A Family Resemblance

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Last week we wrapped up our two week study through Philippians 2:3-11, focusing on the humility of Jesus, which is an attribute that verse 5 explicitly commands that we also share as sincere, from-the-heart imitators of Jesus’ example. This week we move on to another challenging scripture John 13:34-35, which says, “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”

In Colossians 3:12-13 Paul calls God’s people to “put on” a number of attributes- compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, patience, and a willingness to forgive. Then in the next verse he adds, “And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony.” Sometimes I think of the church as a machine full of lots of moving parts and as all those complicated moving parts come into contact with each other in the life of the church it is inevitable that some would overheat, chafe and damage one another were it not for the lubricating oil of love poured over the whole. I think of that when I read Paul’s exhortation to “above all else put on love.”

How did Christ love us? And what exactly does that mean for how we are to love one another?