by extension we the church today have to love each other. He taught them the way of the Father, which is to love; this is the command of the Father unto all who believe and are called by the name of Jesus.
Fellowship is an act of love. When the brethren love each other and are able to dwell together without dissensions, hate and envy, this is the will of God.
The psalmist said:
“Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity.
It is like the precious oil upon the head, running down on the beard, the beard of Aaron, running down on the edge of his garments.”
- Psalms 133:1-2 NKJV
It is great joy and a thing of admiration when the people of God understand the ways of God and know that his command is that they dwell together in unity. There is a blessing that the people of God can enjoy when they live together and enjoy fellowship with God in one accord. They are not only built spiritually, but there are physical blessings that they can enjoy as well.
Fellowship is important, love is great to keep. It is out of good relationships that people are blessed of others.
Love is powerful. It is not a human attribute, though men may try and have done well to love and live peaceably with each other, there will always be a hindrance because the flesh when controlled by the devil, will always pervert anything good.
“But above all these things put on love, which is the bond of perfection.”
- Colossians 3:14 NKJV
Love is above all other things, it is the way to perfection. If we seek perfection, then loving is the only command to obey, for the bible says that against love there is no law. [Galatians 5:23]
Love outlives every other thing that may have ever existed, because it can make all other things possible. [1 Corinthians 13:13]
Love shows our maturity in following God whom we have believed and serve. If we do not love each other, then we have not yet come to know God.
“Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God.”
- 1 John 4:7 NKJV
If we claim to love and know God, then this verse is saying that a simple litmus test that proves us right or wrong will be whether men can testify of our love.
When there is love, we are patient with the limitations of the brethren. Love will make us sympathize with others’ weaknesses, realizing that we are all in need of the grace of God. When there is love, we are kind to those who have not learnt to be kind to us yet. We are able to gain the fortitude to do good things to even those who have temporarily wronged us.
Our love for the brethren is what will make us not think covetously towards any man in the body of Christ, or even outside of Christ. It is love that guards our hearts against the envious, hateful thoughts that the devil tries to bring into our hearts to cause disunity among the brethren.
When there is love in our hearts, we are able to forgive those who wrong us because we understand the love of God unto us, which has given us His grace and mercies.
God wants us to love the brethren first, before we are able to go out and express this love to the world. Jesus showed us the perfect example during his time on earth, loving the disciples and shielding them from every harm and danger.
When we love the brethren, we protect them from the things that could harm them; we defend them when they are right, and correct them in love when they are found wanting.
The will of God is to see that the people who are called by His name will do His command of loving each other, living in peace and unity, and prospering in every good work.